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The Story Behind the Stories
June 11, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pmFree
Go behind the scenes with Chuck O’Rear as he talks about his 25 years as a photographer for National Geographic magazine and as the creator of the most viewed photo in history: the Microsoft Windows XP screen saver Bliss, considered the most recognized photo in the world. The program will be a photographic journey of his life as a National Geographic photographer for 25 years. Sharing his personal stories behind the many stories he photographed, he will present a slide show and talk about his assignments around the world, from India to Indonesia to the Ivory Coast. In 1978, National Geographic dispatched Chuck to Napa Valley, Calif., to photograph a story about the then unknown wine region. That fortuitous assignment was the beginning of his love affair with Napa Valley, from which he was based out of for the next 40 years, while continuing to shoot for the magazine and to follow and shoot the wine harvest around the world for a year for a photo archive company owned by Bill Gates. O’Rear joins the pantheon of great photographers, having photographed the most viewed photo in history, Microsoft XP’s famous wallpaper photo called Bliss. The photograph is a tranquil photograph of a lush green hill against a blue-blue sky with white billowy clouds floating above. Gracing more than a billion computer screens worldwide, that photo has an inside story. It was made one spotlessly beautiful day in Northern California when O’Rear was driving to see his future wife, Daphne. He saw the blissful sight, pulled over, shot a few pictures and the rest is history. During his lengthy photography career, he founded a photo archive bought by Bill Gates, taught at the prestigious Santa Fe Photography Workshop in New Mexico and, along the way, mentored many aspiring young photographers from all corners of the globe. Over the past 20 years, he and his wife, the journalist Daphne Larkin, produced a series of coffee table books about wine.