U2 used this photograph taken by Hiroshi Sugimoto titled Border Sea for the cover of their 2009 album “No Line On The Horizon.” Bono stated that the photo inspired the album title and song.
Sugimoto and U2 struck a non-monetary mutual agreement that allowed the band to use the photo and Sugimoto to use the song “No Line On The Horizon” in his future projects. In the agreement, Sugimoto’s only request was that no text to be placed on top of the image. Sugimoto asked Bono,
“‘Are you sure? If you use it you won’t be able to put anything on top of it, not even the U2 name.”
Bono agreed but the band pulled a fast one and the original releases of the album added an equals sign on the image.
U2 removed the equals sign on later releases and added it to the removable plastic shrink wrap instead. The photo itself was taken at Lake Constance on the Rhine River at the northern foot of the Alps.
Here is a photo of Hiroshi Sugimoto…