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Which is The World’s Most Viewed Photo of All Time?

By Jignesh Rathod

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I am sure you know about Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Mona Lisa, the world’s most famous picture. According to the Louvre Museum, Paris more than 6.8 million people view the painting every year. But do you know which one is the most viewed photo of all the time?

Bliss - Windows XP Wallpaper

Bliss Windows XP wallpaper. © Copyrights: Microsoft. Used with permission from Microsoft.

The Windows XP Wallpaper, titled “Bliss“, which was a part of Windows XP’s Luna theme that came default wallpaper with the operating system. According to Morts Lindholm, over a billion people have seen this photograph since it was published in 2002.

The Bliss was photographed by National Geographic photographer Charles O’Rear, when he was taking a rest stop while driving through the wine region of Napa Valley, California. He took the picture five years before Windows XP was rolled out!

Many people (including me!) believed the picture to be an imaginary, artificial graphics, but I was surprised to find it a photo of a place that exists in real.  Moreover, according to Charles, the photograph was not digitally enhanced or manipulated in any way.  Microsoft purchased the photograph at an undisclosed “extraordinary” price, as the photographer said, and the rest is history!

The same location in 2006. Copyrights: Simon Goldin.

Charles O’Rear worked with National Geographic for over 25 years. Now he lives in the Napa Valley, California, still running his photo studio. To see more work by Charles, you can visit his home page.

Thank you for reading.

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