|“Go Sport” store, Chatellerault, France [Alamy image ref: B4P8XG]|
During the past twenty-five years I’ve only visited three cities, one on just two occasions, a second on five, and none of which had a population greater than 140,000. In no particular order I really, really don’t like noise, pollution, traffic, fast-food cooking smells and anonymous, unsmiling faces in crowded places. I admit that I’m missing a lot of image opportunities with my attitude, but I basically have more empathy with old traditional surroundings than modern, and with everyone in the street reciprocating with a “Bonjour monsieur” to my greeting in passing.
Having said that, I often look at ‘graphics’ web sites (‘graphics’ as in design, advertising, art, drawing, printed ephemera, etc. and not ‘graphic’ as in explicit you know what!), so my eye does look for bright, stark, graphics and graphic shapes which tend to be located more in populous areas. That’s probably because every day I look through my window to a church that was regularly filled by a congregation over a thousand years ago… so for a visual contrast, and perhaps a subconscious stimulation, I notice modern glitz with greater attention, even though much of it may offend my design values as visual pollution.
Nevertheless, there is a market for these advertising trappings… although you have to be careful of trademarked signs and logos about which Alamy, on their web site state, “Images which are of a logo and very little else should not be uploaded to Alamy as they represent a breach of copyright. Images which include identifiable logos or trademarks can only be sold for editorial usages, and should be restricted for advertising and promotional usages.”
But my observation here is… is the economic crisis almost over with more positive news gaining ground? It affects most freelance photographers and their sales with a time delay… and yes, I know, getting paid adds a further delay to the equation! But I’ve noticed, from my relatively ordinary sales with Alamy this year that signs of the times are changing – and moving upwards. Which leads to my illustration this week for the “Go Sport” logo on a sports equipment depot in nearby Chatellerault. This image has recently sold twice – along with a couple of other logo featuring images – the first use was in a French national newspaper (1-day license) followed by a 1-year use in a text book, presumably a trade directory which included two other images used which were snapped during the same quick 30 minute trip into a city to buy a new cycling vest and shorts!
Admittedly, the first time the image was used I thought perhaps the company was going bust (“Well, isn’t your glass half-empty,” I hear some of you say), but the second use shortly afterward provided more positive news (now my glass was half-full!). So is now the time to get out and shoot these signs of the economic times? I think so… just choose cities other than Tours, Poitiers and Chatellerault… merci!
Note: I used a 14~24mm f/2.8 Nikkor for the shot above but had to set the lens at the 24mm long-end because the sun was well in the frame at a wider angle. Later, in Photoshop, I ‘expanded’ the base of the image to distort the scene and add a little more dynamic perspective.