August 4th, 2017

World Photo Day: The Evolution of the Camera

Olympus film camera

Photography wouldn’t be possible without the incredible invention of the camera. According to Kodak, “the use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the ‘Kodak,’ was first offered for sale in 1888.”

It truly is amazing how much the camera has evolved since then. In came the digital camera, and the debate between film vs. digital began. Today, people appreciate the merits of both, and choose based on their preferred aesthetic.

If you love the nostalgia of film, you’re not alone. Film offers a creative challenge for photographers. Shooting analog photographs is an art form that truly embraces the candid nature of photography. The excitement of having your film photos developed, anxiously awaiting the final images, is a feeling many people love. There is something to be said about the simplicity of shooting with film too; without a Photoshop program to edit with, the result is a much rawer, visceral image. There is also a great deal more thoughtfulness involved in film photography, as you are limited by the amount of film you have. This is one of the reasons why many people recommend starting out on a film camera, even if you want to shoot digital. Being forced to be more selective with your shots will ultimately make you a better photographer, whether you shoot on film or digital.

Meanwhile, if you prefer to shoot digital, there are plenty of benefits that come with the ever-evolving technology of digital cameras. They are more convenient than ever, and are constantly being upgraded with more advanced features. Photographers can choose from point and shoots, DSLRs, and even compact mirrorless cameras, depending on what the situation requires. Today, many digital cameras also come with added features such as WiFi and Bluetooth. This allows you to directly transfer images to your smartphone or tablet, making it super easy to share all of your great moments.

Nikon camera and Nikon lenses

As digital technology has progressed, mobile phones have become the camera of choice for many people who wish to snap and share moments instantaneously. Some of you may remember seeing the #shotoniphone7 campaign, which inspired iPhone users to take incredible photographic shots simply using their phones’ camera. Today, millions of photos are uploaded every minute, allowing us to share our snapshots with the world in seconds, and find inspiration in the talent of other passionate photographers worldwide.

Whichever you prefer, London Drugs proudly offers a large selection of both digital cameras as well as film, and still offers film developing.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current gear, whether it’s a phone, film camera or DSLR, World Photo Day is a great time to see what’s out there and try something new. Our LDExperts can help you choose the right camera for your interests and needs. London Drugs’ selection of photography gear doesn’t end with cameras, either. We also have an extensive collection of lenses, camera accessories, photo printers and photo editing software to help you achieve the best images possible.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned for our World Photo Day deals (including a very special drone offer, available exclusively on August 19th)!

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

September 16th, 2013

The Power of Prints


How printing on paper is the ultimate photographic expression

It really is a golden age for photography, and digital technology is the reason. Nearly every aspect of the process is better in digital, from seeing your image as soon as you press the shutter to fixing images in post production. Sharing photos is also simpler—with a press of a button, I can share my image with the world just seconds after I take it.

There is one drawback to digital technology, however: viewing images on the screen will always be like shopping through a window. You can see the shape and colour, but the experience pales to that of touching the item, holding it in your hand, looking at it with no barrier in between.

The limitation of the screen

The screen of your computer, tablet, or smartphone has a limited size and resolution. Consider this: a quality 4×6 print has a resolution of 300 dpi, compared with an emailed photo of 72 dpi. This means that a basic print has more than four times the resolution of a digital photo.

June 26th, 2013

Restoring precious photographs in the wake of the flood

NikkiLondon Drugs wants southern Alberta flood victims to know that if they have photographs damaged by the floods, we can help to restore these photos and memories. Whatever the size or shape your photographs are in, please bring them into our photolab and get help from a London Drugs photolab technician.

A conversation to discuss the damage costs nothing, and any restoration work is being offered at 50% off, in the wake of the flood devastation. We can do reconstruction of torn, water damaged, muddied material. We can do complex additions of multiple people and objects if necessary. We can repair minor scratches and repair heavy damage to detailed areas. Here is one of our photolab technicians, Nikki Castonguay, to explain more on how London Drugs can help:

We are #heretohelp

March 5th, 2012

Fresh and beautiful Spring-inspired art

Like a good prairie girl, born and raised, I am obsessed with spring. That first warm afternoon, the melting snow, and the tiniest buds appearing on bare tree branches are little signals the winter is done, and glorious spring has arrived.

Spring botanicals are particularly beautiful. From delicate pastels to bold, riotous colour, nature has provided a spectacular palette. This year, I decided to create a piece of artwork to hurry spring along.

Here’s how it went.

Step 1: Choosing colours to fit my décor 
My living room is in neutrals—off white carpet, sand-coloured walls, with a deep grey feature wall and apple green accents. I first thought about a subtle look that would tie in the room’s shades. Artwork that picks up the hues of the room looks polished and sophisticated; I could also leave it up year-round.

For this piece, though, I wanted the artwork to be the first thing I saw in the room. I thought about contrast—deep saturated colours against the neutral background. Off to my hard drive to find a photo.

Step 2: Find your photo 
Finding the perfect spring photo was easier said than done. I wanted a close-up look, and it seemed my spring photos were more landscape-style. I thought about setting up a still-life of tulips in a vase. If I took a picture on the macro setting, it would give me the lines and shapes of the tulips, with a pleasantly blurred background.

Just as I was ready to give up, I found this image of tiny tulips. I took it four years ago with an old point-and-shoot camera. The colours are a little dull, and the resolution is only medium, but I thought I could work with it.

Step 3: Photoshop 
Time to transform the picture! I have a beginner’s version of Adobe Photoshop that I dabble with from time to time. I opened the image and started playing around with it, but I was unsure of my results—would the printed colours look like what’s on my screen? I decided to turn to the experts.

I took the photo to London Drugs and had them Photoshop it. They use professional version of Photoshop, and more importantly, their monitors are calibrated for the printer. If you are altering colour, a calibrated screen makes a big difference.

My instructions were this:

  • Crop it so it’s square
  • I love green, so brighten up the leaves
  • I want the tulip colour to pop 

Here is what they did to the photo.

I love it. The colour retouching brings out the variegated leaves, and emphasizes colour. It is a transformed image that to me, sings of spring.

Step 4: Gallery wrap
I didn’t want to bother with framing, so I opted for a 12×12 gallery wrap. The next day I picked up my artwork, and here’s what it looks like.

It’s exactly what I wanted: a fresh spring theme in bold, eye-catching colours. The result is simply beautiful.
Questions about Photoshop and gallery wraps? Drop by the London Drugs Photolab and speak with one of our experts.
Written by Angela Ford, Amateur Photographer

December 19th, 2011

Last minute shopping? We print really fast!

The week before Christmas is a like a science fiction time warp—my list gets longer the closer I get to the big day. No matter how organized, no matter how much early shopping, there’s more to do as time gets short.

For all of your last minute printing, we have compiled this handy guide to very fast printing at London Drugs.

About an hour
We can process any print size up to 12×18 in about an hour. We usually can offer expedited one-hour service on posters up to 24×36. Ask at the counter and we’ll give you a specific time for pick-up.

Same day
Mini calendars—at the handy size of 4×8.5, these small custom calendars can often be finished in an hour. Come into the store with 13 images (one for each month, plus a cover shot) and our photolab staff will be happy to help you build the calendar and print it out.

Greeting cards
—come in with your images, and we can print 4×8 and 5×7 custom cards, often within an hour. Our photolab staff will help you build your custom card right in the store.

—these small photobooks hold 20 or 40 images, and are printed right in our store. Come in with your images and we will help get your book ready to print.

Next day
We can prepare any print between 16 x20 and 44×60 within 24 hours, and often the same day. Ask at the photo counter as we may be able to accommodate rush orders.

Canvas enlargements and gallery wraps can be ready next day (the canvas must cure overnight).

If your favourite images have small flaws—red eye, blemishes, strange shadows, or awkward framing—London Drugs experts can touch up spots and blemishes and add Photoshop effects for you. Come in and tell us what you want—photo editing can be as little as $6.99.

Just Drop In 

  • Frames: we carry a great selection of frames and precut mattes. Choose from single frames in a variety of standard sizes, or a double, triple, or collage frames to showcase multiple images. 
  • Albums: choose from small and simple ‘brag book’ albums, all the way up to 12×12 scrapbooking albums that give you the space to create a gorgeous keepsake. 
  • Scrapbooking supplies: For the scrapbooker, we carry paper, stickers, die-cutters, and other specialty items to create unique and beautiful pages.

Questions about last minute printing? Come into our store and talk to our photolab specialists. We can help you find the right product that will be ready in time for Christmas.

Written by Angela Ford, amateur photographer

December 5th, 2011

Big Picture Ideas

A friend of mine has a beautiful framed print on her wall: a little girl is walking, her back to the camera, down a narrow, quiet street in Tokyo. The colours are muted and gentle, with a hint of colour in the girl’s coat. It is wistful and beautiful.

As it happens, this print is simply an enlarged snapshot. The big picture is gorgeous, and it was taken by a point-and-shoot camera.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking big:

  • Life-sized toddler: My husband’s parents enlarged a photo of him at two years old. Wearing a fuzzy winter coat, he is running toward the camera, arms wide. At the size of 24” x 36”, the image is nearly life-sized, and decades later, it is a family keepsake.
  • Life is a beach: Crystal blue waters and white sand are always eye-catching. When the beach is your snapshot from your divine Hawaiian vacation, the big print will bring you back to the hot sun and soothing waves.
  • Botanicals by Design: Flip through any home design magazine and you will find botanical art. Big prints with natural shapes, bright floral hues, and soothing greenery create a visual balance with the trend of neutral paint and furniture. 
  • The Action Shot: When a big sports moment lines up with the perfect angle and you press the shutter, it’s like winning the lottery. Big action posters are fantastic for rec rooms, or wherever you gather to watch the game.
  • Conversation-starters: Goofy pictures, memorable moments, strange architecture, quirky landscapes, and snapshots that make you smile. If you love an image on your screen, imagine the smiles when it’s poster-sized.
  • Unconventional portraits: Large prints have traditionally been reserved for formal portraits. Think beyond the pose—candid portraits can capture big personalities, which look sensational as big pictures.

If you ever have a question about enlargements, save your file to a thumb drive and bring it to our photolab. We make thousands of enlargements each year, so we can look at your file and help you choose the best enlargement size.

To order an enlargement, visit

Written by Angela Ford, amateur photographer

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