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.



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.



December 20th, 2016

Bring your pics in a box

Keep your old photos safe with the Photolab’s Photo Scanning Box

Much like my estranged Uncle Larry, printed photographs do not age well. Unlike Uncle Larry, the cause is not poor life choices; it’s mostly due to environmental factors like light, heat and humidity. Photos printed between 1936-1990 are especially at risk of fading due to the processing technology used during those years. If you have photos from this era, you probably have a great many of them stored in old shoeboxes and musty photo albums—which, although it is very common practice, is pretty darn risky if you think about it. After all, in and amongst all those regrettable shots of you with a perm and bell bottoms or sporting a mullet while decked out in the finest Miami Vice pastel linen suit, there are probably some of the most cherished—and un-replaceable—memories of your life and your family history.

 

 

Even worse than gradual degradation over time, if you leave them in a box or a stack of photo albums, they are also vulnerable to fire, floods and other disasters we tend not to think about until they happen to us. People who have lived through such catastrophes almost always count their photos as the item of property they most wish they could have back.

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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.

 

2015 Photolab

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).

 

2015 Photolab

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/

 

 

 

 



October 19th, 2016

Don’t wait! Make your photo gifts now

Welcome to our annual Don’t Wait! blog post, 2016 edition.  It seems every year we here at the Photoblog encourage you, dear readers, to rise up during the month of October and get a jump on your holiday gifting. We are happy to continue doing this year after year even though it might be construed as nagging. Why? Because the Photolab keeps making it easier to create astounding and memorable personalized photo gifts, leaving you with ever fewer reasons to procrastinate. That’s why. Hey, I get it: you keep getting busier and busier. Luckily, creating awesome photo gifts from the Photolab just keeps getting easier and easier. The Photolab in-store kiosks and website make it incredibly simple to not only to aggregate and manage your online photos and keep them handy for photo prints at a moment’s notice; it’s also a great resource for original, personalized products that make perfect gifts. The process is intuitive, fast, stable and robust with no downloading necessary. Most importantly, they are extremely user-friendly and simple, as you’ll see in the video demonstrations provided below. Their purpose is not only to show you how to create some unique and meaningful gifts for the holidays, but also to show the doubters among you just how simple the process really is. Overcoming skepticism with a show of wonder and magic…now there’s a tried and true holiday theme!

 

Personalized Christmas Ornaments

Everyone loves personalized gift ornaments. Even those people who decorate their trees with uniform bulbs and lights, who stick to a predetermined colour palette throughout the entire tree with absolutely no exceptions. That is, until you present them with a photo ornament that brings a smile to their face. You’re darn right they will make an exception for that. Heck, they’ll probably hang it right in the centre of the tree so everyone can see it, colour palette be darned. Even though, as you can see in the video, you can create and order it in a matter of minutes.

 

Personalized Holiday Photo Mugs

By itself, the standard ceramic mug is one of the least exciting objects in all of human history. Therefore, you probably assume there’s not much you can do to customize, personalize, or make it interesting in any way.

Well, as this video demonstrates, if this indeed is your assumption, you are wrong. You can make a fun and totally give-able mug in minutes. Check it out.

 

Personalized Photo Greeting Cards

I may have mentioned this before in previous holiday posts, but there is an unspoken hierarchy of holiday cards that goes like this:

Lowest level: e-cards. Really. No matter what its message is. Honestly, why even bother?

Next level: printed store-bought greeting cards.

Second-highest level: homemade cards or ‘artisanal’ cards found on sites like etsy with wax paper snowflake collages glued on them or whatever.

Highest level: personalized photo greeting cards from the Photolab. This isn’t a case of bias here: personalized photos help greeting cards do what they were created to do: remind the recipients that they are part of your family or circle of friends, and that you value that relationship.

Note that this hierarchy doesn’t apply to price. Photolab-made cards are priced comparable to most regular store-bought cards, especially if you order higher quantities. And they’re a lot less than most fancy-shmancy etsy cards, probably because they’re much easier to create. No glue gun necessary…just watch the video!

 

Photo Books

Few holiday gifts are as appreciated as a photo book, especially for the price.  And the more thought you put into choosing the photos and customizing the style and layout, the more appreciated it will be. As this video demonstrates, the Photolab site and kiosk allow you to do as much of both as you wish.

 

A few other notes about the video:

  • Just for the sake of expediency, I pre-uploaded all the photos I would need for the demos and pre-sorted them into collections. Uploading is a very easy process, but if you need any reminders there’s this post for the website or this one for the kiosks.
  • Because of all the pre-uploading, I didn’t get a chance to mention as a reminder that you can also import your photos from Facebook and Instagram as collections.
  • One last reminder not mentioned in the video: remember you’ll need to register for a Photolab account or sign in before you can do any gift-making.

 



September 16th, 2016

Better photos = better calendar

seasonal-photo-tip-advice-sheet

The Photolab is here to help you create both
Many posts here on the Photoblog involve showing our readers how to create beautiful, quality products that are ultimately produced by the Photolab. Pretty much all that is required on your end is a little time and a few photos. However, whenever we show you how to create these things and describe how amazing the end product will look, we always make the same assumption: that you have at your disposal an array of quality digital photos that would look beautiful on any given Photolab print or product. And while I’d be willing to bet that is the case for most Photoblog readers, I’m sure there are also some of you who feel you are lacking enough quality photos to create certain products. There may even be some readers who lack the photography know-how to take the kind of photos you want. In fact, in certain cases I would even count myself among you! Truth be told, sometimes while writing these tutorial posts on how to create certain prints or products, I look through my own photo libraries and get frustrated by the lack of quality photos I can use when taking screenshots of the Photolab kiosk or website. Yup, I admit it: a great number of my photos are too crummy even for demonstration purposes.

Calendars are a good example of a product that can be both beautiful and easy to create via the Photolab tool of your choice, but finding the perfect photo for 12 different months can be challenging for anyone. That’s why we’ve resolved in this post to help make it a little easier for you to capture those ideal shots, in-season, right at the moment when the photo-op presents itself:

Introducing the Photolab Quick Advice Cards
12 seasonally appropriate tips for taking photos that can make your Photolab calendar (or any Photolab product for that matter) look more polished—even, dare I say—professional-calibre. Simply click the link to open the PDF, print it, cut on the dotted lines so they’ll fit neatly and conveniently into your camera bag, and use at will. Obvious advice: print them on card stock or by the London Drugs Photolab on Photo paper so they’re more durable. Just follow the advice on these cards and soon you’ll have a stockpile of images so incredible, so printable, you’ll wish there were 64 months in a year.



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