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!



July 19th, 2017

Guide to Wedding Season Photos

Wedding season is upon us. If you’re looking at your calendar and realizing that your weekends are packed with bridal showers and weddings, you’re not the only one. Or, maybe it’s your own wedding that’s just around the corner. From unique gifts to customized cards, here are some creative ways to celebrate and preserve those wedding memories.

Wedding Cards

Especially if you’re gifting the couple something off their registry or giving cash, the wedding card is your chance to get personal. Rather than choosing a generic one from the card aisle, you can customize a blank or wedding templated card with photos and a heartfelt message to the soon-to-be bride and groom. Better yet, if you happen to have some photos of the couple from back when they first met, add those photos to the front of the card. They’re sure to appreciate the flashback!

Save The Dates

Save the Dates have become more elaborate in recent years, with couples staging fun and creative photoshoots to capture the excitement of their wedding announcement. If you have photos from an engagement or Save the Date photoshoot, you can turn those photos into personalized Save the Dates that can be printed on thick postcards using your choice of 6 specialty papers. Make sure to include important information on the card, including who’s invited, your wedding website URL (if you have one), and “Invitation to Follow” if you’ll be sending a wedding invitation at a later date.

For a clever twist on Save the Dates, put it on a magnet! They’re unique, versatile and most importantly they’re hard to lose once they’re on the fridge, so you can be sure your guests won’t forget the special date.

Unique Wedding Favours

Being able to celebrate your wedding with all of your friends and family members present is something truly special. All the more reason to share a token of this special day with them. A crystal or ornament can be customized with a photo and the wedding date for each guest to take home. They also make a great centrepiece on the tables during the wedding reception. Personalized playing cards are a handy wedding favour your guests will likely use again and again; take a wedding logo you’ve designed, or a photo of the two of you, to have printed on the cards.

Wedding Gifts

Rather than the traditional stand mixer or crystal ware, consider surprising the newlyweds with something unique and personalized. The best gifts say something about the happy life you wish the couple will lead.

A fine art print will set your wedding gift apart from all the others. Feature a photo of the happy couple or a photo of their favourite place to travel, on a Canvas Gallery Wrap. Not only is it sentimental, but will help to brighten up the walls of their home together.

Any couple is also sure to appreciate a gift they can use together. A set of customized Mr. and Mrs. aprons plus personalized placemats would be a sweet gesture if they share a love for cooking. Or help the couple start off their new lives together with some of your all-time favourite recipes, curated into a soft cover book.

Photo books are also a thoughtful way to show the couple you wish them the best. Collect photos of the two from their dating years through to their wedding day, and create a beautiful Coffeetable Photo Book for them to look back on years from now.

Thank You Cards

There is a lot to thank your guests for. It could be the incredible shiny new gift they gave you both, or the fact that they flew across the country to be there on your wedding day – whatever the reason, a good thank you card will help to convey your appreciation. Just like Save the Dates, Thank You cards can be printed on 6 different specialty papers. Double-sided or folded cards both make a good choice, and come with envelopes included.

Wedding Photo Book

Once the wedding is over, and the thank-you cards are sent, it’s finally time to sort through your wedding photos. Compile your favourites into your choice of photo book to display the memories of your special day. Especially if you invested in having a professional photographer at your wedding, it’s worth it to have those photos printed in a high quality format Photographic AlbumExpress books are also a great option; they’re quick and easy to make, and perfect for handing out to family and friends.

 

If you need some help getting started, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



June 22nd, 2017

Enter For Your Chance to Win One of Two Aluminum Metal Prints, Featuring Stunning Canadian Landscapes by Photographer Brandon Born #Canada150

We’re teaming up with Canadian photographer Brandon Born to give away two of his prints featuring incredible Canadian landscapes.

As an Alberta-based photographer, Brandon loves adventuring in the great outdoors, capturing the natural beauty of Canada, from the Northern Lights to the famously picturesque backdrops of Banff National Park.

Photo: In Awe by Brandon Born

In Awe by Brandon Born

“I chose these images for the giveaway prints because I wanted to share the simpler scenes that we see in Canada. Both day and night we are blessed with beautiful light and colour. It’s not a necessity to travel to Banff or Algonquin to see a spectacular scene. Simply stepping out into your backyard or driving out of the city a little ways will take you to a marvelous location. You will be astonished by all that Canada has to share, from the mountains, to the coastlines, to everything in between.

I have been fortunate enough to have travelled all around North America and many other parts of the world, but something has always brought me back to Canada. The colours, the smells, the people: Canada has something that nowhere else does. It’s this ‘something’ that I want to share with the world and motivates me to keep on capturing the beauty that surrounds us.

Photo: In a Field by Brandon Born

In a Field by Brandon Born

Whether it’s the mountains in Banff, or the auroras that light up the night sky, I want to use my camera to show the world what makes Canada such an incredible country. I first printed with the London Drugs Photolab 3 years ago and was extremely impressed with how accurately their aluminum metal panels showcased my images. It was a great way to share my work with those around me.

I love printing on metal because of the crisp and vivid colours it portrays. The London Drugs Photolab’s high gloss metal panels are perfect for sharing the vivid colours that Canadian landscapes are so famous for and I’m very excited to be able to share these landscapes with all of you!”

If the walls of your home are looking a bit bare, fine art photo prints, such as aluminum metal panels, are a creative way to spruce up your space. The durable, high-gloss and fade-resistant surface brings images to life, making them a statement piece in any room.

Brandon will be drawing two giveaway winners on his Instagram account at noon MST on June 29th, 2017. Each winner will receive one of Brandon’s prints on our aluminum metal panels. The first draw winner will receive a 24×16 aluminum metal print of “In Awe”, a self-portrait image of the northern lights in Northern Alberta, and the second draw winner will receive an 18×12 aluminum metal print of “In a Field”, an image of one of the spectacular Albertan sunsets that captivate onlookers throughout the summer.

Want to win one of these amazing prints to hang on your walls at home? If you’re a Canadian resident, enter for a chance to win by heading over to Brandon Born’s Instagram and:

  1. Comment on Brandon’s Instagram giveaway post, tagging 3 friends
  2. Follow @LDPhotolab on Instagram
  3. Follow @BrandonBorn on Instagram

Good luck!

Canadian photographer Brandon Born

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

 

 

 



April 19th, 2017

National Pictures of the Year Award Nominations Printed at London Drugs: Exhibition Recognizes the Best in Canadian Photojournalism

 

London Drugs has been a proud supporter of the Capture Photography Festival in Vancouver since its inauguration in 2013. The festival features both local and international lens-based artistic talent through high-profile gallery exhibits throughout the city of Vancouver. For the second year in a row, London Drugs printed the festival’s entire National Pictures of the Year Awards exhibit, displayed at Vancouver’s Pendulum Gallery.

London Drugs Photolab Technicians worked closely with the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC) to print the exhibit, which features finalists for the largest photojournalism competition in Canada. Thirteen categories are represented, including news, sports and social issues.

Photo of Superhero window cleaners outside Kingston General Hospital by Lars Hagberg with The Canadian Press. Printed on Epson Professional Lustre paper by London Drugs Photolab Technicians.

London Drugs Photolab Technicians collaborated with NPAC and the 2016 National Pictures of the Year coordinator Ric Ernst to print each of the finalist’s photos in gallery quality, to each photographer’s specifications.

“This is our second year having the London Drugs Photolab print our exhibit for the Capture Photography Festival and once again the quality of our exhibition prints are superb. I have to admit, the first year I was somewhat skeptical about London Drugs printing our images but was blown away by the quality of work they produced for us. I had no doubts this year and was not disappointed,” says Ernst.

Among the photos printed by the London Drugs Photolab was an image of CrossFit athlete Lindsay Hilton, captured in her element by Canadian photographer Darren Calabrese, as part of a series he was working on for ESPN. The photo was selected as a Picture Story Feature finalist for the National Pictures of the Year Awards.

“The project with Lindsay Hilton began after I had seen a local story about one of her workout videos going viral. That story was a straightforward news item, but I was interested in learning more about her as a person rather than just an athlete,” explains Calabrese. “I shot the series over a span of five or six months. At first, I rarely shot any pictures. I would show up at the gym with just one body and a lens, but would just chat with her and the coach/gym owner. I would help with the weights sometimes and every once in a while I would jump in and try the same workout or exercise out of curiosity.”

Photo of CrossFit athlete Lindsay Hilton by Darren Calabrese. Printed on Epson Professional Lustre paper by London Drugs Photolab Technicians.

Ernst appreciates the trust that the photojournalists, including Calabrese, put in him and the London Drugs Photolab team to ensure the photos printed are as true to the original as possible. The goal is to maintain each personal art aesthetic which helps to convey the photo’s story.

“The most important part of printing our images is getting the tonal qualities and colour balance correct and as close to what the photographer achieved with the original file. The quality of the paper is important and the stock London Drugs Photolab used for our prints was premium,” says Ernst.

Ernst believes the Photolab Technicians’ own passion for photography is what makes working with London Drugs an exceptional experience. “They know what we expect and they speak the same language which makes it very easy to communicate our needs.”

Photo of Fort McMurray wildfires by Cole Burston with AFP. Printed on Epson Professional Lustre paper by London Drugs Photolab Technicians.

London Drugs Photolab Technician John Goldsmith, who worked with Ernst to print the exhibit, used London Drugs’ new Epson P-9000 printer for many of the finalists’ photos. Authentic Epson inks will provide a lifetime of enjoyment, with an archival stability of 200 years. These new printers can now be found in every London Drugs Photolab, and will be used to print customers’ photos in gallery-quality, whether it’s for an exhibit or to hang on their walls at home.



November 21st, 2016

Aluminum metal panels offer durability, clarity and a unique way to display photography

Choosing the right surface to display your photos on is just as important as capturing the right moment on your camera. More and more photographers are opting to print on aluminum panels due to their durability, resistance to fading, and their glass-like luminous quality. The London Drugs Photolab has been printing photos on aluminum metal panels since 2014, and has recently added larger sizes to the range of printing options.

Photographer, Larry Hilderman has printed several of his photos on aluminum at London Drugs, and offers some insight about why he uses the medium to showcase and sell his photography. 

 I have worked in the photographic industry for 35 years on the technical side. Starting with friends and family, and then growing through word of mouth, I have been fortunate to sell images to clients across Canada. As a landscape photographer, I have had great success using aluminum panels to showcase my work. The smooth glossy surface of the panel shows great detail of the photograph. Colour gamut is not diminished with good saturation, the image has “pop” that has been very well received.

Aluminum panels have a sharper look to them as opposed to paper or canvas prints, they have “depth” that is not normally seen on other media. This enhances the colour and contrast without looking artificial. This is best suited to subjects with more saturated colours – but I have had black & white images printed on aluminum that also looked beautiful. It must be the apparent contrast that enhances the image.

As a bonus, the image is extremely durable and resistant to moisture which allows it to be displayed in high traffic areas and places with high humidity. I have had many requests for these panels and hope to sell more in the future!

20141105-peyto_lake_-_copy

20160429-calgary-peace-bridge-pano-copy

Above: Selected images from photographer Larry Hilderman, whose aluminum prints are currently featured in the Local Inspirations Artist Gallery at select Calgary Photolabs.

larry_hilderman

See more of Larry’s work at: http://larryhilderman.myportfolio.com/

 

 

 

 



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!



July 3rd, 2015

Summer Fun: Travel, Shoot, Enlarge, Repeat

SummerFunAutumn is a great season for photography. All those crisp, clear days, auburn skies, and of course, the turning leaves with their infinite variety of yellows, browns and reds. Winter lends itself to great photos also, especially if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow. Bonus points for photos of sunlight refracted through icicles. Then again, there’s always spring, with rainbows aplenty and blooming foliage everywhere you look. It’s true: there really is no ‘offseason’ for photographers.

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