Posted 18th February 2014 | By ExtraMile

If you’re anything like me you’ll spend most of your day with the computer screen cluttered with windows of varying applications or, even when you’ve not got anything open your desktop will be covered in files and folders anyway.

Still, it’s nice to see a great image for the brief second on startup before everything is loaded. Below are my sources for some brilliant desktop images – there are loads of high quality images available so why not refresh your desktop with some excellent new images.

Simple Desktops

This is my favourite site – as the name suggests it focuses on straight-forward and uncomplicated desktop images. All of the images are vector based (so if you’re a nature or landscape nerd give this one a miss) and they are known to indulge in some wordplay every so often (like the image for this article, titled CMeyeK).

Nature Wallpaper

If you are a nature or landscape nerd this is one of the best sites for high quality nature photography. There are filters allowing you to sort by your preferred type of image however it can often be hit and miss with flower images appearing with the filter set to landscape.

Reddit – EarthPorn

If you really are a fan of nature imagery then it’s worth looking here, despite the daft name it is a repository of excellent images and the majority of them are high quality. Look for the pixel dimensions in the image title, usually held within a set of square brackets – general rule is the higher the better, most OS’s will resize an image to fit the desktop. This generally has better images than the one above but is less focused towards wallpapers and is generally less well organised. 

Lifehacker Wallpaper Wednesday

Every Wednesday this website collates a collection of images based on a particular theme – cunningly calling it Wallpaper Wednesday! You’ll often find this collection pulls images in from other sites mentioned here however it can be a simple way to find the best wallpapers from those sites. They occasionally have reader submissions too, with images not to be found elsewhere.

Smashing Magazine Calendar Wallpaper

Smashing Magazine pull together a collection of wallpapers once a month that feature the calendar for that month on them. They usually offer a non-calendar version of the image too however the calendar on the desktop can be a useful ready reckoner if needed. It does limit you to a small number of wallpapers for the month though so perhaps best if you prefer to stick with one wallpaper rather than having them change automatically. 

Wallbase CC

Where Wallbase excels above all others is the number of images and the level of filtering. Just enter a search term in the search box (e.g. Tree) and you will be presented with hundreds of wallpapers tagged with the word tree – click onto one you like and there will be a ‘similar wallpaper’ option however this tends to be focused more towards the colour scheme than the content. Be aware that because of the nature of how Wallbase collates the imagery there seems to be a lot of anime backgrounds and images of scantily clad people, even for innocent search terms like ‘tree’ – whatever you do don’t click sketchy on the filter, as the name hints it veers even further towards the not safe for work category!

Hopefully with this collection of sites you'll be able to find something you love to freshen up your desktop.

Written by Ean Faragher 

At ExtraMile we try to take an hour out each week to look around us at what others do and to gain inspiration and to admire people's creativity. Each post in this series is one staff member's take on the world of web, design and things online. We hope you enjoy it.

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