Shipwreck! On the set of I SPY Treasure Hunt.

I SPY Treasure Hunt takes readers on an adventure within a seaside village built entirely in my studio. To do that I needed the help of a full-time assistant and three freelance model makers.

Model maker Bruce Morozko builds a boat which was later distressed to make a convincing weather-beaten shipwreck.

I made the water out of sheets of rippled Plexiglas (often used on shower doors). Near the shore, a clear acrylic varnish was sometimes used to make additional waves.

Note the scale of the lighthouse in the picture at the right. It's too small and much too close to the boat. But in the final picture the lighthouse appears distant!

On the far right, large glass screens are partially covered with cardboard and tape to control the light falling on the set. Above the camera are pipes that hold bits of cardboard that reflectlight into the shadows.

The surface under the Plexiglas water is painted black. The reflection of the sky backdrop makes the water appear blue.

And here is the final image as it appears in the book.

The Beach ©1999 Walter Wick, 
from I SPY Treasure Hunt