Have you ever wondered if this iconic wallpaper most of us has seen on our computers really is a true landscape? Or is it just a product of the creative minds of people behind Microsoft?
Well, as is turns out, this famous Microsoft Windows XP wallpaper is a real-life landscape and you can actually pay a visit to this place!
According to Atlas Obscura, back in January of 1998, a National Geographic photographer named Charles O’Rear was driving down Highway 121 through Sonoma, California on his way to see his girlfriend in San Francisco just as he’d done plenty of times before.
But this time, a rare view caught his eye. The grass was greener than usual after a winter shower which also gave way to a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. With his photographer instincts, he immediately stopped his car and took a shot.
The camera O’Rear used to film this iconic photo is said to be the Fujifilm’s Velvia, a film often used by nature photographers, which created the image’s saturated tones.
He also revealed that the image was completely raw when he decided to upload it to Corbis, a site founded by Bill Gates which contained stock photos.
Then, in 2000, O’Rear received a call that changed his life, forever. The call was from Microsoft asking him if they could use his picture for their new operating system.
An undisclosed sum was paid to O’Rear by the Microsoft team. He then flew all the way to Seattle and delivered the original photo in person. Since the release of Windows XP in 2001, the unedited photograph called “Bliss” has graced the screens of over a billion computers all over the world.
The spot has also become an iconic spot as many people try to photograph it in different seasons.