Saturday, May 5, 2012

Boston Terrier Rescue at PawFest 2012

My wife (not in the photo) and I went to PawFest in Lawrenceville to support The Boston Terrier Rescue who does incredible work with putting dogs into new homes. Some of these animals have been rescued from inhumane conditions, but still love people. The little dog in the photo had one of her ears bitten off, but still would make a wonderful friend and part of the family. This one has been adopted, but there are more who need a home.

This organization is filled with wonderful, hard working and dedicated volunteers who love what they do.  Learn more about them and available adoptees on their site

Package & Display Design for Bed Bug Pesticide

These bed bugs are
nasty little suckers
Remember that old saying "Don't let the bed bugs bite"? That was a reality for our parents' and grandparents' genrations. That changed when pesticides like DDT were used to devastating effect in the 1940s to practically wipe out bed bugs infestations. Decades later DDT was determined to be environmentally and medically dangerous and taken off the market. It is an unpleasant fact that bed bugs (that were once a thing of past) are now coming back with a vengeance in hotels, motels and even theaters.

My client, BugBand, manufacturers natural insect repellent products that deter insects by emitting Geraniol vapors. Geraniol contains a naturally derived extract from Geranium flowers which people have been using for hundreds of years in window boxes to keep insects out of their homes.

These packages are not shown to scale. The one of the left is only a small 3 oz. travel size bottle.
Last year, BugBand introduced their first pesticide aimed directly at bed bugs. Bed Bugs No More! uses a strong concentration of Geraniol to kill bed bug eggs, larvae, nymphs and adult bed bugs. Geraniol dissolves the exoskeleton of the bedbugs and they cannot become immune to the effects. This is different from the nerve agent pesticides that are usually used, and only affect adults insects with developed nervous systems. Bed Bugs No More! is not toxic and safe for humans. This is my layman's understanding of complicated chemical processes and biology. More information will soon be on the BugBand web site.

Long story short, I got to design the Bed Bugs No More! packages, two being your standard pump bottle and the other, a small travel size package that uses heat shrink technology to adhere the label to the bottle. In this case, labels are printed as circular plastic sleeves that shrink when heat is applied to them making a colorful and tamper-resistant package. I also designed the displays coming to a store near you.

Habitat for Humanity Group Photo

Last week I made a deceptively simple group photo for an Atlanta insurance company who had participated in Habitat for Humanity. I think 80% of the company helped build a house. Impressive. The day before the portrait, my boss took an iphone snapshot of the location. I could tell it was going to be relatively dak because we were shooting on the shadow side of the building.

I know it sounds ludicrous to say that shooting outside at 11 am will be dark, but everything is relative. Because I was shooting rows at least 5 people deep, I needed to have the subjects in the front row and back row equally in sharp focus.

Celebrating their accomplishment
This meant that I would need to use a small aperture for maximum depth of field. Small apertures need long exposures to gather light which would not work with a group of blinking people. The other option was to add light to the scene.

I set up a single flash 10 feet to the right of the camera's position and aimed it towards the crowd. The resulting image has the appearance of sunlight... if one is not a forensic specialist who can trace the origin of the light source. Without the flash, the photo would have lacked contrast, sharpness and definition. I used a slow enough shutter speed to let the flash and ambient light mix.