Is This The Most Popular Photograph Ever?

“Bliss,” by Charles O’Rear.

If popularity is measured in numbers, then this panorama has to be one of the most popular panoramas of all time, if not the most popular.

Anyone who’s owned a computer with Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system has seen this wallpaper. And it’s lingered in their minds like a persistent after-image.

“Bliss” presents an idyllic vista of rolling green hills and a blue sky, with whiffs of white clouds—a landscape too perfect to be true. But it turns out that it is.

It’s a photograph of a location in Sonoma County, California’s wine country, taken in 1996, by a former National Geographic photographer, Charles O’Rear. Today, this lovely vale is a vineyard.

h/t: CNET


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