Make your own Retina wallpaper for the iPad

Jim Martin
4 August, 2012
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The new iPad’s Retina display enables you to display amazing images as a high-resolution desktop background. The supplied selection is good but rather limited, so why not turn your own photos into hi-def wallpapers? As long as you have at least a 6-megapixel camera, you should have the 2048-pixel vertical resolution necessary to create square 2048 x 2048 wallpapers. This ensures there are enough pixels to cope with both portrait and landscape orientations.

Use Photoshop to edit the image 

1. Open the image

Open your image in a photo editor. We’re using Photoshop CS5, but almost anything that can crop and resize images will do. This tree bark shot won’t distract too much when icons are overlaid.

2. Change the levels

To ensure our image has the biggest dynamic range we’ve dragged the white slider beneath the histogram to the left until it reaches the brightest point in the image.You can tweak the image as much as you like.

3. Crop and square

To square off the image in Photoshop, use the Marquee tool and choose Fixed Ratio in the Style drop-down. Enter the same number for Height and Width, draw a selection and go to Edit > Crop.

4. Save as JPG or PNG

Save the image in JPG or PNG format. PNG is better quality but creates very large files. JPEG is lossy, but the files are smaller. You’ll want to opt for the highest quality when saving in this format.

5. Transfer image

Transfer the image to your iPad (you can email it or sync it through iPhoto and iTunes).You can then select the photo from the corresponding Album in the Photos app.

6. Set as desktop

Open the Photos app and find the new image. Tap the icon which looks like a box with an arrow pointing to the right and choose ‘Use as Wallpaper’. Finally, tap the Set Home Screen button at the top.

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