6 Summer Photography Tips for Capturing Beautiful Beach Views

Whether you’re hitting the beach close to home, or vacationing somewhere abroad this summer, one thing you’ll want to take with you is your camera. Beaches are a place of so much natural beauty, from their seemingly endless horizons and stunning sunrises to their abundance of sea life and dramatic crashing waves. To help you capture even better photos at the beach this summer, our LDExperts in the Photolab have compiled the best beach photography tips – keep on reading below to learn more!

Take Advantage of Golden Hour

Shooting at sunrise is your best bet to give your photos that beautiful golden glow. With the light coming from a low angle at that early time of day, you’ll be able to avoid those harsh shadows (‘raccoon eyes’) that usually occur at midday. Golden hour is also a great chance to play with silhouettes.  The warmer colours also give a certain ‘magical’ quality to photos – hence why this time of day is also referred to as ‘magic hour’!

Capture the Details

While you might usually think of wide-angle shots when it comes to beach photography, don’t forget about close-ups. There are plenty of opportunities to capture small details at the beach: everything from textured seashells to clumps of seaweed and little crabs. Experiment with the depth of field to really emphasize them.

Experiment with Long Exposure

The combination of beach waves and long exposure photography can make for some truly stunning shots. Consider playing with your shutter speed to achieve different effects. A long exposure of greater than 10 seconds will turn the moving tides into smooth serene waters. Or you can try a medium length exposure, of about 2 to 9 seconds, that will show a bit more movement to the water. You’ll need to adjust your ISO and aperture accordingly, once you’ve decided on your shutter speed – likely a low ISO around 100, and a smaller aperture of around f/10 or f/11. A good tripod and a remote shutter are important accessories for getting the shot, too. As is an ND filter.

Look for a Focal Point

While the sheer vastness of ocean beaches is stunning in person, they can make for rather empty and boring photos…until something is introduced into the foreground. Search for interesting focal points like lifeguard towers, large rock clusters, a wooden stump, a sandcastle or even a pair of sunglasses.

Keep Your Eye on the Horizon

If you’re capturing the horizon in your shot, the most important thing is to keep the horizon as square to the framing as possible. While the horizon should be straight across the frame, there’s no need for it to be perfectly centered. Experiment with the placement of the horizon, either above or below the centre of the frame.

Use Fill Flash to Avoid Shadows

One of the biggest issues when shooting at the beach midday is the dark shadows that often fall on your subjects’ faces. One way to avoid that is to use your flash. The flash will fill those shadowy places on the face, like around the eyes and nose. This can also be used when shooting into the sun to avoid your subject from turning into a silhouette (unless that’s what you were hoping to achieve). The flash can sometimes be a bit too bright, however – if that’s the case, you may need to step a bit further away from your subject, and zoom in if you can.

 

Capturing a beautiful shot at the beach is just the first step – the next is deciding how best to showcase it! Our London Drugs Photolab is here to help, with a large variety of print options. For a vibrant sunrise or sunset shot, consider ordering an aluminum metal panel, which will make those vivid colours really pop. Or, choose a canvas gallery wrap, canvas print or bamboo print to give your sandy beach photos some added texture. Or, if you’d like to frame your masterpiece, choose an enlargement up to 44”x96” in size. Your beach photos would also be a great addition to a personalized calendar.

You can even order your prints right from the beach – simply download our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android, or use our Photolab website. Or if you’d like to chat with one of our LDExperts, just visit us in the Photolab to get some extra help and use our in-store Photolab kiosks.

E3 Updates – LD@E3 2019

June 12th, 2019 2:00pm

Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Sequel Announced For Switch

More images to come from the show floor!

 

June 11th, 2019 11:00am

Nintendo Direct E3 2019’s presentation focused entirely on brand new software and titles coming in 2019. No news regarding the rumored new console – so far.

Nintendo’s 2019 lineup includes Super Mario Maker 2Fire Emblem: Three HousesAstral ChainMarvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black OrderDragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age — Definitive EditionAnimal Crossing for Nintendo Switch, Daemon X MachinaLuigi’s Mansion 3Pokémon Sword and Shield, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

Photo’s below – from the Nintendo presentation area.  Credit: R.Mohagen

More to Come!  Stay tuned to this blog post, which we will update throughout the conference.

Win two tickets to see Andrea Bocelli in concert in Vancouver!

Win 2 tickets to see Andrea Bocelli in concert June 13th at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC. Travel is not included.

Get ready for the concert and listen to Andrea Bocelli’s most recent release Si. This album celebrates “love, family, faith and hope” and features duets with Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Josh Groban and soprano Aida Garifullina.

For more Andrea Bocelli CD’s check out the full selection here.

Andrea Bocelli Facebook Contest Terms & Conditions

To enter: Share with us your favourite Andrea Bocelli song.    Andrea Bocelli Contest Facebook post.

Contest is open to all residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba who, as of the date the prize draw is made: (i) have not won a London Drugs contest since May 30, 2018; (ii) have reached the age of majority in the province in which they reside as of May 30, 2019; (iii) are not employees of London Drugs, their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization (if any), or any family member living with any such employee.

No purchase necessary. Limit one (1) entry per person. Entries must be received no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Time on June 6th, 2019. London Drugs is not responsible for entries that become lost or misdirected. All entries become the property of London Drugs Limited and will not be returned.

One (1) winner will be randomly chosen (see dates below) in Richmond, British Columbia, from all eligible entries received per contest. To win, selected entrants must correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question and must sign London Drugs’ declaration and release confirming compliance with the contest rules and acceptance of the prize(s) as awarded, releasing London Drugs from liability in association with the contest and prize and consenting to the use of their name, photograph, voice and statements for promotional and publicity purposes.

There will be one prize consisting of two (2) concert tickets to see Andrea Bocelli at Rogers Arena June 13, 2019. Travel not included. Approximate total prize value $550.

See details and contest date below. Prizes must be accepted as awarded, are non-transferable and no substitutions are permitted. Prizes will be awarded at the closest London Drugs location to contest winners.

Contest dates – Thursday, May 30, 2019 – Thursday, June 6, 2019, 11:59 PM Pacific Time

Draw date – Friday, June 7, 2019

Only one prize may be won by any one person and household. In the event that any selected entrant incorrectly answers the skill-testing question or is otherwise unwilling or unable to comply in full with these rules, a new entry will be drawn.

Selected winners will be contacted by Facebook Messenger. No correspondence will be entered into except with selected entrants. If the winners do not respond then they will be notified for the second time, 3 (three) days after the first notification. If the winners still do not respond within 3 days of the second notification, a new winner will be chosen in the same manner until a winner is successfully contacted.

The chances of winning a prize will depend on the number of eligible entries received. Decisions of the judges in respect of all aspects of this contest including, but not limited to, eligibility of entries and correctness of answers given to the skill-testing question, are final.

London Drugs and their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization, and their respective agents are not liable to an entrant in any manner relating to the contest or the awarding and use of the prize(s).

This contest is subject to all federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations. By entering the entrant consents to the collection of all personal information included on their entry and agrees to the use and disclosure of such information by and between London Drugs, an independent judging organization, and their agents. The winner(s) also agrees to the collection, use, and disclosure of their name, entry, photographs, voice, and statements for London Drugs’ publicity purposes without further compensation. All personal information collected from entrants will be used only for the purposes of administering the contest and for marketing and promotional purposes as contemplated by these rules; under no circumstances will any personal information be sold or rented to third parties. All personal information collected by London Drugs will be kept in accordance with the privacy policy of London Drugs, which can be viewed at www.londondrugs.com, and in accordance with all applicable privacy laws.

The right is reserved by London Drugs to terminate this contest, in whole or in part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the contest, and/or these rules in any way, should any cause beyond the reasonable control of London Drugs or its agents affect the proper administration thereof.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

 

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Take Dad Down Memory Lane

Dads are notoriously tough to buy gifts for. Something about them having everything they need already? So this Father’s Day, why not surprise dad with the gift of memories – something we’re sure he’ll be happy to receive. Give him the gift of memories of his childhood, memories of his first years as a father, memories of his worldly travels…whatever you think will resonate best with your dad! Here, our Photolab Experts will show you how to compile your own Father’s Day gift using throwback photos of dad.

Dust Off the Shoeboxes & Photo Albums

First, you’ll need to find some old photos of dad to work with. That means digging through old photo albums and dusty shoeboxes full of old photos to find some treasures. If they’re not in plain sight, you may need to check the basement, attic or storage unit. Be very careful when handling the old photographs you find. After being exposed to light, dust, heat and other elements over the decades, they are likely to be quite fragile.

Dad thought all evidence of that bowl cut was gone…little does he know it was just buried in a shoebox, waiting to be uncovered! You know it’ll give him (and everyone else) a good laugh.

Give Damaged Photos some TLC

If you come across some great oldies while sorting through the shoeboxes of photographs, but they’re a bit worse for wear, we may be able to help. Our Photolab offers digital restoration services to help restore your photos to their former glory. Simply bring the photos into the Photolab and our LDExperts can digitally edit each individual image to bring back a little colour worn by dust and heat, fill in scratches, or restore parts of an image that was destroyed by water damage. You’d be amazed at what we’re able to restore!

Digitize Dad’s Old Photographs

Once you’ve picked some real gems of dad ‘back in the day’, you’ll want to digitize those original photographs so that you can turn them into a unique Father’s Day gift. You can do this yourself with an at-home scanner, but if you’re looking to digitize a large selection of photos (it’s hard to choose, we know!), we recommend using our Photo Scanning Box service.

Just pick up a free box in-store and fill it with up to 800 photos (and other precious documents). Then return the box to your local London Drugs Photolab and we’ll digitize your photos for only $179.99. Once finished, your photos will be returned to you, along with all the digital files on a USB drive.

We also offer a Slide Scanning Box service, if you dug up some great slides of dad and want to get those digitized too.

You might even consider digitizing all of dad’s old photos and slides a Father’s Day gift, while you’re at it! After all, those are precious memories worth protecting in the form of digital files. He’ll thank you later, if anything ever happens to the originals!

Create Your Father’s Day Throwback Gift

Now that you have all the digital files of dad’s photos at your fingertips, you can get creative with how you want to gift them! One of our favourite ways to showcase photos as a gift, especially if you have quite a few, is with a photo book. Our high quality photo paper and exceptional inks will give the images new life – and you know dad will love flipping through them all and reminiscing. Our photo collages are another great way to showcase a whole selection of your dad’s best snapshots from over the years. Both our photo books and collages also have themed Father’s Day templates!

We also have lots of unique keepsakes that we can customize with your chosen throwback photo of dad. Add his ‘mug’ to a Father’s Day themed mug, or put an image of him on a photo box.

Then, finish off your gift with a thoughtful, personalized card which you can also add your own photo to and customize with text. We have Father’s Day templates for those too.

Happy Father’s Day!

6 Summer Photography Tips for Better Photos at the Lake

We might be slightly biased, but Canada really does have the best summers. The beaches are basking in sun, patios are buzzing, campsites are aplenty, and lakes are prime for a dip. In Part 1 of our Summer Photography Tips series, our LDExperts in the Photolab are sharing their expertise for capturing the perfect photos lakeside. If you’re planning to visit Canada’s lake country this summer, make sure to check out these tips before you go, so you can capture even better summer photos!

Adjust Your Exposure

The number one issue when shooting in the middle of a sunny summer day is managing the brightness in your photos. Rather than shooting in Auto mode, our LDExperts recommend switching to Manual mode if you have it, and trying out some of the different exposure levels. If your camera has spot metering, even better. Using spot metering, you can essentially let your camera know which part of the image you want to be well exposed. If you notice your subjects are squinting due to the bright sunlight, face them away from the direct sun and simply meter on their face to ensure it’s well exposed. Of course, having your subject throw on a pair of sunglasses helps avoid the squinting issue entirely.

Be the Early Bird

If you’re taking your camera along to shoot iconic lakes like Moraine Lake or Lake Louise in Banff, being the early bird certainly means you’ll get the worm. The early start will ensure you capture the most pristine lake photos, unencumbered by tourists walking in and around your shot. Photographer Garrett Parker snapped this one of Moraine Lake at sunrise; look at how still that lake water is!

Use a Polarizing Filter

When shooting at the lake, where there is likely an ample amount of blue sky and blue water present in your photos, a polarizing filter will be extra handy. Essentially a polarizing filter filters out some of the light that is polarized, reducing reflections while also boosting contrasts. It will make those skies and lakes a deeper, richer hue. In a pinch and don’t have a polarizing filter? Try shooting through your polarized sunglasses!

Experiment with Reflections

Trees, mountains and structures can add a unique look to your photos in the form of reflections on the lake’s surface. James Wheeler snapped this shot in Field, BC with the canoe platform perfectly reflecting on the untouched lake.

Boats Make for Great Subjects

On a lake, boats make the best subjects. Whether they’re bobbing gently on the water, or racing across creating energetic waves, there’s lots of opportunities for unique boat shots. Depending on the lighting, you can experiment with reflections of the boat on the water, or even silhouettes like in the shot above.

Use Leading Lines

The viewer’s eye will be drawn to strong lines like a lake’s wharf, so try composing your shot around similar structures. Add a subject at the end of the wharf for added effect. A path leading to the lake or stepping stones would also make for compelling shots.

Shoot from Above

Have a drone in your photography arsenal? The lake is a perfect place to experiment with some unique aerial photos (within Transport Canada’s regulations, of course)! Just make sure you have enough battery power to get your drone out over the water and then back to shore before it runs out of juice.

 

Of course, great photos don’t deserve to just sit on your camera or phone – they deserve to be shared and displayed! Compile your favourite lakeside snapshots into a photo book, or take the best of the best and have them printed as a fine art prints, like an aluminum metal panel or enlargement. We also have all kinds of customizable novelties we can print your summer photos on – like a water bottle or even a beach blanket!

To get started, either download our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android, or upload your photos to our Photolab website. If you’d like a little extra guidance from our LDExperts, come visit us in-store in the Photolab!

Best Places to Take Graduation Photos

Graduation is a major milestone – the end of one massive chapter of life, and the start of another. It’s an exciting time, and an important one to commemorate with some great photos. To help you capture this milestone event, whether it’s your own graduation, a friend or family member’s or a client’s, our Photolab LDExperts have compiled a list of the best places across Canada to take graduation photos. Keep reading all the way to the end for tips on how to best showcase your favourite grad photos, too!

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver

Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver is a favourite spot amongst photographers for everything from wedding and engagement to grad photos. The main reason for that is that there are so many photo ops in one location! Energetic water fountains make for a fun place to snap some group grad photos. Wander into the park and find lots of spots filled with beautiful greenery and flowers, which are an excellent place for individual or couples photos.

UBC Rose Garden, Vancouver

Whether you graduated from UBC or not, the university’s Rose Garden is a stunning spot to take your grad photos. The garden is manicured with fragrant multi-coloured roses, and the panoramic views of mountains and ocean make for a beautiful backdrop. Flowers there are in bloom starting in June – perfect timing for your grad celebrations!

Polson Park, Vernon

Located near the heart of Vernon, Polson Park is a popular spot for weddings, engagement and grad photos alike. The park is well known for its Floral Clock, Japanese Garden, Chinese Pagoda and Rose Garden, all of which make for great photo ops. Photographer C. Daisy captured the shot you see above at one of the two ponds located the in park.

Downtown Calgary

Not interested in grad photos full of florals and greenery? Photographer Jessica Gray found this unique spot for her clients on a parkade rooftop at 3rd street and 6th avenue in downtown Calgary. It’s definitely one of the most unique group grad photos we’ve seen, and it looks like they had a blast too!

McHugh Bluff, Calgary

Calgary’s downtown skyline always makes for a great backdrop. Grab your grad crew and snap some photos at McHugh Bluff, which offers a beautiful view of the city in the distance.

Alberta Legislature Building, Edmonton

If you’re in the area, Edmonton’s Alberta Legislature Building is worth a stop to take some group graduation shots. The neutral tones of the building really make the colourful prom dresses pop! We also love how photographer Erin of @pickledbeetsphotography captured this shot from a low angle, making the Legislature Building in the background look even taller.

Former Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton

If you’re looking for a truly unique spot to snap some graduation photos in Edmonton, the former Royal Alberta Museum (now called the Glenora Building) is a must-visit! The columns shown in the photo above make for a perfect group photo op.

Kiwanis Waterfall Garden, Regina

The Kiwanis Waterfall Garden is such a beautiful spot in Regina for graduation photos. This creekside park has a stunning waterfall feature and nature-filled walking trails that would be perfect for capturing group or portrait shots.

Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg

Considered one of Winnipeg’s finest attractions, Assiniboine Park is a go-to for lots of grads looking for beautiful photos in their suits and gowns. The English Garden within the park is full of winding paths, free-form flower beds, and tranquil ponds: a perfect spot to take out the camera for some couples or portrait shots.

Photographer Lauren Cox, who shoots grad sessions for her clients, knows that the greenery in Assiniboine Park makes the perfect backdrop for colourful prom dresses!

Centre de la Nature, Laval

For a tranquil nature-filled spot for grad photos in the Greater Montreal area, the Centre de la Nature should be your first stop. This large urban park sprawls 50 hectares, with shaded pathways, flowers in bloom, tall trees and shrubbery, and even a lake. If you don’t mind risking getting the dress wet for a great shot, the lake even has canoe rentals!

 

After you’ve captured some great graduation photos, you know everyone from your mom to your great aunt will want copies to celebrate this big milestone. Send them prints and enlargements in the size of their choice, so they can proudly display your photos in their home! If there are just too many photos to choose just one, why not create a graduation photo book? Or a sleek collage poster that you can share with your friends? We even have graduation themed templates!

While you’re at it…don’t forget to order something special for the teachers you’ll be leaving behind after graduation. A photo mug, personalized notepad, or personalized photo card would be a thoughtful way to say thank you for all their hard work over the school year.

To order your graduation prints and gifts, just download our London Drugs Photolab App, available for iOS and Android, or simply visit our Photolab site or use our in-store kiosks.

Congrats, grads of 2019!

Transform Your Pics: 5 Apps That Make Photos Fantastical

Photoshop has long been the traditional choice for pro photo editors when it comes to making touch ups and subtle, realistic enhancements. But if you want your photos to look unique and fantastical, there are many other apps for that. Here are some of our favourites.

Photo Lab

Facial mashup with Photo Lab

Nothing’s more fun than making facial mashups on a rainy weekend when you’re stuck inside without much to do. Photo Lab lets you make the most beautiful — and silly — facial enhancements. Ever wonder what you’d look like with half a cat face? Now you can find out.

1967

Retro photos with 1967 app

If you’re of a certain age, and even if you’re not, you might appreciate that retro photo look. And it’s easy to get, without having to force the aging process on your prints. 1967 app offers an abundance of retro filters that add dust, grain, sun flares and fading to any photo, instantly aging it by 50 years.

PicsArt Photo Editor and Collage

Make cool art with Pics Art app

Oh the fun you can have with PicsArt, with its huge library of tools, filters, frames, backgrounds and borders. You can spend hours adding filters and stickers to your favourite photos, or cutting them up and making collages. PicsArt also offers brush mode to limit your edits to specific parts of the photo.

PIP Camera

Photo editing with PIP Camera

This freemium app lets you create magic effects, like duplicate images within a raindrop or a glass of water (though you have to upgrade to the paid version for $3.99 for those frames). It’s a fun way to up your photo game and create unusual and unexpected images.

Storyluxe

Photo Editing with StoryLuxe

This one’s a necessity if you’re posting to Instagram Stories. Storyluxe offers templates and filters that can help you build a unique visual story. Free templates include “film”, “love”, “neon”, and “edge” with funky embellishments. Advanced options are available for $3.99/month.

Want to print your fantastical photos? Visit your local LD Photolab.

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