variation #1


There are days I go without finding anything at all to shoot for YWO. I head in and out of the same spaces and venues day in and day out sometimes leaving little room for creativity or interesting subject matter. Ive gone digging around in closets, back rooms, rooftops, you name it. There are a lot of days I come up empty handed and end up stealing another shot of my laptop or a record spinning.

But sometimes there are days like yesterday where I am working in a new space and things line up well for new discoveries. This time I was at a new church retrofitting their aging sound system with something newer and its walls were covered in richly colored stained glass which left the room filled with beautiful colored light all day long. Toward the end of the day I noticed a shard of light made its way onto the strings of their grand piano on stage so I quickly ran to grab my X-Pro1 for a few quick shots of its unique glowing presence.

I took advantage of the rear LCD here and snuck the camera into the piano to frame these few shots and for those curious of such things, outside of the slightest bit of curve adjustment these are JPG’s straight out of the camera. I know for a fact there are a number of piano lovers out there and figured some colorful, abstract shots of a piano may be just what you never knew you needed on your devices background until this moment. Enjoy!

variation #2 variation #3

Object #04

Object #04

I left the house this morning with an object to shoot in my pocket, even found a nice spot to capture it but as the day went on I remembered that it was the 30th anniversary of the Mac so I decided to change my plans and dig out an old Mac Classic instead.

The last time I shot one of these proved highly popular with you guys so I thought a sequel was in order. Many of you may remember this location from the year before last when I drug a christmas tree out there to shoot. As I was brain storming to think of a good place to shoot I couldn’t shake this image from my mind so I went followed my instinct and here we are.

I have a long history with Apple and the Mac because of my dad’s fascination with them back in the early days of personal computing. I remember playing word games on an old Apple II, then eventually kick starting my desire to design when KidPix and later an early version of Illustrator came into the picture. We have been with Apple through thick and thin, we even have one of Apples short lived QuickTake digital cameras in our collection and I remember being the first one in my family bold enough to instal the beta versions of the original OSX and its aqua craziness.

I secretly ordered the original iPod despite everyone thinking I was crazy at the time and later remember seeing the original iPhone rotating in a display case at Macworld back when it had first been released. Waiting in countless lines to get the latest OSX updates or new gadgets and proudly defending the bold moves of a company that fought its way to the forefront of personal computing technology.

While these days my knee-jerk purchases of new Apple toys have subsided to some extent I still can’t imagine using anything else from day to day to stay connected and creative. So I will leave these few simple photos as tribute to the humble beginnings of a company that has changed so many lives.

While I typically only post one image within this series I decided to also share some alternate takes as well which you can find below. Links for wallpapers at the bottom in order of their appearance here. Enjoy!

Object #04 Alt1Object #04 Alt2Object #04 Alt3



Has anyone stopped to think for a minute that “retro themed” cameras are actually not so retro at all? Outside of an obvious strength as a marketing tool. When you think of camera design there are a few obvious concessions that need to be made. You need to be able to see the image you are taking in order to properly frame it and, if you are even a modest hobbyist you are going to want some creative control over the exposure of the image. This means control over aperture, shutter speed, ISO and focus. For years manufacturers have buried these controls deeper and deeper into on screen menus in an effort to simplify the use of the camera.

Yet, as any creative photographer knows, these few simple controls are the bare minimum for any photographer to capture photographs in a controlled or unique way. If you at least have these basics at hand, the rest will fall into place and this is exactly what we are starting to see in many popular new cameras. A renaissance of easily accessible manual controls which also just happens to be the antithesis of the casual point and shoot nature of mobile phone cameras that have all but dominated the general public’s mind when it comes to photography in general.

It’s only natural for manufacturers to look back to the roots of the craft as a means to pull in photographers who crave more than what their mobile phone can offer them in regards to in camera creative control. That said, when you imagine a camera in your mind with full exposure control you imagine a box with knobs that allows you to adjust these key values quickly. In this regard, these supposed retro themed cameras are not retro, they are obvious. No touch screen or series of buttons will give you the same quick uncompromising access to control that simple task specific knobs do.

The first camera I remember offering what could be considered a “retro” body with a digital sensor was Epson’s R-D1 which was, from what I remember at least, not created as a marketing gimmick, but as an honest rangefinder with a digital sensor. To this day I would still love to see Cosina step back into the market and release a Voigtlander branded digital rangefinder with lens/viewfinder focus coupling that could simply use M-Mount lenses.

Once the RD-1 failed to pick up any traction in the market due to the stampede of DSLR bodies at the time we didn’t see anyone else pick up where they left off until Olympus showed up with their updated Pen series. The pen cameras are a hybrid of sorts, borrowing the form factor, size, and interchangeable lenses of older Olympus Pen bodies but moving previous manual control to menus and multi purpose knobs. It wasn’t until Fuji’s X series and to some extent, the Olympus Om-D that we started to see manufacturers realize the potential for more manual control on camera bodies again rather than less.

Manufacturers are banking on the essence of what made older cameras (many of the memorable ones at least) intuitive and usable for photographers to begin with. Hoping to catch the eye of those who are pursuing the art deeper than what the point, click, enhance emotion later habits of mobile phone photography by offering simple offerings with a more broad range of possibility. Just look at Nikons marketing strategy with the new Df. Their leading subtext pulls you into the advantages of using classic camera body design and how you can “Rediscover the joy of photography” with the simple manual control the body offers. Sure, may be marketing rhetoric but they certainly have a point.

A cynical mind may jump to the conclusion that it’s all a gimmick but the evolution of the modern camera will continue to putter along either way. I can only hope that simplicity will win in the end, both for the brilliant little point and shoots in our phones and for feature forward prosumer bodies and this hope is why I decided to stand up in support of this trend.

Speaking of which, have you seen the leaked photos of the upcoming new Fuji X body? Gorgeous. It’s why I decided to move to the Fuji X system, I feel as though they are the most connected to the essence of what makes photography great, not only by keeping up with the latest technology but offering bodies that focus on the essentials. Should be interesting to see how things continue to develop as the market navigates the smartphone camera onslaught.


Sunshine At The Lake

Yesterday YoungDoo and I decided to get out of the house for a bit and figured a cup of coffee was a good enough excuse. Upon arriving at the coffee shop we discovered it packed full of people with no where to sit so we went with plan B, a trip to the lake since it just happened to be such a beautiful, sunny day.

The warm yet harsh light of the sun made my images cry in pain as I kept trying my usual tricks, so I decided to push the x-pro1 and see what it could take as I shot into the sunlight. Even when a highlight is totally blown out it handles the light surprisingly well. Those delicate areas right around the blown whites are fairly smooth considering. I did feel the need to shoot/convert to black and white after noticing some chromatic abrasion fringe along my focused edges and the color and tone in general suffered when I pushed exposure too much. The in camera black and white modes proved to be really lovely, of course they only affect the jpg image but still, good enough for my needs at times as RAW is not always a necessity.

The way the direct bursts of sun caught the lens was all to lovely not to quickly switch over to video mode and sneak in a little video recording as we hopped along down the trail. While I will admit a steady cam would be nice sometimes,  I was still happy enough with the way they turned out to spent some time cutting together the two clips I had recorded. I lucked out with the music track by Peter Broderick, ‘For Pop’ because after a little trial and error I managed to get the music to line up perfectly and make for a humble little narrative. Enjoy the video below or click here for a full HD stream.

I don’t know about you, but watching this makes me really happy. Never underestimate how joyful even the simplest of moments in your life really are. It’s so important that we don’t let ourselves loose sight of this.

(Originally created for and shared on my Yesterday Was Only project)

Object #03

Object #03

This metal owl was casually given to me years ago by a friend I was working with at the time. She had a job at a small vintage thrift store that mostly sold things on consignment. We had a short meeting at the shop to discuss something, possibly involving the website I was building for her. One of the rooms was full of what I remember to be random furniture and miscellaneous dining ware.

I noticed this tiny owl on a side table and picked it up, surprised at it’s weight compared to its size. The odd lettering on the bottom and tag around its neck labeled, “Hand Made Museum” on one side and, “Carantie Bronze Copy” on the other was just odd enough to make it the kind of unique object I enjoyed collecting for home. I asked how much it may cost and she simply said I could have it. It’s followed me around ever since.

Sphere by Landing


In my early days of working in live audio I bartered my time and ran the sound at a small record shop that would host small, in store shows with passing indie bands. In exchange for work I earned money toward records rather than money. It managed to get me hooked not only on vinyl but started my love for live sound at the same time. If memory serves me correctly, this record was a product of that labor.

Sphere by Landing is from “way back” in 2004 but it has been living on my record player for the past few days because it puts me in a mood to create. It is still my favorite album of theirs because of its perfect mix of laid back post rock and ambient. It strikes a delicate balance without the epic builds that many similar groups resorted to back then. There was a lot of great music coming out of the underground at the time that I really miss these days. Once computers took over the recording and releasing process nothing has been quite the same.

Look at me sounding like some old man. This is one of those subtle records that you could put on any time and be put at ease. It has certainly stood the test of time seeing as 10 years later I can still find solace in its sound. Highly recommended to anyone not already familiar.

You can find the LP at K Recs here.

Take Off

Take Off

A couple of minutes before shooting this photo as I pulled my hand out of a pocket one of my original 2gb 5D compact flash cards that I have been carrying around for years casually dove out into lake Ontario. A flash of silver flashed in the corner of my eye and I heard a heart wrenching plop as something hit the water. I stood there for a minute, half contemplating jumping in after it but simply stood in silence and watched it flicker and shrink into the murky blue water. Years of use and memories crossing my mind as it disappeared right in front of my eyes, I sort of thought I would have all four of those cards forever. Now, it seems, I’m down to three.

That was the card I had been swapping into YoungDoo’s 5D MkII after my X-Pro had taken a fall a few days before in NYC. Luck was not exactly on my side during that trip but we made the best of it. Unfortunately we only had a short time to spend in Toronto where this photo was taken. In the short time we had a chance to wander it seemed like a pretty photogenic city. Plenty to draw from for inspiration up there and hopefully we will make our way back up before too long.

Oh, Hello

Of Cameras

“Hello photographer, the report of my death was an exaggeration.


The latest ad from Apple about the usefulness of their iPads got me thinking, for whatever reason, about cameras, photography, and articles that pop up from time to time to declare ambitious statements about photography.

Another has popped up recently as I’m sure many of you reading have already come across, where another journalist decided to declare the end of the camera as we know it. However, until I see a mobile camera share the same level of technical precision with which one is able to capture the same emotional depth and clarity of their more sophisticated brothers, I am not buying into these baitish articles about how traditional photography is dead. Traditional meaning, in this case, using a device designed only to make photographs, not share them.

Is photography evolving? Sure. Is it becoming more accessible to anyone? In a way, of course, software is able to gloss over most any cameras shortcomings these days to some degree. But to declare it’s figurehead, the stand-alone camera, dead or even starting to die is a gross over-exaggeration. To me, these sentiments always come across as oversimplified, wishful attempts at making a statement about the field in general. It’s like stories I read last year about still photography becoming irrelevant in the face of such capable video camera stills, really?

In the early days of commercially available cameras there was not a lot to distinguish those created for the general public versus the professional. A camera was a camera, and advancements were made as a whole so big steps such as the introduction of 35mm film and smaller, easier to carry cameras were obviously created to spread the technology to a wider audience by making the process more convenient.

As time went on a dividing line started to appear between cameras made for consumers versus those designed for professionals. Cameras such as the first Olympus Pen series cameras in the 60s or later the Minox 35 EL in the mid 70’s paved the way for the modern consumer friendly point and shoot which slowly but surely became more and more capable until the boom of digital swept us all off our feet.

The race for the smallest or most capable and/or convenient camera is nothing new, it’s history repeating itself and all the hyperbole about how no one will need or want any cameras other than their mobile phones? It’s nonsense.

In many ways, the landscape today is no different than it was in 1975, only the technology has changed. There will always be the simple, snapshot cameras that anyone can pick up and use and there will always be surprisingly great photos that come out of those simplified little cameras. Nothing has changed here, it’s just that the act of sharing the photos has changed and of course that is no small matter.

It’s not the personal satisfaction of making photographs and sharing them with others that is changing, it’s the expectation of the end viewer that is constantly shifting as the act of sharing grows exponentially. The easier it becomes, the more people we find interacting with the medium, and with mass adoption we see a lower point of entry in general and thus connoisseurs of the craft are born of a different mindset and existing hobbyists attempt to fold into a new way of approaching their favorite hobby or profession in fear of being left behind.

Photography will continue to be a popular and increasingly simple way to communicate and tiny digital cameras attached to our smartphones will surely continue to grow as the dominant source of output but I have this funny feeling that I’m not the only one out there who isn’t ready to toss their cameras into a shoebox in the back of their closet.

There is nothing uncomfortable or strange about getting back from a vacation and realizing your iPhone photos are looking good enough for your needs. You’re still taking the same photos, just with a smaller camera and in the process realizing your style and photographic voice doesn’t require any gear beyond a point and shoot. There is nothing wrong with that, obviously. But it is no reason to get on a soap box and claim the camera is dying. The truth is far from this claim. It is simply evolving, as it always has, and the ebb and flow of those who want creative control in camera vs those who get enough creative inspiration from adding software filters will continue to fluctuate in time.

Personally speaking, using a camera is not simply a means to reach an end for me. Just because it would be easier for me to shoot using my iPhone’s camera doesn’t mean that I should. Photography is a force larger than one style and one lens can be held responsible for and all the software tricks in the world could not mimic the emotional fulfillment and gratitude I have for photography in a traditional sense. The future may lay with a digital dominance and that is perfectly fine, but the tools used to capture light in a creative way by passionate photographers can not all boil down into one automated click of the button.

That said, this is by no means a dismissal of mobile photography or the direction it is continuing to take photography in general. I myself love shooting around with my iPhone as much as the next guy and support the technology that it propagates.  The future of photography is great, I’m positive of that and no matter what you choose to believe I can’t in good conscience stand by and let a fellow wandering photographer looking to plant flags in modern trends try to sell you snake oil. Not when it’s a subject I am so passionate about. Even with a passionate mind one can still manage to lose sight of the sun.

Hello camera, you’re looking good for your age! Still as capable and challenging as you ever were. Let’s go see what light we can find today.


Object #02

Object #02

Years ago in a time I really don’t have many concrete memories of because I was so young, I had the opportunity to travel outside the U.S. for the first time on a trip to Hong Kong and China with my parents. I believe I was only around six years old at the time and it’s funny to think back on the trip now because there are only a couple of memories I have, one of which was seeing Snake Wine in somewhere I believe in my head to be the Chinese countryside and the other was the view from what I think was our hotel room which was high up in a skyscraper in the middle of the city. At the time I had never even fathomed such things in my wildest imagination so I figure the distinct nature of these things play their part in sticking in my mind for so long.

The truth becomes so distorted looking so far back in our lives it’s sometimes hard to distinguish what actually happened in our past versus what we imagine it was like. Other memories of this trip branch out from photos that I have seen of myself while I was there including riding on a train of sorts and I could swear I remember seeing a photo of myself wearing a hat that was bought for me on the trip. It was a blue cap with a red star front and center.

Years ago I came across that hat among my things and while the hat itself was long since neglected, too small, and falling apart, the red star was still there so for whatever reason I chose to pull off the star for safe keeping and toss the hat. If you haven’t guessed by now, the star above is the red star on the hat and it’s still being tossed around among my collection of things. I tied a string to it and photographed it in front of a painting at home simply to make things more interesting.

To whom it may concern,



• Enjoy the images! It’s a labor of love, thanks for your support!
• Share with friends.
• Send me a quick mail if you are interested in using an image for commercial or personal use other than wallpaper.


• Post desktops elsewhere online.
• Share links directly to images.
• Pass them around in mass.
• Make prints.
• Use images for web banners or graphics. (send a quick email to ask, I’m pretty easy going about this with permission.)
• Use them in commercial work.

If you help me out with these I will be able to keep doing what I love to do. Thanks again, really, for your support and understanding. -J


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Thank you for your understanding and support!

John Carey (curator, owner)