For "Blue Is the New Green," Adam Bluestein looks at the entrepreneurs who are developing new technologies to address the worldwide water crisis. "Everyone knows that the oil crisis affects gas prices," Bluestein says. "But water affects whether you can live at all. You can see the innovation really increasing as the sense of this is impending." The innovations include bacteria trained to eat up pollutants and high-tech sponges that soak up oil from storm drains. "It's kind of cool that these tiny improvements can have a big impact," says Bluestein. His last feature for Inc. was our April cover story about what makes fifth- and sixth-generation family businesses thrive.
Ken Collins was a petty officer during the Vietnam War when an aptitude test determined he was suited for a job as a photographer. He took photos for the Navy's intelligence unit, then left for art school in the late 1970s. Collins's photo of Columbia professor Amar Bhidé (Q: Is the U.S. Losing Its Economic Edge?) is typical of his work: introspective and simple, with a focus on the person rather than his or her surroundings. "I'm fully aware that a portrait of anyone is only a moment in their life," Collins says. "But underneath that moment, more is revealed if you take the time to look at it."
For this month's Case Study (A Hot New Outdoor-Apparel Brand Took Off Like a Rocket, Then Crashed and Burned), Alex Salkever writes about Nau, an eco-friendly clothing company that had to close its stores. Salkever writes frequently for Inc.; his last Case Study was about Richard Ha, a Hawaiian banana farmer who was grappling with rising fertilizer and energy costs. In both stories, company owners sought to salvage their businesses in the face of defeat. "I think if you really believe in something passionately, the end isn't always the end," Salkever says.
Gregg Segal is known for bringing a sense of humor to his photography. In his photos of pirates and superheroes, brightly costumed individuals perform everyday tasks -- Superman cleans the toilet, two pirates install an AC unit. "I like the idea of the fantastic and the mundane -- the contrast of those two things," says Segal. His work for this month's cover story on Digg.com founder Kevin Rose (Keeevviin!) was no less playful. "We did it kind of like a comic book, having a sense of beginning, middle, and end," he says. Segal, who is based near Pasadena, California, has also shot covers for Fortune, Newsweek, and Wired.
When Inc.'s editors decided they wanted to photograph a church for this month's Behind the Scenes (Behind the Scenes: Companies at the Heart of Everyday Life), Patrick J. Sauer knew just the one: St. Patrick's in Billings, Montana. "It's the church I grew up in," says Sauer, a contributing editor of Inc. "I had my first Communion there. I was a Eucharistic minister there." Sauer's last Behind the Scenes depicted a movie theater in St. Charles, Illinois. He writes Inc.'s Drives column, and his work has also appeared in Popular Science and on the humor website 23/6.