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.

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!



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


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





May 19th, 2016

Metal prints: Now bigger than ever!

metal-prints1For your consideration: the metal print (sometimes known as the aluminum print). A coated aluminum sheet infused with dyes that can make virtually any image come alive with vibrant colour. As durable as, well, metal, with little or no fading, these prints look great on any wall, under any kind of lighting. Also, as I’ve pointed in a previous blog or two, these prints have a glass-like luminous quality to them that is unlike any other type of print. It’s almost like if you were to somehow combine a stained glass window with the crisp detail of a full-resolution photo print. Its unique look pretty much guarantees that it will absolutely own any wall it’s hung on—especially at larger sizes.

Despite the fact that many people still aren’t aware of it, metal printing technology has been around for a few years now. It’s been available at the Photolab since around 2014, but only one location had the special type of press necessary to create the prints on-site. However, each of the gifting production labs now has one on-site—meaning that seven Photolab locations in total now have these presses available to serve you!

If your photos have immense, intricate detail, or have colours that pop like these, a metal print will bring them to life on your wall like nothing else.

If your photos have immense, intricate detail, or have colours that pop like these, a metal print will bring them to life on your wall like nothing else.

As you can imagine, six new presses will greatly reduce turnaround time, as six more locations are now producing them on-site as opposed to having to special order them from another location.

Even better news: along with new presses, larger sizes will soon be available as well. Metal prints are currently available from 6×6” – 16×20”; however, the Photolab will be adding sizes all the way up to 30×40”. I’ve seen how brilliant, how crisp and detailed, how ultimately real these prints look at smaller sizes, and I can only imagine what they’d look like so much larger with no loss in colour or clarity. This technology has the potential do for photo prints what LED has done for televisions.

If you’re reading this and still have no idea what I’m talking about—for goodness sake, drop by your local Photolab and ask to see a sample. If you’re looking for a premium way to showcase your finest photography, you’ll want to see for yourself what this technology has to offer.

May 27th, 2015

Metal Prints

Metal prints work with scenery, portraits, action shots. Or, choose a close-up or macro, and allow the vivid colour and detail to blow your mind.

Metal prints work with scenery, portraits, action shots. Or, choose a close-up or macro, and allow the vivid colour and detail to blow your mind.

I’ve written extensively about metal prints in past Photoblog posts. Still, it wouldn’t be a proper celebration of Photo Month without at a brief recap of this amazing yet little-known printing method. Here, then, in the proud tradition of BuzzFeed, I present a ‘listicle’ of the top four reasons to choose a metal print:

  1. Metal lives forever. These prints are made up of dyes that are infused onto specially coated aluminum sheets. Unlike standard photo papers, metal prints are very durable and won’t fade.
  2. Its unique look. Printed on aluminum, the print shimmers like glass and reproduces the image’s depth of field with an almost three-dimensional effect. Metal prints catch the eye from virtually any distance and from any angle.
  3. Image clarity. Metal prints offer image clarity and colour reproduction that simply need to be seen to be believed. You’ll notice that even the smallest, farther details appear incredibly crisp and defined. Perfect for showing off your handiwork with your hi-res DSLR camera.
  4. Image rarity. Although they are catching on, it’s safe to say that most people still have never seen an actual metal print. So when people see one (or more) hanging on your wall, it’s a guaranteed conversation starter. And if your interior design has a modern aesthetic, metal prints are the ideal choice.

No description, however, can properly do a metal print justice—which is why I recommend dropping by your nearest London Drugs Photolab to see a sample for yourself.

January 6th, 2015

Should Old Photos Be Forgotten?

Because that’s what will happen in 2015 to all those great photos you’ve taken during the holidays if you leave them on your hard drive or sock them away in the cloud. Sure, you’ll share them on your InstaTwitFace account, where they will accumulate Likes and warm & fuzzy comments, but within a few days your followers’ collective short-lived attention span will flitter elsewhere and your wonderful holiday photos will fade away into obscurity.

Don’t relegate your holiday photos to the cloud. Print them out using one of our many options and display them throughout the year.

Don’t relegate your holiday photos to the cloud. Print them out using one of our many options and display them throughout the year.


You could actually, you know, do something with them. Like turn them into actual physical keepsakes. The kind that people are able to see in perpetuity. And every time they cast their eyes on it they will remember that specific moment or event. After all, isn’t that why we photograph these moments in the first place? Not so that they can remain a bunch of digital information packets that we archive indefinitely in cyberspace.

The specific kind of physical product you should create is entirely up to you. You can go for something traditional and classic, or choose a piece with a funkier, more modern edge, or maybe warm & fuzzy is more your thing. And yes, you can even opt for something purposefully tacky if the photo calls for it.

If you’re not familiar with the Photolab’s photo printing products, I’ve reviewed a few of the more popular ones below.

Enlargements and Awesome Prints

The holidays are the time of the year when typically the whole family gets together. The whole gang of friends, too. At the workplace, the annual holiday party is the one of the few times where everyone is gathered in one place—and the marketing department actually gets dressed up! All of which are reasons why this tends to be the best time of year for taking photos, and why holiday photos often make the best ones to put on display. The Photolab offers a great selection of enlargements and art prints to suit any photo, occasion, or décor.

Enlargements— To begin with, there’s always the simple, tried and true photo enlargements. The Photolab can print sizes from 7 x 7” all the way up to 44 x 66” — the latter being the ideal size if a co-worker is photographed in a Christmas sweater so hideous it simply begs to be on display in the lunchroom all year.

A simple enlargement is a great option for a desk photo, or if you’ve already got a frame you really like. Hey, some people are frame fans. I get it.

Gallery wrap— If you managed to capture some amazing shots of the kids, or your winter vacation to the ski resort yielded some breathtaking scenic panoramas, a gallery wrap can provide a stunning reproduction of either.

Using specially pigmented inks, the image is stretched on a fine art canvas, which requires no frame (although you can still add one for aesthetic purposes if you wish.) The canvas wrap adds tremendous depth and dimension to the image, giving it the presence of a gallery piece. This post provides more detail about gallery wraps.

Metal Prints— If you really want to make a bold statement, a metal print is a state-of-the-art way to display a photo. This method infuses dyes onto specially coated aluminum sheets, providing vibrant colour reproduction and incredibly crisp detail. These shimmering, glass-like prints are an eye-catching way to bring life to an accent wall. I’ve written more extensively about metal prints in a previous post.

The Photolab offers quite a variety of art prints, which I encourage you to explore. You’re bound to find the ideal option to suit both your photo and your home or office.


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