Monday, October 14, 2013

How "Bliss", the Windows XP default wallpaper was shot?

Have you ever wonder where the Windows XP default wallpaper came from and how it was shot?

Bliss as seen in a clean Windows XP desktop.

In January 1998 while St. Helena based photographer Charles O’Rear was driving through the Napa Valley, he made a photo while en route using a hand-held Mamiya RZ67 film camera. The photo was made about 3pm, contains rolling green hills and a blue sky with cumulus and cirrus clouds during the perfect season, under perfect light, at the perfect time. Microsoft purchased the image to use as the default Windows XP wallpaper in 2002 and  gave it the title Bliss. The photo has become, arguably, the most recognizable photo in the world with over 1 billion views.

Chuck O’Rear with the original print of Bliss.
"Photographers like to become famous for pictures they created," he told Napa Valley Register. "I didn't 'create' this. I just happened to be there at the right moment and documented it. If you are Ansel Adams and you take a particular picture of Half Dome and want the light a certain way, you manipulate the light. He was famous for going into the dark room and burning and dodging. Well, this is none of that.”

"I think this is one that will be recognized by more people on the planet than any other photograph. People may still remember it when I'm dead and gone. It will probably be mentioned in my obituary," he added.

By the way, if want to see exactly how it looks today, just take a look at Google Street View below with a 360 degree view of the area.

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