Photographer Chuck O’Rear captured The Bliss in January 1996 as he travelled to California to meet his future wife. He used his Mamiya RZ67 film camera to photograph the hills without realising that Microsoft would eventually acquire the image.
Bliss, the default wallpaper for Windows XP, is regarded as the most viewed image in the globe. Chuck O’Rear, a National Geographic photographer, captured the image in January 1996 while travelling to California to meet his prospective wife. After Microsoft purchased it from the stock photo agency Corbis and renamed it Bliss, the picturesque scene gained global recognition. The price Microsoft paid for the photograph was not disclosed due to a non-disclosure agreement, but Chuck O’Rear reportedly received more than $100,000 for the image, making it the largest payment for a single photograph, according to Ladbible.
Chuck O’Rear captured the image on film with a Mamiya RZ67 camera and submitted it to Corbis. Later, Microsoft discovered and purchased the photograph. With its picturesque green hills and lovely white clouds, the Bliss photograph has become a symbol of nostalgia and is expected to endure eternally.
Microsoft also acquired the Autumn backdrop, which was photographed by Peter Burian and uploaded to Corbis. However, Peter Burian received considerably less than Chuck O’Rear, only $45 for his photograph. Despite this, images by Chuck O’Rear and Peter Burian remain compatible with Windows XP.
Chuck O’Rear stated that he always carries a camera and frequently pulls over to take photographs while travelling. He took the Bliss photograph without realising that it would become the default desktop image on nearly every computer in the world. The photograph is now a part of our collective memory, evoking feelings of melancholy whenever it is viewed.