As Windows XP fades away, photographer talks origin of famed ‘Bliss’ wallpaper

by Liam McCabe

posted Friday, April 11, 2014 at 2:20 PM EDT


Earlier this week, Microsoft ended its support for the legendary Windows XP operating system. As part of the farewell tour, the company released a video interview with photographer Chuck O’Rear, the man behind the default background image on XP, known as “Bliss.”

In the clip, O’Rear tells the story of how he captured the image one day while we was driving country roads north of San Francisco after the rainy season, looking for landscapes. He saw the hillside, pulled over, set up his Mamiya RG67 medium format camera with an unspecified Fujifilm stock, and shot a few frames. According to internet folklore, the photo has become the most-viewed image in the world.


It’s certain to be remembered as a cultural touchstone of the early 21st century, and hearing O’Rear tell its story is a pleasant way to spend 9 minutes on a Friday afternoon.

(Via Andrew Holman Photo)