He may not be a renowned photographer, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson or Robert Capa, but he beats them all. How? Well, his one photograph that is being used as Windows XP wallpaper has been seen by more people than any other image. And this image is the famous shot of green undulating land and blue sky with scanty white clouds. This image was named ‘Bliss’.
‘Bliss’, the default wallpaper on Windows XP, was shot by Charles O’Rear in 1996 in Sonoma County, California. The most surprising part is that this shooting happened quite by chance. O’Rearwas on way to his girlfriend’s house when he saw this picture-perfect scene. He captured it using a medium format camera.
The picture turned out so well that he sent it to Corbis stock photos. However, Microsoft purchased the rights in 2000, a year before it launched Windows XP. Little wonder, ‘Bliss’ became the most seen picture with one billion viewers viewing it daily while opening their computers installed with Windows XP.
After 21 years of creating ‘Bliss’, O’Rear is still nostalgic about it. Says he, “I am turning seventy-six and realize how much the Microsoft ‘Bliss’photograph has meant to my life. As the photographer of the most viewed photo in history, I have enjoyed every minute of the fame.”
O’Rear’s feat would have been consigned to history and forgotten, had it not been for a new photoshoot assignment that came his way. This time he has been contacted by Lufthansa airlines to shoot ‘the next generation of wallpapers’, under the project titled ‘New Angles of America’.
O’Rear is most upbeat about this project and says, “I’m thrilled to create for Lufthansa a sequel to the ‘Bliss’ photo on smartphones so that my views of other beautiful places can continue to be enjoyed by millions of people. After all, smartphones have become the primary place for the world to see new and interesting photography. And, I’m glad to be part of it.”
The three new wallpapers that he created are titled Maroon Bells, Peek-a-Boo Slot and White Pocket and are shot in Colorado, Utah and Arizona, respectively. These wallpapers display nature in all its glory.
More Info: Petapixel