Desktop Wallpaper for October 2013 by Neil Alexander

With only 90 days until Christmas and another month drawing to a close, it's time for another desktop wallpaper. Made some years ago near Dunham in Cheshire, this photograph is also available to purchase as a fine art print in my Cheshire gallery here, but I'm also giving away digital versions to you free to use on your computer's desktop. 

Links to download the wallpaper are just below. 

Free download - October 2013 Desktop Wallpaper

As usual, I'm running a little competition running revolving around this photograph, but to be eligible and party to the competition details you need to be in my "Image of the Month" club. Sign up here - you've got to be in it to win it! Don't worry, I don't spam and will never ever pass your details on to anyone else.

Before I sign off for another week, I thought I'd include a few of the better links that I've found worth sharing on the social networks over the last month. If you're on Twitter then feel free to follow me - I'm @NeilAlexanderD or on Facebook at

And on my blog, there's: 




Download Instructions

Windows Users

Method 1:

1. Click on the link that matches your screen resolution to open the image in a new browser window (if you do not know what your screen resolution is you can find out by right-clicking on an empty area of your desktop, select Properties, then the Settings tab, and it will show you the Screen Resolution on the right-hand side of the box)

2. In the new browser window that has opened with the image in it, right-click and select Set as Wallpaper or Set as Background.

3. Your wallpaper will now appear on your desktop

Method 2:

1. Follow the steps as above but instead of selecting Set as Background, select Save Image As. Change the file name if you with, and save the file wherever you wish to store it.

2. Right-click on an empty area of your desktop, select Properties, then the Background tab.

3. Click on the Browse button and find the image file where you saved it, select it, then click OK.

4. Your wallpaper will now appear on your desktop

Mac Users

1. Click on the link that matches your screen resolution to open the image in a new browser window (if you do not know what your screen resolution is you can find out by clicking on the apple, select System Preferences, then Displays).

2. Ctrl-click on the image in the new window, select Download Image to Disk and save in a place you will remember

3. Hold down Ctrl and - at the same time - click on your desktop

4. Choose Change Desktop Background and click on the Desktop tab in the Desktop & Screensaver pop-up menu.

5. Select Choose Folder, Desktop and navigate to the downloaded image then click Choose (bottom right) and close the Desktop & Screensaver menu. 6. Your wallpaper will now appear on your desktop


Cheshire Sunset by Neil Alexander

Cheshire Sunset by Neil Alexander (Click to view larger)

 Last night I headed over to see a client and drop off some images. As usual I had a camera and a couple of lenses in the boot, and as the evening light was becoming increasingly appealing as sunset approached I decided to take a bit of a detour on my way back. I drove around a little looking for something that would make a decent foreground and eventually ended up passing these trees off to my right through a gap in a hedgerow. I quickly did a u-turn and pulled over. This was probably around 45 minutes before the sun was scheduled to set. Right from the get go, even with a .9 ND Grad, I could tell this was going to be an HDR image in order to capture both the hightlights and the shadows. The series of images below show the five different exposures that went into making the top image. The first image at 1/30 sec shows that there are no blown highlights anywhere in the frame, though the shadow areas are all lost. The final frame at 1/2 sec shows the sky completely blown out, but we do actually have some definition in the shadows of the trees.


Merging these 5 frames in HDR Soft's Photomatix, goes some way to creating the final tone-mapped output. Quite a bit of tweaking the various sliders later, I had something approaching where I wanted to be. The colour saturation was a little OTT, so I had to knock back the greens quite a lot in Lightroom to bring back some reality. I could go into Auto-bracketing in depth but that would be pointless when there's such a good write up over at the Digital Photo Experience here.

Anyway that's it for today, other than the fact the I've just found out that this image has been shortlisted in the Urban View category of the 2011 Landscape Photographer of The Year competition, which I'm pretty amazed at considering I felt it to be one of, if not the weakest of my submissions.The Avenue, Manchester by Neil Alexander

Fingers crossed it goes further, but I'll be very surprised if it does....


Misty trees by the river Bollin by Neil Alexander

Misty trees by the River Bollin (Click to view larger)

To buy a print of this image, click here.

One from the archives for you today. Taken around spring last year down by one of my photographic "muses" - the river Bollin in deepest Cheshire. Shot using a Lensbaby Composer to give the selective focus before I had a tilt/shift, sorry perspective control lens, this image was taken around the same time I shot the "Swinging Tyre". Tweaked a little in Lightroom and then processed in Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2. I made several different compositions (including this one) and had completely bypassed this particular frame but have since come back to it. It's now my favourite from the set. I only wish that I'd been able to put a person in between the two trees at the end of the path as it goes into the distance, though from memory it was a) very very damp and b) I really needed to be elsewhere about an hour ago. Still, it was well worth running late as I got some great images that morning.