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ATPM 5.05
May 1999





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Desktop Pictures


ATPM presents a second round of desktop pictures. These mesmerizing images are courtesy of Juri Munkki, the creator of Cameraid, an indispensable tool for digital photographers that we reviewed in ATPM 5.04. At this time we would like to remind those of you who missed the first round that we have a nice collection of desktop pictures from Yellowstone National Park available for your viewing pleasure.

These pictures go especially well with iMacs, but they look stunning on all computers. They are high resolution, so might have to scale them down if you use a smaller screen. Mac OS 8.5 and most 3rd party tools automatically do that for you. Can you guess what they are showing?

Check out the pictures on this page.

Spoiler: Look at the images now and then figure out what they are before you go on.

* * *

The photos were taken with an Agfa ePhoto 1680 digital camera. Juri used a tripod, as there wasn’t much lighting. Both exposures are 1/3 seconds at F5.6. He used at least a +3 closeup adapter filter, possibly two of them (for a +6 closeup effect).

So, What Are These Photos?

Juri writes:

“I bought a pizza on Friday and had half of it left over for Saturday. As I was reheating the pizza in the oven, I noticed that droplets of water had condensed on the top of the pizza box (it’s not your usual American-style pizza box). Just as I had started wiping the water off, I realized I should have taken a photo. Half the drops were still there, so I got my tripod and camera and quickly set up some lighting to make things more interesting.

“For lighting, I used a 20W halogen spotlight that was reflected off an empty can of Mountain Dew (hence the color shifts).

“Oh, and drops02.jpg was originally red. To get back to the original colors, duplicate the image onto a new layer in Photoshop, invert the layer and set the layer to control the color of the image. This image isn’t nearly as sharp as it could be, but I think it makes a good backdrop.

Drops1.jpg had a red-white-green color scheme originally. All I did was to use “auto levels” to reset the white balance. This enhanced the saturation and distorted the colors slightly. Unsharp masking was used to slightly sharpen the image.
“I think a backdrop image that was essentially created with a pizza box and a can of Mountain Dew is quite appropriate of the iMac. :-)

“Please let me know if you like these pictures.”

Placing Desktop Pictures

Mac OS 8.5 and Newer
Go to the “Appearance” control panel. Click on the “Desktop” tab at the top of the window. Press the “Place Picture...” button in the bottom right corner, then select the desired image. By default, it will show you the images in the “Desktop Pictures” subfolder of your “Appearance” folder in the System Folder, however you can select images from anywhere on your hard disk.

After you select the desired image file and press “Choose,” a preview will appear in the Appearance window. The “Position Automatically” selection is usually fine. You can play with the settings to see if you like the others better. You will see the result in the little preview screen.

If you are satisfied with the selection, click on “Set Desktop” in the lower right corner of the window. That’s it! Should you ever want to get rid of it, just go to the desktop settings again and press “Remove Picture”.

Mac OS 8.0 and 8.1
Go to the “Desktop Patterns” control panel. Click on “Desktop Pictures” in the list on the left of the window, and follow steps similar to the ones above.

Random Desktop Pictures
If you drag a folder of pictures onto the miniature desktop in the Appearance or Desktop Pictures control panel, your Mac will choose one from the folder at random when it starts up.


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