I’m particular about the appearance of my computer, and a good desktop picture (also known as “wallpaper”) is essential not only for aesthetics, but for contrast and readability. Over the years I’ve searched a fair bit for pictures that fit my criteria. I think a good image must:
- be generally dark in tone, no only to aid in readability of the textual labels of desktop items, but also to provide contrast and framing for application windows;
- look good at the edges, which is usually all I can see of the picture;
- be beautiful in and of itself.
I’ve made a number of my own over the years; NASA’s high resolution pictures of Mars and Saturn in particular can make great desktop pictures. But there is one image that, in my opinion, tops them all. It is called Tongli Rocks. Here it is:
The description says simply, “A completely unedited photo taken of rocks in a garden in Tongli, China.”
I believe I first found this image at InterfaceLIFT, which at the time was called Xicons. I keep coming back to it. Unfortunately, its useful life is about to come to an end, at least for me: this year I expect to replace my display, which is 1920×1200, with something quite a bit larger. 1920x1200is the highest resolution of this image I’ve been able to find.
InterfaceLIFT lists “Amaus Design,” as the creator of the picture, and links to amausdesign.com, which no longer exists. Looking at archive.org, there’s a copy of amausdesign.com from September 16, 2008 and it’s apparent from the few pages in the archive that the owner of the site was a David Ward in Melbourne. I’ve done a couple of quick searches but have not been able to find a Mr. Ward who is obviously the right person.
So my search resumes. Perhaps one day I’ll travel to Tongli and try to find the gardens. More likely I’ll go out to the Nitobe (Japanese) Garden at UBC and see if I can get a similar effect.