Do you recognise the picture above? Chances are very high that you would recognise it almost immediately.
Yes, this is the default wallpaper for Microsoft Windows XP which was released in 2001 and has since had more than 400 million copies in use as at 2006 (excluding pirated copies). So we know for a fact that this particular picture has been seen several billion times over the years.
The image is called Bliss, it is a real photo of a real place (Sonoma County,California) it is free of any digital manipulation and the photo was taken by photographer Charles O'Rear in 1996.
Microsoft now owns all the copyright to this picture and the photographer, Charles O'Rear cannot say exactly how much Microsoft bought it from him (because of a Non-disclosure agreement) but he would only say that it was an "extraordinary amount" and one of the largest ever paid to a living, working photographer.