Monday, August 29, 2011

Windows XP default wallpaper

One of the most famous wallpaper images is undoubtedly the default Windows XP image showing a blissfully relaxing vista of green rolling hills and a bluer than blue sky. The wallpaper, probably one of the most viewed images of all time, is aptly named ‘Bliss.’ Do a Google image search for just the word ‘bliss,’ and the first result is the Windows wallpaper.

For Dutch Windows users however, the name of the image is Ireland, which has mistakenly led many to believe that that’s where the image was taken.


Have you ever stopped to wonder where the image was taken, or who took it? In fact, the image is so crisp you might have assumed it wasn’t real at all.

The man behind the camera is American photographer Charles O’Rear. Don’t let his name fool you into thinking that the photo was in fact taken in Ireland. Bliss, as it turns out, is in California. In Sonoma County to be exact.

The photo was taken in 1996, years before Windows XP launched, and before the area was converted into a vineyard. In fact, a photo taken 10 years later from exactly the same spot where Bliss was shot, shows a disappointingly, dreary view:

The image has since made its way off of users’ computer and can be spotted in some of the most unexpected places.