The alternative photo resource... (just be careful of the licenses!)


The Internet is full of sites offering free desktops, themes and screensavers. Desktop photo libraries are one of the best places to start looking for photos. Not all libraries allow their images to be used for purposes other than computer desktop display so be careful! However, the minimum you will get from a desktop library is photographic image of 640 x 480, jpeg compressed. The jpeg may be relatively highly compressed but in many cases these desktop images are of better quality than the photos that can be found on some photo download sites!

The better sites will provide images in a variety of resolutions. Often 1024x768 - at this resolution even if the images are highly compressed they can the reduced and size and look great. You will also find that nearly all the images are 'aesthetically pleasing' to a wide variety of people - this is because the people who create these desktops want to attract a large audience. Unfortunately this also means that you will not find images of subjects such as people, body parts, medical etc... who would want a picture of a sheep intestines on their desktop!!!

Themes are also a good source of photo images. Many desktop themes do not use jpeg compression on their desktop images hence maximum quality is obtained. Again the resolution will vary, so keep an eye out for sites that provide themes designed for desktops that are 1024x768 or larger. The downside to themes is that you will also be downloading sound files, icons and mouse pointers etc. It can sometimes be tricky to 'extract' the image from the theme (you will invariably need to unzip the files) If the images are uncompressed they will generally be stored in Windows Bitmap Format (.bmp) so they'll need converting. But, beggers can't be choosers... if the image is worth having... then it will be worth the wait and the effort!

As a last resort some screen savers are also a good source of images. The ones to look-out for are the 'slide-show' type, specially those that are configurable, sometimes these simply load images from a folder on your computer, download the screensaver, install it and you might find a folder in the system which contains the images used buy the screensaver (if you are lucky).

More: Find desktop wallpapers at


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