Chuck O’Rear’s photo was used by Microsoft for it’s XP background. He can’t say how much he got paid for the rights to the image, but it is reportedly the second most expensive photo licence ever purchased.
Chuck O’Rear was driving to visit his girlfriend when he was struck by the beauty of the rolling vineyards. Many people would have carried on without bothering to stop and take a photograph. But the former National Geographic magazine photographer was so entranced by the green of the grass and the white clouds in the perfectly blue California sky that he pulled over and got out his camera. Never for a moment did he think the shot would become the most viewed image on the planet.
Mr O’Rear, who began his career with the Kansas City Star and the Los Angeles Times, worked for 25 years for the National Geographic and now specialises in photographing winemaking in Napa and around the world.
But unlike many PC users, he doesn’t get to see his XP photo every day – because he uses a Mac.