Desktop Pictures Archive: 2002-2003

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December 2003
December '03This month, my church guild is going caroling at a nursing home, so I decided to search on "caroling." The image I used as a background is a group of carolers in Santa hats at a spectacular-looking mall. I selected four colors from that picture to make the four colored quadrants, then used the blur and diffuse filters on the image itself. The old black and white photo of kids in choir robes was cute enough that it bore repeating along the bottom, and I blew up a picture of a combination cross and star hung on a lattice, put it on top of everything, and set its blend to screen. I particularly like the way the image in the background looks like lights seen through a bumpy glass window, like the windows of my church back home. That's where I'll be on Christmas Eve.

November 2003
November '03For November, I decided to feature the star of our family's Thanksgiving dinner: gravy. Out of all the pictures of cooking, crockery, and miscellany (I never knew there were so many bands with "gravy" in their names), I chose this picture of a motherly-looking woman making gravy and a pretty china gravy boat.

I traced the gravy boat with Photoshop's pen tool to make the shape in the center of the picture. I then set the gravy boat picture as a pattern and used it to fill the shape, as well as the decorative edging. I ran the Palette Knife filter over the photograph of the woman, then placed a brown layer (selected from the gravy boat with the eyedropper) with blend mode set to Hue over the top to make all the colors harmonize.

October 2003
October '03I decided to follow last year's theme of basing the October desktop on a scary person. Having just read this Esquire article, I began my October montage by searching on "Karl Rove" and completed the image collection with a search on "marionette."

I began by cropping and blowing up the Karl Rove photo, then used Photoshop's mosaic filter to give it a pixellated look. Placing the photo over a dark red layer and using the Darken layer setting made it suitably sinister. I then selected three of the creepiest marionettes (that wooden gnome-like creature gives me the willies) and layered them over the top. The pirate puppet didn't show up well against the dark background, so I desaturated and inverted it, which gave it a great "ghost pirate" appearance.

September 2003
September '03This image marks a full year of Desktop Pictures! Happy anniversary!
It's September, school has started again, and it's time for new fall clothes. For some reason, I've always associated corduroy fabric with back-to-school wardrobes, so I searched on "corduroy" this month. I got a lovely selection of fabric swatches plus some pictures of snow and metal with a similar texture. Combined, they make a nice patchwork. I think I'd like to wear this picture as a jacket.

August 2003
August '03This month's picture requires a little explanation. On the Looking Good forum, when someone has a birthday, the forum's mascot, Lola the Lemming, gets dolled up in a party hat and balloons. One day, someone's little daughter pointed at Lola in her birthday finery and said, "Look! Party mouse!" The name stuck, and so now whenever a LG member has a birthday, the party mouse makes an appearance.

August is a month of many birthdays in my family, including my own, so I searched on "party mouse." Eschewing all images containing that mouse, I ended up with a fun mishmash of pictures. I decided that I needed a purple and pink desktop this month, so I put a dark purple layer over the top of the collage in Photoshop and set the layer property to "Hue," tinting everything below it. The repeating pattern in the background was made by using the pointillize filter on a picture of the plates and napkins that match the "Party Girl" balloons.

July 2003
July '03This montage was put together in a hurry after I got back from vacation. At the beginning of July, I had hats on the brain due to a craft project I was working on. So, I searched on "hats" and chose two pictures out of the hundreds of results. I thought the chipper cowgirl raising her drink in the air looked very Fourth-of-July festive, so the rest of the picture was built around that image.

June 2003
June '03This June, I'm traveling to Florida for the first time, so I searched on "Florida." I found a gigantic old map of the state and decorated the Gulf of Mexico with some of the touristy pictures in the results. Photoshop's Twirl filter distorted the right half of the map, making it appear almost as if it's underwater. A transparent layer of blue enhances the illusion and makes desktop icons easier to see against this background.

May 2003
May '03 In May, it's finally warm enough that lawns are turning green. This inspired me to search on "grass."

April 2003
April '03 As April began, I was feeling kind of uninspired, so I just searched on the word "April." Unsurprisingly, I got about a zillion pictures of women named April. However, I also found this painting, which I modified somewhat. Those are the various Aprils peering out from the background. Interestingly enough, the less traditionally beautiful women actually looked better than the typically attractive ones once I integrated them into the painting.

March 2003
March '03 Here in South Carolina, March is the beginning of spring, when the azaleas bloom and everything is insanely beautiful for about two weeks. So I searched on "azalea". That girl you see superimposed over the top of the forest scene is a former Azalea Queen from North Carolina. If you look closely, you can see that I painted a large azalea pattern over her skin and dress to make her blend better with the scenery.

February 2003
February '03 For February, I searched on "cold." The finished montage is actually only two pictures: a bacterium and a guy in a parka. Mirroring and layering the bacterium created the "ice cave" look. Even after a month of looking at this on my desktop, I couldn't decide whether I was outside the cave looking at a man trapped in the ice, or inside glimpsing someone peering through the frozen wall.

January 2003
January '03 Appropriately enough, I searched on "2003" to find the images to make this picture. I ended up with a calendar, an eclipse map, the Mars Rover, and a creepy picture of a woman holding some electronic device to her temple.

I inverted the colors of the Rover picture, then did a lot of color correction on the other images to get them to blend nicely. Even so, after a month of living with it I've decided the final image is too busy to be a good desktop background.

December 2002
December '02 The stars in the background are real stars, from a photo taken by the Hubble Telescope. For the other pictures, I searched on "Christmas Angel" and "Three Wise Men".

November 2002
November '02These pictures were found by searching on "fall." My favorite picture is the one of the guys holding up leaves. They look like they're all happy and having fun, and they remind me of Fez.

I used Photoshop's Render Clouds filter to create the leather-look background. The borders around the pictures I created by making a white box slightly larger than each photo and applying the waves filter to each box.

October 2002
October '02Is that Jack Valenti summoning Cthulhu, or vice versa?

September 2002
September '02 This is a picture of the physics building at USC that I happened to have on my hard drive. It's the only one that doesn't fit the above-mentioned recipe. I gave it a color overlay and an oil paint filter to make it look a little different.