As CG artists and illustrators we can make anything - but it's a rare talent that can create something that is totally believable and totally fantastic at the same time. You don't want to go too far or you will break believability - people will just say "it's a computer fake". You need to sell the image as something so "real" but fantastic that people want to believe it. Their pulse will rise just looking at it as they say "no... that cant be? - that really happened? ... wow... that's awesome!"
That's not to say that an image has to be photo real to be spectacular. There are great paintings of spectacular events that beautifully capture the spirit of the event and can even focus the excitement.
Your image can be anything that's spectacular, natural or man-made. Maybe you want to create a tornado or volcanic eruption... or a fire-wielding crash of a sports car. Perhaps a circus performer on a trapeze, or a young teenager participating in an "extreme sport". You could detail the precise patterns on a peacock's tail, the fine petals on a rose, or the soft shades in a sunset. Don't consider yourself limited to things that are around now - dinosaurs and space-cities can both be spectacular too! Heroic battles, gushing waterfalls, awe-inspiring architecture - or just surprise us!
worlds most spectacular F1 crash – ever.
It was one of those moments
that seem to last an eternity but in fact were over in a fraction of a
second. It was also dead lucky to have captured the moment on film.
That took a combination of careful planning, the right positioning and
in then end, sheer luck.
Hindsight is wonderful. I
should have had the camera out as soon as it started to drizzle. The
combination of oil and water and pent up aggression was a lethal
combination. I’ll never forgive myself for missing that first
crash. But who could have predicted that two laps later the most
spectacular F1 crash in history would unfold right before my eyes. The
first crash was tragic… but oh my god. If it
weren’t for that I wouldn’t have my camera glued to
the spot two laps later – one lap from the final. Later the
investigation found they hadn’t cleaned all the oil from the
track from the first accident. How the cars got one lap in without
hitting the oil spot is a miracle in itself. What happened in the next
lap is part of history now. Four cars came through the turn in a
diamond pattern – way too close. As the lead car hit the oil
it skewed out and the outside car caught the back tire and just
launched itself into the air. This flicked the lead car back and
unbelievably the same thing happened on the inside. Now the rear car
slides in under the airborne car on the right and also catches the rear
tire of the first car and starts to flip… all right towards
me and my Nikon going at 12 shots per second! Unbelievable –
just unbelievable! The most spectacular race crash –
ever… and I caught it on film.
London Bridge is falling down
(based on a true event along
Great Ocean Road between Adelaide and Melbourne).
Remembering it makes me want to
cry and laugh. I could have lost my whole family that day…
that still gives me nightmares. But no one got hurt. In the face of
such a huge calamity that’s a miracle that fills my heart
If I hadn’t stayed in
the car then we would never have the pictures. It was unbelievable.
Totally awesome and frightening! The Great Ocean Road follows some of
the most spectacular and dangerous coast in the world. Ragged cliffs
drop straight down over a hundred feet to the stormy ocean that looks
straight out to Antarctica. It’s really wild. There are the
most amazing pillars and coves of sheer rock that just look impossible.
It’s awesome in the distance and frightening up close.
London bridge is (was) one of
the most spectacular. An impossibly thin bridge of stone connected a
prominence to one of the pillar islands – well it’s
an island now. I wasn’t feeling too good and got left in the
car to take photos of everyone else. The bridge looked scary
– Jenny, my little sister, said it was terrifying. Dad had to
carry her over while she buried her head in this shoulder.
Six-year-olds can be such wimps. Everyone stopped and posed (just
turned and looked at me) in the middle of the bridge. Even in the
distance I could tell they were scared – it was a huge drop
to the sea below. That’s when it started. No one felt the
first crack but the first photo shows a stream of dust coming from the
bottom of the bridge. It wasn’t until they started walking
again that it all started to give way. I can still see it in my mind
just like I was there. Thank god Dad reacted quickly and got everyone
to run for the island. If he’d delayed one second longer they
all would have been plunged a hundred feet into the story ocean with
tons of falling rock. At first I just froze. The next thing I remember
I was out of the car at the very edge snapping shots of the falling
rock. The second shot was the most amazing – it looks like
Dad was standing on the falling bridge. He cant have been, it must just
have been a trick of the perspective. Anyway... there is a series of
three photos that everyone has seen (I shot of the whole roll of film
before it finished). By the end London bridge is gone and my family is
trapped on a new island. It took three hours before the rescue
helicopter arrived and then it took another hour to winch them all to
safety. Ill never forget that day!
OK. So you’ve all
seen that famous photo of the giant wave breaking over the lighthouse.
There is this guy standing on the down wind side in front of the
lighthouse door. He looks so tiny. The wave must have been fifty feet
high! I presume he got inside or he’d be dead now.
Anyway. I always thought that
was such a way cool image. So dangerous… so spectacular! Ha.
That was before my photo. I still can’t quite believe it. It
all feels like a dream. It was so unreal and just so… I
dunno… unbelievable. If it weren’t for the photos
no one would ever believe me. They’d say I was making it up.
Oh it’s obvious that the lighthouse is gone and the barge got
washed away. But they’d never believe the barge took out the
lighthouse 75 feet in the air! The storm was huge that day. The waves
were topping the lighthouse at 120 feet. I was glued to the window with
my camera ready. I loved the storms and was determined to get a really
spectacular shot that would make me famous and people would pay me lots
and I could pay for the whole family to move to town. Everyone thought
I was crazy freezing in my little lookout during the worst storms. They
don’t think that now. That barge was huge. It broke its
anchor chain and just moved towards the lighthouse like it knew what
the sea wanted. It was perfect. Just at the right time the highest wave
lifted it up and it hit the lighthouse broadside three quarters of the
way up. The sea just picked it up and threw it like it had it in for
the lighthouse. The barge wrapped it’s self around the
lighthouse, which started to fall with the barge still wrapped around
it. Like a dream it was. Awesome, just awesome.
I miss those wild storms. They
were so vivid. Sort of real but not real – still, I have the
photos to prove it really happened. Town’s nice, but
it’s kind of dull, like you're only half awake most of the
The diversity of zoological
specimens to be found on the Indian subcontinent is astounding and is
reflected in the color and spectacle of the local peoples. Outstanding
amongst the wonders is the male of the Pea Hen species, commonly named
Peacock. This bird is endowed with the most spectacular array of tail
feathers that defy comprehension. If I had not seen it with my own eyes
I would not have believed it. This sturdy fowl possesses a fan of
enormous tail feathers emitting upwards and radially to a height in
excess of a tall man. The feathers are of the most exquisite design and
coloring and include a plethora of spectacular and large round motifs.
I have secured a dozen healthy pairs of these magnificent specimens and
hope to present them to her majesty upon our return early next year. I
have enclosed sample feathers and some excellent illustrations although
I fear they do little justice to the true spectacle of the living
image. Has it changed your life?” asked
“F#king oath it
has – See this grin. They're going to bury me grinning
like this… Nike loves us. We’re turning work
away. Hell, I’ve even been asked to make a film about it. It
was a one in a trillion shot.”
what’s the story behind the shot” asked the reporter.
almost didn’t happen you know. We were shooting this
commercial campaign for Nike. One of their mega special productions.
know – the sort where a whole creative team gets high and
comes up with the most insane and crazy idea and them some exec
buys it… anyway. The idea was to shoot frozen in time shots
of sports stars doing impossible leaps through jungles, swamps,
waterfalls – whatever, all over the world. Real stuff though
– no CG tricks.
Well we were on the last leg
in Australia. Man, I mean we had shot the wad by then we were so
overbudget and we had the most impossible shot to do. We were supposed
to shoot Jordan leaping over this overhang – where
the aborigines had trained crocks to leap out of the water for meat. In
the most god awful tropical forest in far north Queensland. Took us
two days to get the damn gear in place – all covered with
plastic because its pissing down half the time and it’s a
bloody steam bath the rest of the time. It’s not like its
going to be easy for Jordan either – 15 foot jump between
rocky overhangs of this salt creek. We had to time it so the bloody
crock leaped out of the water at just the right time. Ha ha. Like that
turned out to be a problem!
into a fit of laughing “Sorry. Three failed attempts later and
we were going to give it up as a bad joke. Shit – you try to
time a crock leaping out of the water with someone leaping over it.
Bloody stupid idea to begin with”
paid off?” Said the reporter.
“Hell yes. Ha. We were
ready to pack it in. Everyone had had it. The producer was going ape
shit. Threatening all sorts if we didn’t stick it and get the
shot. Real ugly. Anyway. It's then that the natives get real excited
– jabbering about big man crock. Real reliable they say. Ha.
Dam. Anyway we set up again. Roll the HD cam with the arc cameras all
set – I got me finger on the button. We had
three HD’s rolling. When I press the button the arc cams shoot
of 5 shots in a second before they fill their memory.
So Jordan starts his run up
and the gaffer waves a chook over the water out of frame. Jordan's
20 feet away when the crock starts to emerge from the water
– way too early. I remember thinking we’d lost it
again but there’s no way to stop… and then it all
starts to happen. The crock just keeps rising out of the water
like it’s on a bloody hydraulic shaft. As Jordan jumps the
bloody things moves up to the level of the rock and it's traveling up
fast as Jordan's moving forwards. Shit. I’ve never seen
anyone jump to high or far – or so scared shitless.
Ha…he was doing a real good impression of a contortionist in
mid air just to save his balls and that’s when the bloody bat
appears. Ha. One of them bloody great fruit bats. Huge bastards
– flying fox they call them, big as a fox too. It comes
hurtling in from under the overhang. God knows what it thought it was
doing. Anyway. It comes in at like, I dunno, ninety miles and hour and
swoops up to miss the rising missile of crock teeth and slams into
Jordan's chest instead. I’d hit the button just before that
and got the shot on the last exposure. God, you should have seen
Jordan's face. Ha. He lands and this giant bat drops to the ground
stunned, looks up at Jordan as if to say “What the
f#$k” and flies off. Ha. And then Jordan grabs his balls
– to make sure there still there.
That broke the moment -- we
all fell about laughing. Man what a rush. Never felt so nervous as
we checked the shot. When we saw we had it – well hell, we
ain't stopped partying yet. Talk about Spectacular -- Hell we re-wrote
the book on spectacular that day.”