Posted on by Pedro Lima
The story behind the famous Windows XP wallpaper
one of the most viewed images in the world
The name Charles O’Rear may not tell you anything, but if you’ve used a computer in the past decade, you’re sure to know this picture. Charles O’Rear is the photographer, now 73, behind the image of a hill with a bright blue sky that served as the standard screen background for the Windows XP operating system. To mark the end of the Windows XP-Windows era, it stopped supporting April 8 – Microsoft made a video about O’Rear and his famous photograph.
True, “Bliss” is a real photo. O’Rear, who is sometimes known as Chuck, took the photo with a Fuji roller Mamiya RZ67 camera and a tripod in Napa Valley, north of San Francisco, in 1996. He later sold the image to Corbis, which was founded by Bill Gates, to be used as an art bank, said the Sydney Morning Herald.
The image then caught Microsoft’s attention. Due to its value, which was not revealed, the carriers did not accept the responsibility to transport the original photograph. So the company ended up sending the photographer a plane ticket so he could deliver it in person.
You can see the whole story in the video. In this one, O’Rear even comments that a group of Microsoft engineers bet on the origin of the photograph: whether it was actually taken or made on a computer. What was your bet?