I was recently judging some camera club entries and saw a number of colour vignettes, filtered to a low saturation or black & white at the edges. They were used well, to draw the centre of attention to the fully coloured zone. These work are the inspiration for my latest wallpaper.
I had taken a few photos of the grape vine on my back porch. I liked the lighting on this leaf especially BUT the edges of the image where very fussy. Not a good look for a screen wallpaper, because that's where most of us put the icons. So I experimented with the a couple of effects tools in picasa. The first was the effects/soft focus, which softens the focus around a central zone. There is a slider to control the size of the circle (yes it is only a circle you can not make it elliptical). There is also a slider to control the rate at which the soft focus is brought in and you have a target to move the circle around the image with you mouse. This takes out the fussy edges nicely but oh such an intense green blur.
Next I tried out the Effect/Focal B&W which again give you a circular (not an ellipse) area of colour intact with the edge feathering out to Black & white. Sliders let you control the size if the circle and the sharpness of the colour spot. A target on the image to center the circle can be moved over the image using the mouse. Very Simple and intuitive to use.
Finally I decided to further edit my second attempt with the screen wallpaper maker in the Olympus Camedia software (which came bundled with my original digital camera) and which I still use occasionally along with that original camera. This software allows you to easily add a textured background overlay to part of the image (the left hand side where icon get put by default).
Of all my on-line photographic works, it is screen wallpapers on flickr, that get the highest views. Over whelming so, hundreds if not thousands of views each. I’m still not sure why, but I think they are fun to create, I use them on my own computers and why not share them?