|Picard snowflake logo, France [Alamy image ref. BC0YMW]|
Four of my growing collection of French company names, signs and logos (under the “Directions” pseudonym on Alamy) are for “Picard Surgelés” – the leading frozen foods specialist in France. The Fontainebleau-based company operates as both a manufacturer and a distributor, with a network of more than 500 retail stores throughout the country… the site I photographed above being in nearby Chatellerault.
As with most straightforward subjects, I framed and photographed the company’s name and building as a normal wide-view, then with a more exaggerated wide-angle view showing the side of the modern building with stronger diminishing perspective, and then details of the company name and logo as both horizontal and vertical close-ups. I’ve always held the belief that you can generally provide a good coverage of most simple subjects with only one or two of those four generic shots… and even if you shoot a dozen or more different angles with different lenses, an editor will still use the most straightforward shot his readers will recognize.
Note: There’s much to be said about Alamy’s written rule for contributors (ignored by many if not most) to not submit more than five ‘similars’ in a batch – but as Alamy don’t have either editors, or an ‘edited’ policy regarding content, then the rule is there to be broken.
Three of the four Picard images I shot and uploaded to Alamy have already been used… two in a French textbook (probably a regional industry / trade directory as they were included with the second licensing instance of my “Go Sport” sign) with a 5,000 print-run, 1/8 page for 1 year license.And another use has popped-up this week in a UK newspaper – detailed as a having a 25,000 print run and an inside spot size placement with a 7-day license – leading up to Christmas Eve, of the vertical version of the main image illustrated above being an obvious seasonal thematic image of a snowflake… but apparently not one being all that common on the Alamy site.
|Picard frozen foods depot, France [Alamy image ref. BC0CH6]|
This surprised me as the snowflake is such a recognizable symbol of winter – especially during the past week or so in the UK considering the appalling Arctic blasts of icy weather you Brits are having! Using the search keywords “snowflake logo” on Alamy reveals only 18 images out of 21 million… and whilst “snowflake sign” brings up 222 images, only about 10% of those show a ‘physical sign’ – the majority of the rest being ‘graphic illustrations’.
So why this image with the name “Picard” was chosen I can’t answer until perhaps it turns up with a specific search term in ”Alamy Measures / Your Images” this coming week. However, with all the ‘graphic illustrations’ on offer, I don’t think it was just for the snowflake logo from which the editor deleted the Picard name… unless that company is opening stores in the UK this Christmas in addition to their other foreign branches in Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and SpainMaybe the picture buyer saw it as the definitive snowflake shape. I quote from Wikipedia… “Snowflakes are conglomerations of frozen ice crystals which fall through the Earth’s atmosphere. They begin as two snow crystals which develop when microscopic super-cooled cloud droplets freeze. Snowflakes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Complex shapes emerge as the flake moves through differing temperature and humidity regimes. Individual snowflakes are nearly unique in structure.
It is very unlikely for two snowflakes to be exactly alike due to the roughly ‘10-to the power of 19’ water molecules which make up a snowflake, which grow at different rates and in different patterns depending on the changing temperature and humidity within the atmosphere that the snowflake falls through on its way to the ground united.Initial attempts to find identical snowflakes by photographing thousands of them with a microscope from 1885 onward by Wilson Alwyn Bentley found the wide variety of snowflakes we know about today. It is more likely that two snowflakes could become virtually identical if their environments were similar enough. Matching snow crystals were discovered in Wisconsin in 1988. The crystals were not flakes in the usual sense but rather hollow hexagonal prisms.”