• The Most Viewed Photograph Ever
  • Posted 32 months ago by Jack Lowe · Art & Design · 30428 Views
  • It may not be the most striking or impressive of images, but the most viewed photograph of all time is probably "Bliss" - a photograph by Charles O’Rear which was set as Microsoft Windows XP's default wallpaper for the "Luna" theme and is estimated to have been seen by an audience of 1 billion.

    The photograph was taken by O'Rear (a former National Geographic photographer) while on a break from another assignment in California’s Napa Valley and was originally published back in 2002. O'Rear hasn't ever disclosed what Microsoft paid him for the rights to the image, but he has said it's an "extraordinary" amount.

    Speaking to blog Mashable about the image, O'Rear said: "All the folks I talk with agree it is the most 'recognizable' photo ever. If it were shown to a villager in rural China, for example, good chance they would recognize it. If it were shown to astronauts on the ISS, good bet they would know it, too. I have seen it appear in photos of the White House situation room, the Kremlin, etc."

    Image copyright: Microsoft

    • well that's a shame
    • don Posted 32 months ago · 78 Reply
    • I bet they paid him £100
    • Chris Posted 32 months ago · 91
    • Try adding four zeros.
    • Ryan Posted 32 months ago · 96 Reply
    • I actually met the guy few years ago who took this pic, super nice guy! Our App features quite a few wineries around this area www.WineryFinderApp.com, after this post maybe we will mention it in our App so that people can stop for bragging rights and take a pic of their own.
    • WineryFinderApp Posted 32 months ago · 85 Reply
    • Really interesting post. And what's interesting for me is how the media can change your feeling about an image. That's a nice photo, anything to tell, but the feeling (for me) it's not really good, it's something about problems, slow and old.
    • Paneburro Posted 32 months ago · 73 Reply
    • I think it sold for about 138k USD...
    • manu Posted 32 months ago · 35
    • coulda charged 10x that
    • chris Posted 31 months ago · 66 Reply
    • Nice. I wrote about ithis in 2011: http://jwvanwessel.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/bliss-de-meest-bekeken-foto-aller-tijden/
    • JWvanWessel Posted 28 months ago · 86 Reply
    • I have much better pics - so Microsoft, hit me up.
    • climatar Posted 27 months ago · 65 Reply
    • I glad to know that o'rear take a photo which is most popular in the world.
    • Barack obama Posted 21 months ago · 72 Reply
    • glad to see this photo and happy to know that its the most viewed photo :D
    • Towhid Mizan (BD) Posted 20 months ago · 63 Reply