10 wallpaper selections, part 1

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This is the first of a new series of posts entitled “10 wallpaper selections”, which will consist entirely of (you guessed it) wallpaper images that I like and use.

I decided to do this after the thought occurred to me that the desktop wallpaper for many people is the foremost image that they will see for many hours during the day (or most of the day for people, like myself, whose work primarily involves using a computer). I hope you enjoy these 10 selections.

Generally speaking, the images I present will be images that I like, of course, but also they have to “work” as desktop wallpaper images (some images, for example, do not “play well” with icons overlaid on top, which hopefully will not be the case here).

What I like: landscapes, expansive skies and clouds, trees (esp. solitary trees in an expansive landscape), aerial views, images of the globe from space, photographs rather than illustrations, photoshopped images are ok only if they look plausibly real.

What I don’t like or like to avoid: brand logos or names; most illustrations; overtly photoshopped images; most animal or human images, including scantily clad people (esp. scantily clad people perched on top of cars or motorcycles); vehicles of any kind, magical realism.

Note on attribution: most of these images were collected over the past few months for my own personal use without attention paid to documenting where they came from. In most cases, I could not find a source to cite, but please email me and let me know if you know the source and I will attribute accordingly. In some cases similar-image searches on TinyEye and Gazopa produced many pages that featured some of these images without leading me to definitive the source.

1. Aerial View of Manhattan

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To download @ 3456×2304, click here.

I found this one years ago; I think it came from Flickr, but am not sure (I tried butcouldn’t trace it back). The title above is also my own. This image makes me wonder how rampant human construction ended up being so beautiful! Kind of gives me hope for the human race.

2. Stained Glass Map

Update: sorry, we took the image down due to an email from some lawyers apparently representing someone who bought the rights to this picture. (But you can still see it by clicking the links below).

Available for download at a resolution of 1024×768. Go here to download.

This one was recommended by a friend. It comes from National Geographic, and was taken in the Christian Science mapparium building in Boston, MA. My wife, in fact, remembers being in that building under that dome. Sadly despite the fact that I lived in Boston for 8 years, and was at one point living within three blocks from where this was taken, I do not believe I ever saw this dome it in person.

Despite the intense color and activity in this image, it somehow makes a fantastic wallpaper.

3. Centered Globe

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To download @ 2560×1600, click here.

This was one of the wallpaper images that was used by the now defunct DesktopTopia service. I found it when I accidentally stumbled on a link that somebody posted where I was able to download the entire library of images used by DesktopTopia in a single zip file (follow this thread if you’re interested in doing the same).

I do not know what this image is properly called; the title used here is my own. I like the fact that the globe is relatively small compared to the rest of the image, as well as the blackness all around and the horizontal spray of stars next to the earth.

4. Desertscape

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To download @ 1717×1153, click here

This photograph was taken by photographer (and fellow Seatellite) Art Wolfe. Check out more of his amazing photography on his official website. Alas, the official website does not provide freely downloadable images in any decent resolution. But it is well worth checking out all the same.

Anyway what I like about this particular image, aside from its striking beauty, is that despite looking like an abstract image or something that was artificially put together, it is in fact a simple, straight photograph. It works very well as a desktop wallpaper too.

5. Dramatic Sky

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To download go here (many sizes available up to 2560×1600)

I like this one because it’s kind of odd. The expansive sky and horizon suggest soaring possibility, yet the odd perspective suggests being firmly rooted in the earth, like a blade of grass. For those of us who spend way too much time online and/or behind a computer screen this image might serve to remind us of the earth, of our own earthiness and where we come from. Makes a cool wallpaper and the monochrome/black and white adds sophistication and plays well with icons and other desktop elements.

6. The Right Way

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I’m not sure this is called “The Right Way”, but will go with it since that title is placed on the bottom left of the image.

At first I was so taken by the lush green fields, the mountain and the clouds that I almost didn???t notice the path. This image might resonate with those who would like to be reminded that life is a journey, or those who simply like a beautiful image. Somehow the photoshopped moon on the top left does not bother me in this case.

Go to this page on DeviantArt to download (clicking “download” on the left pane will save a zipped archive with many different resolutions of this image, up to 1900×1200).

7. Black Texture

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To download @ 2560×1600, click here

Black DesktopI don’t usually like textures; however, I have a black laptop and I just installed Windows 7, which has a sleek black default look, and this black texture fits in to create an all-black and grey motif that is very cool (see screenshot to the right).

This was also one of the wallpaper images used by DesktopTopia (see image #3 above for more details). The title used in this case (Black Texture) is something I made up; not sure what this image is real title is.

8. Living There Became Unbearable

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Go to the original page on Flickr to download (various sizes up to 1494×999)

I found this on Flickr a long time ago, and used it for a while as wallpaper. These decrepit houses might seem an odd choice for wallpaper to stare at all day long, but there is a strange beauty to them. Plus, the flip side of creativity is, well, destruction or decay, and this image might subconsciously remind you of that. So from that perspective who knows, it may even somehow spur your creativity.

9. Bora Bora aerial view

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Go here for the original page where the image came from, or download my (slightly cropped) version without the text on the bottom here (@ 1280×947)

Another amazing National Geographic image. I apologize for cropping the National Geographic credentials out of the bottom of the image, but it was for aesthetic reasons; I don’t typically do this but on my monitor resolution the text on the bottom was really messing the image up.

What a great shot – I just love aerial views. The color combination with the turquoise, brown, and dark blue is just amazing. This image also works extremely well as wallpaper and plays well with icons on top.

10. Apple tree with bird

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To download @ 1280×1024, click here

I’ve had this one for a while; I think it came from DeviantArt but I went back there to re-locate the original artist’s page without success. Let me know if you can point me in the right direction. I also made up the title used here.

Aside from the texture wallpaper (#7), this is the only image here that is constructed or put together rather than being a straight photograph. So an unusual wallpaper for me but the artist did a great job.

On first glance this seems to be a straightforward depiction of vibrant life sprouting out of death and decay, co-habitating with it. However, it leaves questions such as: what happened here?, how did this tree manage to sprout and grow? etc.

Regardless, a very interesting image that works surprisingly well as wallpaper.