I asked Twitter followers yesterday about a potential image for a desktop and received ample “yes please” replies to turn the image into a wallpaper. The two maybe’s I read had fair criticism attached though. One mentioned that the image felt too similar to my last photo of a boardwalk which is a favorite among many. He suggested I change the mood a bit with some post work. The other suggested it was simply not as strong as other images I share on the site stating the composition did not seem strong enough. The reason I asked was not only for personal affirmation that I had created something worth sharing but also to look for opinions such as his on weather or not the image worked and it was nice to find a spark of honesty make its way to my eyes.

It lead me to revisit the images taken the day of its shooting and see if perhaps I had a better shot that I maybe overlooked on my first pass. I ended up choosing the above image over the one shared through Twitter because the criticism confirmed my own doubts that the composition felt off and not as strong as my usual fare. This brought to mind a reminder that expectations have grown considerably over the years of running a website such as this. To keep things interesting and fresh I have to look harder and harder into my own abilities to come up with posts and images I can feel proud of. It’s a steep terrain to navigate sometimes.

While of course we all share different perspectives based on our own taste and desires I still strive to offer the best possible content for everyone. Unfortunately, sometimes this sort of pickiness leads my mind to hold back more than I should leaving too much room for doubt to sneak in. I look through my drafts of articles and images and find a lot of great things that should have been published but were held back because of that nagging in the back of my mind that it was not quite up to the virtual expectations of everyone visiting the site. This, of course, is utter nonsense.

You can’t let yourself get bogged down with excuses when it comes to sharing your work online and I should know better by now. The only way to grow and continue to develop with anything is to jump in regardless of fears or potential missteps because, in my experience, failure teaches us much more than success. Some say words are cheap and its true, so are excuses. Actions, however, no matter the risk involved, are what helps things move forward. I realize I am being a little too honest here letting out a venerability of mine so candidly but it’s not an attempt to garner sympathy, rather it’s in effort to reach out to others who may also hold back too often out of fear of expectation. We can’t let our imaginary projections of how others will react to something dictate the risks we may or may not take. It’s just not worth it and in the end it leads to an entirely different waste of potential positive energy and momentum, regret.

In the end this may not be my favorite image ever but it feels pointless to hold back something based on an imagined negative response. I have hundreds of photos that I love which I still have yet to find a proper home for due to these reluctancies and I realize it really isn’t worth all the internal strife. There is no time like the present when it comes to taking action. At any rate, before I start sounding too preachy I will leave it at that.



I realize its an odd day of the week for a post but hey, have to take advantage of a little window of time when I see it. I pulled this out of photos form Seoul and thought it would make a nice addition to the desktop collection. This was shot in the stairwell of a wonderful shop in Chungmuro called FotoMoru (english) which develops all manner of films and is a great place to have them printed or scanned as well. The guys that run it are trustworthy and know film developing and printing backward and forward, not to mention they have the some of the best prices around. I miss having the resource handy. All you had to do was drop off your film and a day or less later you get an email letting you know your order is ready or, if you had scans made, a link to where you can download the zip file. They will even store negatives safely for you if you would like.

At any rate, on the way down the tiny stairwell I couldn’t help but notice how perfectly this bike had parked just outside the doorway so I took a moment to pull out the 5D and steal a shot. After adding a touch of contrast and a little tint for a pinch of extra drama I thought it was worthy of sharing with you guys. As always, thanks for stopping by and enjoy!



I realize spring has come and gone, or at least the peak of spring, but while summer settles in I thought these would still make for nice, light desktop imagery. These cherry blossoms were everywhere as YoungDoo and I arrived back in Seoul after our time in Bali. I always thought it was mostly hype as far as the beauty of these trees are concerned but they really are quite nice as they line streets and cast everything around them in a nice diffused light. The best moments though are the times when wind blows across them and hundreds of tiny white petals fall gently to the ground, I love that. So while these may be somewhat generic lovely flower photos I hope you guys enjoy them, a little something fresh for the oncoming heat of the summer.



Cast Off

Here on the border of day and night things grow fuzzy, less defined, quiet. Colors shift quickly and dramatically and everything around becomes less of a landscape and more of a sketch of what was a few moments before. I love this time of night but it certainly can be tricky to capture depending on the circumstances. In this case these children were out fishing at the end of a hot day in Bali and YoungDoo and I were out photographing the last sunset we would have to enjoy on the island. A perfect recipe for a few nice silhouettes. They all but ignored us and we tinkered with out cameras and enjoyed the view.

While this shot ended up a bit hazy and out of focus I still love it for the movement captured. As soon as the one child leaned back to point at the other side of the pier I knew I had the shot I was waiting for, where the three of them were well defined against the dim light of the coming night so one click was all I had. Still though, despite its technical shortcomings, I knew I had a nice shot because I had finally caught the scene in the way I envisioned it in my mind. Which leaves us with the question, does a photograph need to be technically perfect to be an effective image? This is entirely subjective to the person who created the image.

If your image is able to achieve a successful emotional connection with the viewer then you have done your job. Sometimes this means ignoring the nagging voice in the back of your mind that this exposure may end up a bit dark, blurry, etc. Every aspect involving the art of photography, even intentionally fudging the technical details here and there, is fair game. A technically perfect image is a wonderful thing and is worthy of being proud of, but one which is able to transfer an emotional value can be infinitely more satisfying.

Not only this but it is much easier to discover your voice as a photographer if you let yourself make mistakes. One of the most influential things that guided my style over the years has been the images I really wanted to love but didn’t work out because of a shortcoming in my approach leaving me to refine the idea and try again. At any rate, I hope you enjoy the new desktop. I will do my best to start pushing them out faster.


First thing is first, Bali is HOT. As in, most days are spent soggy with sweat while wandering streets full of bright, unforgiving sunlight. It has not only slowed our pace a bit but also left me not shooting as much on this trip. I decided yesterday to leave the Hasseblad and Canonet behind in favor of the LCA and Holga because I never really come across too many delicate moments to shoot and the LCA/Holga are best suited for nice bright sun so hopefully this switch in pace will lave me more relaxed about shooting in general. We have also been invited to the home of a driver that we have started to befriend so that could be a nice opportunity to get a feel for a more local lifestyle.

Up to this point what I have seen of Bali constantly reminds me of the Disney World backlot where they have neighborhoods of fake houses built for shooting movies and TV. Within the central tourist filled areas the buildings and businesses are built purely to fuel the needs of the mobs of lobster skinned tourists. Signs to resorts and tour packages line the streets speaking of secret locations they can take you to see the “real” Bali. Everywhere I go I hear “Taxi? Transport?” coming from all imaginable directions as anyone with a car seems to offer some kind of tour package. These pleas have all but become white noise along the way and blend, like static, into the hum and roar of the hundreds of scooters, cars, and trucks constantly filtering through every street.

While in a car on the way back to our room yesterday evening we took a few backroads that lead us through areas where I could not spot one single foreigner and the atmosphere completely changed from sweaty tourists and swarms of locals doing their best to take advantage of their potentially deep pockets to a more relaxed, modest speed of life with small food stalls with real local food, cell phone shops, and mechanics. I am hoping to see more of that side of the Island as we continue to explore but it can be difficult without your own car or scooter and hired drivers never seem to understand that you don’t want to do what everyone else usually wants to do. I am almost certain at this point that the best way to explore this Island would be with a scooter and a well updated GPS for when you inevitably get lost.

At any rate, I shot the image above in a small village called Tenganan known for its basket weaving among other things. While we did not stay too long I did find this one lovely lit spot to shoot what I immediately knew would make a great wallpaper image to share with everyone. Moments like these are rare in the blistering sun that has graced most of what we have seen up to now so when I come across them I can’t help but start shooting.

I’m not sure when I will have time to write again, but rest assured that things should settle back into place when I return from my travels and I will start to share more images and stories from my time here and catch up with the world that I have left behind to a certain extent. So until then, all the best, and enjoy the new image!

Dial Tone

Whew, so weddings take a lot of time out of regularly scheduled programming eh? Time has been flying by here in Seoul and I am packing up the last couple of things and getting ready to head down south with YoungDoo to Bali for ten days. This time, however, the trip is purely recreational so I hope to have a camera around all the way through. From what I have seen it’s been raining a bit recently down there so hopefully it’s not going to be too unbearably hot or muggy. I have been shooting where I can the past few weeks and will resume regular posting as soon as I can manage. I will try to post some new desktops while down there, time and internet access willing.

For the time being I managed to get this image together for you guys, nothing too special but I thought it was nice. The late afternoon light called me into the phone booth for it and I figured it would be a nice shot to share. Hopefully the fairly liberal post work doesn’t bother you too much. I tried not to get too carried away with it but it’s all in good fun anyhow. At any rate, the next time you hear from me I will hopefully be happily nestled into my room in Bali. Maybe I can get that post about the new 5D up, it’s all but done, just a paragraph and a conclusion away from posting. Just can’t find the time to finish refining it a bit. Till then, enjoy the new image and I will see you again soon.

Pon De Lion

Something New

I’m sure everyone remembers my favorite donut post, Pon De Ring, this time around I have a perfect complement to the other desktop, the mascot for said donut, Pon De Lion. I never actually thought I would own one of these because it takes purchasing more donuts than I could imagine eating while on a short month stay here. Thankfully though, YoungDoo has a friend who often buys donuts there for work and could quickly accumulate enough points to take home one of these lions and was nice enough to give it to me! I realize this is far cuter than most things I post around here but what’s wrong with a little cute from time to time eh?

As for the lack of posts as of late, I honestly thought I would have more time to post while traveling but the funny thing about weddings is that they take a lot of preparation to make happen smoothly! That said, I have done my best and you can rest assured that posting will become more frequent post wedding which takes place in a few short days. Trick is, however, that I still need to find and shoot something blue!

Retina iPad Wallpaper Pack

There goes Apple again making more work for me. The apparently beautiful new iPad screens have a remarkably high resolution, nearly as big as the large, full size desktop wallpapers I offer. Knowing this I knew it was time to jump in and start cropping images for all of the new iPad owners out there. It’s a bit time consuming but you guys know I love you so here we go.

I would honestly love to be able to include every wallpaper I have ever released and simply update the files on the backend but it would be far to great in scope for me to handle on my own. For whatever reason I don’t have an intern handy to sit at a desk and crop images for me all day. That said, I have done my best to get a nice healthy group of many favorites from the past all in one place as a way to catch up to the newest tech. From here forward expect every new wallpaper post to include the larger retina sized iPad images as well as the other usuals.

I also wanted to mention that images you remember from before may seem ever so slightly different for those discerning eyes out there. This is because I am using the wider desktop versions as my source material to compile these. I am away from my original files at the moment so I must pull from what I have available to me. Let me know if this bugs anyone and perhaps in the future I can update any that feel too off but all in all most everyone should not see much of a difference. Sorry about the slight inconsistency, I am simply doing the best I can.

For simplicity’s sake I have included all images below in thumbnail size. Simply visit the page on your iPad and tap the one you would like to save to your device. I am not making them all available in one single download because in the past this has lead to widespread loss of the images as those less trustworthy users of the net were simply scooping them all up at once and dumping them on other paid sites.

Please do not link to the images directly if you decide to share them with others, link back here to this page so they can have a proper pick of all that is available.I appreciate the understanding and support! You can read over my simple terms of use here. Let me know if anyone has any trouble with any of them and more importantly, since I am unable to test them on a new iPad at this time, let me know how they look on the new display. Thanks again and enjoy!

Follow the read more link to access the full collection.


something old

Something Old

I came across an opportunity to take this old Mac out back and shoot it recently. We were cleaning out old storage space and came across our Mac graveyard of sorts. Also In there was a Cube and moving head iMac. Good stuff. I took out one of the Classics we had around and put it in the middle of a nearby field. I’ll tell you what though, it may look warm but I was freezing laying on the grass to get this shot. I am a bit disappointed in myself for letting the highlight there get blown out but thats bound to happen when shooting straight into the sun. The image still somehow ended up in my shareable image pile so here we are.

I am nearly finished with an article about the new 5D Mark III which I started writing by request. I should have time to get a few more good posts in before my wedding at the end of March which is coming up quickly! I am also excited to share that YoungDoo and I will be spending some time in Bali while I am away so heres to the travel and beauty that lies ahead. It’s going to be an exciting couple of months I know that much. Till then, enjoy this little piece of the past.

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)