Have you seen the "most viewed photo ever"?

Bliss Microsoft XP background image
Bliss - the Microsoft Window's XP default background between 2001 and 2007 (Image credit: Microsoft Corp (taken by Chris O'Rear))

The iconic photograph known as Bliss, which served as the default wallpaper for Microsoft's Windows XP operating system between 2001 and 2007, has gained recognition as "the most famous picture in the world". In the years since it was taken, the location of the photo has undergone a remarkable transformation and today it’s a flourishing vineyard. 

Captured by National Geographic photographer Charles O'Rear in 1996 using a medium format Mamiya RZ67 in Sonoma, California, the stunning landscape of rolling green hills, a clear blue sky, and a solitary hilltop tree was taken as O’Rear traveled to see his now wife. This simple yet captivating image was selected to be the default wallpaper and installed on over a billion computers with Windows XP.  

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.