My relationship with photography continues to evolve. Lately it’s become much more personal, useful for holding memories of family and travel close to the heart and less to discover poetry in light. Yet there are moments, camera by my side, that still speak up and scream for attention. Most times they are the calm ones, between sentences, when my mind actually has a moment to focus on the wider world unhindered by the chaos brought in on the breeze. The world still glows, it still gives us beauty in abundance, no matter how much harder it seems to grab hold of it recently.

Maybe that is one of the shifts we are seeing in our data fueled perception of the world. Maybe the way we perceive beauty and its connection to a feeling of calm is shifting as many people travel and explore the world simply to keep up with what the little 10 second video clips lead us to believe is happiness or whimsy rather than letting it come to us organically. The hyper specificity of this abridged thought culture is giving us less reason to linger on anything for too long without getting that little ping of irritation as we want for our next fix. It may be ruining our perception of time and space and how it all mingles together in such a delicate way.

Beauty is slow. It doesn’t ask for attention. So now when we explore, if we’re not careful we end up feeling lonely faster than ever before, and by lonely I mean the kind of lonely that fear loves to feed on. It is within that loneliness that fear tricks everyone into to grasping for whatever feels safest within reach. More often than not that something ends up being the low friction, heavily fractured sense of our own collective history. You know, pop culture, and its chaotic blend of fact and fiction.  Within this our comprehension of what it even means to feel happy is cast into doubt.

To even look at a single photograph long enough to consider what your connection to it could mean feels like a bigger ask than it ever was before. It is asking for you to slow down to appreciate one tiny moment in time, literally frozen there with nothing more than the most subtle of context clues to let your imagination translate its story. My approach to photography has always been to narrow down the context surrounding a subject with just enough allusion to let you feel comfortable in a space that I had occupied.

Well. Right, brain dump digression aside, all thats to say I was traveling a little bit again a few months ago, down south in Puerto Rico, and it was beautiful. These photos were made as we were lucky enough to have this chill ferry ride at sunset. A cool breeze from the ocean and these beautiful colors gave us a while to simply be alive and enjoy the ride. Maybe some of you can manage to find that breeze in the photo too. I certainly hope so.

Hope you have been well. See you again next time.


Staircase Sunset

There we go. That’s better.

I love this moment here. A full moon rising as the sun sets behind me while in the near total silence of this space with its infinite skies. The short version of this story was I heard a song about the American west that made me miss it dearly and I somehow managed to find an opportunity to go alone for a bit. I soon found myself on a budget airline, then in a car rental for several hours zooming along the endless highways out of Vegas, and right up to one of my favorite places to simply be alive on planet earth.

Memories have a funny way of distorting over time but this was exactly as I remember it. As soon as I stepped out of the car, head still buzzing from the long drive to that point, my eyes swelled up with tears as pure silence overtook my senses. The most beautiful sound I had heard in years.

This photo is from near that spot. Not far from the highway but far enough to hide all of humanity for a short while. Maybe the photo will bring you a little moment of peace as well. Enjoy.

Reflect On

Since posting last here I have managed to travel half way round the world and back and while on the trip I snapped quite a few photos that, looking back on, I like quite a lot and want to share! During this trip I caught myself shooting in portrait more than I ever had before so I leaned into it a bit with the intention of making a new zine/book of the images as a collection but that will take time and money to pull together so no announcements yet. Just chipping away at editing and pooling together my favorites for that.

In the mean time I am looking around photos that I could share as wallpaper images, do people still look for and use wallpapers for their computers even? Ive been in this game a long time and I sort of feel a shift away from that fun dig around online for new images for digital workspaces but I could be wrong, who knows. Im still here and I still think this is a fun way to share photographs so why not right? I may make a pack of wallpapers from this trip but I may start trickling them out here one at a time, we’ll see how it plays out as I make time to start digging into my library.

My biggest problem right now is still the act of trying to find enough confidence to share much of anything online. It feels like the older I get, the more alienated I feel within the online world. A lot of it has to do with its shifting focus and our lack of attention as trends in social media have moved to quick, rapid engagement. The tiny spike of adrenaline we get as images zip past our eyes for a few seconds and, like a slot machine, we pull down for more, and more, and more, until time and thought mean not much of anything. We blink. and look up from our phones with that dazed, cloudy look in our eyes, and try to focus on reality.

Places like this, full of words and a commitment to more than 5 seconds of time feel daunting to many in comparison. So, if you’re here, and you made it this far, hi! How have you been? The photo above was taken on a little island in Korea which is only accessible by car during low tide. The road heading to it is a long skinny one that ends up fully underwater as the ocean rises up. No warning, no gates, just a road that slowly disappears. The island itself seems to be largely dedicated to campsites, small hotels, and a million seafood restaurants which all have greeters out by the road to entice every car that passes to park and come in for lunch. Its kitschy and fun and I kind of wish we had more time to wander around and explore while we were there.

I look forward to sharing more here as time goes on, I still want to release the album mentioned on my previous hope post and I think I have the nerve to do it sooner than later and I also have been sitting on some 50ft Radio mixes for what feels like years now? Where on earth does the time go? See you again soon.

(Note: “iPad” link below is good for any mobile device, cropped to a simple square.)


For someone who has long told himself that he’s not really that much of a fan of the beach I sure do share a lot of photos taken from oceanic shores. Back at the Atlantic, and there in the distance you can see the moon rising as the sun set behind me. These are the moments you live through and know somehow intrinsically that it you won’t soon forget. Surrounding memories sort of clump together around these remarkable scenes and and they collide in our minds, forming a sort of mosaic of a period of time. The air, the sound, the smell, the reason you were at this place and how close to loved ones you may or may not have been. It’s beautiful and if you are somehow missing this kind of weight during times of genuine, life affirming, nuance then its probably time you re-evaluate your choices in life.

How has everyone been? I’m around, as is my lack of personal space and time so posting continues to be slow but that’s OK. The online world around this little web page has become so vast and distorted since the inception of fifty foot shadows that I’m not sure it’s worth my time to wonder if I should still be stopping by these pages to share. The answer has been becoming pretty clear to me lately that now, more than ever, spaces like these are becoming islands in the social online world. Slang and generations are shifting but people are still out there looking for their familiars and connecting in heart felt ways to others just as lost or found as they are.

All of the surface noise brought forth by the lurking masses simply fades away when you cozy into a place where you can feel comfortable and unafraid. So I hope you, dear reader, can still hop over here from time to time and know the internet can be both never ending as well as quite small. The photo here is of course available for you to grab and use as a wallpaper. It’s landscape so it naturally forms better to a desktop but there is a mobile version here as well for phones and tablets. HD file is over on gumroad. (Thanks to those who choose to continue to support!)

I hope to be back with a few more photos from this recent trip sooner than later. Till then, have a good one. Stay safe out there and look after each other. XO


Having trouble finding my spirit lately. A couple months ago I finally was able to purchase a new camera for myself, to keep around with me from day to day. It was stolen from me, or lost, the details are hazy, but a month into having a new X100V around it chose a different path than one by my side. Then a lens on my iPhone camera cracked and I felt deceived by fate somehow. Cheated of what I try pursue so passionately.

It’s tempting to blame it on luck, karma, or some some other divine unbalance but really Its more a reflection of my state of mind. We’re all coming into this year shaken up, I realize my story is not particularly unique and there is comfort in that, I think. I still have so much to share, just no time to compile. Only hope, and damn it, I do still somehow find ways to add levity to each day. Balance out the nagging weight of the darkness in the well. I’m not writing for sympathy, I really am here to share a new photo and pass along an update for the devoted few who still check in on this page from time to time.

I will be getting a replacement for the X100V soon, I will be repairing my phone, but these feelings are sticky. Not a day passes where a song, a light, a photograph, or an opinion, doesn’t leave me ready to tuck myself into a corner and write about it, share it, collaborate with you all, but time is steam and clouds aren’t taking shape all that well lately. But they will come, and I can’t wait.

The hour I am stealing this morning to write and share something of an update here is the first I have had to myself  in as long as I can remember and I am happy to be here reflecting on my state of mind because I know I’m not the only one out there with heavy hands. I want to pad my posts here with more than these downer updates so how about next time I sneak in with a bit more sunshine.

Raise a glass with me, download this photo of a little sprouting leaf and get ready to grow. We’ll do it together. Cheers.

Variations On Blue

It’s been a weird month or so. Covid managed to worm its way into my home and all three of here us came down with it, thankfully without symptoms beyond manageable ones. We did our time and we are doing OK at this point and have gotten back into the swing of life again but life as I know it is askew in my mind. Work is as it was early last year where event production is slow and the live entertainment industry is still very much a volatile market to be working in but we’re managing one way or another and doing our best to plan for what will clearly be another tough year.

So I’m looking at time after coming from weeks of being inside for the most part, waiting and hoping that the impact of Covid doesn’t hurt as much this year. As I am out on job sites again talking to clients I discover more and more people who have felt the frustration and uncertainty of catching it as well and I realize how bad it really is. This is no longer something that friends of friends of friends catch, it’s everywhere here and to take it on is a coin toss.

As careful as we were and as hard as we try to take it seriously, it still snuck in. Not everyone around us seems to be able to share this cautious empathy for whatever reason. Whether aware of it or not, for some, cynicism manages to win. At any rate, whatever your viewpoint, surely we can agree the situation feels impossible, we are all trapped in our own interpretation of reality as it stands so when I say that life feels askew it’s not a poetic quip of an observation it’s a literal adjustment I am having to make within my perspective and my usual sense of optimism to keep from loosing hope. To maintain that sense of optimism I am constantly needing to shift the goal posts but every time I choose to look on the positive side of any given setback I still feel like I am making the only rational choice.

What a time to be alive eh? I don’t mean to jump in so gloomy, the reason I am really here is in effort to sneak by the weirdness of the world at large by hopping into 50ft land to to wax on about a few photographs for the first time in a while. Milla (my nearly 5 year old daughter) and I wanted to get out and get some fresh air after being inside so long so we chose to visit one of our favorite local trails and hike along the edge of a lake nearby.

Snacks packed and ready to explore, we drove out to greet a sunny but chilly afternoon and we were happy to find the trail waiting quietly for us. It had been a few weeks since getting out so my eyes darted around the surrounding forest and I felt intimately tuned to its wintery charm. Tiny leaves, red berries, and here among the few photos on this post, cool blue shadows on the lake and wispy delicate little seeds that pretty much begged me to widen my aperture and soak up the unassuming depth of this moment.

At the time we were sitting down on roots conveniently positioned near the shore. We made up silly stories as we ate and wondered aloud about things like other times we had visited this spot, if maybe it would snow again this winter, and which snack was our favorite. I may sound silly saying it but these little conversations felt poetic while spoken through some of the first fresh air I had been able to breath in quite some time. This crisp January afternoon was just what we both needed and these modest minimal photos take me right back to the side of the lake where we sat.

I hope you all are doing well among everything going on. Any time I stop to write for a while for the site I am reminded of all the lofty goals I pray I make time for around here but all the same it’s nice to have this space to share. Its reassuring to reach out and know that there are a few people around the world tuning in that may find solace in the words I pair with my desktops.

Sometimes it’s funny to imagine someone stumbling across a post like this, here maybe for the first time after clicking a link someone shared letting them know they could find nice computer wallpapers on this site called Fifty Foot Shadows. Welcome stranger! I’m happy you stopped by, enjoy the photos, links to download them are below and I hope to see you again soon.

(P.S.- iPad links are for any “mobile” device and HD versions are in the member downloads)


Dipping back into a long standing series of minimal sandy landscapes which was named back when dropping vowels ws sppr cl t d. OK so that didn’t work at all. At any rate, on a recent little jaunt to the coast with YoungDoo and Milla we found our way to a serendipitous moment on a big empty beach during sunset.

As we explored the shore I grabbed the camera to shoot for a while and ended up taking a few usual “beach” photos then realized I should maybe try something other than yet another photo of sand and waves. The light, clouds, and sky felt just right for one of these intentionally pulled out of focus shots.

It’s actually kind of hard to capture a satisfying image like this because finding the right aperture and focal point makes a big difference in the way the broad shapes of a landscape gel together. I ended up settling on three versions of the moment seen here in this post each less and less obvious what it is we’re looking at.

I love these sort of “ambient” photos and the way they feel perfect as a rendered backdrop for icons on a desktop. “But John, don’t you have a copy of photoshop, can’t you do this with any photo? I don’t get it.” Yeah, but, this image has an authentic stamp of realities approval that you can feel good about ingesting into your daily wallpaper diet so roll with it. As for the color shift on that last photo, I reached this image, which was the most lost in that 50 f/1.2 blur, and felt I wanted to further accentuate the waining sun as it deepened the colors of the sky so a little color shift and drama felt in order.

Get lost for a bit in your imagination here. What do YOU imagine there in the foreground of these photographs? Breathe in…

P.S. Merry Happy Holiday Christmas Time Day. May you find that moment to breathe you deserve.

Looking Back

So, I was casually jumping around a folder of older wallpaper images and found this deep cut sitting there all lonely after only seeing a release through an old iPhone 4 Retina update wallpaper pack or something of the sort and after using it for a week or so on my laptop realized how calming it was to have there waiting for me when all the work was closed up for the day.

I thought it would be a diservice to the world NOT to put it back up in desktop form. Sure, there are probably 1.2 million photos of an airplane wing but just LOOK at it, just a fraction of a moment before the sun had given up for the day there on that plane however high up in the sky. I know I’m not the only one feeling that drag from not being able to get out and see the world at large and for me at least, this modest photo brings with it a hopeful solitude and I hope that maybe you find a little bit of solace here too.

It’s been a year has it not? I miss you guys, I know you’re still out there, I see you checking in to see if something new has popped up here. I hope you have been doing alright, this ones for you.

(yes, the “iPad” link is still for all mobile devices)

50ft Japan Wallpaper Pack +Zine

The time has finally come to let this out into the world. It only took me six years! Back in 2014 I took a trip to Japan with YoungDoo and while I did share a few of the photos here through the years since, I had never committed to put together the big set of digital wallpapers I had wanted to release.

I’m here today to rectify that. I have a new pack from the trip available containing 62 photographs. I chose to offer it up for sale with full HD versions in an effort to raise money for a couple of 50ft related projects that I have been trying to get up off the ground for what feels like forever. The cost starts at $1 and if your not able to contribute at all but are in need of some fresh wallpapers just let me know.

Your support would mean the world to me and I would be endlessly thankful if you would consider sharing the news through your social hangouts to help me spread the word.

Also! I have decided to make a limited run of printed zines containing all of the photos from the pack!

I go into much more detail about everything on the page that I have set up over on Gumroad so rather than keep you here, why not hop on over and have a look? I have thumbnails of all of the images there as well for your browsing pleasure. Link Below:

The 50ft Japan Wallpaper Pack

(Or, my gumroad profile here)

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


By downloading any content from fiftyfootshadows.net you agree to the following terms:

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.

I ask that you refrain from using any images found on fiftyfootshadows.net to create physically printed material of any kind. This includes posters, photographic prints, fliers, etc. Under no circumstances may you make a physical reproduction without written permission.

These rules also apply for any artwork or imagery submitted and shown within this site which was created by an artist aside from myself. Any images submitted and shared as wallpapers are the property of the artist who created them and in the same manner as my images, you are asked to receive permission before using them in any way aside from their intended use. Any use of these images outside of for your own personal use as a desktop wallpaper image is prohibited without permission from the author of the image. Commercial licensing is available upon request. Please write with any inquiries.

When sharing images via your personal blogs I kindly ask that you link back directly to either the post the image was taken from or the base of the website at www.fiftyfootshadows.net and give a credit to www.fiftyfootshadows.net. Do not re-post full resolution desktop images anywhere without permission. If you would like to use an image for your blog background or something of the sort simply write to ask first. Support the artwork you admire! Also, it is greatly appreciated if you do NOT link directly to the zip files. This is more or less the same as re-posting them as it circumvents the tiny bit of support I ask of you which is to simply link back to the original post for others to enjoy the site.

It’s not fair to artists if you do not credit their work and link back to the original content creator. It is theft plain and simple and blogs that attempt to somehow be mysterious by not giving credit to the creators are simply hurting the artistic community as a whole. If you love it so much then please, support it! The artistic community on the Internet is based on trust. Without trust then what do we have? are you going to be one of the responsible users out there or will you be among the bottom feeders, stealing content and passing it off as your own to make a quick buck in ad sales.

Use your best judgement and we will get along just fine.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

John Carey (curator, owner)