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.

 



August 15th, 2015

Happy World Photo Day 2015!

25% off gallery wraps. One day only—World Photo Day, August 19th. Celebrate by putting your best photo on your favourite wall.

25% off gallery wraps. One day only—World Photo Day, August 19th. Celebrate by putting your best photo on your favourite wall.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…if you’re a photography fan. Yes, August 19th is fast approaching and everyone at the Photolab is already on pins and needles. If you’ve never heard of World Photography Day, you can get all the relevant details from last year’s blog posts (parts one and two). If you have heard of it but haven’t visited the official website since last year, it’s recently undergone a total responsive redesign and looks more beautiful than ever, and the galleries have tons of new, incredible, breathtaking photos—all uploaded by site members, as you may remember.

Speaking of which, if you didn’t upload in a previous year—heck, even if you did—this is your opportunity to display one of your best photos proudly among those from some of the world’s most talented and passionate photographers. Simply register on the site or log in with your Facebook account and go from there; don’t be shy, and above all, don’t delay—as the gallery is only open for upload from Aug 19-25. Just to give you an idea of what they’re looking for, I’ve reprinted their Tips for Submission here:

  • You can only upload 1 (one) photograph to the gallery
  • Choose carefully as your entry cannot be changed after submission
  • Your photo must be a minimum of 1800 x 1800 pixels (3.2 megapixels)
  • Your high resolution image isn’t made publically accessable
  • Share your story – Your photograph is more powerful with a story
  • Fill in your profile – People want to relate with more than a picture
  • No Watermarks – If you have a watermark on your image you will not be considered for our photobook
  • We encourage you to capture your image between Aug 19-25 but will accept a photograph captured earlier in the year
his is an uncredited photo I found on Facebook, but it perfectly captures the spirit of World Photo Day…stop at nothing to get the perfect photo.

his is an uncredited photo I found on Facebook, but it perfectly captures the spirit of World Photo Day…stop at nothing to get the perfect photo.

Naturally, the Photolab also has some celebrations of its own in honour of this very special day. Select locations throughout BC and Alberta will be offering a series of free workshops devoted to tips, themes and new products that are sure to help photographers of all skill and experience levels improve their craft. Check here for locations and workshop details. In addition, to help give your best photos life beyond an online gallery, the Photolab is also offering 25% off all canvas gallery wrap orders—on August 19 only, just to make your WPD even more special. See your local Photolab for more details.



August 13th, 2015

History of the Camera

The Diana Instant Camera - Black - HP800INST. Just one of a number of film cameras in store

The Diana Instant Camera – Black – HP800INST. Just one of a number of film cameras in store

World Photo Day wouldn’t be complete without properly acknowledging the device that makes photography possible. So let’s start things off with a little camera trivia, shall we? Try to answer this one without looking it up:

What year was the first camera invented?

Now, if your guess was 1839, while you’d be wrong, you would at least get points for reading last year’s WPD post. The actual answer, however, is the year 1888. According to Kodak.com:

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.

READ MORE



August 10th, 2015

The History of Printing

World’s earliest surviving camera photograph, 1826 or 1827. Still, it’s clearer than many of my photos. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

World’s earliest surviving camera photograph, 1826 or 1827. Still, it’s clearer than many of my photos.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

It may be a difficult thing to fathom in this age of cloud storage and flash drives, but there was a time not so long ago where printing was an inseparable part of the photographic process. Back in the days of film cameras, when you took your pictures the film then needed to be developed into a negative, and all that effort was kind of pointless unless you were actually going create an actual print from the negative.

Of course, printing from negatives is not dead, by any means; it lives on thanks to lomography and other more esoteric forms of photography. Not to mention my Dad, who recently showed up to a family reunion at a beautiful resort with a disposable film camera, despite the fact that he has a brand new iPad that he knows takes amazing photos yet refuses to so much as experiment with it…but, I digress. My point is that anyone who prefers shooting film for any reason can still have it developed by the Photolab.

READ MORE



August 7th, 2015

Happy World Photo Day: Meet Professional Photographer & London Drugs Photolab Technician, John Goldsmith

As part of our World Photography Day celebrations, we’d like to take you into the lab and introduce you to a very important member of the Photolab team. Meet our Photolab Technical Specialist, John Goldsmith. A photographer himself, John understands the trust involved between photographer and Photolab when printing fine art photography. His passion for photography is what allows him to build that trust with each and every photographer he works with, resulting in beautiful images in the best quality possible.

John knows firsthand the importance of working with an experienced lab tech. He was one of a handful of photographers commissioned to showcase his own photography exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver during the inaugural Capture Photography Festival. He worked with the London Drugs Photolab to print his museum-quality images for the exhibition. Today, as Photolab Technical Specialist, he takes his experience as a photographer and applies it to each and every image he prints in the London Drugs Photolab, building trusting relationships with the photographers he works with.

Speak with one of our expert Photolab Technical Specialists in-store today to find out how you can produce your own museum-quality prints for your walls at home!



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