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February 17, 2012

Windows 7 themes: festivity, silliness… and serenity

Here comes Fat Tuesday! It’s time to set a party mood with the new Masquerade theme, which features elegant and mysterious masks for celebrating Mardi Gras and Carnival.


In other current events, the wacky new Xbox Live game for Windows Phone, Chickens Can’t Fly, was just released. This new Windows 7 theme features colorful artwork from the game, along with fun chicken-clucking sound-effects.


Switching gears to a more serene and serious frame of mind, the rest of our new themes celebrate the beauty of widely varied landscapes.

Late last summer, my colleague Christian Kirchesch in Munich organized a German photography contest, which received 2249 submissions. A local jury of photography experts selected the best pictures, and in mid-October ten winners were announced. The winners received prizes ranging from a Sony Vaio SB Notebook to a TV tuner card and speakers. Christian invited the top 100 photographers, including winners and runners up, to participate in a Windows 7 theme project. More than twenty photographers agreed to take part, and you can see the beautiful results in four themes we published this month.

The first one, German Landscapes, features the works of many photographers, including contest winners Marco Stolle, Jens Zschekel, Andreas Bobanac, Heiko Gerlicher, and Karl Herrling, and runners-up Axel Hahn, Deryk Baumgärtner, Ive Völker, Jörg Franzen, Lutz Jänichen, Marco Müller, Markus Janse and Uschi Wolters.


The other three themes each focus on individual photographers who participated in the German photography contest.

Germany: Mountains to Sea is a journey from a rustic lakeside cabin in Berchtesgadener to the shoreline of Nordfriesland, as captured in the lens of Mathias Rehberg.


Impressions from Schleswig-Holstein showcases the varied beauty of Germany’s northernmost state – and the talents of photographer Mathias Kentrup.


Magic Landscapes features the stunning photographs of Michael Breitung, many captured during the “magic hour” at dawn or sunset when the color of the light is uniquely rich.


We also have two new themes from an American photographer, Tracy Hymas. The gorgeous sepia tone and black and white photographs in Ghost Town bring the weather-beaten textures and austere lighting of this lonely place into sharp focus.


In Tracy’s other new theme, Dark Skies, you can almost feel the distant rumble of thunder and taste the damp heaviness in the air under turbulent storm clouds.


That wraps up all the new themes we’ve published in the last two weeks. As always, more desktop-personalization goodness is on the way, so keep visiting the Windows Personalization Gallery for new Windows 7 themes and wallpapers.