Mobile to Mount: Exploring Instagram Photo Prints

With technology advancing at an incredible speed, the gap between professional and mobile photography is ever changing – and it’s now easier than ever to capture the perfect picture on the go. Thanks to savvy smartphones, you no longer need to feel the disappointment of having left your camera at home – as you can create the ideal composition using your phone. With mobile apps like Instagram paving the way for even the most inexperienced artist, photographers new to the game and seasoned in their field can use smartphones to create the perfect composition if they’ve left their camera at home – although they’ll never be able to replace the benefits of investing in a DSLR.instagram-photo-prints

If you’re looking to print Instagram photos, UK-based photo printing providers like us make sure you have access to an array of flexible printing options – and we’ve compiled some need-to-know tips to help you on your way, as well as some essential pointers to keep in mind before you go ahead and choose your format.

What you need to know

Aspect ratio: Instagram images are square, and paying due consideration to your image’s proportions will be key to the quality of your photo when it’s time for printing. If you need help understanding aspect ratio and choosing the best printing option for your image, the experts at Digitalabare always happy to help.

Whether you’re a professional photographer capturing wildlife on the move or an enthusiastic amateur who loves taking selfies, you can use Instagram photography to get creative. And when it comes to your Instagram images, why settle for viewing your memories on a screen? Thanks to online photo printing, you can use your Instagram app to bring photos to life and transform them into professional portfolios or tangible keepsakes – and there’s a type of print to suit every image.

Types of prints

Acrylic frames

Contemporary acrylic photo frames are most suited to portrait, landscape and commercial photography – so whether you’re using Instagram to capture a stunning landscape or photograph the perfect portrait, acrylic frames can bring your images to life.

Albums

Gone are the days when your phone stayed in England while you holidayed abroad. These days, our smartphones fly with us – and they make the perfect holiday companion when it comes to taking pictures of your trip. If you’ve returned from your summer break with an Instagram account full of sunkissed snaps, compiling them into a photo album is the perfect way to keep your memories fresh and allow you to bask in holiday nostalgia for years to come.

Print boxes

Print boxes can be a stunning gift for any occasion, as they allow you to create a truly bespoke present using images from your Instagram account. Whether you want to create a unique wedding present or a personal birthday gift, a print box takes away the stress by allowing you to upload photos directly from your Instagram account.

Canvas wraps

If you’re looking for a print style suitable for a home interior, canvas wraps offer a contemporary way to display your images. Whether it’s a print for the kitchen or a photograph to brighten up the hallway, your Instagram photographs can become a core part of your home decor.

If you’re interested in converting your social media images into high-quality prints, Instagram photo prints give you the chance to do just that. Now you have the low-down on producing the perfect print, you can begin experimenting with Instagram photography and enjoy bringing your images to life.

If you’re looking to turn your social media shots into professional quality end products, get your Instagram photo prints at Digitalab. Providing online photo printing via a number of social networks and apps, we’re committed to giving our customers the best possible results every time – order online now to get yours.

Featured Travel Photographer: Paul Johnson

At Digitalab, we’re a bunch of photography fanatics and can’t resist an opportunity to nerd out. That’s why we’ve decided to talk to our favourite photographers about one thing we’ve definitely got in common – and that’s professional photography. This time we’ll be getting cultural, and we’ve asked the exceptionally well-travelled Paul Johnson, Editor at A Luxury Travel Blog, for a look inside his photographic toolkit – and picked his brain on the glorious phenomenon that is travel photography.

paul-johnson

1. Why travel photography?

Travel photography is so varied and opens up endless opportunities. Not only is it fun and interesting, but it is also challenging as you need to be skilled in all areas of photography. There is always so much to learn.

2. Is there any essential photographic gear you never travel without – and why?

If space allows, my tripod. I have a Manfrotto tripod that’s designed specifically for travel; it’s not quite as compact as I would like, but a good enough size and quality to be sufficiently sturdy.

3. What is the most beautiful travel shot you’ve ever captured?

Ooooh, that’s a hard one.  I’m not sure exactly but I am rather pleased with this close-up of an elephant I took on safari on the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa just a few weeks ago.

4. Do you have any tips for aspiring travel photographers?

Natural light is one of the most important things at a travel photographer’s disposal (as well as a camera, of course!). Try to observe the light on a day-to-day basis and its effect on what you see around you. Depending on what you are looking to depict, landscape pictures tend to be best first thing in the morning or close to dusk, but don’t be afraid to experiment in different lighting environments. Taking lots of pictures can be one of the best ways to learn what works and what doesn’t.

 

If you’re an amateur travel photographer looking to train your artistic eye and hone your craft, you’re in luck. In The A-Z of Travel Photography, we’ve spoken to professional photographers on what it takes to master the medium – and with their help, you can too.

Professional Photo Printing 101

The most rewarding part of any photographic adventure is when it all comes together in the printing stages. If you’ve taken the time and care to find the optimal lens for your objective, take or break the rules of composition and experiment tirelessly on the hunt for that perfect shot – your beautiful images need the post-processing treatment they deserve. And that means going professional.

But what exactly should you be looking for in truly professional photo printing?

1. Professional Choice

With professional printing, the options are practically endless – as long as you choose the right provider. Rather than being limited to the basics of running your images through a standard inkjet printer on to consumer level paper, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best A4 printout possible, full-service professional photo labs offer a near-infinite variety of printing options.

Being able to choose from professionally framed or mounted prints, stunning canvas wraps and acrylic blocks gives you the freedom to display your quality images with quality results. And when you’re ready to kick-start your photography career, you can even opt for a professional photo album to show off your first ever portfolio. The wide range of printing options, only available with a professional lab, means that every one of your images can find the presentation quality it deserves.

2. Professional Care

Professional printing services come with some perks – not least the guarantee that every image that goes through the lab will be given exclusive attention. You won’t get this exclusive treatment with just any professional printing service, but premier printers are dedicated to offering the highest level of quality, meaning that they won’t let you do your photos the injustice of turning them into substandard prints.

Here are a few common issues that you can avoid with the right printing service:

  • Aspect ratio issues – you need a professional printer that will check each image that goes through the lab, making sure that every photo is being printed in the right size and orientation for the image format
  • Poor print quality – these guys are the professionals, meaning a core element of their service is to promise exceptional quality every time. So as long as your image is high resolution, your prints should follow suit
  • Substandard treatment – the professional printing elite guarantee that every one of your images will be treated respectfully and printed with love and care

3. Professional Quality

Most importantly of all, a truly professional photo printing service guarantees your expertly-crafted images the stunning photographic quality you’re entitled to. If you’ve taken the time to capture images bursting with sharpness, vivid colour and dramatic contrasts, you want to be sure that your prints reflect the quality of the shot.

The limited capabilities of standard photo labs don’t award you the control over the final outcome, meaning you’re all but guaranteed to lose quality during the printing process. Chain printers don’t have that personal love of photography that the professionals do, and that’s always evident in the end product.

The important thing to remember is that all images are created equal, meaning professionals and amateurs alike deserve the same superior quality in the finished product. Professional photographers swear by professional printing, and here’s why:

“For me personally, as a photographer, there is nothing on earth that can compare to the power of a well-printed photograph – and in an age where there are endless options open to us, it’s easy to sometimes look for the cheapest or easiest. I started out as a printer years ago, and in many ways, this has an impact on how I shoot today so I know the value of a ‘good quality print’.

I first met with Jeff Heads, the print manager at Digitalab, over 7 years ago – and ever since then, all the important work that I have printed has been through there. Not only because it’s important for me personally to know and trust who prints my work, but also because I need consistency and the best quality possible – and that is what I get from Digitalab. There is no point in a client investing thousands in a shoot, and the photographer investing countless time into creating the perfect image, for it to be thrown to the wind in this final and incredibly important stage.

My best advice for people starting out would simply be that they should choose carefully how and where to have their work printed, and look at it as an investment rather than a cost. This is your hard work, so treat it with respect and others will reap the benefits of that. Also make sure that you understand the process, colour profiling, working on a correctly calibrated monitor. Quality prints are a pure joy and far exceed the view of our work on even the most expensive monitors – so embrace your work and invest in the best prints that you can.”

Tim Wallace, ambientlife.co.uk

tim-wallace-photo-updated

Image by Tim Wallace

After that, it’s time to reap the rewards of your experimentation and hard work.

Then do it all over again.

eBook: The Amateur’s Guide to Professional Photography

At Digitalab, we’re passionate about professional photography. If you’re an amateur or aspiring photographer looking to develop your skills and take your photography to the next level, we’ve got the resource for you.

With the help of professional photographers across a range of styles and mediums, we’ve created an eBook with everything you’ll need to hone your craft and grow as a photographer. Including expert tips on everything from shot composition to professional image editing, this guide is your key to photographic excellence – direct from the professionals themselves.

So what are you waiting for? Download the eBook now to transform your photography.

Digitalab-eBook-the-amateurs-guide-to-professional-photography

 

Digitalab set to bring Death Valley to life

A Newcastle-based prolab is set to stage a unique six week exhibition of latest work from multi-award-winning Tim Wallace – widely acclaimed as one of the top ten most influential photographers in the world today.

welcome-tim-wallace

Digitalab will display around thirty images shot by Wallace using just one camera and one lens in an abandoned ‘ghost town’ in the hostile Death Valley desert in Nevada.

Said Wallace: “The sheer scale and beauty of the Death Valley wilderness has always held a fascination for me and the idea of a photographic expedition to an abandoned town in its very heart was irresistible. Darwin is a very long way off the beaten track and it actually took two trips to even find it.”

Lured by the prospect of rich textures and outstanding light that prevail in the American ‘ghost town’ he planned simply to capture what he saw before him.

He added: “There are three things that will remain with me always from my visit to Death Valley. The sheer deafening silence as the sun dropped across the valley and left both me and the town in darkness; the discreetly parked US Army truck with the not so discreet bullet hole in the windscreen –  and then noticing that every clock that I came across had stopped at 4:20 on Sunday the 13th. !”

Wallace ultimately required very high quality output for his first-ever exhibition but needed to travel light. He chose to shoot exclusively with the highly portable Fujifilm X-Pro 1 CSC with a 14mm f/2.8 lens.

Long life for Death Valley prints:

The Wallace exhibition prints will be galleried on Fujifilm’s Crystal Archive paper – which can provide over 100 years’ longevity.

Jill Roe, Digitalab’s owner and exhibitions manager said: “Tim is a long-standing customer and a very talented photographer and we are thrilled to be staging this show at our in-house gallery. The fact is you simply can’t get better than a C-Type print for quality and archival stability and we’ve combined the tradition of silver paper with laser printing to ensure the very best results.

The prints will be on sale through our dedicated website address once the exhibition opens on August 7 – and I’m sure they will be a very attractive purchase for fine art collectors.”

More information:
digitalab.co.uk/tim-wallace-darwin-exhibition/
www.ambientlife.co.uk

Digitalab Featured Photographer: Aneta Mak

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 contemporary fine art photographer Aneta Mak for one of her images and asked her a couple of questions to find out exactly how she fell in love with photography and what she’d say to any aspiring photographer hoping to make a career out of their passion.

MCL-Bride-Groom-Portraits

 

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

This was from a wedding in Bergerac of a bride that was one of the most elegant women I have ever met. She carried herself like a swan and I was absolutely mesmerised by her for the entire day. This particular image was taken on my Contax 645, which is what I use 90% of the time, on super grainy BW film stock – Ilford Delta 3200. I love using colour a lot, but there is something about the softness and the heavy grain of this film – every time I use it (in the right conditions) it always feels magical. I’m not a huge lover of BW contrast, so this film stock is perfect. It’s not ideal for badly lit / no flash situations, so I only tend to use it on a handful of jobs per year.

Which styles of photography most interest/inspire you?

A little bit of everything, but I keep getting drawn to Rodney Smith for my wedding work – I love his playfulness and a bit of abstract in his images.

For non-wedding inspiration, I am drawn to the darkness of war photographers – Tim Hetherington’s work is so beautiful, despite the subject of his photography. Every time I see his images, it makes of think of seeing something with the sound off – incredible, dark things are unfolding in front of you, yet you are standing there frozen in time, watching it unfold, in silence, in slow motion. I can’t quite describe it, it gives me goosebumps. I also love the fact he used film. And so recently.

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

Experiment. Lots. Different types of equipment, styles, etc. The more you shoot, the more you will discover your own voice. It takes time. And try doing it on film. It’s expensive, so it makes you think before each and every frame. That discipline is so important, especially in the world of digital when everything is immediately available and throwaway. For example, you are on holiday and you shoot a scene on your film camera – you wait for a couple of weeks for the scan to come back. You see that you messed up – you missed the moment, or the composition is not ideal, or the exposure is totally off. Well, you can’t go and recreate it again, not unless you go back to the same location. That pain or disappointment of knowing you have missed something great because your skill needs tuning – that, in my opinion, is what will make you want to prepare and improve before you shoot something again. And over time, you get better.

Aneta Mak Photography

Online Photo Printing Services Reviews

We are pleased to report that in January’s issue of the Advanced Photographer we came in the top 3  in their review of UK online photo printing services scoring a very satisfying 95/100!

 

Some of the points they made included the fact that our online ordering service is one of the easiest to use and that the “quality of prints from Digitalab was high.”

To summarise their review of us this what they had to say… “Digitalab makes online printing a great experience from the easy ordering process to the high quality of the prints. It was amongst the best we tested..”

If you wish to see how easy it is to order your prints from us why not give our user-friendly online photo printing service a try now?

Click the following link to find out more about the comprehensive range of professional photo lab services that we can offer you.