Behind the Photo of the Day: A picture of a lush green hill, called “Bliss,” is one of the most recognizable images in the world thanks to its place as the Windows XP default wallpaper — but where did it come from?
Turns out it’s a real scene, not a CG image. It was taken in Sonoma County, CA, circa 1996 by photographer Charles O’Rear.
O’Rear is not allowed to disclose how much Microsoft paid him for Biiss, but he says the payday was the second highest for a living photographer, behind a guy who sold a photo of Bill Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky.
As for the location, it’s now a vineyard, which you can see in an updated photo after the jump. Google Maps also provides a 360-degree view of the area.