Skip to comments.The man who took the iconic Windows XP wallpaper photo has bitter regrets
Posted on 03/29/2014 1:12:32 PM PDT by smokingfrog
Lush green hills under a cobalt blue sky with precisely the right amount of fluffy clouds floating about. Who hasnt been lost in reverie staring at the default Windows XP wallpaper, dreaming of Middle Earth or maybe a weekend in Cork County?
Yet that shot of a bucolic paradise has turned into a very personal nightmare for Charles OLear, the man who captured the iconic photo and sold it to Microsoft.
OLear took a one-time payment for the photo rather than trying to negotiate a license fee. Even a tiny fee per Windows XP license would have yielded him a hefty payday over the years.
Surprisingly enough, the photograph was actually taken on the side of a highway in Sonoma, California, rather than Ireland or New Zealand. According to a somewhat hazy estimate by The Sydney Morning Herald, a billion people have viewed the scene since Microsoft bought it.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
I HAVE stared at it and I DID think it was Ireland
“Even a tiny fee per Windows XP license would have yielded him a hefty payday over the years. “
They would have never agreed to any per license fee, they would have simply used a different picture.
Here it is later on:
Freeper pay per click
Planted with grapes?
One bad business deal? No loss incurred? Get over it!
Somehow I always thought that photo looked really gay, like at any minute Twinky winky the Teletubby will start prancing around on the hill.
Right country for it. Been over Highway 12 a million times, guess I don’t have that photographer’s eye or the business sense to sell the view to the whole of planet earth.
I thought it was from TeleTubbies
Yup, this is not a case of loosing a winning lottery ticket.
Pretty nature pictures are a dime a dozen.
Instead of griping about "lost" money, he should be enjoying whatever publicity he can get from his picture being selected to advance his name brand.
No he looks like just a whiner.
TeleTubbies was one of the creepiest things I’ve seen
You got paid, whinger.
Hmmmm. That photo always reminded me of the drive north to Boulder, Co.
I can’t even sell my witty FR posts 3 for a quarter.
Wallpaper on my old computer.
The guy got a few bucks off of Bill Gates inc., that's more than most of us will ever do, he should just shut up and enjoy :)
Exactly. I’m tired of this argument. The guy who designed the Rolling Stones logo mopes over the same thing.
You get paid well for your work—and whatever level you agree to is being paid well—and you should honor your contract.
At a penny for your thoughts, you are probably seriously overcharging.
No stone walls. :-)
LOL you made my day. As a photographer there is nothing I want to look at in that photo. it is dismissible. Seeing anyone roll down the hill would have been great. I don’t even want to know what is on the other side of the hill and I have a thing like that about hills and mountains. In fact Albert Bierstadt is my desktop artist. Now in his paintings I can get lost.
I always found that photo to be vaguely depressing.
Still the best Microsoft OS.
It's THE GRASSY KNOLL!!!
I had it on my computer for years. Not sure I really ever looked at it. It was the right amount of bland to keep the icons from getting lost.
My perfect desktop was a photo I took with a river and mountain with just a bit of light coming from behind the mountain at sunrise. A third of the screen was pretty dark for the icons, and then the shades of grey got lighter moving up and to the right. Enough in there to look at and explore, but the icons popped out as well.
did he pay the land owner a use fee? I think not.....
Solid, warm colors allow me to id the pc (yeah, KVM with 3/4 ports connected...), and quickly find what I need.
Getting rid of the standard issue wallpaper is one of the first things I do.
i thought sol immediately - this guy needs to move on in life
For the kind of money he is THINKING that he would have gotten, Microsft would have used a different picture.
Same w the guy who did Sgt Peppers cover.
I am shocked!
It NEVER occurred to me that it was a real photograph.
I figured since it’s in a computer, it has to be a computer generated image. Not a plane or contrail in sight, it couldn’t possibly be a real photo.
I wonder if he got a cut from the various parodies of the cover, like this one...
Just got my new Win 8.1 machine in 3 days ago, have lightening bolts as my screen saver.
Kind of the mood I was in trying to adjust to the new OS :)
Oh goodie! And the cows came home too!
Correct. If he spends more than a minute thinking he got ripped off he's an idiot.
You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.
Thanks for the tip. Now I know a little about Mr. Albert Bierstadt and the Rocky Mountain School of Luminism. Even Bierstadt couldn’t make a living solely based on being a painter except for a few years. He was also a teacher. Of course this was shortly before the Civil War, and who knows how the economy was back then if you weren’t part of a big farming family.
It’s a boring pic. I always thought it was a CGI creation.
I was expecting Teletubbies to crest the hill at any moment.
Telly Tubbies ???
The Pink Floyd “Flying Pig” screensaver has a similar look.
Why would M$ agree to pay a licensing fee for a photo? They could have gotten a million others just like it.
First thing people did was replace it with a picture of their dog or cat or Baywatch babes or whatever.
Yes. Then I thought, maybe this is part of the effort.
Me, too. Very first thing I do is set up a light blue or light turquoise desktop. Then, on Win 7, I get rid of the damned Aeropeek.
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