This group has recreated a number of official macOS wallpapers over the years, using a drone. This year, with Big Sur, a drone wouldn’t quite cut it.
A little bit of the story, in their own words:
My friends and I had one choice, we had to get a helicopter to fly us over Big Sur. After talking to an aerial photographer, we got connected with a pilot, who funny enough was the same pilot that helped Apple take the photo (shoutout Chris from Specialized Helicopters — he was amazing!!)
The problem was Apple’s photo was taken in the winter. And since it’s summer, that means that the sun will rise differently and at a different time. Moreover, June is known for coastal fog, so it was up to chance whether or not we would get a clear day.
The video below does a great job telling the story, with a live shot of them actually watching Craig Federighi do the big reveal.