March 24th, 2017

Photobook, photo album, what’s the difference?

If you’ve browsed the Photolab website, you may have noticed that both are described as ‘books’. However, some products are actually photo albums, while others are books comprised of (your) photography. True, in many ways they are similar; but there are also some key differences between them.

Let’s begin with their similarities: You can customize both using the Photolab website and in-store kiosks, and both are printed at the highest quality possible by Photolab technicians. As for their differences, the biggest is the type of paper used in each. All photo albums are printed on high quality photo paper (usually pearl finish, but glossy is available for certain albums.) True photobooks meanwhile, are printed on archival bond paper, which lends them a contemporary and realistic book feel. You can curl the pages of a photobook, while the photo paper in albums is more stiff. However, because of the way they’re bound you can flat-lay the photo albums; photobooks, not so much.

Of course, I could just make it easy for you and list which is which:

Albums

 

Photobooks

 

You’ll notice that albums offer a wider range of products. Express books and Instagram books are great options to keep in a purse or in an office drawer; something you can pull out for quick and easy viewing. Photographic albums, meanwhile, can have some real heft to them and are perfectly suited as a wedding album or for documenting years of family history (as photo albums have traditionally done). Photobooks, meanwhile, are lightweight and lend themselves well to creative expression. They’re a great choice for when photos are only part of the story you want to tell, or if you’d like to be able to design the cover. If you’d really like to know which type of book is the best choice for any given situation, the best thing to do is discuss your options with the Photolab technican at your neighbourhood London Drugs. And if you’d like to know just how easy and convenient they are to create and customize, well, there are Photoblog posts that cover that—just check out a few of these.



March 20th, 2017

Make springtime the photobook making season

Photobooks let you re-live that luau all year long.

Maybe it’s me, but it seems there are a lot of people going away on sunny tropical vacations this spring break. Well, for the rest of us who aren’t quite so lucky, we may not be taking a ton of exciting new photos this spring, but we can do something to preserve all the great photos we’ve already taken—in a format that’s much more fun (not to mention more real) to browse through. I refer, of course, to photobooks.

Trust me…make at least one or two now, in the spring, before you get busy again. If you’re already up to your elbows in spring cleaning, you may as well grab all those ancient pre-digital photo albums and prints you have slowly decaying in boxes and bins (and yes, that’s actually what they’re doing), and organize them into a scan box for the Photolab technicians to turn into high-quality digital scans. Then, get creative and make a photobook or two that will truly do justice to those priceless photos of days gone by. It’s the best way to ensure they never get buried in storage again. You’ll be able to display them prominently on your coffee table, and share them with the friends and family who had undoubtedly forgotten they exist.

Or, if you’re a winter lover who is too busy lamenting the inevitable end of a memorable winter to start your spring cleaning, why not turn your favourite memories from this past winter into a photobook? Keep it on the coffee table all year as a reminder how awesome this winter was. It will set a high bar for you and your family to beat next winter. It will be a fun and convenient way to look back on over Easter or a rainy spring (for our west coast readers).

You can create and personalize one in a few minutes using your local Photolab’s in-store kiosk (I’ve posted a number of how-to’s here on the Photoblog this past year.) If you have your digital photos organized and earmarked it takes even less time; it also depends on the amount of editing you want to do, and of course, the more experience you gain as a photobook-maker, the quicker and easier it gets. And if you happen to be one of those lucky ones taking a spring vacation, remember you can use the Photolab website to create a photobook from your poolside lounger.



February 8th, 2017

Photobooks and Valentine’s Day photo cards

Sentiment and romance—they’re like the twin pillars of Valentine’s Day. And if your gift is lacking in one, you’d better hope it covers the other. Fortunately, the Photolab has been a solid go-to for occasions like Valentine’s Day for, well, I don’t even know how long. I guess all that matters is that the Photolab will be there for us again this Valentine’s Day, with a couple of simple gifts that score off the charts when it comes to sentiment and can also be as romantic as you want to make them.

To be a success, after all, a Valentine’s Day gift doesn’t need to be particularly expensive, but it does need to be thoughtful in nature (I suppose this is true of any gift, really).  And what could more thoughtful than browsing through old photos of you and your significant other (S.O.), looking for just-perfect photos to build a personalized card or photobook around? That, friends, is the very definition of sentimentality. In fact, the only way it could be more sentimental is if the card could also somehow play ‘your’ song as it’s opened (hmmm…note to the Photolab…)

As for romance, that, my friends, is up to you and photo-choosing skills. (And also, I suppose, your photo-taking skills—because you need to have romantic photos featuring your S.O. in order to choose romantic photos.) The Photolab kiosk and website have a selection of themes to cover any mood you want to create, from light & breezy to super-smooth romance. So provided you have the right photos—you know the ones; the tropical beach, the moonlight shot, the embrace, the one from that special night—a photo card or photobook can be as romantic as the ‘candlelight dinner + dozen roses + Barry White playlist’ triple crown.

This is usually the point in the post where I bust into the walkthrough showing how to create the gift item in question using the Photolab in-store kiosks and website, but in this case creating photobooks and greeting cards have been covered in detail:

Creating a photobook

Creating a personalized Valentine’s Day card

Do yourself a favour this V-Day: forget the clichés, forego dropping a fortune on extravagance, and stick with a simple testament to how well you know the special someone in your life and how fond you are of the memories you’ve created together. That, friends, is truly Valentine’s gold.

Just a sample of personalized greeting card Valentine’s Day themes available via the Photolab website and in-store kiosks.



February 8th, 2017

Photo blankets are a real thing

The London Drugs Photolab continues to expand its impressive line of photo gifts. This is very good news for people like me who are always struggling to find fresh and interesting gift ideas for occasions like Valentine’s Day.  You can only give the same person a photo mug or a fine art print so many times, after all. Regardless of the quality of the print or the perfection of the chosen photo, after a while the recipient is going to wonder why you never bother to think of something new. It’s ok. They don’t need to know that the Photolab is happy to do this kind of thinking for you.

For example, the Photolab now boasts a robust selection of textile print gift items including t-shirts, hoodies, aprons, pillowcases and blankets. Textile gifts are perfect for a range of occasions including bachelor(ette) parties and company picnics, but to me at least they seem especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Giving jewelry or a vacation is a little overkill and candy/roses/dinner is lame and cliché, but giving a personalized photo blanket ticks all the boxes: sentimental, thoughtful, affordable, original and uncommon. Most importantly, if you choose something like a beautiful vacation photo of the two of you, it’s also very romantic.

And, as always, creating a textile gift is as easy as ordering prints. Here is a short walkthrough of some of the steps for ordering a photo blanket at the Photolab in-store kiosk:

From the main screen, select Creative Orders and accept the terms.

 

Choose the source of your photos to upload, for example Wireless Transfer or Facebook.

 

Once you’ve gone through the steps to select your chosen picture for your blanket, you can choose the upload size. Blankets have a large surface area, so you should choose ‘Large’.

 

Once the upload is complete, you’ll see the Photolab homepage and from here you should select ‘Textiles’ followed by ‘Blankets’.

 

Choose either than landscape or portrait orientation…

 

Finally, whether you want it to be a full rectangular image or if you want to go Valentine’s Day to the Max and choose a heart print!

 

Nearly there! You can name your project and then get to work choosing and placing your image.
There’s a Toolbar along the bottom which you can use to edit your photo and add text.

 

Then, when you’re done, proceed to the Cart page and voila! Valentine’s Day all wrapped up in a personalized blanket.

 

Come to think of it, a personalized photo blanket makes arguably the best Photolab Valentine’s Day gift—because it’s the only personalized gift that two people can snuggle in.

 



January 12th, 2017

The allure of aluminum: photographer Stacy William Head’s landscape photos come to life with aluminum panel prints

For landscape photographers seeking out new and dynamic ways to showcase their images, aluminum metal panels offer a unique perspective. The striking, high-gloss quality of these prints and their resistance to fading set them apart from any other type of print surface, making them an attractive choice for photographers. The coated aluminum sheets are infused with dyes that can make any image, especially detailed and rich landscape photos, come alive with vibrant colour.

As the popularity of aluminum panels has grown in recent years, the London Drugs Photolab has expanded the availability of its metal printing technology from just one location to now several Photolab locations with the special presses necessary to create the prints on-site.

Photographer, Stacy William Head recently opted to print one of his favourite photos of Moraine Lake on aluminum for the first time with London Drugs. Below he shares his first impressions and why he plans to print on aluminum in the future.

I’m a landscape photographer based in the Canadian Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada in a small area known as Crowsnest Pass. My work usually incorporates long exposure techniques to create images that convey a sense of depth along with the passage of time. I enjoy exploring and photographing the area I live in as well as the National Parks that are close such as Banff, Jasper and Waterton.

About this shot – “Moraine Mist”:

This is probably one of my favorite shots I have taken. The optimum conditions lasted for less than five minutes and was taken with long exposure of 159 seconds to give it that surreal feel. I have wanted to get the clouds like this for a while at this location. Even though it’s a very popular destination – probably the most photographed location in Canada – it’s still a great feeling to capture your own moment to call your own and hopefully convey to others the feeling of this experience.

I really love the fact that the aluminum prints from London Drugs are both lightweight and very durable. Aluminum allows me to display my photos in vibrant color with a gorgeous contemporary aesthetic that will last for a lifetime. My photos are sometimes rich in colour and I like to try and create surreal feel in them through long exposure – the glossy aluminum really adds to this effect much more than paper or canvas prints can.

Above: Moraine Mist photo by Stacy William Head, printed on an aluminum metal panel at the London Drugs Photolab.

To learn more about London Drugs’ selection of print textures and finishes, click here.

 

See more of Stacy’s work on his website or on Instagram.



December 20th, 2016

Bring your pics in a box

Keep your old photos safe with the Photolab’s Photo Scanning Box

Much like my estranged Uncle Larry, printed photographs do not age well. Unlike Uncle Larry, the cause is not poor life choices; it’s mostly due to environmental factors like light, heat and humidity. Photos printed between 1936-1990 are especially at risk of fading due to the processing technology used during those years. If you have photos from this era, you probably have a great many of them stored in old shoeboxes and musty photo albums—which, although it is very common practice, is pretty darn risky if you think about it. After all, in and amongst all those regrettable shots of you with a perm and bell bottoms or sporting a mullet while decked out in the finest Miami Vice pastel linen suit, there are probably some of the most cherished—and un-replaceable—memories of your life and your family history.

 

 

Even worse than gradual degradation over time, if you leave them in a box or a stack of photo albums, they are also vulnerable to fire, floods and other disasters we tend not to think about until they happen to us. People who have lived through such catastrophes almost always count their photos as the item of property they most wish they could have back.

READ MORE



November 29th, 2016

Giving Gifts They’ll Actually Love

Hint: It’s not the thought, it’s the personalization that counts!

We all know that one person who seems to always give the perfect, thoughtful and most unique Christmas gifts. How do they do it? Our Photolab Experts have the secret, and it’s easier than you think. It’s all about personalization. Adding a personal touch, like a photo or custom text, will give your gifts a unique quality that your loved ones will cherish. Our Photolab has virtually endless possibilities to customize your gifts for friends, family, colleagues and anyone else on your holiday shopping list.

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Greeting Cards – Whether it’s your family’s annual Christmas card, or individual cards to give out to family, friends and colleagues, spreading the holiday cheer starts here.  Rather than picking out a set of generic cards to send, why not create unique holiday cards with personal photos? Our Photolab can now customize Greeting Cards using a wide variety of themed templates on 6 new premium card stocks: linen, natural white, matte soft white, shimmer silver and shimmer soft gold. We are the only local Photolab to use these premium card stocks, so your greeting cards are guaranteed to be entirely unique.

 

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Photographic Albums – Give a truly thoughtful and personal gift by curating a collection of special photos and creating a personalized photographic album for loved ones. The book’s photos are printed on thick photographic paper that will brilliantly display cherished memories in a high quality format. Share photos of a recent trip together, a collection of photos taken over the past year, or even old childhood and family photos.

 

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Personalized Large Fleece Blankets – Brand new to the London Drugs Photolab, this is the ultimate cozy Christmas gift. Got a hockey player in the family? Customize a fleece blanket with a photo of their team, and parents can use it to show support and to keep warm at their next game. Grandparents would love a personalized blanket with a photo of their grandchildren, and a dog lover would be over the moon to see their prized pup immortalized on a super-soft fleece.

 

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Photo Crystals – Choose a meaningful photo to share with your loved ones and gift it to them in the form of a crystal. Our new expanded selection of shapes includes heart, teardrop, moon, wave and rectangle-shaped crystal blocks, which can transform your photo into a unique, eye-catching Christmas gift. This would make a great personalized hostess gift for any of your upcoming holiday parties.

 

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Express Books – Need to whip together a quick and easy Christmas gift, and need it right away? The 8×8 photographic Express Books can be made within 24 hours at any London Drugs location. Just choose your photos, and we’ll create a sleek photographic book complete with black leatherette cover. So if you forgot one last person on your list, or if you received an unexpected gift from your neighbour or colleague, don’t fret: we can take care of that.

 

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Instagram Books – This small personalized Instagram Book makes the perfect stocking stuffer gift! Simply select your favourite square Instagram photos from your feed, and our Photolab will turn them into a beautiful square photo book you can easily pop into someone’s stocking. This is a great gift for hard to buy for tweens and teens and for hobby photographers who showcase their work on Instagram.

 

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Photo Calendars – Have a few people on your shopping list that you’re just not sure what to get them? Our photo calendars are easily customized, which make them the perfect gift for almost anyone this Christmas. For family, feature images of your kids growing up, or for co-workers, perhaps feature some of your favourite landscape photos. It is useful all year round.

 

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Personalized Mugs – Whether they’re a coffee person or a tea person, you can’t go wrong with gifting a personalized photo mug. Pick a colour, design, and then choose your photo: it’s as simple as that. You can even choose our Magic Mug that reveals your hidden photo when hot liquid is added. These personalized mugs make great stocking stuffer gifts, as well as gifts for colleagues or your kids’ teachers.

 

Order any of these gifts at our new Photolab website or by visiting any London Drugs location.

 

Holiday Order Deadlines

A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Saturday, December 24 including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a photolab expert for details.

Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery:

Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greeting Cards: Wednesday, December 14

Creative Products: Wednesday, December 14

Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Bobbleheads: Monday, November 14

Yes Video: Friday, November 25

Click here for information about order deadlines.

 



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