December 6th, 2017

LD Experts: Thoughtful and Fun Photo Gift Ideas

Our LD Experts are knowledgable about many subjects, but if you need key advice on photo gift solutions, we’ve got you covered.

Last week, LD photo expert Tim Yaworski appeared on CTV Morning Live Saskatoon. Tim chatted with host Jeremy Dodge on the Tech Talk segment about some great personalized gifts that are available from the LD Photolab, as well as our easy-to-use smartphone apps. 

Watch the full segment here or read the highlights below.

Thanks to ever-improving smartphones and digital cameras, people are taking more photos now than they ever have, and London Drugs offers some wonderful ways to share these photos as unique gifts with friends and family.

 

 

Custom photobooks are a great way to share memories with friends and family, and with many different styles to choose from, you can find the perfect way to tell your story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts and Keepsakes: Everyone knows you can print a photo on a mug, but did you know that you can also get your special photos printed on a coffee carafe, a keychain or a fluffy pillow? These days, you can print a photo on just about anything! Ask your friendly, neighbourhood LD PhotoLab Expert about other ideas for photo gifts.

 

 

Photo Scanning Box:  Who doesn’t have a shoebox or two (or five) full of old photos collecting dust? Instead of that “scan old photos” item lingering on your to-do list, you can take those photos right into your nearest London Drugs PhotoLab and have them scanned for you! You’ll take home a tidy, little USB drive full of fond memories for uploading to your computer, or sharing with family and friends. Perfect for stocking stuffers!

 

If you’re looking to create your gifts on the fly, you can upload and order PhotoLab items right from your smartphone. Our Android and iOS apps are convenient and easy to use.

For help creating your holiday gifts, our Photolab Experts can answer any questions you may have, and walk you through the ordering process. Just visit us at any London Drugs location, in the Photolab department.



October 13th, 2017

10 Places to See Fall Colours in Beautiful Canada

There is something particularly special about the fall season in beautiful Canada. Among our alpine lakes, sky-high mountains, lush forests, and crisp true north air, you can find autumn colours in so many parts of this grand country. So whether you’re heading out on a hike before the snow settles in, or you’d like to admire the red, orange, and yellow hues on Instagram from the comfort of your home, here are ten places you’ll find fall colours in Canada.

1. Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

Golden Autumn Day in Canada - London Drugs

Image by @jordanherschel

Head off the grid in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, British Columbia, for alpine lakes that reflect the mountains and the changing colours of surrounding trees.

2. The Icefields Parkway

Drive the Icefields Parkway for an endless road lined with autumnal tones of yellow, orange, and dark green.

3. Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park - London Drugs Blog

Image by @stevint

Take a walk on the wild side with the scenic Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta flanked by the Rocky Mountains.

4. Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake - London Drugs Blog

Image by @mblockk

It’s hard to ignore the stunning fall colours glistening on Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta. How many times have you visited this beautiful place?

5. Lake O’Hara

Lake O'Hara - London Drugs Blog

Image by @kayitscait

Dive into autumn at Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. It might be cold, but it’s almost impossible not to take a quick swim while you’re there.

6. Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park - London Drugs Blog

Image by @alexstrohl

Witness fall in the Rockies with the sun lighting up all of the autumn tones. Visit the Kootenay National Park in British Columbia to see the incredible punch of yellow for yourself.

7. Cypress Provincial Park

It’s a beautiful sight from Cypress Provincial Park in Vancouver, British Columbia. Catch the North Shore on a crisp sunny day with the leaves turning all colours of red and orange.

8. The Rockies

Rocky Mountains - London Drugs Blog

Image by @jamieout

Muted fall colours of green and yellow framed by the Rocky Mountains shows just how picturesque the change in seasons can be.

9. Larch Valley

Larch Valley - London Drugs Blog

Image by @jfragasso

Have you had the chance to experience Larch Valley in autumn? Head to Banff National Park in Alberta to find the larch trees turning a brilliant yellow before they shed their needles.

10. Mount Taynton

Mount Taynton - London Drugs Blog

Image by @scottcbakken

The road to autumn is in Mount Taynton, British Columbia, between the trees with the mountains in the distance.

See more pictures of #BeautifulCanada on the @londondrugs Instagram, and happy fall!



September 29th, 2017

Save Your Photos Day: Tips for Safeguarding Your Most Precious Memories

Historic family photos are often relegated in shoeboxes to the attic or basement. Others are proudly showcased in frames hung on the wall, or in photo albums. Whether they’re hidden away or displayed in the home, the reality is that print photographs are susceptible to degradation. National Save Your Photos Day is September 30th, and it’s the perfect opportunity to stop and think about what you can do to protect your precious photo memories.

Environmental factors such as light, heat and humidity can cause photos to fade – especially those taken between 1936 and 1990, due to the methods of film processing used at the time. The other threat to your photos is a disaster such as a fire or flood. Generations worth memories can be destroyed in just moments. Without duplicates or digital backups, those memories will be irreplaceable.

For peace of mind, and to ensure your photos survive the test of time, our LD Experts recommend saving your photos using these helpful steps:

  1. Scan your photos and negatives

The first step in preserving and protecting your photos is to digitize them. You can either use an at-home scanner to digitize them yourself one-by-one, or our Photolab can help. Use our Photo Scanning Box service to have mass quantities of your photos digitized all at once. Just pick up a box from our Photolab, take it home and fill it with 800 photos, negatives and even old documents like birth certificates, and bring it back to any London Drugs Photolab location. The service is pre-paid for when the box is dropped off: $179.99 per box, which is approximately 22 cents per photo or document. Once our LD Experts are done scanning your photos at high resolution, you can pick up your hard copies as well the USB flash drive with all your digitized photos on it.

  1. Back up your digital photos

With your print photographs now digitized, the next step is to save those digital photos on to your computer as well as an external hard drive or USB flash drive. That way, if your computer crashes for any reason, or a flood destroys it, you’ll still have another digital copy that’s safe and sound. Ideally, store your digital photos on multiple external hard drives. Or consider uploading them to an online drive such as iCloud or Google Drive.

  1. Separate your hard drives

Even if you shoot digital and already keep your photos on a hard drive, our LD Experts recommend backing up your digital files on an extra hard drive and keeping it in a separate location. This will help to avoid losing your digital photos in a fire, flood or other disaster. Consider keeping one in the house and one at a family member’s home.

Once your photos are safe and digitized, the possibilities are endless! Make print copies using a photo printer at home, or easily order prints and enlargements through our Photolab. You can send them to family and friends so they can enjoy those cherished photos too. If you order from our Photolab, you can even have those prints sent directly to their home anywhere in Canada, or to their nearest London Drugs Photolab for pick-up. You can also get creative with all the different ways you can share your images: photo books, calendars, or wall décor just to name a few. Bring new life to old photographs that had previously remained unseen. After all, photo memories are meant to be shared.

To get you started, we’re offering 10% off everything in our Photolab, from Friday September 29th through Sunday October 1st! Just use the promo code SAVEYOURPHOTOS at checkout, when you order from our London Drugs Photolab.

 



August 20th, 2017

10 Stunning Road Trips to Drive in Beautiful Canada

For many Canadians, road trips remain a staple family holiday year round–and for good reason. Whether it’s for a quick weekend trip to the next town over or an extended cross-country drive, road trips provide a personal and adventurous vacation for even the most urban of travellers. 

Revisit your childhood, make new memories and explore all Canada’s vast, rugged outdoors can offer by considering the following stunning road trips.

1. Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast

For those looking for a relaxing getaway and gorgeous scenic drive away from the city, consider heading to the Sunshine Coast in BC. A popular area for many local Vancouverites wanting to get away for the weekend, the Sunshine Coast boasts beautiful seaside cities and is only a couple of hours from downtown Vancouver. Grab a ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, and visit attractions like Persephone, Farm Ventures, and more, all along the coast.

2. Victoria to Tofino

If you live on Vancouver Island or are just stopping by for a vacation, all you need is a car, friends, family and a good playlist before setting out on this breathtaking drive. Follow the Trans-Canada Highway along the eastern coast, and cut across Pacific Rim National Park Reserve while passing glistening lakes and rivers. In Tofino, take advantage of Canada’s rare surfing opportunities, embark on a fishing adventure, or explore the area’s many trails and beaches.

3. Osoyoos to Kimberley

Osoyoos is world renowned as one of Canada’s best wine countries, and whether you’re planning to stay awhile or are just stopping through, the city is a summer paradise. A slightly longer road trip (approximately 5.5 hours) will take you across the majestic Kootenays and into the charming community of Kimberley, BC, allowing you to come across spectacular mountain and lake views year round.

4. Calgary to Fernie

For Calgary residents or anyone in the surrounding area seeking a road adventure that’s a little different than the usual visit to Banff National Park, head south into BC with Fernie in mind. Located on Highway 3, Fernie’s mountain backdrop provides the perfect space for avid hikers and trail runners looking to explore new terrain.

5. Regina to Saskatoon

Although Saskatchewan is well known for its flat-ness, the prairie province is home to rich Canadian history, and showcases a number of vibrant communities and attractions. Beginning in Regina, make your way to Moosejaw, camp out at Craik & District Regional Park, and follow the Louis Riel Trail to Saskatoon, where you can enjoy the city’s nightlife.

6. Trans-Canada Highway

It comes as no surprise that most (if not every) Canadian road trip will have you following–or at least crossing paths with–the famous Trans-Canada Highway. If you don’t have the entire 7800 km trip on your travel bucket list, you may want to consider it as an eye-opening way of seeing all the country has to offer. Before embarking on this epic journey, make sure you plan accordingly–the trip will take you about two weeks from Victoria to St. John’s—if you’re driving about 400 kilometres per day. Now that’s a road trip!

7. Dempster Highway

A route less travelled, but well worth the distance, is along Dempster Highway, from Dawson City in the Yukon to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. If you head out in late August, not only can you witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights in a truly unique way, but you’ll also come across the north’s mountain ranges and tundra: a view that most people only get to experience through photographs.

8. Icefields Parkway

Running for 232 kilometres from Jasper to Banff in Alberta, the Icefields Parkway is a popular road trip set between sweeping meadows, waterfalls, glassy glacial lakes and snow-capped Rockies. While many may choose to hike the 6 kilometres to the Athabasca Glacier, other attractions include Peyto Lake, the Weeping Wall and the Glacier Sky Walk.

9. Gourmet Route

The ultimate road trip for foodies, the Gourmet Route in Quebec brings the term “farm to table” to life. A self-guided tour set along the St. Lawrence River, it is known as the first of its kind in the area, with 50+ stops along the way. Get a taste of the region’s culinary traditions (literally), and indulge in as many gourmet tastings as your stomach can handle.

10. The Cabot Trail

Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia can be completed in five days (although you may want to extend your stay to truly soak up the views), and is a great option for a weeklong road trip. The trail wraps around the north of Cape Breton Island for 298 kilometres and provides unreal coastal hillside views along winding roads reminiscent of Canada’s Scottish and Acadian heritage. Hike through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and sample Atlantic seafood on your way home. Enjoy! 



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)!



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!



August 1st, 2017

Happy World Photo Day 2017: The World’s Largest Photography Celebration

For photographers across the globe, August 19th is no average day: it’s World Photo Day! The world’s largest photography celebration highlights our communities’ passion for photography, amongst both amateur and professional photographers. World Photo Day reminds us of the significance of photography. It allows us to showcase the natural beauty of the world, including landscapes and subjects. Whether you’re using a cell phone, point and shoot, or DSLR, this special photography day is meant to encourage photographers of all skill levels to contribute to their craft.

For our LDExperts in the Photolab – many of whom are photographers themselves – World Photo Day is an opportunity to celebrate with customers and photography enthusiasts in the community, like you!

Many of our London Drugs Photolabs will also be celebrating World Photo Day in-store. You can sign up for all kinds of free workshops being held at select stores, devoted to tips, themes and new products. We hope they will inspire you to learn and hone your skills as a photographer. For details on celebrations happening at your local London Drugs Photolab, click here for locations and workshop details.

You can also get involved online by registering on the World Photo Day site and submitting photos to be eligible for prizes and even possible publication. World Photo Day’s global gallery is constantly growing and evolving: a striking mosaic of images captured by photographers from every background.

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow along and be inspired by the Canadian photographers we feature each day on our @LDPhotolab Instagram account, and we encourage you to use the hashtag #LDPhotolab to be featured! Of course, don’t forget to also check out the hashtag #worldphotoday to see how other photographers are celebrating around the world.

 



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