September 9th, 2014

Lomography

The Ten Golden Rules of Lomography

1Rule #1 – Take your camera everywhere you go
Like any passion, you can never plan or predict Lomography. It’s like your inner voice and your deepest desire working at the same time. Lomography is waiting around the corner to say “Hey good looking, wanna go for a ride?”
You might be at a garage, in the woods, on an Airbus, in the Hammam, at work, on the Fujiyama, or in bed with breakfast when it hits you. Your trigger finger starts trembling, your eyes become hungry, your soul is burning for images. You grab your camera, click, ahhhh, click, now it’s better, click. Then it happens; the unstoppable Lomographic desire to document your surroundings overwhelms you and won’t let go. And nor will you: you’re feeling Lomography and life starts pulsating. It’s the best addiction in the world.
Did you know that the best photos come out of spontaneous, impulsive situations and that many are therefore never taken, simply due to the lack of a camera? Open your eyes and always have your camera with you.
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September 4th, 2014

Using our free software build a coffee table Photobook.

Every part of every page—as well as the cover, and even the spine—is customizable.

Every part of every page—as well as the cover, and even the spine—is customizable.

Seeing as there is a such a sweet voucher deal this month on 8×10/10×8 coffee table Photobooks, I thought it would be a good idea to take the London Drugs PhotoLab Home Edition software for a little test drive.

As with any software, you’re looking for something that’s robust (i.e. plenty of capability), reliable and simple to use. I found that the Home Edition scored well on all three fronts. To begin with, as soon as you open it you’ll notice that it’s very easy to navigate. In certain ways it closely mimics a web browser; however if you’ve ever used programs like GIMP, Photoshop, Indesign or Illustrator, you’ll probably notice a lot of very familiar functionality.

Here’s how to get your creation up and running:

  • Once you’ve opened the software, select ‘Photobooks’ from the menu in the far left sidebar (you can also create albums, calendars, greeting cards, gallery wraps, even playing cards).
  • Select ‘Create New’, then choose 8×10 or 10×8 (that is, of course, if you’re taking advantage of the voucher offer).
  • From there, depending on what kind of book you want to create, click the ‘Start Empty Book’ button or choose ‘New Book Wizard’ to use one of the pre-set themes. (And if you change your mind, just hit the ‘back’ button.)

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September 3rd, 2014

A super offer on a super voucher

Grab this voucher offer while it lasts! You have until December 31 to build you custom Photobook.

As part of the September Fall Savings Event flyer, the PhotoLab is offering this sweet little voucher deal:

From Sept 9-25, get a voucher for a 20-page 8×10 or 10×8 Moments Custom Hardcover (custom or Silver Series) Coffee Table Photobook for only $25.

That’s a $14.99 savings over the Photobook’s regular price of $39.99. And because it’s a voucher, you don’t have to worry about building the actual book right now if you don’t have the time. Since the voucher can be redeemed any time before December 31, 2014, it’s also a great idea if you want to give the book as a gift while locking in the $25 price. And it’s easy to redeem as well—simply present the voucher at the PhotoLab when picking up your printed book.

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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?



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