Photographers make their own macOS Monterey landscape wallpapers

MacBook Pro on macOS Monterey with wallpaper
(Image credit: Apple)

While every macOS release in recent years has featured attractive  desktop wallpapers of a Californian landscape, macOS 12 Monterey doesn’t. However, a group of photographers have rectified this.

Since the debut of Mac OS X in 2000, Apple has named its macOS releases after big cats, from Puma to Lion. It even felt as if there was a risk of the company running out of names, even though some users like myself were hoping to see a macOS Ocelot appear, just for Metal Gear Solid reasons. To avoid that, with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Apple switched to naming macOS releases after places in California, where the company is based.

There are plenty of California locations to choose from for names, bringing alluring landscapes for wallpapers, but Monterey missed out on this for some reason.

However, this is where Vyncher comes in, ready to offer us a bunch of Monterey landscape pictures that easily measure up to Apple’s wallpapers of previous macOS releases.

Days of macOS wallpaper past

Though the default wallpaper for macOS Monterey is an abstract depiction of Monterey Canyon in California, for many people, it didn’t measure up to wallpapers of previous macOS releases. Past versions of macOS, such as Catalina and Big Sur, have desktop wallpapers that showcase the landscapes of mountains and parks that the releases are named after, and they look fantastic on Mac (or even Windows) machines.

Some users, myself included, wanted to see this tradition continue with macOS Monterey, especially as I now own the new MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021).

So, I was pleased to find out that Andrew Levitt and his group that make up Vyncher made it a mission to take landscape photographs of Monterey bay, and came up with a bunch of awe-inspiring desktop wallpapers.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, blogger Stephen Hackett has you covered. He’s a collector of older Mac machines, and a curator of previous macOS releases, and has a page dedicated to wallpapers of the past you can download.

What could be next for macOS?

There’s plenty of places in California that Apple can choose from for future macOS names. There’s Mammoth, which is a snowy mountain landscape near Monterey, for example, which could be a good pick for macOS 13.

While a mouthful, Bodega Bay would also be a great name for macOS 13 or 14. While Sonoma could also be used, its connection to alcohol of wine and vineyards could mean that it’s a name that’ll never appear.

However, that doesn’t stop you from looking at free-to-use photos for these places as a wallpaper.

Apple’s wallpaper settings on macOS allow you to cycle through a collection of photos across the day if you choose, so you could select a few of your favorites. By going to System Preferences > Desktop & ScreenSaver, you can choose a folder that can cycle through photos as a wallpaper across the day.

MacBook Pro 2021 with macOS Monterey wallpaper settings

(Image credit: Apple)

For now, the Vyncher team has made some incredible photos for Monterey. If you’ve got a Mac that you feel is due a wallpaper change, their efforts could be a great starting place for a new desktop background.

Via 9to5Mac

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.