I keep my Mac’s desktop immaculately clean. No icons, hide the Dock, and only the essentials in the Menu Bar. This serves two purposes:
- My desktop is always available as a “holding place” for files I’m currently working on.
- I get the full screen to display a beautiful desktop wallpaper.
The first one is a personal preference of mine, but the second is something I think everyone enjoys. Over the years I’ve whittled down my wallpaper sources to just two places. Both these websites have fantastic selections for your desktop and also include iOS-cropped versions of whatever image you select - if matching device wallpapers is your thing (it is for me).
InterfaceLift has a constantly-updated catalogue of awesome high-resolution photography. Even better, they automatically detect your screen size and make sure the image is big enough to look sharp, not blurry.
My favorite feature is that any image you click “download” on opens in a new tab; letting you (in most browsers) right-click and choose “set as wallpaper.” Done.
John Carey a.k.a. “fiftyfootshadows”
Fiftyfootshadows.net has slowly become one of my favorite websites on the internet. John Carey is not just an amazing photographer, see his posts containing desktop images, but he’s also an extremely thoughtful writer. One of my favorite pieces from him is called The Curse Of Expectation — a poignant piece for today’s social photographers. If you have a couple minutes, go ahead and read it. I’ll wait right here.
When you’re done, Carey also has a great wallpaper-related post called the iPhone 5 Wallpaper Pack, which is exactly what it sounds like: 45 hand-cropped wallpapers for the iPhone 5. (iPhone 4/4S? He’s got you covered too.)
Although those two websites mentioned above are where I get 95% of the wallpapers you’ll see on my Mac and iPhone, I also check a few other sites from time-to-time:
- Simple Desktops: If you like really minimalistic, colorful wallpapers, SD has some of the best.
- Yesterday Was Only: Unsurprisingly, also by John Carey. However, where Fiftyfootshadows is the curated selection of his photography, YWO is everything else. Not all the images are large enough for a desktop wallpaper, but you can crop them to fit an iPhone pretty well.
- The Litely Blog: Images by airplane pilot / photographer, Cole Rise. These images are about the same size as those from YWO, but they’re still just fantastic. If you have a smaller screen resolution, you’ll be able to use them as-is, but at the very least they look great on a mobile device.
- UPDATE: Bradley Casteneda has some really fantastic wallpapers for your iPhone, iPad, and desktop over on his site. Because all the images are on one page, it can take a little bit to load, but if you love mountain scenery, hang in there — the wait is worth it.
—Sunday, 15 September 2013