Digitalab Featured Photographer: Karen McGowran

    At Digitalab, we know that you can’t underestimate the power of a truly exceptional image. The beauty of photography as an art form is in its diversity – with so many wonderful genres and so many utterly unique photographers out there, photography means many different things to many different people. That’s why we asked newborn and wedding photographer Karen McGowran a couple of questions about her style of photography, what she keeps in her kit bag and whether she has any advice for aspiring photographers hoping to make a career out of their passion.

    Karen McGowran


    Tell us a bit about this image and why you chose it to be featured.

    I found it VERY hard to choose just one image for this article as I have lots of favourites and also change my set ups every week as I like to keep things fresh but this is a recent one I really liked. I think it shows how I love to style and pose babies using beautiful props. I also love that my mother knit the little blanket…something she does a lot of for my newborn shoots. It’s quite a family affair! I do admit I have a prop fetish and if you ever visit my studio you can see for yourself!

    What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring photographer?

    Taking pretty photos of gorgeous babies is pretty fantastic but the key to making this work as a career is business and people skills. Learning how to promote your business and stand out in a saturated market is something a lot of photographers struggle with – and if you can gain business skills it can take your career to the next level. I know you only asked for one piece of advice but for Newborn photography, you need to learn about baby safety. You need to make sure the baby is comfortable and you never put them at any risk.

    What is your camera of choice?

    Nikon D750. I’ve been through almost all of the Nikon cameras and this one is my favourite so far. I love how it’s not too heavy and gives amazing images even in very low light.

    How would you describe your style of photography?

    I found this difficult to answer (doesn’t every photographer?) but I would say I photograph very new babies in a relaxed style with beautiful props and cute poses! I try very hard to make my shoots relaxing and enjoyable for the parents – and give them high quality images that will stand the test of time and look incredible on their walls.

    Which styles of photography interest and inspire you?

    I love all types of photography and follow a wide range of photographers, including landscapes, boudoir and digital art, but I think the person who is inspiring me most at the moment is Sue Bryce. The way she photographs women is simply beautiful and she’s incredibly inspiring too.

    In addition to her baby and newborn photography, Karen is listed as one of the Top 50 Wedding Photographers in the UK! Check out her website to see more of her work or make an enquiry.

      The Photographer’s 2017 Kit Bag

      Photographer's Kitbag

      Whether you’re a busy studio photographer, keen landscape enthusiast or a lover of traditional dev and print, it’s an exciting time to be a photography fan. Thanks to an ever expanding and more powerful collection of photo editing software, the multitude of national trade shows, seminars, training courses and festivals celebrating the industry and the ‘arms race’ between the leading camera manufacturers it’s never been easier to hone your craft or share your creations with the world.

      At Digitalab, we love any excuse to talk photography – and today, we’re giving you a peek inside our Photographers Kit Bag. From the innovative apps we can’t get enough of to our favourite photography festivals and Events, we’re giving photography enthusiasts everything they need to make next year’s portfolio their best one yet.

      If you would like to learn more about what we are doing throughout the year; events, new product launches, seminars and more then simply subscribe to our newsletter below



      Photo London

      The third edition of Photo London commences May 18th  and there’s a lot on offer at this international photography event. Bringing together leading photographers, exhibitors, curators and dealers, you’re invited to be a part of this world-class photography fair.


      Fujiholic Events

      Fujiholics ( a family of Fujifilm addicts from around the world owned by Matt Hart and Paul Sanders who are Fujifilm UK Ambassadors. Fujiholics aim to provide Free and Paid workshops and events around the world. They organise at least four Free Photowalks a year in the UK. They also provide training with Professional photographers in all genres of photography on location around the world and with some of the best Photography dealers in the industry. Check out their event guide HERE


      The SWPP Digital Imaging Roadshows

      The SWPP Convention held earlier in January was a huge success again and continues to go from stregnth to stregnth. If you missed out do not worry! The Societies hold a series of fantastic Roadshows across the UK. The Digital Imaging Roadshows always draw the top exhibitors and guest speakers in the country and are always worth a day out. You can also pre-book for 2018’s Convention which is sure to be even better than this years!


      The Photography Show

      The Photography Show returns to the NEC for the fourth year in 2017. A much anticipated event in the image-making community’s calendar, it will take place between 18-21 March, offering visitors the chance to try the latest technology from leading photography brands and access a variety of seminars, demos and conferences, designed to suit all levels of photographer.



      PhotoHubs are exciting regional events aimed at all passionate photographers looking for high quality, affordable training, and unique networking opportunities. The definition of a ‘hub’ is  “the effective centre of activity, region, or network”.  ‘PhotoHubs’ market themselves as that centre for all photographers! On offer at all of the PhotoHubs Events is high-quality training, seminars, workshops and intensive themed dedicated ‘Boot Camps’ at some of the two-day events that are all designed to accelerate learning. Great trade suppliers are also present at some of our events offering one2one opportunities to speak to you and exhibit their products.


      Digitalab on the road

      We are currently exhibiting at 10 shows around the UK this year! With new shows being added all the time, it’s always a good idea to keep up to date with where we will be on our “Events” page. The trade shows are a fantastic opportunity to meet our client base and introduce ourselves to new faces as well as display some of our fantastic product range.



      Side Gallery

      We are thrilled at the relaunch of the fantastic Side Gallery here in Newcastle. The Amber collective ( opened Side Gallery in 1977, because there wasn’t a venue in Newcastle, at the time, which would show the documentary work it was producing. In 1978 the great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson celebrated his 70th birthday with a retrospective at Side. The catalogue of photographers who have shown here since is remarkable. The recent redevelopment work will hopefully enable them to build on this over the next 10, 20, 40 years.


      Open Eye Gallery

      The non-profit Open Eye Gallery was founded in 1977 and celebrates innovative and independent photographers – with a colourful catalogue of exhibitions to fill your calendar. Based in Liverpool, this gallery has championed the artform for almost 40 years – and you could see your works on display in this legendary exhibition space.


      The Photographers’ Gallery

      At London’s largest public photographic gallery, the exhibitions range from historical images to daring new projects. The Photographers’ Gallery is a place where artists can discover up-and-coming talent and participate in everything from specialist workshops to social happenings.


      C / O Berlin

      Located in the heart of the German capital, C / O Berlin is a non-profit photographic gallery home to a calendar full of changing exhibitions, seminars and workshops – well worth a visit for any photography lovers and professional artists looking to explore the international scene.


      The Photographic Angle

      The Photographic Angle is responsible for a collection of free exhibitions, touring the UK and transforming public spaces into transient art galleries. Submit three of your favourite images for a chance to exhibit alongside a diverse suite of photographic specialists.


      Michael Hoppen Gallery

      Opened in 1992, the Michael Hoppen Gallery is a monument to the medium and home to a combination of photographic masters and breakthrough artists. Nestled in the heart of Chelsea, London, this diverse gallery celebrates the past, present and future of photography.



      Photography Farm

      This residential photography workshop nurtures budding artists, helping them to develop their skills and brush up on their business acumen. Photography Farm is the brainchild of alternative wedding photographer Lisa Devlin, who makes it her mission to impart the valuable insight she’s gained throughout her career in the industry.


      Nigel Wilson Workshops

      Described by Time Out magazine as “the best photography course in London”, Nigel Wilson’s workshops are packed with technical expertise – giving you both the aptitude and confidence to realise your full potential as a photographer, with dates available throughout 2016.



      Aspire Photography Training

      Commercial awareness is key to a successful career as a photographer, and Aspire Photography Training gives you the tools to take the market by storm – with courses on everything from photographic themes to business development.



      Situated in West Yorkshire, Shootsmart Photography Training offers expert guidance on all kinds of photography. Whether you prefer group workshops or one-on-one training sessions, you’ll find your ideal learning experience right here.



      London School of Photography

      From stock photography to portraiture and photojournalism, the London School of Photography has a menu of masterclasses to suit all tastes. Inspiration and motivation are at the heart of every LSP course – helping photographers of all skill levels to reach their individual goals.



      Fujifilm X-T2

      Fujifilm’s X-T1 was so close to perfection, and now the X-T2 has taken everything that made its predecessor so great and improved on it. You still get a pleasingly old-school design which is both weather-sealed and reassuringly robust, but the quality of the video capture has taken a huge leap forwards – this is now a superbly capable all-rounder for taking on both stills and video work.

      Equipped with a 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III image sensor and the X-Processor Pro Engine, users will be able to capture finely detailed imagery quickly and with low noise at sensitivities up to ISO 51200. The powerful combination permits rapid image capture at up to 8 fps with full AF tracking or at up to 14 fps using the silent electronic shutter. In terms of AF, the X-T2 uses an Intelligent Hybrid system with 325 points that ensure accurate, fast tracking of subjects in all modes. Steve Huff wrote a fantastic blog on the X-T2 which can be found HERE


      Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

      It’s not like the 5D Mark III was a bad camera – it was one of the best high-end DSLRs money could buy. But as you’d hope, Canon has revisited its legendary DSLR and pushed it to ever-greater heights. You now get impressively crisp 4K video recording as part of the package, and autofocus – traditionally a weak point – is now good enough that you can rely on it in most situations. This is a huge step forward for shooting video, but the quality of the photographs you get from the 5D Mark IV is better than ever.

      The upgraded 61-point autofocus sensor is a welcome addition; the full-frame sensor now has 30.4 megapixels to play with; and continuous shooting now hits 7fps, up from the 6fps on the previous model. Apart from a few nit-picks, this is a DSLR to be reckoned with. Whether you’re a deep-pocketed amateur or a professional that’s looking for an upgrade on an older model, this is one purchase you’re unlikely to regret. A great review by Tech Radar can be found HERE


      GFX 50S

      Characterised by its large sensor, advanced imaging capabilities, and modular design, the GFX 50S from Fujifilm is a unique medium format mirrorless camera that is highly versatile and distinctly portable. At the heart of the GFX camera system is the 43.8 x 32.9mm 51.4MP CMOS sensor, which pairs with the X-Processor Pro image processor to produce files with extremely wide dynamic range and high resolution, as well as an extended sensitivity range of ISO 50-102400 for working in difficult lighting conditions.

      The sensor’s large form factor also achieves a unique three-dimensional look with especially smooth tonal and colour transitions. Beyond this, the sensor and processor combination also avails the ability to work in a variety of aspect ratios common to traditional large and medium format film cameras, as well as the ability to shoot at up to 3 fps or record Full HD 1080p/30 video. As forward-thinking as the GFX 50S is, its use of film-camera inspired design imbues it with intuitive operation and the ability to apply the camera system to myriad styles and methods of image-making. A full review can be found over at Amature Photographer  HERE


      Sony Alpha A6000

      This is a serious CSC, from its aluminium shell to its wide range of controls, including nice and chunky mode and command dials, so you can quickly set up the camera as needed.

      The sensor now has a big 24 megapixels, and is the same size as the sensors found on most consumer DSLRs, so there’s no lack of detail. Sony’s cameras continue to impress us for their low noise, with ISO 1600 being practically noise free and even ISO 6400 being usable.

      It’s fast too, bursting at up 11fps and the phase detect autofocus system covers practically the whole frame and is blisteringly quick and accurate. It’s also amongst the best video cameras you can buy at this price. A comprehensive review can be found on the excellent ‘Expert Reviews’ HERE


      Nikon D5

      The Nikon D5 is the company’s flagship action-oriented DSLR, sporting a 20.8MP full-frame sensor, 153-point autofocus system and a full-size, double-grip chassis that is both tough as nails and exceedingly comfortable to use. Though the core build of this camera remains very similar to the D4S, the sensor and autofocus system are entirely new and – as we’d expect – designed with speed and reliability in mind. For a full review, head over to Digital Photography Review HERE



      Fujicolor PRO 400H Professional

      Professional-quality, medium-speed, daylight-type, extremely fine-grain colour negative film that is suited especially to portrait photography. It provides wide exposure latitude from under- to overexposure’s, superb skin tones with smoothly continuous gradation from the highlights to the shadows, highly faithful colour reproduction and an exciting three-dimensional appearance to the image and single-channel suitability for uniform printing efficiency. The new generation emulsion design allows for optimum scanning quality. You can neither buy this from ourselves in the Lab or from Fuji HERE



      Amateurs and professionals alike will fall head over heels in love with PhotoJoJo – the online store fit to burst with gorgeous photographic gifts. From lens wraps to smart projectors, this irresistible site is an online treasure trove of treats photographers can’t resist adding to their baskets.


      Really Right Stuff

      Delivering state-of-the-art camera support systems to its customers, Really Right Stuff is your one-stop shop for professional tripods – with a range of robust, flexible and high quality products on offer, and options to suit all skill levels.



      The humble shoulder strap is rarely in the spotlight – but BlackRapid considers camera accessories a priority. Ergonomic design and customisable storage make these shoulder straps the most versatile options on the market – giving you the chance to find your camera’s perfect match.



      SHUTTERbag is the female photographer’s first choice for beautiful, functional and durable leather camera bags – offering artists a way to transport their equipment in safety and style. Find your favourite shade and head straight to the checkout.


      Think Tank Photo

      Transporting gear with care is a key concern for any professional photographer – and at Think Tank Photo, finding your ideal travel companion is easy. Think Tank’s rolling cases are premium quality and designed for photographic equipment to give you total peace of mind wherever you go.


      PocketWizard PlusX

      PocketWizard’s class-leading wireless triggering systems give you the power to free your flash from your camera – and the PocketWizard PlusX radio is compatible with all of the brand’s transmitters and receivers. Simply attach one to your camera and another to your remote flash, then get shooting.


      Exposure X2

      For over a decade, Exposure has been the go-to creative photo editor for digital photographers seeking a smarter, faster way to work. Exposure X2 continues this tradition, and is the follow-up to the award-winning Exposure X.

      You won’t find unnecessary complications like catalogues, imports, or separate user modules. Instead, Exposure streamlines your workflow. You’ll become more efficient at organising your photos and transforming them into beautiful works of art.

      Exposure is also flexible enough to adapt to different workflows. Use it as your complete solution for non-destructive RAW editing, or as a creative editing plug-in with Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.


      Adobe Lightroom

      Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is available as part of the Creative Cloud Photography plan and allows you to bring your images to life – intensifying colours, emphasising your focal point and recreating the beauty of the real thing. Organise, edit and share your photos with ease thanks to the desktop and mobile apps.



      theimagefile is the UK’s award-winning image management web solution. Designed by photographers specifically for photographers to display, proof and sell images online.

      Quite simply they offer you a cost effective, cash generating solution for your business. The solution goes way beyond just getting your images elegantly online for sale or distribution. theimagefile is the complete web strategy for the professional image-maker with a wealth of advanced functionality and services, constantly updated, to help you save time and help your business grow. Keep an eye out for Digitalab joining the list of suppliers in 2017!



      Intuitive and impossibly user-friendly, Canva offers a perfectly practical solution to your image editing needs. With the facilities to create powerful layouts, add a range of graphic assets and typography, and save images in high quality PDF format – all at lightning speed – this free online software is the answer to any photographer’s post-production prayers.


      Paint the Moon

      Offering Photoshop actions for photographers, Paint the Moon takes the hassle out of image editing – helping artists realise their vision quickly and cohesively. Intuitive for beginners and robust for seasoned photographers, these resources are as flexible as they are powerful.


      Palette Gear

      The future of photo editing is here and its name is Palette. This game-changing technology allows photographers to connect modules, creating a bespoke editing tool that can be integrated with Photoshop, Lightroom and a number of leading applications – putting you in complete control.

      SpyderCHECKR 24

      From camera calibration to colour correction, SpyderCHECKR 24 exists to help photographers achieve the utmost accuracy when it comes to the colouring their images. Giving you a way to capture the authentic shades in every scene, this portable, lightweight tool is the ultimate photographic colour palette.



      With the help of Magisto, you can transform your images into powerful, polished movies ideal for sharing with the world. Created to connect your experiences with the people you care about, this app is free to use and it takes just 3 steps to find a sophisticated finished product.




      StickyAlbums is the professional photographer’s best kept secret, revolutionising the way artists retain clients and win new business. With the ability to create a completely bespoke, branded mobile app, photographers can see their professional branding front and centre and share their app with clients to let them access the shots themselves.



      Editorial photographers will fall in love with Over – the app that incorporates beautiful typography into your images to create stunning and stylish outcomes. Intuitive and impactful, Over harnesses the combined power of text and image with incredible results every time.



      Lighting conditions are crucial to the success of outdoor photo shoots, whatever your subject – and LightTrac gives you all the information you’ll need to organise your shooting schedule and find the optimal time, location and conditions anywhere in the world.



      Nothing gives a sense of scale like sweeping panoramic shots – and Cycloramic is the iPhone app that puts the tools to create, edit and share stunning panoramas at your fingertips. This ground-breaking software transforms your phone into a hands-free panoramic camera. Visit the App Store to experience the magic for yourself.



      Offering “the fastest, highest quality and most advanced three-shot HDR capture on iOS”, ProCamera introduces the control of a DSLR to the mobile photography experience – with a huge range of image editing options to help you make the most out of every single shot.



      Swipe through a digital treasure trove of lenses, films and flashes with HIPSTAMATIC Camera, Apple’s original App of the Year. This user-friendly app helps aspiring photographers enhance their mobile images – with easy, instantaneous transfer options across iCloud, Dropbox and a number of other platforms.



      Triggertrap Mobile enables photographers to use their smartphone as a remote trigger – creating a world of possibilities when it comes to long exposure shots, time lapse movies and high speed photography. Download the app for free and invest in the Triggertrap Mobile Kit to get started.


      If you would like your company or product to be featured in our 2017 kit bag then Email us at to get involved!


        Digitalab Featured Photographer: Mike McFarlane

        At Digitalab, we appreciate the power of photography, whether it’s personal or professional. We asked Mike McFarlane for one of his images and posed a couple of questions to find out exactly what it is he loves about photography and what he’d say to any enthusiastic photographer hoping to make a career out of their passion.

        Mike McFarlane

        Tell us a bit about this image and why you chose it to be featured.

        This is the beautiful Peninis Point on St Mary’s Island, The Isles of Scilly. It’s a 360×180º panoramic image made about one hour after the sun went down and was produced as part of a series for the Wildlife Trusts to promote their Living Landscapes conservation scheme. I spent one year travelling by train and bike to reduce my carbon footprint, and wild camping to get me as close to Nature as possible, to make approximately 300 panoramas covering the whole of the UK.

        These panoramas were woven into virtual tours which you can see at I chose this image as it is typical of the beauty I saw country wide, even in towns and cities, and represents a typical landscape photographers experience of waiting ages for a shot and it all coming right at the last moment before I flew off the islands the following day.

        Which styles of photography most interest/inspire you?

        I am most inspired at the moment by panoramic photography and virtual tours as they encapsulate so much more of the experience of being in a place, and they are also significantly more complex to compose despite what many people think which is that you just stand there and turn round!

        What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring photographer?

        Whether you are wishing to improve your art, or form a business around photography, be patient and understand what it is that you are trying to do.


        Photography and words by Mike McFarlane as part of a project for The Wildlife Trusts Living Landscapes.

        Mike McFarlane Photography

        Canvas Prints vs. Acrylic Prints: Finding Your Perfect Fit

        When it comes to photography, there’s more to the process than creating the ideal composition. Whether you’re a professional photographer looking for high quality printing solutions for your images or an amateur who wants to learn more about the industry, it’s important to understand that different printing options are suited to different images.

        While hours of planning and preparation can go into capturing the perfect picture, your labour will be ultimately fruitless unless you choose a printing solution that does your image justice. Both canvas prints and acrylic prints offer a gorgeous way to display your photographs, but they differ greatly when it comes to their unique benefits.

        If you need some help demystifying these professional printing solutions, we’re breaking down the features of acrylic and canvas prints to help you decide which one’s right for your shots.

        Canvas Wrap

        The Process

        Canvas prints are made by printing an image directly onto a canvas, which is then stretched or wrapped around a frame – either wrapping the image around the stretchers or using a white or coloured border. Canvas gallery wraps can be made to bespoke sizes – meaning that, large or small, the end result will be a truly individual print. Canvas prints can be protected by a UV laminate before they’re wrapped around the wooden frame. Acrylic photo printing involves printing onto photographic paper and sandwiching between two sheets of 5mm acrylic. The back sheet of acrylic can be black, white or transparent, depending on which best suits the style of the image. Aluminium standoffs are used to attach the acrylic frame to the wall, giving it visual depth.


        In terms of displaying your final product, it’s essential to think about the aesthetic you’re aiming for. To achieve a sleek and contemporary look, acrylic printing provides vibrant and sharp images. While it’s still not as widely used as canvas printing, acrylic photo printing continues to grow in popularity – and is particularly important for professionals who place a great deal of value in presentation. Canvas printing, however, produces a textured finish to give your print a more old-school and authentic look. Canvases are the more popular choice in interior design and home decor, offering an easy and affordable way to display prints. Acrylics, on the other hand, are often used in a more commercial environment – particularly in office spaces and reception areas.

        Colour Vibrancy

        Where vibrancy is concerned, acrylic prints have an edge on canvas printing – with the face mount option taking full advantage of the reflective quality of acrylic. Because no light passes through an acrylic print, deep, rich colours are able to maintain their vibrancy. In canvas printing, on the other hand, more colour needs to be added to guarantee the best ink coverage, which means that detailing can be lost.


        If you’re looking for the most durable option, both canvas and acrylic prints boast their own protective benefits – but acrylic photo printing is the best option where longevity is concerned. This form of printing is shatter resistant, lighter than glass and provides UV protection to prevent your image being damaged by sunlight – with some acrylic prints even being resistant to scratching.

        For the canvas wraps, the laminate leaves your canvas splash-proof and easy to wipe down as well as offering UV protection. If the canvas wrap is varnished and not laminated, as is often the case with cheaper alternatives, the canvas is at risk of ink cracks – but the laminate finish means this won’t be an issue.

        Acrylic Frame


        Cost is a key factor when it comes to choosing the best photo printing option for your images. For working photographers, it’s undoubtedly worth spending extra on acrylic prints, which provide a more durable and vibrant outcome on the whole.

        Canvas printing continues to grow in popularity, with canvas wraps offering the chance to create a bespoke piece of artwork at a competitive price. There’s no doubt, though, that acrylic photo printing is hot on the heels of this old favourite, making it a worthy photo printing option for amateurs and professionals alike.

        Whether you’re interested in canvas prints or acrylic prints, Digitalab can help you find the best photo printing option for your images. We’re printing specialists, committed to giving our customers the best possible results every time – order online now to get yours.

        Traditional vs. Digital: the Debate

        Whether you’re a fledgling photographer or professional with years of experience, there’s no denying the benefits of experimenting with different mediums. Technological advances mean that digital SLRs are achieving greater functionality with each new model, but the debate rages on as to whether the hi-tech digital cameras of today can ever compete with the authentic retro feel of traditional film.

        Vintage Vibes

        Film photography is considered by many to be a dying art, a primitive practice reaching the realms of obsoletism – but defenders of old-school photographic techniques argue that the ritual of traditional photography is art in its purest form. While the nostalgia of darkrooms and chemical prints undoubtedly plays a part here, many professional photographers argue, with some success, that the traditional way quite simply makes for a better picture.


        Film thrives in natural light and is infinitely more forgiving when it comes to overexposure – meaning you won’t find the blown out highlights you get with digital.


        Film doesn’t work in the linear way that digital does, which makes it far preferable to digital photography when it comes to natural colour and light blends.


        The photographic ‘perfection’ of digital is also its downfall. Film gives you that hazy, grainy quality that, for whatever beautiful and mysterious reason, makes for a gentler, more aesthetically pleasing shot.

        Image by Robert Benson

        “Cartier Bresson talked about the “decisive moment” to create great pictures. Photographers on digital no longer look for the decisive moment. While one image at this time would capture everything, now there may be dozens to look through and decide, with photographers deciding later on what the decisive moment actually is.”

        Robert Benson


        “It has been some years since I ‘switched to digital’ (Oh, how I hate that phrase!). Except I never thought of it that way. In my mind, I have never stopped being a film photographer. It’s just that the last several thousand pictures I have made have been digital ones. It has taken me a long time to figure out how to get the best from it, but I think I may be getting there. Maybe once I have, I will return to shooting film.

        Film is a strongly flavoured medium. Sure you can tweak it, but has an embedded character of its own, its tonal relationships, grain, colour, shadow and highlight shades and tints. Especially transparency, but even negative as well. By comparison a digital raw file still awaits preparation, and a spell in the post production ‘oven’. OK, in some cases this means very little work at all, but to me this is the defining difference. A high quality digital file has amazing potential, and using the myriad tools of post-production as it is now one can emulate a film very closely, in almost every aspect, or simply create a completely new look. Because of that, it is important to have a background philosophy of photography. I really love that aspect of digital, the flexibility of it, and the emphasis to look within and ask yourself, ‘What am I trying to say; what is this image about?’
        “The downside of digital is that it appears so easy, but in reality it is anything but easy to create a memorable and meaningful result. I would say that is easier on film. Film already has an identity built in. When you select a film on which to shoot, you are ‘buying in’ to that identity and you can use it to great effect to define the style and quality of your work. It’s also very format specific. The technical camera large format tranny film ‘look’, and 35mm rangefinder neg film ‘look’, say, are simply worlds apart. Those distinctions are far more blurred with digital, due to the extraordinary resolution discrepancies of different sensors.

        The world of photography would be a far poorer one with the demise of film, and it is to be hoped that demand for it remains strong enough to keep going. It’s still the best way to learn a photographic method, especially with regard to understanding exposure and lighting (as it is so unforgiving). And for anyone interested in high quality image making with a technical emphasis, large format film in a view camera keeps such a practice affordable.

        Digital photography has made photography more accessible and, in the way it works, it is arguably more akin to human vision and more flexible, so expanding the range of possibilities enormously. But it is not a quick fix, nor does it make you an instant expert, and this remains a big problem in the world of photography, for it has so severely undermined professional photographic practice. The medium itself is innocent of this damage though, it is simply a fascinating and exciting revolution in methodology, and still improving year on year.

        Overall, the flexibility of digital imaging and the incredible capabilities of the latest cameras makes digital a slightly better bet for me personally as a working professional. I do think that I am more experimental, creative, and productive with it. But for the fine art photographer, I can still see the unique character and look of film may give it the edge. Long may there be a choice.”

        – Joe Cornish,

        Digital Love

        What digital photography may lack in anticipation and traditionalism, it undeniably compensates for in efficiency. Beginner photographers looking for instant results and a quick turnaround will find a friend in the digital approach – with no need to be at the mercy of the production and printing processes. The ability to see the outcome of every shot instantly is an unquestionable convenience, and the storage capability of memory cards versus a roll of 35mm film with 16 shots is a total knockout.

        The ‘what you see is what you get’ perspective certainly works in digital’s favour, with both the photographic process and printing procedures offering an instantaneous result.


        With digital cameras, you will see how your photograph will look on the camera’s display, allowing you to flick through all of the shots you’ve taken at the touch of a button, you can even take images from digital file to physical print in a matter of minutes.


        Digital gives you the freedom to spontaneously switch between colour and black and white, as well as the ability to make technical adjustments to adapt to your surroundings – such as altering the ISO when the light changes – so you can achieve that flawless shot.


        If you don’t have easy access to a traditional darkroom, you may prefer the ease and wide functionality of digital post-production. The enormous range of editing tools and software available makes altering and enhancing your digital images easy and instantaneous.

        Car Photographer Professional of Ambient Life. Tim Wallace, Clients include Morgan, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover. Specialising in high end prestige commercial car photography and also the supply of car stock snydicated photography for commercail and marketing use.

        Car Photographer Professional of Ambient Life. Tim Wallace, Clients include Morgan, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover. Specialising in high end prestige commercial car photography and also the supply of car stock snydicated photography for commercail and marketing use.


        “The debate of film versus digital photography is one that has been prevalent ever since the development of the first digital camera.
        Large-format film still has a place for serious landscape photographers, but few people have the time, skill level, or budget to work film out to this level, with many photographers now showing a preference for digital SLR cameras. Here are Digital Photographer’s top reasons for going digital:

        Processing costs are much lower

        With a digital photo, you can use your computer and photo-editing software to retouch and enhance your pictures. Once the initial cost of buying the software is out of the way, the only other expenditure comes if you want to print your images. With analogue, the film itself can be expensive and hard to source and there are added costs needed to process it after the shoot.

        You have more creative control

        Using an image-editing program, you can apply special effects, lens-correction, perspectives and colour tones much more easily than if you were to edit your images manually in a darkroom. More importantly, if you don’t like the outcome, you can simply revert back to the original and start again. The possibilities are quite literally endless!

        Get instant feedback over images

        While many film photographers used Polaroid cameras for instant feedback on their shoot before committing to a full roll of film, with digital photography the LCD screen on the back of the camera can be used for instant feedback on images.

        Easily share shots

        The rise of social media and apps, such as Instagram, help to illustrate the popularity of photo sharing in the digital age. Electronic distribution of images are quicker than regular mail or overnight delivery services, but it’s also more convenient.

        More accessible

        There are many people who previously would have thought themselves too unskilled to take up photography as a hobby. In the age of the digital revolution, with affordable DSLRs, online tutorials and magazines to encourage the development of skills, the field for talent and creativity has been well and truly opened.”

        Digital Photographer

          Digitalab Featured Photographer: Peter Watson

          At Digitalab, we appreciate the power of photography, whether it’s personal or professional. We asked Peter Watson for one of his images and posed a couple of questions to find out exactly what it is he loves about photography and what he’d say to any enthusiastic photographer hoping to make a career out of their passion.


          Tell us a bit about this image and why you chose it to be featured.

          This is one of my favourite images for the simple reason that it graphically depicts light. Success in landscape photography always depends on the quality of light. Poor light will invariably result in a poor image. In this photograph of the mountains of Glen Coe, deep in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, light is the most important feature. The penetrating rays transform the appearance of the landscape and create drama and visual impact. I waited five long days for this moment and it was often frustrating but every time I look at this image I know it was time well spent.

          Which styles of photography most interest/inspire you?

          Landscape is my passion. I find it compelling; it draws me in. Like many visual artists I seek freedom of expression and the landscape, with all its diversity, moods and whims gives me that freedom. There is always something new, something previously unseen to be captured. I find that its ever changing appearance acts as a catalyst to creativity and is always a source of inspiration. Challenging and sometimes frustrating but also very rewarding to photograph, the landscape is, to me, the perfect subject.

          What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring photographer?

          For landscape photographers patience and perseverance are the key to success. What is important is not what you capture but when. Timing is critical. Watch and wait for that fleeting moment when the landscape, sky and light all combine to create a brief glimpse of perfection and be ready and poised to capture it.

          Peter Watson Photography

          Order Prints Online


          Whether you’re an amateur photographer honing your craft or a seasoned professional embarking on a new commercial project, a first-class photo printing service is the key to doing your images justice. But life often gets in the way of taking the time to find the best option available, especially when quicker, more convenient alternatives exist. For this reason, many photographers instead choose to order prints online – but can you ensure the same level of quality while simultaneously streamlining the order process?

          You’d be forgiven for thinking that online photo printing means a decline in quality, and that impressive outcomes are traded for quick results – but you’d be wrong. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the key benefits that come with choosing to print photos online – giving you all the know-how you need to guarantee your images the royal treatment.


          1. Convenience

          Ordering your prints in-store means you’re at the mercy of traditional opening hours – and if you’re unavailable during this time window, it can be a difficult and lengthy process getting your images printed professionally. When you order photo prints online, however, you’ll enjoy the luxury of a 24/7 service. Online stores never close, meaning you’re free to submit your order anytime, anywhere – whether it’s from the comfort of your own home or on the go.

          2. Choice

          No two images are the same, and online photo printing gives you an opportunity to customise every print to suit your pictures. Whether your latest shots will be best displayed on contemporary acrylic blocks or deserve the large format treatment, the diversity you’ll find when you order prints online means each image can be presented through the most appropriate medium available.

          If you’re looking for some elegant, rustic prints, our brand new birch blocks could be the all-natural solution you need. Precision cut by some of the North East’s most accomplished craftsmen, these impeccable blocks boast a treated wood finish that emanates quality and class.

          To give your photo prints a truly contemporary finish, how about something completely different? You’re guaranteed to fall in love with our ultra-minimalist block mounts, combining a practical and resilient printing solution with a stylish and understated look.

          3. Flexibility

          If you’re looking for more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach to photo printing, online is the way to go. With the ability to tailor every order to your exact specifications, from the materials used to the exact dimensions of the final outcome, you can guarantee a result you’re happy with when you print pictures online. Thanks to flexible and user-friendly online order systems, customers decide how their photos are printed – and if that means larger-than-life prints for a statement feature wall or upcoming show, that can be arranged.

          Find out more about large photo prints, if you’re looking for something big and beautiful.

          4. Speed

          In the world of professional photography, timely prints can be a godsend – and ordering photo prints online takes the stress out of getting yours on schedule. With an order process that takes a matter of minutes on any device, and swift delivery available throughout the UK, taking your pursuit of high quality prints online is sure to speed things up. If you’ve taken a spectacular new shot ahead of an imminent exhibition or just can’t wait to see your favourite image immortalised in radiant colour, order prints online and they’ll be with you in no time.

          5. Delivery

          Enthusiastic amateurs and trained professionals alike can find online photo printing UK-wide, meaning you’re not limited to labs in your area. If you can’t manage to collect your prints, that’s not a problem. Speedy, uncomplicated delivery is always available, so that we can put our customers’ convenience first. Once you’ve placed your order, all that’s left to do is wait for us to deliver your gorgeous new prints.

          At Digitalab, we strive to provide the best online photo printing service anywhere in the UK – giving photographers the freedom to have every image printed their way, and the luxury of quick and easy online ordering.

          Kick-start the order process today if you’re ready to have your photographs professionally printed in our state-of-the-art lab.



          Scaling the Heights

          Scaling The Heights

          This Exhibition was a rare opportunity to explore Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge North Tower. The Architecture Research Collaborative (ARC) recently presented a programme of public talks and exhibitions on the physicality and ascent on tall structures and artificial mountains.

          One such exhibition and performance was by adventure photographer and long time Digitalab client, Lucinda Grange.

          Lucinda is an award winning English adventure photographer and has travelled the world, scaling some of the tallest and most iconic structures and buildings. Amongst her list of climbs is the Great Pyramid, Firth of Forth Rail Bridge and the Chrysler Building.

          Below is a series of images we created for Lucinda’s stunning exhibition. Stunning C-Type Crystal Archive Prints were mounted to white Foamex in order to create a durable but light and minimalist display option. For more information on our mounted prints visit the ‘Mounting & Lamination Options’ page on the site HERE

          For more information on Lucinda’s incredible, vertical exploration and photography, visit her website at 

            Digitalab Featured Photographer: Sian Lewis

            This month we talk to the wonderful Photographer Sian Lewis of Sian Lewis Photography.

            As well as her stunning and award winning newborn, wedding, studio, and corporate work, Sian has combined her talent for photography with her love of horses and created a second photography business, ‘Equine Imaging‘.

            Photographer Sian Lewis

            I think my style is still evolving but I definitely lean towards creating ‘clean’ images and I think my general approach is quite classical, particularly with my studio work.

            Who inspired you to become a photographer?

            There wasn’t anyone really, it’s just something I sort of fell into. I did a bit of photography at uni using an old SLR and then got myself a little digital camera and after that I was pretty much hooked.
            I hadn’t ever planned on doing photography as a job (which is slightly weird because I wanted to do literally every other job under the sun) but when my last TV job finished I thought I might as well go for it.

            What is your all-time favourite photography shoot?

            Oh boy, how do I answer that one? There are quite a few that come to mind, like the time a MUA friend, a model and myself went to an abandoned holiday camp to do a fashion shoot, creepy but fun. And earlier this year I photographed the Welsh football team homecoming event at Cardiff Castle. Standing in the press pen waiting for Gareth Bale and the rest of the squad to come out was pretty awesome and the atmosphere was electric.

            I think my ultimate favourite shoot though was 3 days of shooting for a classical album recording last year. I don’t often get to work as part of a team so it was really nice to work with so many people over the course of a few days and I got to listen to the most beautiful singing and music. On the 2nd day they were recording the song that Andy plays over the tannoy system in The Shawshank Redemption (from the Marriage of Figaro). I was sitting in the recording suite listening to it and it was just beautiful.

            How would you describe your photographic style?

            I think my style is still evolving but I definitely lean towards creating ‘clean’ images and I think my general approach is quite classical, particularly with my studio work.

            What is your camera of choice and why?

            My Canon EOS 5D MKIII. It performs really well in low light and it just feels right in my hands.

            What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring photographer?

            Get training!! There are so many mistakes I could have avoided if I’d just invested in some decent training and I’ve have advanced a whole lot quicker.

            Is there something that you would love to photograph more than anything else?

            Oh gosh, there are so many things I’d love to photograph but I’ll narrow it down to something horse related; either the Rolex 3 day event in Kentucky or the horses at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. That said, doing unit stills on a Bond film ranks pretty highly too.

            You can view more of Sian’s work on her sites here:



            Digitalab Featured Photographers: Ryan Welch & Jacob McCarthy

            This months Featured Photographers are Ryan Welch and Jacob McCarthy of Ryan Welch Photography.

            The team at Ryan Welch includes two primary photographers, three assistant photographers, a graphic designer and a filmmaker – offering quite the range of services to lucky couples!

            Here they speak about their photographic influences, favourite kit and motivations.


            One of the guys most recent weddings situated along the Gower Peninsula South Wales.

            Who inspired you to become a photographer?

            Ryan: I’m not sure I could give a particular name, however I knew I wanted to be a photographer from the age of 16-17 when I went on some work experience with a local photographer and fell in love with the industry. Working within weddings has enabled me to build a great sized company and allows me to do something I love and gives me the flexibility to do the things I want.
            Jake: I suppose I was inspired from the fact I always wanted to be good at arty things, but sucked! When I started doing photography in school I was actually good at it and was hooked straight away becoming obsessed with every aspect.
            What is your all-time favourite photography shoot?

            Ryan: I have to say, we shot an incredible wedding last year at Pencoed House in Cardiff. The couple were super relaxed and stylish and fitted right into my target client demographic. Check it out HERE

            Jake: Me and Ryan shot Danielle & Emyr’s wedding together and it was an incredible day! But I shot a recent wedding at the Langham in London and it instantly became one of my favourite weddings with the most amazing of people.

            What drew you to Wedding photography in particular?

            Ryan: After doing some work experience I loved the thought of spending working days with people on the happiest days of there life.

            Jake: Money. Can I say that? I suppose wedding photography just allowed me to have the lifestyle and flexibility I wanted.

            What is your camera of choice and why?

            Ryan: Canon 5D Mark 3 but I’m not one for keeping up to date or worrying about the latest equipment I just need to have a great connection with my clients and find some great light to shoot in.

            Jake: Same, but I used to be obsessed with gear. Once I got over it and realised it doesn’t matter what you have, it stepped up my game ten fold.

            What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring photographer?

            Ryan: Run your photography business, like a business and not a hobby and you can make some real money from it.

            Jake: Have a concise product range and a tight after sales profits and it’ll allow you to open up additional revenue opportunities you didn’t know were possible.

            Is there anything that you would love to photograph that has escaped you at present?

            Ryan: I love shooting destination weddings and have travelled all over Europe and parts of the U.S. but would love to experience even more tropical places.

            Jake: I’d love to shoot a destination wedding and am yet to do so… maybe next year!

            To find out more about the guys and the team at Ryan Welch visit their site HERE