High Tide

High Tide

“I wonder if I can catch these pelicans in flight,” was the only thing that crossed my mind as I saw them gliding by, camera aimed straight up into the sky. At first glance it was a shot I figured I would later ignore because of the odd, chaotic composition but upon realizing it would work well as a black and white photo that focused on the shapes and colliding lines rather than the blue of the sky it came to life as a casual yet nostalgic viewpoint that many of us have witnessed before.

While this moment is stuck here in time I imagine this scene reoccurs every day around the same time on this shoreline with or without a camera or anyone to notice or care. These cycles repeat regardless of how many times we check our RSS feeds in a day, regardless of the amount of frustration that builds when someone cuts us off in traffic, regardless of how many words we may or may not have written in that novel were chipping away at.

If you start to imagine photographs not just as fractions of light caught or frozen and more as time itself callously repeating itself despite what has happened in the mean time they can start taking on a life of their own. The moments before and after a photograph are often more interesting or informing than what is seen recorded in an image. Photographs that lead you to wonder what is just outside of the frame are some of my favorites. The kind that can honestly be worth a thousand words if it leaves your imagination to fill in the gaps beyond the confines of the frame.

So, I took a chance and tried to capture this one obscure, fleeting moment as I stood with YoungDoo on a windy beach one afternoon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the time and space surrounding it.

Botany Bay v3

Botany Bay

We had a nice short trip down to Charleston, SC last weekend and found a few fun places to explore while we were down there. Among them was a beautiful plantation called Botany Bay. It is an active farm and wildlife preserve which was opened to the public about five years ago with a modest driving tour and a beautiful rough beach full of dead trees being battered by the ocean.

While there is not a lot of information available online about this spot it was easy enough to find down an unassuming dirt road at the end of which you sign in at an entrance so they know who is on the grounds and off you go to explore as you please. From what we were told there are all manner of wildlife living naturally in the area including alligators so you have to watch your step while you explore. While the only wildlife we came across was a couple of wild turkeys we have no doubts that there is plenty other wildlife wandering these woods.

Our favorite part of our time there was the beach, we arrived right around high tide so more or less all visitors were on their way out. After a 1/4 mile walk to the shore we were greeted with dozens of old weathered collapsed trees, the slowly rising waters of the ocean, and hundreds of seashells small and large which they have a strict policy against taking any home. It would be fun to explore again at low tide when the waves weren’t constantly threatening to drench our cameras in saltwater but we did snap a few photos while we climbed around among the surf and trees. I figured a good place to start sharing would be these simple shots of shells collected by visitors and left along the shore.

Botany Bay Botany Bay v2

Forgotten Ties

Forgotten Ties

Last but not least and a little late I have the 5th post in a week of desktops, this time around I have a set of images from a quick visit to a nearby train yard on a day off. We only had a few minutes to shoot because it started raining right when we wandered in but I managed to snap a few nice shots in the short visit. It would be a great place for portraits but I’m sure we would get run off in an instant if we drew too much attention to ourselves though it has a lot of potential for future exploring.

I always feel I don’t do enough portrait work, I really love to do it but my introvert self is not always up for finding people to shoot. I have been longing to get out with my Hasselblad and shoot some black and white film to develop and make prints again at home and my more frequent usage of black and white post processing is my attempt at curbing that desire a bit until I have the chance to do so. For now though, enjoy these moody shots and I will see you again soon!

Forgotten Ties v2Forgotten Ties v3Forgotten Ties v4Forgotten Ties v5

Because Spring, Also

Because Spring, Also

While spring is more or less winding down around here I thought I would collect a few more shots taken from the last few weeks and share them as wallpapers to compliment my other spring post. I’ve been loving the cool night air lately and hope it lasts a while longer before things start to heat up. I did my best to choose a well rounded selection to choose from, so hopefully everyone finds one they enjoy.

In other news, next weekend YoungDoo and I are planning on spending a few nights down around Charleston, SC so if anyone is in the area feel free to hit me up and maybe we can grab a drink somewhere. I have one more set of images for you guys in my make up week of desktops, its another five image pack so check back soon for more!

Because Spring, Also v2 Because Spring, Also v3 Because Spring, Also v4 Because Spring, Also v5



Another shot in ode to the simple things in life that can add a lot of joy in unexpected ways. In this case it’s a bit of afternoon sun coming through the window of a house on a farm with a few sprigs of freshly picked flowers and leaves. While Spring has never been my favorite time of the year I do love how hopeful it feels. The promise of a fresh start and the coming summer always lays down a welcome path for many after the burdensome winter prior. You can look forward to a few more spring wallpapers form me this week, perhaps tomorrow. See you then!

To whom it may concern,



• Enjoy the images! It’s a labor of love, thanks for your support!
• Share fiftyfootshadows.net 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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All of the images contained within this website, fiftyfootshadows.net, are property of, John Carey unless otherwise posted. The images are distributed as freeware but they are available for personal use only on your personal computer, tablet, or smartphone as your wallpaper image. Any use of these images for any purpose other than this is a violation of these terms and anyone found using said images will be asked to either compensate the creator for doing so or be asked to stop using them immediately.

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Thank you for your understanding and support!

John Carey (curator, owner)