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 29th, 2016

Giving Gifts They’ll Actually Love

Hint: It’s not the thought, it’s the personalization that counts!

We all know that one person who seems to always give the perfect, thoughtful and most unique Christmas gifts. How do they do it? Our Photolab Experts have the secret, and it’s easier than you think. It’s all about personalization. Adding a personal touch, like a photo or custom text, will give your gifts a unique quality that your loved ones will cherish. Our Photolab has virtually endless possibilities to customize your gifts for friends, family, colleagues and anyone else on your holiday shopping list.

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Greeting Cards – Whether it’s your family’s annual Christmas card, or individual cards to give out to family, friends and colleagues, spreading the holiday cheer starts here.  Rather than picking out a set of generic cards to send, why not create unique holiday cards with personal photos? Our Photolab can now customize Greeting Cards using a wide variety of themed templates on 6 new premium card stocks: linen, natural white, matte soft white, shimmer silver and shimmer soft gold. We are the only local Photolab to use these premium card stocks, so your greeting cards are guaranteed to be entirely unique.

 

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Photographic Albums – Give a truly thoughtful and personal gift by curating a collection of special photos and creating a personalized photographic album for loved ones. The book’s photos are printed on thick photographic paper that will brilliantly display cherished memories in a high quality format. Share photos of a recent trip together, a collection of photos taken over the past year, or even old childhood and family photos.

 

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Personalized Large Fleece Blankets – Brand new to the London Drugs Photolab, this is the ultimate cozy Christmas gift. Got a hockey player in the family? Customize a fleece blanket with a photo of their team, and parents can use it to show support and to keep warm at their next game. Grandparents would love a personalized blanket with a photo of their grandchildren, and a dog lover would be over the moon to see their prized pup immortalized on a super-soft fleece.

 

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Photo Crystals – Choose a meaningful photo to share with your loved ones and gift it to them in the form of a crystal. Our new expanded selection of shapes includes heart, teardrop, moon, wave and rectangle-shaped crystal blocks, which can transform your photo into a unique, eye-catching Christmas gift. This would make a great personalized hostess gift for any of your upcoming holiday parties.

 

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Express Books – Need to whip together a quick and easy Christmas gift, and need it right away? The 8×8 photographic Express Books can be made within 24 hours at any London Drugs location. Just choose your photos, and we’ll create a sleek photographic book complete with black leatherette cover. So if you forgot one last person on your list, or if you received an unexpected gift from your neighbour or colleague, don’t fret: we can take care of that.

 

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Instagram Books – This small personalized Instagram Book makes the perfect stocking stuffer gift! Simply select your favourite square Instagram photos from your feed, and our Photolab will turn them into a beautiful square photo book you can easily pop into someone’s stocking. This is a great gift for hard to buy for tweens and teens and for hobby photographers who showcase their work on Instagram.

 

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Photo Calendars – Have a few people on your shopping list that you’re just not sure what to get them? Our photo calendars are easily customized, which make them the perfect gift for almost anyone this Christmas. For family, feature images of your kids growing up, or for co-workers, perhaps feature some of your favourite landscape photos. It is useful all year round.

 

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Personalized Mugs – Whether they’re a coffee person or a tea person, you can’t go wrong with gifting a personalized photo mug. Pick a colour, design, and then choose your photo: it’s as simple as that. You can even choose our Magic Mug that reveals your hidden photo when hot liquid is added. These personalized mugs make great stocking stuffer gifts, as well as gifts for colleagues or your kids’ teachers.

 

Order any of these gifts at our new Photolab website or by visiting any London Drugs location.

 

Holiday Order Deadlines

A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Saturday, December 24 including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a photolab expert for details.

Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery:

Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greeting Cards: Wednesday, December 14

Creative Products: Wednesday, December 14

Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Bobbleheads: Monday, November 14

Yes Video: Friday, November 25

Click here for information about order deadlines.

 



November 29th, 2016

Awesome new mobile app upgrades

Upload to a Photolab kiosk—from anywhere!

In addition to conveniently being able to upload photos to your Photolab account and ordering prints from your mobile phone, the new Photolab mobile app has received a sweet upgrade: now you can also upload your photos to a Photolab kiosk—from anywhere! And by “anywhere” I mean, “without having to be physically present at a London Drugs location and connected to its wireless network.”

 

In case the awesomeness of this upgrade is eluding you, allow me to present just one of many scenarios where it will make your life easier in an awesome kind of way:

 

Imagine you and a friend/sibling/spouse are out shopping for holiday gifts, and you stop at a coffeehouse to briefly collect your senses amidst the madness and chaos. Your friend/sibling/spouse takes a sip from their mocha and begins speaking to you without realizing they have a big dollop of whipped cream on their nose. In a flash, you grab your phone and snap a perfect close-up of them before they realize it. You realize that this photo is too perfect NOT to commemorate as a photo gift especially for their mother/other siblings/co-workers.

 

So what do you do, Hotshot? Here’s what you do:

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  1. You open your newly-upgraded Photolab mobile app, with its upgraded menu options—including Upload to Kiosk!

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  1. Select & upload the recently taken whipped cream nose photo (not shown).

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  1. When the upload is complete, the app displays a code that you can use to access your uploaded photos at ANY Photolab kiosk, at any Photolab location (for a limited time.)

 

With your prize photo uploaded and waiting, you can make a quick stop to your local Photolab right there in the mall or on your way home and order this comedically priceless gift photo mug or ornament in even less time than before. One little upgrade and your holiday shopping time was substantially reduced. More importantly, you were able to create and order a unique, spur-of-the-moment gift that celebrates and mildly embarrasses your friend in less time than it takes to get through a crowded holiday parking lot.

 

And that friends is why the Photolab app upgrade is so awesome. So be sure to give it a try before you embark on a long holiday shopping sojourn.

 



November 24th, 2016

Nostalgia and personalization top holiday decor trends for 2016

The holidays are all about enjoying the company of friends and family, and if you’re celebrating together from the comfort of your own home, there are a few creative ways to make your home feel even more festive and inviting. Spread holiday cheer from the moment your guests walk in the door with unique and personalized holiday décor items from London Drugs Photolab.

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Christmas Ornaments – Christmas Ornaments are what make every Christmas tree unique. Often, ornaments are passed down through the generations, and many tell our family stories, from ‘First Year Married’ to ‘Baby’s First Christmas’. You can customize your very own Christmas ornaments to share your favourite memories. Choose from our extensive selection of ornaments, made from aluminum, pewter, crystal and ceramic – all of which come in a wide variety of shapes. Add a personal photo and some text to create a special keepsake you can hang on the tree for years to come.

 

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Canvas Gallery Wraps & Aluminum Panels – Just as you change the pillows and other décor in your home for the holidays, why not switch up your artwork, too? Get creative and have your own personal holiday photos printed on a Canvas Gallery Wrap or Aluminum Panel. Deck the halls with a fine art print of your family’s annual Christmas photo, or if you consider yourself skilled with a camera, why not take one of your own wintery landscape photos and have it printed?

Our Canvas Gallery Wraps are hand stretched onto deep wooden frames for easily placement or hanging, and are printed using specialty pigmented inks with archival qualities, so your holiday photos can be displayed as works of art.

We now also offer our high-gloss Aluminum Panels in a larger format, up to 40 x 60, which makes them great for creating your very own holiday wall décor. Thanks to their mounting, the vivid images appear almost three-dimensional, seemingly jumping off the wall.

 

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Personalized Placemats – A lot of time during the holidays is spent around the dinner table, so why not add your own personal holiday touches to your tablespace? Customize placemats using our Photolab to match your Christmas theme: our experts recommend using a photo of last year’s Christmas tree, the gingerbread house your kids made, or even a snapshot of the snowman you built. You can even personalize with text (a simple ‘Merry Christmas’ works great).

 

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Photo Coasters – If you’re planning on entertaining, it’s the details that will really impress your guests. Instead of pulling out your usual old coasters for guests to use, customize your own holiday coasters with some personal photos and the help of our Photolab. Make them all the more festive with some text: “Eat, Drink and be Merry!”, for example.

Get started with any of these fun and festive décor ideas at our new Photolab website or by visiting any London Drugs location.

 

Holiday Order Deadlines

A great selection of products are available for same day or next day pickup, up to Saturday, December 24 including Enlargements, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Express Books, Photographic Calendars and Mugs. See a photolab expert for details.

Be sure to place your orders for the below products before the listed dates to ensure Christmas delivery:

Photobooks, Calendars and Traditional Greeting Cards: Wednesday, December 14

Creative Products: Wednesday, December 14

Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Crystallize-it 3D Photo Crystals: Tuesday, December 13

Bobbleheads: Monday, November 14

Yes Video: Friday, November 25

 

Click here for information about order deadlines.



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!

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

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

 

 

 

 



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!

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

 

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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.



September 15th, 2016

Preserve Old Photo Memories with the New Photo Scanning Box Available at All London Drugs Photolabs

Despite the fact that digital photography is now the norm, many people still have hundreds and thousands of original printed photos that are not backed up by a digital copy – childhood memories, family photos and historic images of ancestors that will be precious memories for future generations.

To help prevent devastating loss or damage to these cherished memories, we have launched a new service that allows customers to easily have these items scanned and digitized in bulk.

The new Photo Scanning Box is all about prevention, preservation and peace of mind. By allowing you to digitizing hundreds of photos at once, the process of backing up print photos is far quicker and painless compared to scanning the photos one-by-one at home.

Why It’s Important

Print photographs degrade due to environmental factors like light, heat, and humidity. Photos taken between 1936 and 1990 are particularly in danger of fading due to the processing used during that time. Digital restoration for these photos becomes more difficult with each passing year.

Moreover, without digital duplicates of printed photos, disasters such as a fire or flood can immediately erase a generation’s worth of irreplaceable photo memories – a devastating scenario many Fort McMurray fire victims were all too familiar with earlier this year.

Courtney Power lost hundreds of family print photos in the wildfire that destroyed approximately 2,400 homes and buildings and forced the largest wildfire evacuation in Albertan history. With only a few moments to pack up personal belongings before the evacuation, years of family albums were left behind.

“We lost so many photos in the Fort McMurray fire,” says Power. “I regret not digitizing them a long time ago: it would have saved us a lot of heartache. We would still have those photos today if we had had them scanned to keep in a safe place.”

Using the Photo Scanning Box

1. Pick up a FREE Photo Scanning Box from London Drugs, and bring it home to fill it with 800 photos and other precious documents.

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2. Return the full box to your local London Drugs Photolab, prepay for the service, and our technicians will then digitize the photos at high resolution.

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3. Your treasured photos will be returned to you along with all digital files on a USB flash drive.

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Once the files are digitized, you should back up the photos using an online drive or storing them in multiple locations in the same way you should with other digital photos. This will ensure that, in case of disaster, the photos will still be accessible. Plus, once you have the print photos digitized, there are endless ways to share them or reprint using modern printing methods. Send copies to family members, and create calendars, photo books and more. In this way, photos that were once relegated to the basement or tucked away in shoeboxes in the closet, can really come back to life.

Precious documents such as birth certificates and wedding certificates can also be included in the Photo Scanning Box. The service costs $179.99 per box (approximately 22 cents per photo or document) and Photo Scanning Boxes can be picked up at any London Drugs location.



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