Happy New Year 2013! The clock strikes 12

There are just a few hours left until 2013 bursts out with showers of fireworks, champagne and joy.

Are you having a New Year's party at home with your family and friends?
I send you the candles ( well, just the picture) to bring you good health and fortune in the year to come.

Though the main focus is always on the feast, the mood is also important.
The golden glow of candles creates a warm,  festive ambiance while having the end-of-the-year meal and raising a glass to salute the New Year, when the clock strikes midnight.

Wishing you all, much happiness and a peaceful heart filled with hope and harmony.

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year!
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Blue Christmas balls on window frost pattern

Blue Christmas balls on a season specific, window frost pattern background is the theme of this Christmas card.
You are free to send it to your friends in an email and use it for personal use.
Click the download link under the image to save t to your computer.
I wish you all a blessed,
Merry Christmas!

Carved pumpkin and vegetables-table centerpiece

Download image     Terms of use, please read.

For commercial use, the high resolution image can be purchased in different sizes at very low cost by clicking the link.
The feathery frost patterns  and frost crystals on window glass can be purchased separately as well.
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Candlelight with reflection-Christmas glam

Candlelight, red candles are the perfect accessories to create a festive holiday mood for the upcoming winter holidays.
Candles are the most popular symbols of the season creating a subtle and elegant Christmas ambiance in our homes. The reflections on the dark background add even more glam to the image here.

Spice up your computer screen with this beautiful desktop wallpaper and feel the magic of the Holiday Season!
I wish you all
Merry Christmas!
Yes, you can use my photo for personal use, as a desktop wallpaper or as background image on your website (with credit) but distribution or uploading in a blog post is not allowed.

This is one of my copyrighted stock photos, so please , read the terms of use bellow.

Candlelight with reflection
Candlelight - desktop wallpaper

Download image

To download, click the download link, right click and choose "save image" from the context menu.
The image size is 1280px x 800 px, the screen resolution most visitors have, visiting my site.

If you need a high resolution photo for print or commercial use, in different sizes, you can purchase the image for pennies, royalty-free, by clicking on the link.
You'll find help at this link, if you need it, to change your wallpaper.
Enjoy the new photo!

 Terms of use:
All images labeled with "Christmas, wallpapers or free" are for personal use only.
You can:
- use them as desktop wallpaper
- email them to a friend as a greeting card
- use them as webpage background, if you credit my blog
You CANNOT:
- upload my work to your personal site and claim that they are yours.
- sell my work,
- make my work available for download,
- redistribute my work anywhere, in any way.
- redistribute/submit/upload/share my work to any Free Sharing Site.
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Create Festive Computer Desktop Wallpapers

With all the beautiful Christmas decorations in our homes, it's easy to forget about our closest friend, the computer.
Dressing up your computer screen with some Christmas glam, will help you feel the magic of the Holiday Season and create a festive holiday mood.

The reason I write this post is that I have some Christmas wallpapers on this blog that you can download and use as desktop wallpaper.
Most people know how to personalize the desktop but there could be others that don't.

Creating custom desktop wallpapers for your computer can be done in three easy steps. The first thing to note is that the size of the image needs to match the size of the desktop, so the first step is to:
Find monitor screen resolution

Step 1. Find out your monitor's resolution.

Right-click on any blank area on your desktop and

- In Windows 7 click screen resolution, in the context menu (picture at the right).
- In Windows XP click Properties and click the Settings tab on the Display Properties box.


The next window shows your actual monitor's resolution, that will be different, probably, from what you see in the picture bellow, marked with the red oval.

This is the size your image must be. Note the resolution and close this window, or click cancel.
Actual monitor screen resolution

Step 2. Get your image ready

What you need is a clear picture with an uncluttered background and some free space, so you can see your icons on the desktop. If you don't have such and image, you can use one of my gift images, offered for my readers or you can purchase some stock photos for a few pennies.
  • Choose images with the closest aspect ratio (proportions) to that of the monitor, 4:3 or 3:2 for wide screen monitor.
  • Use any (free) image editors like InfranView, Paint.net, Ghimp or Photoshop to resize, crop or flip the image.
    When resizing the image, don't forget to check the box that says "Constrain Proportions" or "Preserve Aspect Ratio" to avoid the resulting image being distorted after resize.
  • After resizing, if the difference between the size of the image and the size of the monitor is significant, you have to crop a part or the image.
  • Another solution is to use a smaller image and place it on a matching solid color background. Jingle bells are traditional symbols of Christmas and New Year.
  • When you are satisfied with the result, save your image.
Set new desktop background

Step 3. Set the new background

Go to the folder where the image is saved, right-click the image and choose "Set as desktop background".

You are done now.
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Snow covered fir tree branches

Yesterday we got our first snow, this winter, 2012.
I went out late in the evening to take some shots of the beautiful white snow blanket and falling snowflakes  in the dark night. I was surprised to see some of my neighbors in their windows at 9 P.M., wondering what is there to photograph in the dark?

Not much indeed, just a few snowflakes but it doesn't snow all the time.

I love night photography, any low light photography and I'm pleased not to see my Nikon's favorite warning: "Lighting is poor!"

It's quite tricky to combine a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the motion of the snowflakes but slow enough to shoot in the dark . The only ambient light available in these photos was the sodium lamp you see on the top of the fir tree in the second shot.
I took several shots with different camera settings, it's all just trial and error till you find out what works and what doesn't.
I like how this pine tree branch came out with the on camera flash, though it was set to rear curtain and my snowflakes have a small tail, kind-of.

Snow covered fir or pine tree branch on dark background- closeup
Nikon D3100 - 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G lens

Download the high resolution royalty free image for just a few cents.

On this one I have melted snowflake on my lens, as I was holding the camera upwards. It's a good idea to take someone with you in these cases, to hold an umbrella.

Fir tree and snowflakes in the night

More low light photos.
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