The beautiful, but not obtrusive photo that serves as the backdrop for Apple's iPad is a bit like all the images Apple uses as stock elements on its devices. It's a standout moment that doesn't take too much attention away from the device itself. And, it's anonymously produced - when's the last time you saw a photo credit on an image Apple plucks from relative obscurity?
Well, almost anonymous. Until the good folks at ArtInfo.com tracked down Richard Misrach, a Bay Area photographer responsible for "Pyramid Lake (at Night)," a 2004 photo from a series he has worked on over the years.
"It's a long night exposure where the moon is lighting up the mountains in the distance," he told ArtInfo. "I shot it on an 8x10 camera, so the quality is really beautiful and you can see star trails going through the sky."
Ironic that the original image produced in large format is actually larger than the iPad, which clocks in at just 9.56 by 7.47 inches, it was destined to decorate.
It also seems the secretive Cupertino-based tech company is no less secretive with its content sources. To hear Misrach tell it, he found out they were using his photo when the rest of the world did, even if most of the rest of the world would have no idea of Misrach's identity:
"I was in bed watching Inglorious Bastards when I got a call from Jeffrey FraenkeL, my dealer in San Francisco, and he said, 'Do you know what's going on live here?'" Misrach told ArtInfo, speaking of the iPad unveiling by Steve Jobs in January. "I was totally shocked. Naturally my other galleries started calling and my family was all atwitter, because it's a whole different world."
Misrach, who calls himself an Apple fan, says he had submitted 10 photos to the company for consideration as screensavers and whatnot over the years, but had never had any success. Until now.
'What's funny is that for years I actually used the photo as my own screensaver," Misrach says. "So I guess they know what they're doing."
Video from Atlanta Celebrates Photography
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Richard Misrach gives a tour of his "On the Beach" exhibition, on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA through Aug. 23rd, 2009.