Two AM

When I wake up at 2am I get to hear traffic slowly crawl into an audible hum, distant in the city streets. Nothing can get my mind back to rest. Time goes from late to early as morning birds start asking for the sun. Weary eyes, cold feathers, gentle calls. Giving up I leave for work, an early job today. Driving feels automatic, as if the road is a river simply pulling me along in its current. Starbucks preps for its first few customers. Grey hair and smoking old pickup trucks wait in the lot outside.

I can’t tell if I’m awake, I can assume consciousness but I’m not sure I can embody it this morning. At least my vocabulary seems in check. Writing feels as natural as my cautiously weary body feels tired and this conference room is still empty enough to focus for a few short minutes.

Sharing to share, side loading a post into an otherwise frustrating start to the day, wait. Theres an echo in here, a few words common and evergreen; enjoy the photo, from Korea long ago, links below, see you again soon?

(P.S – iPad link is for all mobile devices.)

Grotta

I set off to walk from Reykjavik all the way out a peninsula one afternoon as a means to both make my way to a lighthouse I noticed on a map that morning, and as an excuse to traverse through neighborhoods and to see what local spots I may come across along the way. I stumbled into a grocery store just as I was regretting not bringing more water along for the walk and loaded up on some snacks and a couple of pre-made sandwiches.

I love making time for un-guided walked like this while traveling. I left on foot from my hostel without much of a map, only knowing that If I continued to walk I would eventually hit an ocean, and a vague sense of the shape of this part of the city and its surrounding area. The last mile or so of my walk ended up being down a walkway along the coast which lead me to the lighthouse hiding quietly at the end of fields and sparse local businesses.

After eating my sandwiches and having a drink, I considered flagging a car down and asking for a ride back into the city but ended up taking a brisk walk back along the waters edge as the sun slowly waned in the distance instead. There was a thoroughness to the sense of calm I felt on the second leg of that walk that ended up overshadowing almost everything else on the trip. Let’s see if I can describe the feeling.

Imagine a sense of confidence, not of arrogance or entitlement, but a mental space free of fear or doubt. Then add in a dash of loneliness, not enough to feel alone, but enough to invoke longing and understanding that this space you are in is yours and yours alone and it is beautiful and whole. To top off this feeling, add an acute sense of mindfulness, there is no past and no future in this space, only this view, this heartbeat, a cold breeze. Fill it with some of your favorite music and wrap it all up with a gentle smirk of joy and you are in my shoes at that moment.

I also had a camera along in hand, and snapped a few photos of my walk to maybe share one day down the line and that day is today. Modest, blue, in between day and night, the tide is low and time stands still. What will you do with this moment?

(P.S – iPad link is for all mobile devices.)

Straight Up

These plants seemed so eager and ready to grow. I noticed them out of the corner of my eye as I was walking through residential areas in Reykjavik trying to not look too suspicious or touristy. I feel like I always need to be somewhat inconspicuous if I’m stopping to take photos around anything involving children like this playground here, I certainly don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, but I couldn’t let these joyful plants get away without being photographed, not with that impressive posture and all.

Wallpaper links are below, enjoy!

Lost And Found

Back to Iceland with a new something for someone out there, you know who you are. Framed as if half way between thoughts and processed to fit the mood. I discovered this little bit of color in the grey and simply had to sneak my camera in and I wondered to myself, “how long has this bike been parked here?” as I lined up the shot. Looking back through photos to share I fell in love with the light blue, brown leather, and yellow highlights in the scene and hopefully you do too, links below to take this little slice of light home with you. Enjoy!

(Notes: “iPad” download is for all mobile devices now, still have not found time to dig in and code a new button. Also, 5k iMac etc. resolutions in member area, which is only $1 a month at its base level now because I want anyone that needs them to have access. Feel free to write if you have any questions or concerns.)

Sneaking In

There is light, and then there is light that transforms a scene into something beyond its humble self. I still do all I can to seek out this kind of light and capture it, but the key to discovering it is time and a willingness to notice and take advantage of it. It can feel illusive and sometimes this sort of light seems to hide from me for what feels like months but then, I look up, and there it is, waiting impatiently for me to find the right angle to fully take advantage of it.

In this case it was one of the rooms of a rented house sitting in the middle of an otherwise empty field in Iceland on the day we were leaving it. The sun was gracious enough that morning to sneak out from under the clouds and bathe one side of the house with a warm glow. I wonder sometimes what makes this kind of light so comforting. Maybe it’s the physical warmth that it brings to mind, or the long contrasty shadows and shifting color temperature. Whatever it is, I still love it after all these years and I’m happy to share this little moment full of it for anyone in need.

Generally Happy

While sitting down with a pastry and hot cup of coffee this afternoon, I took a few minutes to listen to some new music and watch others go about their buisness. Everyone around me seems to be generally happy in their little phone worlds. Half smiles, heads cocked sideways, a table of prayer before eating their salads. Reflecting on life and people watching feels like a luxury and spending time like this to myself often makes me feel guilty because I immediately wonder, what else should I be doing right now that is surely more productive than this?

So I opened up my laptop and decided to pivot into sharing something new here with those of you still checking in on 50ft from time to time. I appreciate you, thanks for stopping by! Unless I’m just not paying enough attention, custom desktops and photography feels a little small in the grand scheme of things online these days. I figure that’s even more of a reason to keep doing what I do around here, carry on and share like I have been for so long. A day or two ago I dug out a few new images and readied them for sharing and I am happy to be here today doing just that.

Pulling from photos taken while in Iceland late last year I am struck by how dim and grey most of my images are from the trip. A thin layer of clouds were always drifting about overhead and the sun often only snuck out on rare occasions when it dipped low enough in the horizon to escape. So here in this moment the clouds won but the landscape there is beautiful no matter the circumstance so I tried to make the best of what I had to work with when given the opportunity to pull the camera out. I still enjoy shooting landscapes like these with a small aperture and a focus on where I stood rather than the grand whatever beyond in an effort to leave that grander for daydreams and whimsy rather than being so on the nose all the time.

At any rate, thats all for today, download links below, I hope to see you again soon!

Cursory

Last November I was lucky enough to be in Iceland for just over a week. I had been invited there to photograph a wedding which was a lovely experience, pushing through frigid wind to seek out quick moments of beauty before our faces started to freeze and otherwise mirroring a couple as they explored. I felt blessed to have been asked along but I also figured I should take at least a couple of days to explore on my own so I chose to reserve a bed in a hostel and simply wander mapless through the streets of Reykjavík to see what I could find.

During this time I found myself reconnecting with a side of myself that only manages to come out when I have a clear mind and somewhere new to wander. Camera in hand I walked for miles over the course of those couple of days and enjoyed every moment of it.

Details around me have a way of glowing in my vision when I have the mental freedom to seek them out and among them was this one tiny leaf covered in dew off the side of the road along the edge of someones property. The smallest of cursory glances can lead us to such modest details full of understated beauty, and I feel as though I have nearly lost this sense lately so it was really nice to reconnect with this side of myself, even if only for a short while.

If you find solace in these little drops of water, there is of course a desktop version of it waiting on you to enjoy along with a second take of the scene. HD versions will be up on the Gumroad page for members (which has reduced price this year by the way but more on that when I have time to get to it). Links below, enjoy!

Object No. 16

It’s been quite a while since adding to my brief “object” series of desktops. Looking back I wish I had done more with it. I started the idea as a means to encourage myself to find things to photograph even when inspiration or opportunity to shoot was running low and while wandering around my house with a camera this morning I decided it may be time to bring it out of hiding.
So what do we have today? I pulled this out of our camera cabinet, one of YoungDoo’s old cameras. I could be wrong but I don’t believe it is a functioning camera but I love the art deco like vibes of the body so it seemed like a natural choice for subject matter. I found a spot with a bit of early morning sun and here we are, with a mild tribute to time gone by. I’m thinking I may pick this idea back up and run with it. Could jump start my daily shooting habits again which as you may have noticed around here, I have been trying my best to grab onto. Enjoy!
P.S. – The iPhone download link is suitable for most all mobile devices, including iPads.

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fiftyfootshadows.net

fiftyfootshadows@gmail.com