macOS wallpaper quest sends photo crew on epic road trip

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Photographs recreating macOS wallpaper.
Inspired by wallpaper.
Screenshot: Andrew Levitt/YouTube

Every day, Mac users face their screens and see a breath-taking photo of a natural California landmark.

One YouTuber set out with friends to re-create the photographs in Apple’s macOS wallpapers during a week-long road trip.

At the end of the week, host Andrew Levitt, along with landscape photographer Taylor Gray and videographer Jacob Phillips, had their shots for Mojave, Sierra, High Sierra, El Capitan, Half Dome in Yosemite and the waves of Mavericks.

“In the end, the pictures we took weren’t a perfect match,” Levitt tells viewers on a 13-minute video recap of the trip you can watch below. “We didn’t go during the rights seasons or wait for the best conditions, but that wasn’t what the trip was about. The trip was about the chase… and seeing these places for ourselves.

“As amazing as these wallpapers are, snapped at the perfect time, under the perfect conditions, they will never compare to seeing them in person.”

Apple had been naming its Mac operating systems after big cats, like Puma, Jaguar, Tiger and Snow Leopard. In 2013, Apple switched to names and scenes from some of California’s wondrous landscapes.

It started with Mavericks, a popular location for surfing. This year, Apple announced Catalina at WWDC to replace Mojave.

in search of Mojave wall paper
The search for the exact dune for macOS Mojave nearly overheated the crew.
Screenshot: Andrew Levitt/YouTube

Death Valley National Park was the crew’s first and most challenging stop. On day one, they marched through the sand and 115-degree heat to the dune depicted on the Mojave wallpaper at sunset.

By the time they found it, the sun had already set, forcing the three to endure the heat of the desert the next day to get their shot. They survived and enjoyed easier treks to the remaining landmarks.