The Photographer Behind Windows XP ‘Bliss’ Shot 3 New Wallpapers

Bliss, the photo used as the default wallpaper on Windows XP, is considered to be the most-viewed photo in the history of the world. The photographer behind that iconic photo has just published three new photo wallpapers, this time for smartphones.

Charles O’Rear captured his famous photo in 1996 in Sonoma County, California, using a medium format camera while on his way to visit his girlfriend. The photo was sent to Corbis before Microsoft purchased the photo rights in 2000, the year before Windows XP was launched.

Now, 21 years later after Bliss was shot, the airline Lufthansa recently recruited O’Rear to shoot “the next generation of wallpapers.” The project is titled New Angles of America.

“I am turning seventy-six and realize how much the Microsoft Bliss photograph has meant to my life,” O’Rear says. “As the photographer of the most viewed photo in history, I have enjoyed every minute of the fame.

“Likewise, I am thrilled to create for Lufthansa a sequel to the ‘Bliss’ photo on smartphones so that my views of other beautiful places can continue to be enjoyed by millions of people. After all, smartphones have become the primary place for the world to see new and interesting photography. And, I’m glad to be part of it.”

Here are the three new photos O’Rear captured while visiting famous landscapes in the United States:

Maroon Bells (Colorado)

Peek-A-Boo Slot (Utah)

White Pocket (Arizona)

Here’s a short video about this project that shows O’Rear shooting the Bliss sequels:

You can download high-resolution versions of these photos on the New Angles of America website.