August 2nd, 2017

World Photo Day 2017: Celebrating Moments in Time with Photofinishing

Even in today’s digital-centric world, printing has remained an incredibly important part of the photography process. Photography is meant to celebrate a special moment in time, and photo printing helps us to share that moment with the world. It’s worth reminding ourselves just how powerful a photo can be, especially while we celebrate World Photo Day.

Developing negatives has always been an exciting part of the process for any photographer, and for a long time it was the only way to share your captured images. It was the only way to tell your story. Henry Fox Talbot pioneered the process of chemically developing film negatives, patenting the process of ‘calotype’ in 1841. This calotype process made photography more practical than paintings and illustrations, with the new ability to make any number of prints from a single negative image. Suddenly, photography was accessible to the everyday person.

However while our options used to be limited to basic prints and enlargements, photographers now have all kinds of unique print surfaces at their fingertips. Thanks to digital technology, we can tell the story of each photo not just with the developed print, but through editing and the print surface itself. After all, a bright, vivid image won’t be conveyed the same way as a dark moody image on the same surface. You’ve chosen a moment in time that you want to celebrate, now you just have to find the perfect surface to share it. Here is a look at some of our favourite print surfaces.

Aluminum Metal Panels

These high-gloss aluminum metal panels have become a popular choice for photographers in recent years. We’ve had many professional photographers tell us these eye-catching prints have been popular with their clients as well. The coated aluminum sheets are infused with dyes that can make any image, especially detailed and rich landscape photos, come alive with vibrant colour.

The London Drugs Photolab has expanded the availability of metal printing technology from just one location to now several Photolab locations, which have the special presses necessary to create the aluminum prints on-site. The lightweight and durable surface makes these prints ideal for hanging on the walls of your home or gallery. They’re also an especially good choice for high traffic areas, thanks to their resistance to fading.

Local photographers Stacy William Head and Larry Hilderman have both printed their landscape images on aluminum metal panels. Stacy finds that the aluminum surface gives his rich, long exposures a very surreal feeling compared to paper or canvas. Larry appreciates the depth it gives his landscape images. You can read more about both Stacy and Larry’s experiences with aluminum metal panels on their respective blog posts here and here.

Canvas Gallery Wraps

Turning your most precious moments into a true work of art is easy with canvas gallery wraps. Using specially pigmented inks with archival qualities, the image is printed on a fine art canvas. The canvas is then stretched around the sides of a 1.75” wooden frame and secured on the back. This style gives the image added depth and dimension. Since the image is printed right to the very edge of the canvas (otherwise known as “full-bleed”), the print can be hung on a wall without an art frame. If you do want the look of a border, our LDExperts in the Photolab recommend a black or white frame, or a floating black frame.

Our LDExperts recommend keeping the canvas dry and avoiding water or liquid cleaning solutions. This will help to preserve the image’s colour and contrast, allowing it to last for many years without noticeable fading.

A new offering is the metallic canvas, which features a pearlescent finish and vibrant colour reproduction. If you’re looking for a unique surface texture, this is an excellent choice.

Bamboo Prints

The texture of bamboo prints really is unparalleled. Made of 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton, this ultra-matte, finely crafted white paper offers a unique look and feel to your image. The surface offers maximum aging resistance and an extremely large colour gamut. As an added bonus, bamboo prints are also environmentally-friendly, as bamboo is considered to be a highly renewable resource.

Local photographer Matt Ferguson was impressed after printing on bamboo for the first time. The “texture and physical feel to the print” made it stand out, and he felt as though he “could actually touch the trees and feel the coolness of the fog” featured in his image. If you’re curious to hear more about his experience you can, check out this blog post.

 

Hopefully World Photo Day will inspire you to experiment with your photofinishing options and try something new. Consider the image you have (portrait or landscape), the colours (vivid or dark), and the purpose (home décor or gallery display) and use those elements to help you decide which surface will best tell the story of your image. If you need a little extra help deciding which surface is the right choice, just speak with one of our LDExperts in the Photolab department in-store!



November 16th, 2016

Experimenting with photo paper: Choosing the ideal texture and finishes to showcase your photography

When it comes to selecting photo papers, creativity is the main ingredient and experimentation plays an important role. Besides the usual suspects— glossy and matte —there are many different textures and finishes to choose from at London Drugs Photolab.

Photographer, Matt Ferguson recently decided to try metallic and bamboo prints. Here he shares his experience.

I’m a BC born and raised photographer, specializing in landscapes and hoping to take enough great photos of my daughters to one day make them a book of their adventures.  I love being outside, exploring and adventuring, even if it’s just around town, never a fan of idle time.

Every once in a while I like to get some of my photos developed, some to hang, some just for the fun of it, and often just to see how they’d turn out!  I also love to have printed photos simply just to have on hand.  I’ve never spent an evening going through a slideshow on my computer while laughing at the memories.  I most certainly have done so looking through a tub of photos at my parents’ place though, more than once.

So, recently I decided it was time to get some printing done and I wanted to try something new.  I chose metallic print for a Northern Lights shot and did a few moody fall shots on bamboo, as honestly, bamboo just sounded cool. 

When I opened up that order with Wendy, the Photolab Assistant Manager, we were both amazed at the quality of print and just how rad the bamboo looked… and felt, and made us feel. 

Like canvas or a black and white photo, the texture and physical feel to the print was so different than a regular photo.  It seemed like you could actually touch the trees and feel the coolness of the fog.  It was unlike anything I’ve felt about one of my photos before.  I have often noticed how much better a printed photo is than the computer version, but never have I stopped in my tracks like this. I’m looking forward to framing it up and putting it on the wall!

capture

Left: Northern Lights photo by Matt Ferguson.  Right: Metallic print of photo printed at London Drugs Photolab.

 

capture2

Fall shot by Matt Ferguson printed on bamboo at London Drugs Photolab.

See more of Matt Ferguson’s work, check him out on Instagram: @mattfphotography

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



May 6th, 2016

London Drugs Photolab Prints Fine Art for the 3rd Annual Capture Photography Festival

For the 3rd consecutive year, London Drugs is proud to be a sponsor of the Capture Photography Festival, celebrating local and international lens-based artistic talent in Vancouver. The festival is devoted to exhibiting challenging and thought-provoking photography at over 50 esteemed galleries and public installations.

This year, the London Drugs Photolab printed the works of several high profile Capture exhibits, including LA-based photographer Aline Smithson’s exhibit Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiography, and the News Photographers Association of Canada’s National Pictures of the Year awards exhibit.

Using the best in photofinishing equipment and innovative materials such as our Hahnemühle Fine Art Bamboo Paper, our passionate, experienced Photolab Technicians printed flawless fine art pieces hung in galleries across the city.

These fine art printing services aren’t just reserved for professionals, either. Amateurs, freelancers, and professionals alike can get museum-quality prints, using the London Drugs Photolab’s cutting-edge printing services.

Visit our Photolab in-store or online to find the right print for your photography project!



May 28th, 2012

Instant Art on Beautiful Bamboo

When I first heard about bamboo prints, I must admit I was thinking more ‘panda food’ than ‘art paper.’ No, no, I was assured, bamboo paper is fantastic for art prints. So I tested it out for myself.

What is bamboo paper? 


Bamboo paper is a fine art paper that is a made from 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton. It is thick, slightly textured, and naturally soft, warm, and white.

I had three of my spring macros printed up to see how they look on bamboo. I chose three of my most colourful, saturated images, and when I slipped the finished products out of the envelope, I was stunned. This paper loves colour.

The yellow flowers are crisp and brilliant, with gorgeous fine detail. This photo is breathtaking in bamboo.

I was worried about this red rhododendron. The colours are so deep and saturated, it looked like a big red blob when I had printed it on regular photographic paper. The bamboo paper, however, is not overwhelmed by the intense colour. The print shows subtle details on the petals, while remaining brilliant, almost neon red. Beautiful.

The third picture amazes me. The actual flower is about an inch in diameter—I had to crouch down to take the photo. The bamboo paper shows off every pixel of detail, so this photo is like looking through a magnifying glass. I think the end product is lovely.

Instant Art 

I am a huge believer in ready-made frames with pre-cut mattes—they look great and are a fraction of the cost of custom framing. I asked for the photolab to make 12×18 bamboo prints to fit this frame, which is wonderfully versatile.

The frame is simple and black with a double white matte. For the yellow flowers, I used both mattes—this does cover some of the image, but in this case I think it accentuates the main, in-focus flowers.

For the red rhododendron, I opted for only one matte. The centre of the flower is a main focal point, and the larger matte does not cover it. I like the white space between photo and frame—for me, this gives the image room to breathe on the wall.

The tiny violet fills the page, and I didn’t want to cut off any of violet, or the green foliage background. For this image, I took the mattes out entirely. I like the look, especially on this dark coloured wall. The colours of the violet pop with a simple black frame and charcoal background.

To see bamboo paper for yourself, drop by your London Drugs photolab. They have samples of all their fine art papers, canvas wraps, and other photo products. For information about sizes and resolutions, visit www.londondrugs.com/photolab.

Written by Angela Ford



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