Revealed: The REAL Windows XP wallpaper hill

Discussion in 'The Coffee House' started by yorkie bar, Mar 17, 2010.

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  1. yorkie bar

    yorkie bar Well-Known Member

    I read an interesting article in the paper the other day. Somehow, i'd always thought it was englands green and pleasant land. It just shows how wrong you can be.:-

    It may seem like a commonplace small hill – but this landscape is one of the most viewed scenes in the world and it has made one photographer a not-so-small fortune. I'm sure you are all familiar with said photograph.

    Most of us assumed the default Windows XP desktop wallpaper was a digital creation – of course, if we’d bother to look it up on the internet (which, as everyone knows, has every- thing in the world, ever), we could have found out the truth.

    American photographer Chuck O’Rear has revealed he was simply driving along Highway 121 in California’s Sonoma Valley when the view caught his eye.

    He pulled over and shot through the wire fence with a handheld camera.

    ‘I didn’t “create” this. I just happened to be there at the right moment and documented it,’ he said.

    More than a billion home computers have been distributed across the globe, arguably making the ‘Bliss’ image the most viewed picture in the world.

    ‘I’m sure the Kremlin computers have this photo,’ he joked. ‘They use Microsoft programs. I think every corner of the globe, every culture, every country, has been exposed to it.’

    As for just how much Microsoft paid him for the picture, he’s keeping quiet. But he did admit it was an ‘extraordinary’ amount of money – the second-largest sum ever paid to a living, working photographer.

    Second only, in fact, to the amount paid for the photo of then-president Bill Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky.

    The vineyard seen in the picture was blighted by the devastating phylloxera bug in the early 1990s – so all the vines were temporarily removed, revealing the rolling pastures of O’Rear’s photo.

    Californian bloggers were shocked when the true location was revealed. ‘I used to drive past that hill all the time! I must have blown past it dozens of times and never once noticed it,’ said one. ‘I always thought it was part of Tellytubbyland,’ said another.

    Mr O’Rear spent 25 years travelling the world as a photographer for National Geographic magazine but knows that this will always be his most famous work.

    ‘People may remember it when I’m dead and gone,’ he said. ‘It will probably be mentioned in my obituary.’

    I hope you find this interesting. Some of you, may even drive past this place too.

  2. cownes

    cownes Well-Known Member

    wow very intresting, thanks for sharing this with us :hug:
  3. flyingdutchmen

    flyingdutchmen Well-Known Member

    amazing story thx

    Here you can view the original landscape in Sonoma County, California on Google Maps
  4. KittyGirl

    KittyGirl Well-Known Member

    lol-- we discussed this in media history class back in college.

    After that, though... people were making 'parody hills' and posting them all over facebook. XD funny stuff
  5. yorkie bar

    yorkie bar Well-Known Member

    Aaah thankyou lol
  6. jnine

    jnine Well-Known Member

    cool, wonder when Microsoft might be wanting a new photo?
    thanks yorkie bar
  7. yorkie bar

    yorkie bar Well-Known Member

    Thats a good question? Never i suspect, although you never know, some media person might come along, and theres never any stopping them, lol
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