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21st Century Bliss | by Tony Immoos
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21st Century Bliss

"Bliss" is the default Windows XP background wallpaper photographed in 1996 by Charles O'Rear along Hwy 12 in Sonoma County, California. You can read a little more about Bliss in Wikipedia, however, the 2006 re-shoot that's on Wiki was taken from the wrong location, approximately 350' farther Northeast, it is of the correct hill, but it is shot in the wrong direction.


My first attempt to recapture bliss in March was stymied by boring gray skies which left me shooting other things with a better sky. Where to park the car along the very busy Hwy 12 will always be a problem, fortunately this time around the house that sits closest to the photo location was up for sale and empty so I took the opportunity to park there and walk the 175 yds to the correct spot. I didn't have the printed image of bliss that I brought with me in March so I aligned the hills by memory. Now I see that I missed the exact location by a few feet. When I left Sacramento, the skies looked very promising, by the time I got to Sonoma, most of the nice clouds had blown to the east so I'll probably give it a shot another time which will give me a chance to fine-tune my location.


If anyone is wondering, the tree tops visible near the right edge of the original bliss image are no longer there, it's my belief the trees were cut down prior to 2004 to make room for a house. You can see the changes using the historical imagery in Google Earth.


Be sure to check out Summer Bliss...


... and also Autumn Bliss

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Taken on May 2, 2010