Trio takes to the sky to re-create macOS Big Sur’s soaring wallpaper

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It took a helicopter and some luck to re-create the macOS Big Sur wallpaper.
Scratch out the names and you might be hard-pressed to tell which is Apple’s and which is a re-creation of the macOS Big Sur wallpaper.
Photo: Andrew Levitt

Andrew Levitt and friends went to new heights to re-create Apple’s gorgeous wallpaper for macOS Big Sur. It’s not the first time they followed in Apple’s footsteps to capture pictures that mirror Mac wallpaper, but they had to hop in a helicopter to get this latest photo.

Levitt filmed a video showing everything it took to get an exact shot of the rugged California cost. Watch it now:

It takes a helicopter to re-create macOS Big Sur wallpaper

Levitt and his friends, videographer Jacob Phillips and photographer Taylor Gray, immediately recognized the section of Big Sur shown in Apple’s image. At first they thought they could use a drone to take their own version. Then they found out that drone flights off the California coast are illegal.

That meant they needed a helicopter. And, with a bit of luck, they found the pilot who’d been in the cockpit of one when Apple’s own Big Sur wallpaper was captured.

“Before the [macOS Big Sur] announcement, I had a bunch of guesses as to where where Apple would send us,” said Levitt. “But I never would have thought we’d end up in a helicopter 4,000 feet above the California coast.”

They’d given themselves a week to get the shot, and much depended on weather. But, in the end, they managed to re-create the Big Sur wallpaper. The main difference between their version and the original is that Apple removed the crashing waves.

Last fall, the trio did the same trick re-creating the macOS Catalina wallpaper. That effort didn’t involve a ride in a helicopter, but the guys did end up in the back of a sheriff deputy’s cruiser. And, before that, they re-created the famous images for Mojave, Sierra, High Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite’s Half Dome and the waves of Mavericks.