You know what they say, cheap is good but free is better.
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Some Things to Know First:
- I’ll be regularly updating and adding new free stuff to this page, so check back from time to time
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Free High-Res Desktop Backgrounds:
Free Desktop Background: The Road Ahead
This photo was taken in New Zealand on the drive to Milford Sound. The native beech forests in New Zealand are really amazing and are always a vibrant green. When you’re driving in some places, the trees on either side of the road have spread their branches together, closing in the space above the road which forms a sort of tunnel.
Free Desktop Background: Blue Hour in Moeraki
Just north of Dunedin, New Zealand is a small town called Moeraki which has become quite famous for the Moeraki Boulders. They are a bunch of perfectly round rocks along the beech that look like gigantic marbles. This was taken one winter morning as the sun was breaking over the horizon.
Free Desktop Background: Peaks in the Clouds
One rainy day in Wanaka I decided to do an epic bike ride along the Glen Dene Ridge Track. The day ended up being a little bit more foggy and miserable than I had expected, but after enduring all of the damp and cold, the clouds slowly began to break up and I was greeted by some really cool views of the surrounding peaks and ridges emerging from a blanket of clouds.
Free Desktop Background: Rippon Winery Sunrise
I always struggle to wake up for sunrise, but when I do, it’s always worth it. This was taken one morning on a vineyard just outside of Wanaka called Rippon. It wasn’t open to the public yet, so I had to jump a few fences, but I knew that you wanted a picture for your new desktop background so I couldn’t let that sort of thing stop me.
Free Desktop Background: Misty Mountains
One of my favourite places in New Zealand is called Glenorchy. There isn’t much to do there except go on hikes and walks as it is literally at the end of the road. But the mountains and scenery surrounding Glenorchy is unbelievable (it’s also the filming location for Isengard in the Lord of the Rings movies). These mountains are directly above the town and I took this one day as a rain story was rolling in over the mountains.
Free Desktop Background: Lake Louise from Above
Surprisingly, this one wasn’t taken with a drone or out of any sort of plane or helicopter. There’s a hike above Lake Louise called the Devil’s Thumb and there is a lookout where you get a really good view down to the lake. I zoomed in and took a picture of the head of the lake where all of the glacial silt and debris flows in and the sun was hitting it perfectly to make the colours in the lake glow.
Free Desktop Background: Island Lake Reflection
A few minutes from Fernie on a rough gravel road is a place called Island Lake. There’s a lodge there where you can stay overnight and have lunch or supper. But the main attraction at Island Lake is the abundance of walking and hiking trails. You can walk all of the way around the lake, and on a calm day the trees along the edge reflect perfectly in the water.
Free Desktop Background: Light at the end of the Tunnel
The Karanghake Gorge is an abandoned mining settlement on the North Island of New Zealand. There are a bunch of walking trails through the gorge that you can explore and you can even see the old mining tunnels built into the sides of the gorge. This particular tunnel was a kilometre long straight through the corner of a mountain. The light is from a head torch that I was playing around with to make light trails.
Free Desktop Background: Green as the Skye
By far my favourite place in Scotland was the Isle of Skye. Unfortunately this is true for a lot of people and it ends up being quite a busy place. But, on this particular day, I woke up early to drive out to the Quirang (I think that’s how you spell it, don’t ask me to say it though) and had the entire place to myself. The view is absolutely incredible and I could hear the waves of the ocean far below to my left, I could see a storm coming in from the distance, and the sounds of the sheep in the fields below were like the relaxing sounds of a wind chime.
Free Desktop Background: The Orchard
Even though autumn in New Zealand seems backwards as it happens through April and May, the colours and the feeling are just like at home. One day, when Hilary and I were driving through Cromwell, we saw this orchard on the side of the row with the leaves turning colours. Not being able to pass it up, we stopped and bought some fresh apples and had a wander through the rows of the orchard.
Free Desktop Background: The Deathstars
In a town called Moeraki, there are a bunch of round rocks on a beach and I couldn’t help but think that they looked like a bunch of deathstars. I then took a picture of a group of them with the tide swirling all around them and it looked like planets floating in a distant galaxy, or a galaxy far, far, away as Star Wars fans would say.
Free Lightroom Presets:
Free Lightroom Preset: Toasty Oats
This preset will give the photo an aged sepia look and add some darkened corners. It’s like putting your photo into a warm toaster oven and letting the cheese melt. Best used on a cold winter evening.
Free Lightroom Preset: Down the Hobbit Hole
This preset is a special blend that is only made possible by New Zealand magic (the same magic that Hobbits use to make the hair on their feet grow in thicker). It darkens the corners of the image which adds a dose of tunnel vision and adds extra zip to the rest of the image. Use with precaution, and always follow proper safety protocol when applying.
Free Lightroom Preset: Stage Fright
Not as well known as his friends, this preset tends to lurk in the shadows while everyone else is out enjoying themselves, but when it’s time, he’ll regretfully take his turn. He’s not really good at anything, but also bad at nothing. With a bit of fading, contrast adjustments, and some other weird stuff that he’d rather not talk about, he’s shy, but always there when you need him.