The most viewed photograph in History!

You’ve probably seen it before, but you may know it better as the default wallpaper that comes with a Windows XP laptop. This image was displayed at least once for each copy of computer and thus totaled a minimum of 400 million views as well, becoming in the process the most viewed photo in our history.

But have you ever wondered where this picture came from? If it was a fake or even if it had any meaning for Windows?

Well, this photo, entitled “Bliss”, is a completely authentic and unedited photo: it was taken in 1995 by the American Charles O’Rear with a silver medium format, near a highway in Sonoma County, California, while he was visiting his girlfriend. He stopped by the roadside to photograph the beauty of the area. What a simple, but powerful photo!

In 2001, Microsoft launched Windows XP. Several years after its deposit, Bill Gates’ company contacted Charles to buy the rights to the picture which will become one of the most famous in the world. It is the angle and the light, perfectly seized on the cliché of Charles O’Rear which give this photo all its charm and for what Windows has loved this image.

We will never know its price, the only indication that we have is that the amount paid is the second highest in history for a photo license. Not bad, for a landscape almost taken on the spot!

Charles didn’t get to see this picture much because… he is a mac user! He is now almost 80 years old, and has set himself a challenge: a project called New Angles of America, which aims to create new wallpapers but not for computers but for smartphones!

Hired by the German company Lufthansa, Charles wants to relive the experience of his life by offering “a new generation of wallpapers” for smartphones.

So what do you think, did you already know it?​

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