15 January 2012

Designing with Live Insects

I have to thank Sophia for being a cool enough client to agree to the idea of photographing live ants to promote the free event, Miniatures, at the Wellcome Collection this Thursday.

After ordering an ant colony through the post (complete with queen!), I built this glass front box hoping to contain the ants during the shoot. The "MINIATURES" typography was cut out of the green background as small as I possibly could with a scalpel.

Luis' giant hand

The Wellcome Collection photographer, David Sayer, showed incredible patience in shooting the ants as well as trying to get them all back into their test tube when we were finished. There was something about handling live ants, their queen and even a pile of their eggs that put chills down my spine and reminded me of scenes from Alien. Luckily, nothing has burst through my chest yet, and the ants have found a home in Sophia's husband's ant farm.

The web ads were made from a looping video of the ants. The trick to getting the little buggers to walk on the typography was a few drops of sugar water. I'm looking forward to a real, old school flea circus at the event too. If you happen to be in London this Thursday, come down to the Wellcome Collection and check it out for free.