August 15th, 2014

If they’re good enough for your wall, put them on your walls!

When it comes to photography, the phenomenon known as the social media wall certainly inspires some peculiar behaviour. And I’m not just referring to the subjects—because when you think about it, the photographer’s own behaviour can often be just as strange.

Beach

Whether it’s a traditional scenic shot from your Flickr page….

Think about how about ‘the wall’ has affected our behaviour as photographers. For example, take a typical day at beach, or some type of social gathering; whereas in the past we may have been content to simply capture the moment and then return to being in the moment ourselves, we now obsess about capturing the perfect shot. We badger our subjects with endless retakes, often as we simultaneously play around with different filters, screens and effects. READ MORE



August 14th, 2014

Happy World Photo Day! — Part Two

Photography is one of the most transformative inventions in human history. It has reshaped and changed the course of human events in innumerable ways. But how many people actually know the true roots of modern photography? READ MORE



August 14th, 2014

World Photo Day

Happy World Photo Day!

Flowerbug - World Photo Day

Credit: Chris Charousset, World Photo Day 2013 online gallery

For everyone who loves photography, August 19th is a day to rejoice. If you’ve never heard of World Photo Day (WPD), here is a brief quote from the official site:

“Founded in 2009, World Photo Day hosted its first global, online gallery in 2010 with the goal to unite local and global communities in a worldwide celebration of photography.

Since its initial launch, The World Photo Day project has grown from an idea into a global event as photographers around the globe have joined the celebration.”

It’s about time, right? Why not have an official day to celebrate photography? After all, like music and cuisine, photography is one of those things that transcends borders and cultures and unites us as humans. READ MORE



July 22nd, 2014

Don’t leave your images on your hard drive or mobile device!

Whether online or in-store, photo books are quick and easy to create.

Whether online or in-store, photo books are quick and easy to create.

This one is fairly self-explanatory. Even though I probably know nothing about you, I am willing to bet that at some point in your life you’ve experienced one of the following:

  • you’ve accidentally deleted a photo off your computer or mobile device;
  • you’ve had a phone or camera—chock-full of stored images—stolen or go missing
  • had a memory card or hard drive go inexplicably wonky and either wipe out all your images or render them irretrievable.

One or more of these three unfortunate events has undoubtedly happened to every single camera owner on Earth since digital became the default mode of photography. Both (a) and (c) have happened to me personally. In the case of (c), it was during one of those once-in-a-lifetime events: my honeymoon, in Turkey. My camera couldn’t handle the near 40ºC Cappadocian heat and scrambled my SD card in protest. Once I got home I had to purchase an external SD reader and download special card-recovery software, and even with all that I was only able to recapture about 80% of them. In fact, it seems everyone has photo-loss story that’s as personal and unique as the pictures they’ve lost.

It took some doing, but I was able to recover some of my best honeymoon pics after my SD card suffered heatstroke.

It took some doing, but I was able to recover some of my best honeymoon pics after my SD card suffered heatstroke.

Despite the ubiquities of accidents, theft and storage failure, most people are still content to keep the vast majority of their images stored on cards and drives. After all, doing so is just so darn convenient that it lulls you into complacency. I actually know of people who’ve had multiple incidents of loss and failure, yet they continue to keep their images stored on their phone and/or storage media. Of course, the ‘cloud’ is becoming ever-more popular as a means of image storage. But how much does the average person really know about the cloud, and how loss-proof such solutions really are? Yes, when you upload your images to a massive provider like Google, Facebook or Yahoo!(Flickr), you can be reasonably certain that they know what they’re doing. But even amongst these behemoths, data wipeouts are not impossible. There is, however, a much more prevalent issue with cloud storage: the problem of ‘cloud sprawl’ (Copyright: me). I currently have images and various other files spread around at least six different cloud-based services: Google Drive, Flickr, Dropbox, iCloud, Facebook as well as others I barely remember. And even though I’m pretty organized when it comes to storage, I confess I no longer know for sure which of my important images are stored where. Most cloud users I know have this problem; you begin building a library on one cloud when suddenly a new cloud server pops up promising more convenience and access. You forsake your current cloud and start adding to the new one; and so on and so on, until your cloud storage system look more like a hoarder’s living room. While not as dramatic as outright data loss, cloud sprawl still becomes a pain when you’re trying to find your most important images. While it may seem counterintuitive, the most effective way to prevent image loss is to promptly turn your images into prints and keep them organized in photo books.  This also offers the additional benefit of keeping your favourite photos handy, and in a format that lends itself very well to leisurely reflection.

Many once-in-lifetime photos weren’t retrievable. I did, however, manage to capture some flags.

Many once-in-lifetime photos weren’t retrievable. I did, however, manage to capture some flags.

Yes, I realize that prints are susceptible to things like fire and flood, overstimulated babies and dogs, and other forms of physical damage. I’m not saying you should delete your hard drive or cloud entirely. I’m just saying that these methods are not the 100% foolproof adamantium data vaults that we allow ourselves to believe they are; and that printing your photos as keepsakes is the best way to ensure all your bases are covered when it comes to preserving your images. As to what kind of photo book your prints should take, I happen to know where you can find a vast array of cool options…say, have I mentioned Book-It?



July 21st, 2014

Capture those holiday memories

As we all know, summer here in Canada is fleeting.

The summer action shot always makes a great photo. But sometimes, the summer ‘inaction’ shot is even better.

The summer action shot always makes a great photo. But sometimes, the summer ‘inaction’ shot is even better.

We spend three soggy seasons waiting for warm, sunny weather to arrive and once it does we have absolutely no guarantee how long it will last. So once it’s finally upon us, the race is on to fill every second with one of the many fun-filled outdoor activities we’ve spent three quarters of the year yearning for. READ MORE



July 21st, 2014

Book-it: a 4×6 photo book in minutes

Just look for the helpful point-of-sale card at your friendly neighbourhood PhotoLab.

Just look for the helpful point-of-sale card at your friendly neighbourhood PhotoLab.

In a world of quick, easy and amazing photo books, the PhotoLab may have achieved the ultimate in inexpensive convenience with Book-it.

Book-it may also represent the end of an icon: the glossy PhotoLab envelope stuffed full of loose prints. Nostalgia aside, this is not a bad thing; who wouldn’t prefer a nicely bound photo book to keep your favourite prints organized and easy to browse?

The London Drugs PhotoLab makes it easy to create photo books in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Book-it, however, requires even less effort; in fact, unlike other photo books, you don’t even need to use the PhotoLab site or software to put it together.

Ask your local PhotoLab for a sample so you can check out the excellent print quality.

Ask your local PhotoLab for a sample so you can check out the excellent print quality.

Here’s how Book-it works:

(1) You order a set of prints through the PhotoLab, either online, using the PC free software, or through an in-store kiosk, just like always;

(2) When picking up your prints at your London Drugs location, simply ask the PhotoLab technician to have them made into a Book-it photo book; in five minutes or less, up to 25 of your prints can be turned into an attractive 4×6″ photo book for just $4.99 plus the cost of the prints. Covers are available in either black or white.

Book-it could one day spell the end for you, glossy print envelope. Don’t be sad. You had a heck of a good run.

Book-it could one day spell the end for you, glossy print envelope. Don’t be sad. You had a heck of a good run.

Perfect for sharing, highly personal and inexpensive as gifts, and convenient for keeping around the house or carrying around in your purse or pack, Book-it makes it easier than ever to get your favourite images off the screen and into people’s hands.



July 3rd, 2014

The latest in Wi-Fi Cameras

WiFi CamerasBy Brett Mineer

On a recent road-trip I decided to leave my digital SLR at home. Instead, I opted to rely on my iPhone to capture all the scenic panoramas and selfies for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. At first glance, the results looked fine. Back at home however, the larger screen revealed a slight blur or graininess to the image. In fact, the larger the screen was the worse the results. Printing or enlarging many of my favourites was out of the question.

READ MORE



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