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 12th, 2017

Share Your Summer Travel Memories on Instagram…and IRL

Summer is the season of camping trips, beach vacations, hiking adventures and most importantly, making memories. With the extra-long days, there’s time to squeeze in even more outdoor activities. Whether you’re spending your summer being a tourist in your own town, or jet-setting to somewhere entirely new, you’re likely planning to snap a lot of photos along the way. After all, summer is fleeting, and the best way to preserve those memories is with photos.

Of course, part of preserving those memories is sharing them. We snap hundreds of photos while on vacation, but how many of them never end up seeing the light of day? Some of them get posted online to Facebook or Instagram, but there are plenty more that end up sitting on memory cards and hard drives unseen. Make the most out of your photos by printing them. There are endless ways to showcase your summer travels, from square Instagram Books and Book-Its, to photo DIYs if you’re feeling crafty.

 

Book-It Mini Books

Your photos tell a story of where you’ve been, what you’ve experienced, and what you’ve learned. It may feel bittersweet to arrive home after an incredible vacation, but it’s always fun to relive the best moments while journaling your trip in a photo book, like the 6×4 Book-It Mini Book. Pick a colourful, graphical theme and customize the layout and text to tell your story.

Instagram Books

Instagrammers rejoice, even your square photos can be turned into a photo book. Compile your Instagram-worthy shots into a 4×4 square Instagram photo book that’s wire-bound and printed on quality glossy or pearl photo paper. When family or friends ask how your summer vacation was, you can pull out your handy brag book to show them all the awesome places you explored this summer.

 

Photo Print DIYs

Start off with some good old 4×6 photo prints, and let your creativity do the rest! Collect ticket stubs and other small souvenirs throughout the summer, and use your photo prints to create a fun collage. Or make a Summer 2017 timeline to hang on the wall: pick a photo of each summer excursion, and use wooden pegs to hang them chronologically along a string.

If a traditional photo album is more your style, add your printed photos to a Pioneer Canada 150 Photo Album to showcase your favourite moments from #Canada150.

 

Don’t forget: great prints start with a great camera. If you have a vacation planned for later this summer, plan ahead and upgrade your camera so you can capture your summer memories in the best quality possible. It might be a matter of upgrading your smartphone, point-and-shoot or DSLR, or even switching up your camera’s lens to something new. You’ll appreciate the boost in quality when you go to print your photos!



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.

 

 

 



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 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.



November 4th, 2015

The best of mobile printing

Choose a photo, take a photo, print a photo. The Photolab’s mobile site makes it just that simple.

Choose a photo, take a photo, print a photo.

Mobile phones seem to have replaced the computer as people’s go-to technology. It used to be that you had to first upload your images from your camera to your computer, and then order prints (side note: I can hear myself beginning to sound like my Dad, my Uncle, and every other old guy in my family who seems to start every sentence with “it used to be…”). However, thanks mostly to flash memory and ‘the cloud’, people don’t need to bother storing their photos on a computer hard drive. So shouldn’t you also be able to order prints directly from your mobile device?

Well, now you can. In fact, the Photolab offers two ways to print your favourite photos directly from your mobile device:

Order Online

Featuring the same-day service, shipping and pickup options available through your computer. Because it’s the exact same Photolab site, only optimized for your mobile dealie.

  1. Open your favourite browser on your mobile device and go to londondrugs.com.com/photolab
  2. Browse the Photolab’s great selection of products.
  3. Click GET STARTED
  4. Choose the photos from your mobile device by selecting your device
  5. Order your products and pick-up in-store or have them delivered.

Order in-store at Photolab kiosks with a cable

mobile2

The Photolab’s mobile site makes it just that simple.


By connecting to the Photolab’s in-store kiosks, you can do things like make edits to your photos and order bulk images (100 prints or more at a time).

  1. Plug in your mobile device directly into our in-store Photolab kiosks.
  2. View and edit your photos on the monitor. Use the enlarge and crop tool to edit the photos just the way you like them!

These two options make ordering prints as simple as any of the thousands of other types of mobile shopping. Now, anywhere there’s internet connectivity, there’s a Photolab to serve you.



February 10th, 2014

Why print your photos?

Why Print Your Photos?

By Angela Ford, photo blogger

As technology progresses, I find myself printing less and less onto paper. I have had my current computer for nearly three years, and I only recently figured out how to print documents from it. As a writer, creating documents is my livelihood, yet I almost never print them out. Pictures are different, however: I print them as cards, calendars and books, or simple 4×6 prints that fit perfectly into an envelope.

To figure out why we still want printed photos, I did an unscientific poll (I sent out an email) of an unrepresentative group of people (my friends and family). I asked them, why do you still print pictures? Here’s what they said. READ MORE



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