Winter Photography Tips for Shooting Indoors

Stuck indoors this winter and frustrated about not being able to travel and snap some great photographs? While winters are the perfect time to cozy up indoors, it doesn’t mean that photography needs to take a back seat. We’ve got just what you need to embrace indoor photography and keep the shutterbug in you happy all winter long! From creative shooting ideas to tips on how to work with low lighting, our LDExperts in the Photolab are sharing everything you need to know to set up the perfect shot, in the comfort of your home!


Choosing the right location

When shooting indoors you have to explore your working space, as the best spot to shoot may be the last place you think of! While the living room often has the best lighting, the kitchen, front foyer, hallways, bedroom and even the bathroom may sometimes be a great place to experiment. Bathrooms usually have a lot of white and there are also mirrors which reflect the light, making it a great place to get creative. While taking shots in a mirror, make sure your reflection isn’t making a cameo. It can take some patience to get the angles and reflections, but it’s definitely worth it.


Play with the lighting

With the limited lighting available in winter, window light is just what you need to create the perfect ambience. Natural lighting doesn’t like competition though, and electric lights can affect your white balance. Look for spots that have patches of light coming in through the doors and windows and place your subject accordingly. Place your subject a foot or two away from the light source. This way you’ll make the best use of the natural light, and avoid the harsh contrasts that can be created by being too close to the window or door. It also helps to take note of what kind of light enters each room throughout the day.

You can also utilize light sources you would never have considered before such as computer and iPad lights, oven lights, night lights, torches and candles. What’s great about this is that you don’t necessarily have to be taking photos during the day – it can even be while reading bedtime stories to the kids! Just make sure you watch your white balance when dealing with artificial light.


Using reflective surfaces & blinds

When using natural light coming in through a window, you may find the issue of uneven lighting, which creates shadows on the subject. While this does look good in some instances, there’s also an easy fix for it. Use a piece of white poster board to bounce the light around and brighten up the side of the subject that isn’t facing the window. Mirrors are another great way to control lighting.

Blinds and curtains also help control the amount of light entering the room. If the sun is beaming directly into the room, the light can blow out your photos. Proper exposure and curtains can help soften that light.


Getting the best angle

Playing with angles helps with achieving different perspectives. You can shoot up close to capture details or further back to include environment for context. Shooting from different eye levels can also be explored – up high, down low, or over the shoulder, for example.

You can also play with the angle of your lighting. If the light is on your subject directly, it will create the most even lighting across them. Meanwhile, light coming in from the side at an angle creates some great shadows and depth. If your camera is facing the window with the sunlight at your subject’s back then make sure you’re exposing for your subject’s skin. Otherwise, your camera will read the light behind them and underexpose your subject.


Selecting the correct exposure

When shooting indoors, you will have to bump up the ISO to make the most of the ambient light. When your image is too dark when you take your photo, and you try to bring up the exposure in post processing, you end up introducing more grain and defeating your original purpose! Don’t underexpose your image for fear of bumping your ISO “too high”. Ensure your image is properly exposed, even if that means a slower shutter speed (within reason) or a higher ISO.


White Balance

Colour temperature plays an important role while shooting indoors. It works best to shoot in natural light, turning off lamps and overhead lighting. While correcting white balance is possible during editing, it is best to achieve as much as possible with your camera settings. Setting your camera to custom white balance and using a white wall usually does the trick.


So the next time you’re stuck indoors on a cold day, pick up your camera and gear to snap some great shots!  And once you’re done capturing those cozy new snapshots, you can simply visit our London Drugs Photolab website or upload your photos to the London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android. From there, you can select from multiple print options, like wall decor, prints and enlargements, mugs, coasters and even keychains. Or, if you need the help of our LDExperts, just visit us in the Photolab in-store!


Here’s Why Countless Canadians Trust Us with Their Photos

Welcome to the London Drugs Photolab!

With over 35 years of photofinishing experience, the London Drugs Photolab can help you to preserve your memories and bring your photos to life. Our Photolab provides a wide variety of prints and personalized gifting products to creatively share your best photos, from photo books and mugs, to fine art prints and so much more.

Our experienced Photolab Technicians are dedicated to producing the highest quality photofinishing products, as well as offering Photolab services including film processing, scanning, and digital restoration: all using state-of-the-art equipment.

Why trust us with your photos? Watch the video to see how our LDExperts Nikki and Dave have built trusting relationships with their Photolab customers. Or just ask the countless Canadians – families and photographers alike – who already trust us with their photos!

Visit the London Drugs Photolab online or in-store to start creating something unique with your photos, or download our London Drugs Photolab App for iOS and Android. We can ship to your local London Drugs for pick-up, or deliver anywhere in Canada.

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.

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 26th, 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 documents

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 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 started, visit the London Drugs Photolab online or in store.


LD Experts: The Best Back To School Tech

The school year is still ramping up, and many students are now realizing they could use some extra tech to help provide an edge in their studies.  

Luckily, London Drugs Tech Expert Julian Sanders recently talked to CTV Morning Live Regina about the best back to school tech for 2017.

Watch the full feature here.

Top Back To School Tech Tips:

A major challenge modern students face is managing their many digital files and documents. One risk is that a precious hard drive could fall and break or become water damaged. For that, a rugged, waterproof hard drive, like this one from Lacie, is a great option.

Just transferring files between devices is another frequent challenge, especially when using iPhones or iPads for school work. A possible solution is the Leef iBridge, a special flash drive available in a variety of storage capacities that lets you transfer to these popular devices with ease.

Another common wishlist capability is to easily create digital copies of printed materials on the go…

For that, a wireless, wifi-enabled scanner such as the IRIScan Anywhere is incredibly handy. You can create digital scans in seconds and the results are much more legible than a photo or photocopy would be. Plus, these scans can be searched and even manipulated digitally. They’re great for research, letting you scan documents to read later or search later. And for scientific papers, you even scan and analyze data tables.

Aside from other staples like tough and affordable laptops and cool new gadgets like handheld printers, there’s a final piece of tech students are just beginning to need this time of year: an electric kettle.

They’re perfect for whipping up a quick oatmeal in the morning or some lunchtime noodles. But they are especially crucial for brewing late-night study fuel in your dorm room.

Have more questions about student tech?

Visit your local London Drugs and ask an LD Expert. And remember, we’re always open 24/7 online.

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)!

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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