Large Trader of the Year

    Large Trader of the YearWe were incredibly thrilled to win the award for ‘Large Trader of the Year’ at this year’s Newborn Photography Show! It is a huge honour for us all here and we’d like to pass on a massive, heart-felt thank you to all of you that voted for us.
    Winning the award has let us know that our customers appreciate the strides we are making in the industry, continually looking to improve upon the product range and service that you receive.
    The Trade Show itself was also a huge success – It was brilliant to meet so many talented photographers over the 2 days and catch up with many familiar faces – thank you to everyone who visited us over the course of the event. We are looking forward to next year’s event already!

      Digitalab Newsletter 01-04-17

      New Product – Fine Art Naturals

      Our Fine Art Naturals range is a stunning combination of a beautiful Hahnemuehle German Etching print and one of our ‘Naturals’ frame options.

      German Etching is a heavyweight Fine Art etching paper with a fine surface texture giving the paper a very luxurious feel. The print is dry mounted to a foamex board and then placed within one of the hand-finished Naturals range of frame moulding.

      The wooden texture of the frames compliment the texture of the print perfectly. All of our Fine Art Naturals frames are made from premium quality materials and are available in 3 colour options: Grey, Charcoal and Whitewash.

      You can also add an optional Giclee matte varnish to protect your image from dust and scratches. Hand applied, we coat the print 3 times to ensure an even cover whilst still retaining the stunning texture of the Fine Art print.

      FIND OUT MORE

       

      Coming Soon! – New Album Service

      New Albums

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Our Album service from the award-winning Tony Sarlo is getting an exciting overhaul!

      New software, cover options and wonderful new accessories to customise and tailor your albums will all be released in the coming weeks.

      With Sarlo Albums based in Contursi, Italy, and ourselves based here in England, you have the best of both worlds .. Italian flair for design and album manufacture, whilst dealing with a UK contact.
      From Digital Books, Completto Duo, Harmony, Traditional Matted, the choice and combination of options is infinite.

      Sarlo Albums are a family business, and have been making high quality products for nearly 40 years, and are renowned for their bespoke albums, each one finished by hand, and individual to you.

      Keep an eye on our blog and newsletters over the coming weeks for more information. We will also have the new album ranges at this years trade shows!

       

      Digitalab on the Road

       

      TNPS

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      We are so excited to be exhibiting again at The Newborn Photography Show in May! We had such a great response at last year’s show and we have a whole host of new products launching at this year’s event!

      We have been nominated for Large Trader of the Year 2017 and we would love your support in helping us to win it! We have made a huge push toward the Newborn market over this past year – listening to our photographer’s feedback in order to know what kind of products to bring to the market – we hope you are happy with the result!

      Book your FREE ticket & Vote For Digitalab HERE!

       

       

       

      photovision

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      We are also going to be exhibiting at the fantastic Photovision Roadshow in Edinburgh on the 25th of April.

      These events provide Imaging Professionals with a host of exciting visitor attractions including FREE seminars for 2017 to help sharpen your skills and teach you new subjects. Other attractions include, Studio Area Live, Camera Cleaning, Equipment Area and Used Equipment Fair.

      Book your FREE tickets HERE

       

      Adobe Lightroom for Photographers:
      Lisa Beaney Seminar with The Societies

      SWPP

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Join us on the 26th of April, 10am to 4pm! – click HERE for more info. LAST FEW TICKETS REMAINING!

      Have you ever wondered how you can speed up your workflow and use Lightroom to its full potential ?

      This full day Adobe Lightroom training will take you through everything you need to know to get the photos from your camera through to the finished version either printed or delivered digitally to your client.

      Using Lightroom can significantly speed up your workflow meaning you have more time to do the things that you love doing! 

      We are thrilled to be hosting this fantastic seminar day here at Digitalab with the award winning Lisa Beaney, presented by The Societies.  Tickets cost £80.00 for members of the Societies and £120.00 for non members. A lunch buffet is included with the cost of the ticket and you will also have the opportunity of a full Lab tour along with receiving free test prints and discount offers from both Digitalab and Adobe. 

      Book onto the course today!

       

      Featured Photographer – Gary Hill

       Gary Hill

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      A renowned portrait photographer in his own right (twice nominated for Portrait Photographer of the year with the SWPP), Gary works in a number of photographic fields offering wedding, portraiture, events, catalogues, brochures, books and websites, fashion and commercial packages through his own business.

      Gary also runs the Just Pose workshops & training days with last months featured photographer Cass Davies. These workshops & training days are intensive courses for photographers looking to up their game in their chosen field, offering training in Newborn Posing, Lighting, Business, Boudoir & Maternity.

      Read the full Q&A HERE

       

      Meet The Team

      meet the team

      Ever wanted to meet the wonderful team here at Digitalab and find out more about the people behind your amazing prints and products? Of course you have!

      Meet The Digitalab Team HERE

        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

         

        Events

        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.

        www.photolondon.org

         

        Fujiholic Events

        Fujiholics (www.fujiholics.com)are 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!

        www.thesocieties.net/roadshows

         

        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.

        www.photographyshow.com

         

        PhotoHubs

        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.

        www.photohubs.co.uk

         

        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.

        www.photohubs.co.uk

         

        Galleries

        Side Gallery

        We are thrilled at the relaunch of the fantastic Side Gallery here in Newcastle. The Amber collective (www.amber-online.com) 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.

        www.amber-online.com/side-gallery

         

        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.

        www.openeyegallery.co.uk

         

        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.

        www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk

         

        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.

        www.co-berlin.org/en

         

        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.

        www.thephotographicangle.co.uk

         

        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.

        www.michaelhoppengallery.com

         

        Workshops

        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.

        www.photographyfarm.co.uk

         

        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.

        www.photographycourses.org.uk

         

         

        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.

        www.aspirephotographytraining.co.uk

         

        Shootsmart

        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.

        www.shootsmart.co.uk

         

         

        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.

        londonschoolofphotography.com

         

        Cameras

        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

         

         Equipment

        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

         

        PhotoJoJo

        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.

         

        BlackRapid

        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

        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.

        Software

        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

        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!

         

        Canva

        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.

         

        Magisto

        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.

         

        Apps

        StickyAlbums

        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.

         

        Over

        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.

         

        LightTrac

        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.

         

        Cycloramic

        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.

         

        ProCamera

        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.

         

        HIPSTAMATIC

        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

        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 alex@digitalab.co.uk to get involved!

         

        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.

        Appearance

        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.

        Durability

        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

        Price

        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.

        Light

        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.

        Colour

        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.

        Grain

        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 north-light.co.uk

        joe-cornish-misty-urra

        “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, joecornishgallery.co.uk

        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.

        Quickness

        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.

        Adaptability

        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.

        Post-Production

        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

        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.

        5-reasons-to-order-your-photo-prints-online

        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.

        benefits-of-online-photo-printing

         

        The Photographer’s 2016 Kit Bag

        Boots-and-Camera

        Whether you’ve got a case of digital love or you’re still infatuated with traditional film, it’s an exciting time to be a photography fan. Thanks to the developers spearheading the photo editing software movement and the number of festivals launched to celebrate photographic excellence, 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 kit bag. From the innovative apps we can’t get enough of to our favourite photography festivals, we’re giving amateurs and professionals alike everything they need to make next year’s portfolio their best one yet.

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        London Photo Festival

        If you’re an emerging photographer looking for an opportunity to exhibit your work, look no further than the London Photo Festival. Book your space at 2016’s Earth, Water, Air and Fire festival to take the next step to professional prominence.

        Photo London

        The second edition of Photo London commences in May 2016 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.

        Miniclick

        The Miniclick Photo Talks pay tribute to still and moving images of all kinds, with a wide variety of participatory events, provocative discussions and vibrant parties for you to get involved in – no matter which photographic styles speak to you.

        SWPP 2016

        The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers holds Europe’s largest all-welcome photographic convention every year, and SWPP 2016 opens its doors on the 20th January – offering no less than five days of action-packed programmes, presentations and networking opportunities for industry professionals and enthusiasts alike.

        Oxfordshire Artweeks

        Every May, Oxfordshire-based artists have the chance to exhibit their latest and greatest works alongside other talented creatives across the county thanks to Artweeks. Photographers can visit a number of unique exhibition spaces throughout Oxfordshire, and locals can register to be a part of it themselves.

        Les Recontres d’Arles

        From July to September next year, the latest instalment of Les Recontres d’Arles will take the photographic world by storm. This annual summertime photography festival sees thousands upon thousands of visitors come together for a glimpse of never-before-seen images and a chance to participate in tours, discussions and signings galore.

        Competition-e1448899518800

        World Photography Organisation

        The World Photography Organisation (WPO) is the home of the Sony World Photography Awards, giving aspirational artists an opportunity to make their mark and receive global recognition for their contribution to the artform. Enter now to be a part of it.

        The Kennel Club

         

        If you love capturing canines on camera, the Kennel Club’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition is your chance to turn your passion for pets into industry exposure – and hopefuls can enter any time before March 13th 2016.

        Take a View

        Nature lovers, rejoice – Take a View’s Landscape Photographer of the Year competition has been running since 2007 and celebrates the very best in sensational scenic shots. With a grand prize of £10,000 up for grabs, this clash of creative titans is not to be missed.

         

        Galleries-updatedOpen 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 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.

        workshops-updated

        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.

        MyPhotoSchool

        At MyPhotoSchool, you learn from the experts – with a colossal menu of courses dedicated to a diverse range of photographic styles. Whichever subjects you’re drawn to and skills you’d like to develop, this online school is jam-packed with professional workshops, tutorials and specialist insight.

        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.

        Shootsmart

        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.

        The 36exp Photographers’ School

        36exp is a photography school in the heart of London, delivering specialist knowledge to absolute beginners and aspiring professionals alike. Giving you the skills to take charge of your photography, 36exp combines theory with a hands-on experience for the best of both worlds.

        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.

        The Royal Photographic Society

        Membership with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) entitles you to monthly e-newsletters, camera insurance offers, exposure opportunities, a society distinction and a chance to be a part of exclusive workshops at discounted prices – plus a whole lot more.

        cameras-updated

        Leica Q

        Over a hundred years since the original Leica was created, the Leica Q is here to break new photographic ground and update the definition of a compact camera. With the fastest lens in its class and a superior electronic viewfinder to all alternatives, everything about this camera is state-of-the-art.

        Panasonic LUMIX DMC TZ70

        The LUMIX TZ70 brings the world’s finest details into crisp focus, helping photographers capture their favourite subjects in any lighting conditions – and its compact size makes travel photography easier than ever before.

        Sony RX1R II Professional Compact Camera

        Thanks to a 42.4 megapixel resolution, retractable electronic viewfinder and the world’s first optical variable low-pass filter, Sony’s RX1R II compact camera is a cut above the rest. Shoot in higher quality everywhere you go with this palm-sized prodigy.

        FUJIFILM X-T10

        Photographers will love the lightweight FUJIFILM X-T10, which puts colour reproduction at the forefront. You can select the exposure mode to suit every scene – and with panoramas, multiple exposures and advanced filters all included in the camera’s functionality, the world is your oyster.

        Canon EOS M10

        Combining “DSLR performance with effortless portability”, the Canon EOS M10 is a simple and elegant tool for transitioning into the world of interchangeable lens photography. Ideal for everything from holiday selfies to urban exploration, the EOS M10 offers expert control coupled with no-sweat photo sharing.

        Nikon COOLPIX S9900

        The Nikon COOLPIX 9900’s 30x optical zoom, which extends to 60x Dynamic Fine Zoom, is ideal for bringing subjects and textures into razor sharp detail. On top of that, in-camera time-lapse functionality and contemporary design make this camera truly cutting-edge.

        Sony Xperia™ Z3

        The Xperia Z3 is the smartphone capable of incredible image quality, thanks to its 20.7 megapixel camera and ISO 12800 sensitivity – ideal for photography enthusiasts looking for a transitional tool while they continue to hone their craft.

        Equipment-updated

        KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA 400 Film

        The world’s finest grain high-speed colour negative film gives photographers what they need to capture colours and textures in spectacular depth. Ideal for fashion and portrait photography, KODAK PROFESSIONAL PORTRA film is designed to reproduce a spectrum of skin tones brilliantly and beautifully.

        PhotoJoJo

        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.

        BlackRapid

        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

        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.

        Software-updated

        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.

        Canva

        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.

        PhotoPlus X8

        PhotoPlus X8 is brought to you by the award-winning software developers at Serif and gives photographers a platform to alter, enhance and illuminate their images with meticulous precision. Add PhotoPlus X8 to your basket today to crop, correct and recolour to your heart’s content.

        Photocrati

        Professional photographers need visually stunning websites to do their portfolio justice – and thanks to Photocrati, creating first-rate responsive sites is easy. Fully flexible and packed with dynamic features, this WordPress theme is the ultimate in customisable web design.

        EyeEm

        An eye for gorgeous images makes EyeEm the first choice for royalty-free photos. This online community brings together ambitious photographers looking to increase their exposure and get paid to share their photography with EyeEm’s discerning user base.

        Palette Gear

        Laptop-updated

        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.

        Magisto

        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.

        NextGEN Gallery

        To give your portfolio the royal treatment, check out NextGEN Galleries – the WordPress plugin designed to make uploading and showcasing your photographs a breeze. Managing your galleries couldn’t be easier, and its responsive functionality makes for optimal viewing on all devices.

        500px

        Whether you’re looking to discover inspiring images or an artist eager to sell your latest works, 500px is the place to be. This online marketplace attracts photographers and their fans in the name of personal expression and it’s easy to become a part of this passionate community.

        Wacom

        The world’s leading pen tablet manufacturer, Wacom is committed to giving you total creative control when it comes to your photos. Wacom’s range of interface technologies make photo editing more intuitive and experiential than ever – with a diverse range of models available subject to your specifications.

        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.

        Táve

        Táve Studio Manager is a life-saver for working photographers who’d rather spend their time creating than managing the responsibilities associated with self-employment. From invoicing and workflow management to professional branding and contact forms, Táve is a business tool like no other.

        apps-updated

        Over

        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.

        LightTrac

        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.

        Cycloramic

        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.

        ProCamera

        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.

        HIPSTAMATIC

        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.

        StickyAlbums

        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.

        SmugMug

        If you’re a professional photographer looking for your own customisable site designed to showcase your portfolio in all its glory, the search is over. SmugMug was created to help photographers find e-commerce ready designs, with the flexibility to personalise your website to perfection.

        Triggertrap

        red-camera-updated

        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.

        Fancy being featured in our 2016 kit bag? Email us at tegan@gntmedia.co.uk to get involved!

        7 Steps to Winning Instagram

        wininstagram-update

        Part 1: The Instagram Photography Phenomenon

        Since launch, the holy smartphone has streamlined, simplified and supersized social lives – and it’s not stopping there. Having revolutionised business, commerce and information access, this glorious gadget is now taking the art world by storm – demonstrating that big innovations often come in rather small packages. The Instagram photography movement is a particularly hot topic, with some controversy surrounding the credibility of the format. Opinion’s split – with photographic purists sharing their disdain for this pop photography medium – but you can’t argue with 75 million daily active users committed to sharing their latest and greatest creative bursts.

        The Everybody Artform

        Even professional photographers are flocking to social channels to share their newest masterpieces – harnessing the immense reach of leading networks to bring their art into the digital mainstream. With Instagram account holders able to post directly from their smartphone camera roll or upload images captured on their DSLR through their mobile, the possibilities are near limitless at this point – and the audience is 300m strong and growing. The beauty of major networks like Instagram is in the mass appeal – and considering the diversity of the daily photo feed, it’s no wonder aspiring artists are finding their online fan bases through this innovative app. Whether it’s a stellar selfie, an earth-shaking travel shot or a meme-worthy cat snap, there’s no denying the immense potential of Instagram photography – and there’s currency far beyond likes and shares now up for grabs.

        Social Media on a Salary

        In 2015, adept Instagrammers are now able to use their phone photography skills to make a living online – with a controversial new job title being added to the creative sphere. ‘Professional Instagrammers’ are making up to six figures in exchange for their artistic iPhonography, harnessing the combined impact of creative vision + a fanatical follower base. This signals a shift towards a more open, all-encompassing idea of what constitutes ‘photography’ – making this an ideal time to get your foot in the phone photography door. The age of elitism is dead – photography fans of all styles, disciplines and skill sets are now free to experiment with the medium and send their outcomes into cyberspace for feedback. We say avid mobile photographers should embrace their artistry and snap, selfie and share their hearts out – and today we’re going to give you all the creative tools you need to have your followers eating out of the palm of your phone-wielding hand. ‘What could be more artful than a Sierra-clad Kylie Jenner getting her pout out?’ we hear you cry – and you’ll find the answer right here.

        Part 2: Self-Portrait Photography

        Back in 2013, when the word ‘selfie’ entered Oxford Dictionaries, it was clear Generation Y was on to something big. Reshaping the world of self portrait photography forever, this digital wave brought with it a new artistic niche ready to be mastered by the masses. If your objective is to share the most perfect selfie in cyber history, you’ve come to the right place. Heed these words and you’ll be the envy of Instagrammers across continents – harnessing old-school best practices in the name of Insta-glory.

        Do it yourself:

          • Experiment with angles. At or around eye level is the standard – meaning unique and evocative self-portrait photography happens when you try a change of perspective. Knowing when to leave parts of your subject (in this case, you) obscured will help you create infinitely more enigmatic images
          • Explore eye contact. The entire mood and atmosphere of a self-portrait is influenced by eye contact, or lack thereof – and the decision to look to the lens or glance out of frame is  a big one, depending on exactly what ambience you’re aiming for
          • Break the rules. The laws of composition were made to be broken – so take some initiative and know which shots will benefit from some aesthetic anarchy, since these are sure to result in striking and creative compositions
          • Play with props. Context is everything when it comes to self-portrait photography, and surrounding a subject with some hand-picked still life elements can enrich any physical environment – as long as you use props to enhance a shot rather than allowing them to dominate it
          • Never forget framing factor. Photographic ‘framing’ can make or break any self-portrait shot – whether it’s letting elements of your environment to do the work, such as arches, walls and doorways, or incorporating manufactured frames into your image to keep the focus where it should be
          • Light it up. Photography by its very nature is all about light. And while positioning yourself head-on in the glow of bright daylight will provide the most flattering selfies, they’re not always the most artistic. Experiment with light and shadow by using a variety of light sources at different angles

        self-portrait-update

        Susan Tuttle’s moody, abstract take on the selfie oozes existentialism, harnessing the principles of minimalism to awesome effect.

        A photo posted by Tori Atkinson (@unapoca) on

        Filter picks: Aden, Nashville & Valencia.

        Part 3: Urban Landscape Photography

        Traditional landscape photography will always have a place in the art world – but if you ask me, urban landscapes are where it’s at. Combining metropolitan zest with the man-made beauty of urban environments, this photographic niche is perfect proof that a traditional art form can be brought seamlessly into the modern age. Whether you’re doing some first-hand urban exploration, appreciating the nuances of your neighbourhood or on tour with your mates, working on your urban landscape photography will help you find sensational cityscapes in the everyday.

        Do it yourself:

        • Find life in the inanimate. Captured effectively, urban landscapes can be powerful, arresting and as vibrant as any human subject. Look for inspiring contrasts, man-made colour palettes and unique architecture to find some soul in any urban environment
        • Evoke a sense of culture. All the best urban landscape photography projects the culture of a place, embodying communities, lifestyles and social paradigms through strategic photographic selection
        • Get creative with composition. Don’t feel like you need to cram an entire block of buildings into one shot. Your photos will be much more impactful for the sacrifice, and honing in on one or two finer details is often the key to an insightful outcome
        • Come out at night. The urban landscape in particular comes to life in the night time – and exploring your environment once the lights go out can be a rewarding experience. Shots flooded with neons and moonlight are unmistakably urban, bringing a sense of mystery to any after-hours image
        • Follow the footprints. Even in shots without human subjects, the remnants of a person’s presence is still there. Whether it’s discarded items or hints at an earlier event, your urban landscape photography will say more by saying less – and it’s often absence that leads to a truly resonant result

        urban-landscape-updated

        A photo posted by Sam Horine (@samhorine) on

        Sam Horine’s minimalist peek inside the London Underground combines magnetic composition with a sense of urban mystery to create a truly dystopian aesthetic.

        A photo posted by Tori Atkinson (@unapoca) on

        Filter picks: Crema, Amaro &X-Pro II.

        Part 4: Still Life Photography

        Injecting life into an inanimate image is one of the greatest gifts photography brings. Many people pass over still life photography, convinced that there just isn’t the potential found in disciplines that use living subjects – but if you want to test your photographic mettle, taking a stab at still life could be just the creative challenge you’re looking for. Ready to bring your composition to life? Keep these nifty tips in mind to take your still life images to the next level.

        Do it yourself:

        • Let in the light. When it comes to still life photography, light is the most powerful tool at your disposal. Use both light and shadow to your advantage, knowing how to help the right elements stand out while others take a supportive role
        • Say something. Whether it’s a commercial shot, an artistic composition or just a fun Insta-snap, all still life images should serve a purpose. Make your subjects pop by making design decisions that help your image do exactly what it should
        • Share the spectrum. The world is a naturally colourful place and you’ll find all manner of visual spice pots in even inanimate environments. Do your photos justice by giving colour due consideration and enhancing the shades that deserve to shine when it comes to editing time
        • Find your focus. Depth of field is as crucial in still life photography as ever, helping you shift emphasis to the most significant focal point in your image. Remember that the most impactful images have layers, and use focus to create a satisfying balance between the foreground and background
        • Set the scene. The beauty of still life shots is that composition is completely in your hands – so take this opportunity to arrange your image exactly as you want it. Carefully constructing the scene will help you find the ideal visual flow, and piece together a beautiful visual jigsaw designed to your specifications

        still-life-updated

        A photo posted by David Frenkiel (@gkstories) on

        This still life treat comes from Green Kitchen Stories and demonstrates the vibrant potential of inanimate subjects, pouring a taste of the rainbow onto a stark grey backdrop.

        A photo posted by Tori Atkinson (@unapoca) on

        Filter picks: Juno, Ludwig & Mayfair.

        Part 5: Travel Photography

        Nothing says cultured and worldly like some expertly composed travel shots – and if you fancy taking your followers around the world in 80 Instagrams, the key to earth-shattering holiday snaps is in your hands. Travel photography is one of the most fulfilling art forms out there, giving you a chance to soak up an array of rich cultures and bring back the most valuable souvenir there is: hard evidence. Hone your craft and you’ll be able to bottle any atmosphere you find on your travels.

        Do it yourself:

        • Soak up the sun. There are no excuses when it comes to travel photography, and you’ll need to get up early to stand a chance of capturing any location at its best. The golden hours (an hour before sunrise and an hour before sunset) offer the ideal lighting for almost any subject – so you’ll have to commit to some early starts to take your images to the next level
        • Get lost. All of the world’s greatest travel shots were taken off the beaten path – and that’s where you’ll need to go to capture something truly special. Actively avoiding designated tourist spots in favour of hidden gems and quiet backstreets is the key to finding authentic inspiration wherever your destination
        • Capture communities. What separates travel photography from other artistic disciplines is the opportunity to truly evoke the character of an environment, bringing a landscape to life through a sense of culture and adventure. If an opportunity to live like the locals presents itself, take it – it’s only by becoming part of a world that you can effectively capture it on camera
        • Seize the moment. Hesitation is a photographer’s greatest enemy, and every shot you fail to take is one that could’ve been spectacular. Stay alert wherever you go, ready to immortalise a moment in photo form and avoid missing the perfect shot
        • Feel every shot. On the other side of the coin, getting overly snap-happy can result in a disappointing keeper-to-reject ratio – so it’s important to cast your artistic lens over every composition before you take the shot. You’ll know when the time’s right

        travel-updated

        A photo posted by colin (@colincabalka) on

        Colin Cabalka’s lesson in travel photography brings together authentic storytelling and rich landscapes for a result that’s both inspiring and completely immersive.

        A photo posted by Tori Atkinson (@unapoca) on

        Filter picks: Lark, Rise & Toaster.

        Part 6: Wildlife Photography

        If the phenomenon that is social media has taught me anything, it’s that pets are well on their way to world domination. Not satisfied with being valued members of the family and viral video sensations, our domestic dwellers have now got their sights set on being the ultimate photographic subject. Pet photography is fast becoming a legitimate art form in its own right, with its roots in more traditional wildlife photography disciplines – and transferring these skills to your own dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, turtle and tarantula photos is easier than you’d think.

        Do it yourself:

        • Get to know your subject. Animals are notoriously unpredictable, so it’s worth taking the time to understand the creature in question before you get position yourself to take a shot. Being able to anticipate their behaviours and movements before they happen gives you a valuable advantage guaranteed to bring more rewarding results
        • Play the numbers game. Knowing when wildlife photography will benefit from multiple subjects is the key to creating something truly evocative. Whether it’s a lone animal in an urban environment or a family captured in their natural habitat, make sure your decisions are deliberate and result in a more exciting outcome
        • Take your time. Unlike portrait photography, working with wildlife requires some professional patience. Without the ability to direct your subject, you’re at the mercy of their movements – meaning you’ll need to bear with them until a picture perfect moment presents itself
        • Get some perspective. As always, exploring all available angles gives you more artistic scope – and a far greater chance of finding an animal’s best side. Do your subject justice by photographing them from a number of different perspectives, guaranteeing your wildlife photography is both vibrant and varied
        • Amplify assets. Zebras have stripes, giraffes have necks and chameleons have camouflage. There are aesthetic nuances to every animal, and finding the thing that sets your subject apart gives you a chance to emphasise this asset. With the compositional code at the ready, make or break these rules to help their most beautiful features shine through

        wildlife-updated

        Theron Humphrey’s passion for pet photography is palpable in this shot, which is as artful, evocative and sentimental as you’ll get with any human subject.

        A photo posted by Tori Atkinson (@unapoca) on

        Filter picks: Reyes, Slumber & Sierra.

        Part 7: The Next Step

        So you’ve mastered the art of the selfie and your pet photography game is on point. What next? Now it’s time to see what happens after you’ve lovingly applied filters, played with some tilt shift and determined that your Instagram is ready to enter the digital universe. Whether the image in question is a sunny travel shot, a mouth-watering food photo or a striking cityscape, the next decision you’ll have to make is how you’d like it to be immortalised. Put simply, you have two options before you: share it or print it.

        Share the Love

        If you’re ready to release your finished image into the wild, it’s time to hit ‘share’ and send your masterpiece out into the online sphere. Prepare yourself for a future of favourites, follows and Facebook shares as you join the ranks of the world’s most respected Instagrammers. If you’d love feedback from other social media addicts, sharing your Instagram photography is a great way to do just that. With pro photographers across all niches harnessing the reach of this powerful platform to spread the word on their latest pieces, this near-infinite network of photography lovers offers any aspirational amateur an ideal way to find out what the world has to say.

        Make It Last

        For the fairest Instagrams of all, life on the wall could be a possibility. If you’ve composed an image that’s packed with memories and personal sentiment, you might prefer to give this photo pride of place in your bedroom or living room rather than sharing it with the world of Instagram. Instagram photo prints are a brilliant way to immortalise images that mean something to you, whether it’s a treasured travel experience or a picture you’re particularly proud of. Choosing a professional photo printing service guarantees your photo will be preserved in all its glory, transforming a mobile masterpiece into a mounted feature that’s built to last.