LDPhotolab Prints Fine Art for Photographer Paolo Rubini’s Capture Photography Festival Exhibit ‘Hands On’

Photolab Manager Adonia (left) and photographer Paolo Rubini (right) showing one of Paolo’s prints currently part of his Capture Photography exhibition at VIFF Vancity Theatre

Originally from Italy, photographer Paolo Rubini has travelled the world capturing a wide array of cultures and the hidden beauty of everyday life. He now calls Vancouver home, and his project ‘Hands On: A Handcrafted Human Mosaic’, which features images from 15 different countries, was recently selected by Capture Photography Festival for exhibition during the 2019 season.

“Hands On came to me as a project idea while travelling in India. It struck me as an original and potential-full opportunity to try and analyze our human condition across different countries and latitudes, by using an aspect of our body we all have in common as a common ground,” explains Paolo.

As a supporter of Capture Photography Festival since its inception 6 years ago, the London Drugs Photolab has provided gallery quality prints for selected photographers like Paolo to showcase their lens-based art during  the annual photography exhibition. Our Photolab Technicians work one-on-one with the selected photographers to choose the right print surface for their images, adjust the colours and other elements to the photographer’s specifications, and ensure the final product meets the high standards of gallery quality prints.

Building a trusting relationship between photographer and Photolab Technician is an incredibly important part of the printing process. When Paolo first met with LDPhotolab Manager Adonia, he was looking to have his black and white images printed on a metallic surface. After looking over Paolo’s images however, Adonia suggested Paolo might like to try a more matte and textured print surface, such as linen paper. Surfaces like linen or bamboo paper look particularly excellent with black and white images, and Adonia recognized the linen paper would also work well with the fact that the prints would be backlit with natural light in the exhibit space. After testing both metallic and matte surfaces, Paolo made the final call to print on linen paper!

Photolab Manager Adonia and photographer Paolo Rubini discussing the texture of linen prints.

“Black and white convey a certain poetry and timeless feeling, furthermore it helps the viewer focusing more on the composition of the image, its narrative and the texture of the elements on focus. Color sometimes can be distracting and misleading, especially in a concept series like this one,” says Paolo. “I usually go for a glossy reflecting surface, mostly in colour but also black and white. My go to paper would be the photo-metallic paper because it gives more depth to the colours. This time, considering the texture I wanted to enhance and the light coming from the back of the picture I opted for a thicker and more textured paper: the LDPhotolab’s Linen White. It proved to be the right choice for this show.”

Once the final decision on print surface was made, Paolo was able to provide feedback on tweaking the colouring of the images (in this case, the warmness or coolness of the black and white, the darkness of the blacks and the brightness of the whites).

“Working with Adonia and her Granville location photolab team was particularly inspiring because of their expertise and wealth of knowledge in understanding and accommodating my vision and their outstanding customer service. They went above and beyond with me, making my show almost like it was their own,” says Paolo.

After the collaborative process of tweaking the images was complete, our photolab printed all of Paolo’s images for the exhibit using the state-of-the art Epson 9000 large format printer. Photolab Manager Adonia then met with Paolo one last time for a final inspection of the fine art prints. Paolo looked over each image individually to confirm they were ready for display, even asking for some final feedback from our Photolab Manager Adonia on what part of each image drew her eye, to ensure it was achieving the desired effect.

“It has been such a pleasure working with amazing photographers like Paolo, and so rewarding bringing their artwork to life,” says Adonia. “The journey from initially meeting and viewing photos, to producing the physical prints in such an impactful way is one of the best parts of being a photolab technician.”

Of course, seeing the fine art prints on display is always a thrilling part of the process for Paolo. “After the set up and the opening, I was very happy to take a step back and look at all their picture displayed together. Each of them was carrying its little story, informing and inspiring others. It is a collection of humanity that I’m very proud to share because it talks about us and what makes us all similar and yet each unique,” he says.

Paolo Rubini in front of his Capture Photography Festival exhibit ‘Hands On’, at the VIFF Vancity Theatre in Vancouver

If you want to check out Paolo Rubini’s prints in person, you can see them at VIFF Vancity Theatre in Vancouver from April 14th to May 5th, Monday to Sunday, 6pm onwards (and when films are being shown).

London Drugs Photolab Honoured to Print National Pictures of the Year

News Photographers Association of Canada’s Capture Photography Festival exhibit printed with the help of LDPhotolab’s expertise and state-of-the-art printing equipment

Images on left wall by photographers Jonathan Hayward (top left), Jeff McIntosh (bottom left), Martin Tremblay (centre), Carlos Osorio (top left), Leah Hennel (bottom right).

Every year, the very best Canadian photojournalists are nominated for the National Pictures of the Year Awards, organized by the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC). Each of the prestigious nominated photos are then showcased during a Capture Photography Festival exhibition…with a little help from our London Drugs Photolab!

This year, our Photolab Technician Adonia worked with NPAC’s coordinator Ali Ledgerwood to print each of the nominated photos for the exhibit. The photos were printed using our photolab’s state-of-the-art Epson 9000 large format printer, on fine art paper with patented dye inks that deliver the very best in colour and definition.

An image by Canadian photographer Darryl Dyck being printed on the Epson 9000

Each image was then inspected by hand, and adjustments were made to get the colours of each image just right. The vibrant image coming off the Epson printer here is of 89-year old Canadian Blood Services volunteer, Nina Graham, taken by nominated Canadian photographer Darryl Dyck. Seeing it, you just can’t help but smile!

Photolab Manager Adonia stands with News Photographers Association of Canada coordinator Ali Ledgerwood. Image on print by photographer Darryl Dyck

This is the 6th year the London Drugs Photolab has prepared the prints for the National Pictures of the Year exhibit.

“Working with Adonia at the LDPhotolab has been amazing.  The quality of the prints and the professionalism with the team is unprecedented.  We have the largest show as far as Capture goes, and I never have to worry about timing or the amount of work printed in such a tight timeframe.  Always accommodating and always first class,” says Ali Ledgerwood.

Fine art print of an image by photographer Darryl Dyck

From photolab to the gallery wall; it’s always a thrill to see the final prints on display! Here, you can see Darryl Dyck’s colourful shot showcased at the opening of NPAC’s National Pictures of the Year exhibit, during Capture Photography Festival at the Pendulum Gallery in Vancouver.

“Photographers use their cameras as tools of exploration, documentation and ultimately, as instruments of change.  This is a testament to the ideal that photojournalism matters—now more than ever,” Ali says. “When I walk through and I see school groups completely engaged with the photos and related stories, it’s hard not to get emotional.  We are so honoured that we are able to produce an exhibit like this and we certainly couldn’t do it without the support of the LDPhotolab.”

Photographer Chris Donovan standing beside two of his photos nominated for National Picture of the Year

Chris Donovan was one of the nominated Canadian photographers who attended the opening of the Capture Photography Festival exhibit for the National Pictures of the Year. Chris’ photos are nominated in multiple categories, including the Sports Feature Category for two images he took in Flint Michigan with ESPN. Chris was also named last year’s Photojournalist of the Year!

“It’s always a great feeling to see your work printed whether it’s in a newspaper or on a gallery wall. To have this work in such a visible place alongside some of Canada’s finest photojournalists is an honour. The prints look stunning and I’m truly grateful to London Drugs for helping support Canadian photojournalism over the years,” says Chris.

Images by photographers Cold Burston (top left), Kayle Neis (bottom left), Chris Donovan (centre & top right), Pieter de Vos (bottom right)

Feeling inspired by these talented Canadian photographers? We can print your photos in gallery quality too! Choose from our photolab’s wide variety of fine art prints, such as the enlargements printed on Epson Lustre Paper used for this exhibition, or other surfaces like bamboo paper, metallic paper, aluminum metal panels, canvas prints and canvas gallery wraps. The choice is yours!

Photography Tips for Beautiful Mother’s Day Photos

Whether you’re planning to snap adorable shots of your mom this year or take your photography to the next level and set up some Mother’s Day photoshoots, our #LDExperts have put together some great tips to help you along the way! Keep reading for some Mother’s Day photography inspiration, and don’t forget to check out our blog on best locations for Mother’s Day photos to help you pick an ideal location to put these tips to good use!

Gift her a day together

Mother’s Day is the perfect time to bring together the two things you love, photography and mom! Gift her a day out together and take your camera along to capture all the fun. Plan out a route along her favorite spots across the city and snap some great candid moments of her reminiscing of fond memories or posing against a gorgeous sunset backdrop. As a perfect way to treasure the memory, surprise her with a framed photo or prints of the best shots! They’ll show her how beautiful she is to you, inside and out.

Organize a Mother’s Day photoshoot

Ready to take your photography to the next level? Set up a Mother’s Day photoshoot for family & friends. It’s a sweet way to appreciate all the amazing moms you know! Check out our blog on best locations for Mother’s Day photos for inspiration on nice outdoor settings for mom-child portraits or fun candid shots.

With summer on the way, you may need to use flash-fill to compensate for the lighting and improve your outdoor portraits. Meter the background area behind your subject, using either a light meter or the in-camera meter. Capture a test shot and examine it to make sure there are no blown out highlights in the brightest part of your image. Once you’re satisfied with the background exposure you may realize that your subject appears too dark in relation to the background. You would then need to match the foreground exposure with fill-flash. To do that, you can use either a speedlight or a studio strobe with the light modifier of your choice.

Mom & me – then and now

A popular shot for Mother’s Day on social media is the ‘Then and Now’ photographs with a childhood photo and a recent photo with mom. It’s sure to bring a heartwarming smile to her face, and maybe even a tear to her eye.

Don’t forget to check out our selfie sticks, tripods and camera remotes to help capture the perfect present-day shot! As the perfect gift to mom, order one of our photobooks curated with your best shots over the years!

And if you end up going down a rabbit hole looking at all your mom’s old print photos and realize some are starting to fade, why not have them all digitally preserved, as a special gift to mom? You can use our Photo Scanning Box or Slide Scanning Box services to easily have photos and slides digitized so mom’s most precious memories are safe for a lifetime.

Newbie moms

Becoming a mother is an incredibly special time. Spend your first Mother’s Day capturing your newborn’s adorable expressions & antics! Experiment with different angles, like this closeup of their tiny feet, or snap some photos of them playing or sleeping. If you’re taking photos of your partner, try to snap some quiet moments of mom and baby cuddling, or some more lively candids of the two interacting. Once you’re done, our photo books are the perfect way to print and cherish those memories.


Whatever your plans for Mother’s Day, don’t forget to check out our wide range of products from magnetic prints and keychains to jewelry boxes that you can customize with your photographs to gift your mom. If you’re looking to surprise your mom this Mother’s Day with a framed family photo that she will cherish forever, do check out our #PicturePerfectMom giveaway where you could be the lucky winner of a 16×20 canvas gallery wrap (with frame)! When ordering prints, our London Drugs Photolab App offers the best convenience and is available for iOS and Andriod. Or you can simply order online or visit your nearest London Drugs store!

Photography Tips for the Cutest Easter Photos

Easter is the perfect time to take some great family photos. With spring here, the flowers are blooming, the sun is out, and Easter goodies make for great props. To help capture all the Easter fun, our LDExperts have put together some helpful tips to inspire the photographer in you.

Capture colourful Easter eggs

Capturing colorful Easter eggs is a must-do photograph every Easter. You can experiment with creating patterns or mix them all together to create a visually appealing shot. Another fun way to do this is to capture them in a basket wrapped with some ribbon and a cute bow!

Snap Easter egg candids

Kids have as much fun dyeing and painting Easter eggs as they do eating them, so don’t miss out on the priceless expressions and fun moments! You can also shoot with a longer lens (80mm or a 100mm) to remain far enough away to be unobtrusive and get a tight frame. The anticipatory moments while gearing up for the Easter egg hunt is also another great opportunity to capture some beautiful candid shots – as is the Easter egg hunt itself!

Use simple backgrounds

One of the jobs of the photographer is to guide the viewer’s eye to specific points in the picture. Thanks to the vibrant colors of Easter eggs and Easter décor, setting up for photographs can be a breeze. You don’t need to have a well decorated or vibrant backdrop, even a simple table or plain wall would suffice. Creating the right depth of field while composing your shot is key. You can also experiment with selective focus – choosing exactly which Easter eggs in the frame you want the focus to be on!

Have fun with your pets

Why leave your furry friends out of the Easter photography fun? Easter-themed pet shots are especially a must-do if you just happen to have a real bunny rabbit, of course! Setting them up with a cute ‘Happy Easter’ card can create an adorable photograph. You can also get creative with other Easter décor like having them sit in an Easter basket or pose with the Easter eggs – but make sure they don’t get their paws on the the chocolate!

Dress up the little ones

If your kids are too small to participate in the Easter egg hunt or Easter egg painting, then they are the perfect age to dress up in those cute bunny outfits! You can also surround your baby with colorful eggs; a white backdrop and light clothing will help play up the colour contrasts. Want to create a beautiful background in seconds? Simply lay them on the bed and scatter some colourful plastic eggs all around!

Step outside and into nature

Spring flowers make a beautiful backdrop, so why not make good use of them this time of year? You can play with the lighting and angles to get a great shot. This photo was shot using a 180mm lens with f/5.6 aperture and a shutter speed of 1/350s. With the sunlight out, you’ll have to make sure you have the right settings to compensate for the brightness.


Once you’re done capturing your own beautiful Easter memories, don’t forget to get them printed! Our London Drugs Photolab App offers the best convenience and is available for iOS and Andriod. Or you can simply order online.

Our coasters offer a great way to display your photographs and add some Easter décor to your house. Easter themed cards are the perfect way to celebrate and share a family photograph with friends and relatives. Collages are a great way to display all the wonderful Easter memories you’ve captured. And if you’re looking for something unique, try our photo tiles, they make a great keepsake of the little ones!

Order your personalized Easter themed photolab products between April 11th and April 25th 2019, and use promo code Bunny2019 to save 15% on your order.

If you’re looking for help on what would work best for your photographs, just visit your nearest London Drugs store and speak to one of our LDExperts in the photolab!

15 Exhibitions to Check Out During Vancouver’s Capture Photography Festival

London Drugs Photolab supports featured artists with gallery-quality prints for lens-based art exhibits


For the 6th consecutive year, London Drugs is proudly sponsoring the Capture Photography Festival in Vancouver. Photography exhibits will pop up all over Metro Vancouver during the month of April, celebrating lens-based art by both local and international artists. In support of these talented artists, the London Drugs Photolab is providing printing grants to select artists participating in the Capture Photography Festival. These grants will supply the artists with the gallery quality prints they need for their gallery exhibitions.

Over the past few weeks, our experienced Photolab Technicians across Vancouver have been working diligently with each of the selected artists to get their images ready for public display, ensuring the colours are to the artist’s specifications, and printing everything from enlargements to aluminum metal panels and fine art Hahnemühle bamboo fine art prints – all using the most innovative photofinishing equipment.

Photolab Manager Cassidy works on the Iris Film Collective’s LOOPDALOOP exhibit, printing stills taken from 16mm motion picture film (Photo credit: Alex MacKenzie)

Capture’s community engagement assistant, Laura, picks up a set of museum quality prints from Photolab Technician Lee, ready for display! The prints will be on display as part of the Flash Forward Incubator student exhibition.


To show your support for the local photography community and see the final prints in person, check out these Capture Photography Festival exhibits this April – all supported by London Drugs printing grants:


NPAC’s National Pictures of the Year Nominees

Mark Blinch – The Canadian Press, 2018

April 1 – 26

Group Exhibit – News Photographers Association of Canada

Pendulum Gallery, 885 W Georgia St, Vancouver


Opening Reception

Thursday April 11 6-9pm



Boundaries Exhibition & Silent Auction

Bohdan Lee, Flash Forward Incubator Program, 2019

April 2–6

Group Exhibit – Flash Forward Incubator Program

Roundhouse Community Arts Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

Tuesday–Friday 9 am–10 pm, Saturday 9 am–3 pm


Silent Auction

Saturday April 6, 1–3 pm



In Transit: Reflections

Arts Umbrella Student, In Transit, 2019

April 6–15

Group Exhibit – Arts Umbrella Students

Remington Gallery, 108 East Hastings St, Vancouver

Saturday & Sunday 12–4 pm, Monday – Friday by appt. (604-218-2109)


Opening Reception

Saturday April 6, 5–8 pm



On Friendship: An Exhibition of Portraits by Children

Garnet Hertz, (Overhead shot of visitors and artists at a Back Alley Gallery Project exhibition and potluck in October 2018), 2018

April 27 (one night event)

Group Exhibit & Community Potluck

Back Alley Gallery Project, located in the alley behind 2448 E 8th Ave, Vancouver

Saturday April 27, 5–9 pm



Photography without Cameras: Lumen Printing Workshop

April 13, 2019 (one day event)

With Artist: Phyllis Schwartz

Vancouver Lipont Art Centre, 4211 Number 3 Road, Richmond
Sat. Apr 13, 11 am–3 pm



Disposable Camera Project IV

Pamela Rounis, DCP III, 2018, digital photograph

April 27 (one night event)

Participating Artists: Tom Hsu, Taby Cheng, Karilynn Ming Ho, Hyung-Min Yoon, Christian Nicolay, and Helen Shaw.

SAD Mag Pop-Up, 1050 E Hastings St, Vancouver

Sat. Apr 27, 8–11pm



where the hour floats

Amalie Atkins, Aprons, 2015, chromogenic print, 40”x50”, Courtesy of Amalie Atkins

On until April 21

Artist: Amalie Atkins

Art Gallery at Evergreen, 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam

Wednesday – Saturday 12–5 pm, Sunday 12–4 pm, closed Monday & Tuesday



Finding My Father at Yongpyong

Taehoon Kim, Finding my father at Yongpyong #7, 2018, archival inkjet print, 12”x16”

On until April 29

Artist: Taehoon Kim

North Vancouver District Public Library, 1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver

Monday – Friday 9 am–9 pm, Saturday 9 am–5 pm, Sunday 12–5 pm


Opening Reception

Thursday April 11, 6–8 pm




Zoe Kirk-Gushowaty, part of LOOPDALOOP, 2019, 16mm film installation

April 4–28

Group Exhibit – Iris Film Collective

Participating Artists: Ariel Kirk-Gushowaty, Zoe Kirk-Gushowaty, Alex MacKenzie, Lisa G. Nielsen, Nisha Platzer, Sydney Southam, Amanda Thomson, and Ryder White

Burrard View Fieldhouse, 545 North Slocan St, Vancouver

Monday – Sunday 7–9 pm


Opening Reception

Thursday April 4, 7–9 pm



The Strata of Many Truths

Roxanne Charles, Truth, 2011

April 5–25

Artist: Roxanne Charles

Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver

Monday, Tuesday, Sunday 10 am–5 pm, Wednesday 10 am–5 pm, Thursday 10 am–8 pm, Friday & Saturday 10 am–9 pm

Museum admission: $9.75 (child)–$20.50 (adult)


Opening Reception

Friday April 5, 7–9 pm


Curatorial Panel Discussion

Saturday April 6, 1–3 pm



Shadow Architecture

Michael Love, Architectural Study #8, 2018, inkjet print, 20”x30”

April 11–May 4

Artist: Michael Love

Franc Gallery, 1654 Franklin St, Vancouver

Saturday & Sunday 12–6 pm, Monday – Friday by appt (ron@francgallery.com)


Opening Reception

Thursday April 11, 6–9 pm



What It Is

Dan Jackson, It Isn’t It, 2018, archival pigment print, 36″x36″

April 12–14

Artist: Dan Jackson

Studio 730, 730 Richards St, Vancouver

Saturday & Sunday 10am–6pm


Opening Reception

Friday April 12, 7pm–midnight



HANDS ON–A Handcrafted Human Mosaic

Paolo Rubini, Game on (Phnom Phen, Cambodia), 2018, giclée photo metallic print, 14”x21”

April 12–May 5

Artist: Paolo Rubini

VIFF Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver

Monday – Sunday from 6 pm (+ when films are on)


Opening Reception:

Friday April 12, 7:30–9:30 pm



Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation Basketball

Alana Paterson, from the series Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation Basketball, 2018

April 13–May 12

Artist: Alana Paterson

The Polygon Gallery, 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver

Tuesday – Sunday 10 am–5 PM, closed Monday

Admission by donation


Opening Reception

Saturday April 13, 1 pm



Green Glass Door

Theo Terry, Picture for Butchers, 2018, pigment print in custom frame

April 25–May 19

Participating Artists: Noah Friebel, Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes, Theo Terry, Graeme Wahn

Trapp Projects, 274 E 1st Ave, Vancouver

Saturday 10–5 pm & by appt (info@trappeditions.com)


Opening Reception

Thursday April 25, 7–9 pm




Which exhibit are you most excited to check out? Follow along on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes of the gallery images being printed by our Photolab, as well as get a sneak peek inside the gallery exhibits!

12 Ways to Make Your iPhone Photos Look Amazing

Think you can’t take stunning photos with just your iPhone? Think again! We’ve got some handy tips to take your iPhone photos from drab to fab.

1. Composition

The best way to make beautiful and impressive photos is by thinking about how the subjects are positioned. In photography terms, that’s called composition. The rule of thirds is a good place to start working on your composition, and below are a few more tips to keep in mind when setting up a photo:

  • Negative Space is the area around and between the subjects of an image. One, single compelling subject will stand out more than a frame cluttered with objects. Try placing your subject against open sky, water, an empty field, smooth table top, or a large wall. Tip: tap the screen of your iPhone on the subject before you take the photo to ensure that it’s sharp and exposed correctly.

  • Perspective – When taking photos, most people stand straight, point the phone at the subject at eye level, and take the shot. If you want to create interest, try changing your perspective: stand above your subject, crouch lower and point the camera up (or even lie down!), move in closer, stand further away, or move off to the side. Take many shots of the same subject from different positions and see what kind of unusual perspectives you get.

  • Depth – Creating depth draws the viewer’s eye into the scene, especially in landscape photography. One way to create depth is to include leading lines in your composition. Use a road, path, railway track, river, fence or water line that leads from the foreground into the distance. Another way to create depth is to include an object in the foreground. Get rocks, flowers, leaves or other things that are close to you into the bottom or side of the frame, or if you can’t find any foreground objects, just shoot from a lower angle. Long story short, think in three dimensions, not just two.
  • Diagonal Alignment – We crave visual balance, and a creative way to achieve that balance is through diagonal alignment. If you have two main subjects in your scene, especially if it’s still life, try positioning them diagonally. If you can’t control the position of your subjects, you’ll need to move yourself around. (Hint: find a diagonal leading line.)
  • Symmetry is incredibly pleasing to the human eye, and it’s also one of the simplest ways to compose a great photo. This doesn’t always fit into the rule of thirds, but you’re allowed to break the rules once in a while to get a cool photo.

2. Patterns and Abstracts

To make a strong visual impact, capture a pattern or abstract subject. Only showing the essence of something creates mystery and interest without revealing the entire subject. Try cropping a portion of a larger photo, or take a close-up shot of an everyday object that leaves the viewer wondering what it might actually be.

3. Texture and Details

Close-up images that capture intricate or delicate details can make for engaging visual content. Keep an eye out for pleasing textures and surfaces like peeling paint, moisture droplets, frost, wood grain, fabric, or animal fur.

Tip: iPhone lenses are limited, so you can’t get too close to your subjects. Instead, take the photo from a bit of a distance and crop it, and use the “sharpen” tool in your favourite photo editing app to enhance the details. (More on those tips later.)

4. Silhouettes and Shadows

Silhouette photos are always eye-catching. To start, your subject needs to be positioned in front of a light source, and sunrise or sunset is the best time to capture the most beautiful silhouettes. If you’re shooting indoors, place your subject in front of a window, lamp, or a reflected light source.

Shadows are also fun to play with; once you place your subject in front of the light, try focusing on the shadow on the ground and see what striking shapes appear. 

5. Reflections

We already mentioned that the human eye loves symmetry, and a reflection is another beautiful way to capture that. A cool reflection can also create depth and mystery. Of course a calm body of water is a perfect place to find a beautiful reflection, but keep your eye out for other reflective surfaces to shoot: mirrors, a wet street, windows, ice, sunglasses, and glass buildings are all perfect.

6. Colour

Playing around with colour is a fun way to find your photography style. Think about what colours you are drawn to (muted, vibrant, bold, natural, etc.) Learning about complementary colours can also help you know what to look for and create even more visual impact. Whatever catches your eye will probably catch someone else’s eye too.

7. Candids

Posed photos are wonderful for family memories, but candid shots can sometimes tell a more captivating story. Try putting people in a setting where they can act naturally and not have to pose, like walking down a colourful street, chatting happily together, or looking at a beautiful sunset.

8. Natural Light

You may have noticed already that it’s nearly impossible to get a nice photo using the iPhone’s flash, so the best way to light your photos is with natural light. First, turn the flash off: open up your camera app, tap on the little lightning bolt in the upper left corner, then choose Off. Indoors, windows will be your best friend – just avoid direct sunlight, and don’t shoot directly into the window (unless you’re trying to create a silhouette on purpose).

If you’re shooting people, place them next to something naturally reflective like a light-coloured wall. If you are outdoors, overcast days are perfect for taking photos anywhere. If it’s a bright, sunny day, try to find a shady spot with some reflected light, or shoot during the “golden hour” (the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset). Night time photos can be trickier with an iPhone, so make sure there is some kind of light source nearby like a lamp or a streetlight.

9. Quantity

Now that we don’t have to worry about wasting precious film, we have the luxury of increasing our odds of getting a nice photo by taking lots of them. With landscapes and still life, take at least 3-5 photos for each shot (you never know when the wind will change or the sun will go behind a cloud!) and with people or animals, take even more.

Tip: Before you head out the door on a day you know you’ll be taking lots of photos, back up your phone, then clear out your Photos folder to ensure you’ve got enough memory.

10. In-phone Settings

  • Gridlines – An easy way to improve your photos is with the Grid function. It will superimpose gridlines on the screen that are based on the rule of thirds. Go to Settings, choose Photos & Camera, and switch Grid on. Experiment with lining up your subjects in the sections going up and down or across the screen.
  • Focus and exposure –  You can use the auto focus feature by tapping on what you want in the sharpest focus, and a square will appear and focus on the area you tapped. (This will also automatically adjust the exposure, too.)
  • Avoid zooming inIf you’re far away, it’s tempting to zoom in on your subject, but because the iPhone doesn’t have lenses that focus like an SLR camera, all that will do is make the photo look blurry or pixelated. Instead, get closer to your subject or take the photo from a distance and crop it later.

11. Filters and Editing

Photos filters are everywhere these days, since there are so many to choose from and easy to use. There are a few handy built-in filters in your iPhone. When you open a saved photo, tap on Edit in the top right corner of the screen, then tap on the little 3-circle Filters icon at the bottom. Scroll through the filters to choose the one that suits your mood. You can also adjust the levels manually by clicking on the dial icon, then choosing Light, Colour, or B&W. The Crop tool (the little turning square icon on the left) will help you change the size or zoom in to your photo, or you can turn it if necessary. These options could get your photo where it needs to be, but they are fairly limited. An editing app will take your photos to the next level, and there are many good ones in the App Store that are free or inexpensive.

12. Accessories

  • Mobile tripod – Smartphones make photography very easy, but if you want to elevate your selfie game, get yourself a mobile tripod. It will ensure your shot stays level and balanced, and because mobile tripods are barely bigger than your mobile device, they are easy to take anywhere.
  • External lenses – If you want to experiment with more angles and perspectives in your iPhone photography, invest in an external lens. From macro to fish-eye to wide-angle options, these add-ons can bring an entirely new look to your photos, without breaking the bank on a bag full of expensive gear.

We hope you will use these tips to start getting creative with your iPhone photos. Want to show off your best photos for all the world to see? Take them to our Photolab!

5 Photography Tips for Stunning Landscapes

As winter turns to spring, outdoor landscapes begin to bloom and blossom with stunning photo ops. If you’ve got your photography equipment ready to go, here are some helpful tips to ensure you capture your next outdoor masterpiece.

1. Near and Far, It’s All Relative

When photographing stunning natural landmarks such as mountains, try to capture not only the hero of the image but also its immediate surroundings. That way you can give the viewer a greater sense of scale.

As you’re framing your shot, have a look around you to see if there’s something closer than your hero subject that will help you tell a better story in your shot as a whole. A wide angle lens like Olympus’ 9-18mm ultra wide angle lens will increase the space differential, helping you to better tell that story.

Photo tips for landscapes

In this shot, while it would have been easy to photograph just the water and lighthouse, taking a step back and including the rock formation in the foreground gives the shot a better sense of space.

Tips for Landscape Photography

If you’re having trouble finding foreground subjects, consider using people. The human element can drastically change the feel of the image too, because then the person becomes the image’s hero!

2. Shoot at the Best Times of the Day

Did you know there are better times of the day to photograph landscapes (apart from when there is good light and the sky is clear and blue). There are four specific times of the day that pros love to shoot — provided the weather is ideal. These are called the golden hour and the blue hour, and both of these phenomena happen twice a day — in the early morning and in the late afternoon.

Landscape Photography Tips

Golden hour occurs just after sunrise and before sunset — when the light is softer and bathes everything in a soft yellow glow that is very pleasant to photograph. Most things (including people) look better when photographed in this light.

Landscape Photography Tips

The blue hour occurs after the sun has dropped below the horizon and bathes everything in a soft blue light. This light creates a nice contrast to the warmth of golden light, and can make your image feel colder. The blue hour is a particularly good time for shooting urban landscapes and cityscapes, as it make landscapes look very dramatic and colour-rich.

3. Add Drama to Your Shot by Slowing Down Your Shutter Speed and Getting the Most Out of Your Filters

Because there is generally plenty of light during the day, using slow shutter speeds can be challenging. This is where your Neutral Density (ND) Filter will come in handy. Slowing down your shutter speed allows your camera to capture the flow and movement of things rather than the sharp features people would be most used to seeing. For example, waterfalls and streams can look stunning when slower shutter speeds are used. Just remember to pack your tripod!

A polarizing filter will allow you to remove the reflections off reflective surfaces such as water or glass. This is particularly useful when you’re trying to make your images look cleaner. Additionally, you can also stack filters so that you combine the effect of an ND and a polarizing filter!

Landscape Photography Tips

In this shot of a waterfall, notice how it is difficult to see the detail in the waterfall. Because of the way it was shot, it looks like the water is flowing rather than stationary. This is because this shot was taken at a slower shutter speed. In this shot, the camera was set to a shutter speed of two seconds. This allows the camera to adequately blur the waterfall.

Landscape Photography Tips

By slowing down your shutter speed, notice that rather than seeing the waves of the sea crashing on the beach, you instead see a serene flow? This was a 30-second exposure. Just remember that you will need a tripod to achieve this result as you will not be steady enough to handhold the camera.

Landscape Photography Tips

Landscape Photography Tips

This is the same shot, however a neutral density (ND) filter was used to allow for slower shutter speeds. This shot was taken at 30 seconds and allows for the water to be less distracting ensuring that the viewer concentrates on the heroes of this shot – the bridge and the mountains!

Landscape Photography Tips

A polarizer will remove reflection from the surface of the water so that you can see the detail underneath. Notice how you can see detail of the rocks underneath the water?

4. Get Lower to Accentuate Your Perspective and Subjects

Sometimes when you take a landscape shot, it just lacks that extra pop? It could be that you are simply not getting down low enough. Vistas that stretch for miles on end can be exaggerated by the simple act of photographing from a lower perspective.

Mirrorless cameras with articulating screens, such as the one found in the Olympus E-M5 Mark II, will allow you to get lower without placing undue stress on your back or knees.

Landscape Photography Tips

See in this image how the camera was positioned close to the surface of the sand so that you see the footsteps leading toward the shipwreck? Shooting lower allows you to accentuate your perspective as well as provide the viewer with something interesting to follow in the shot – in this case, the footsteps.

5. Converging Lines Will Always Help Frame Your Shot

Ever noticed when you look at some pictures how your eye is lead to look toward a certain direction? This is often because of a phenomenon called converging lines. Due to perspective, if edges run parallel into the distance, those edges will seem to appear to get closer and closer as the distance increases. A great example of that is when you look at train tracks into the distance. Identifying converging lines in your shot is an essential skill for landscape photography that will take your game to the next level!

Landscape Photography Tips

In this photo, the lines made by the buildings guide your eyes toward the right side of the image. This is a great way to use landscape features to lead the viewer’s gaze.

London Drugs carries a wide range of equipment for all your photography needs. Come talk to one of our experts in store, or check out our camera equipment online.

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