Out and About

In my quest to rediscover the industry that *tends* to blossoms without my awareness,  I took a stroll down the street to this terrific space many of you are hopefully already aware of: Pixels 2.1 Gallery. Gallery owner Joe Kerr has been involved in the Winnipeg photo scene for many years in various incarnations. His most recent undertaking is Pixels2.1 Gallery on McDermot Ave. (just past Albert St.) The gallery acts as a comprehensive resource for the Winnipeg photographic community.

Joe offers not only a space for photographic exhibitions, but offers unique seminars and is host to informative talks with specialists in the field.

If you want to know what’s going on in Winnipeg, Joe will either know, or will be making it happen.

Right now in his space you will see images from the Tec Voc photography program and staring Friday, May 25th begins works from the full time Prairie View School of Photography, Professional Diploma Program students.

This space is truly unique as it caters specifically to the Photographic arts both professional and budding.

I would encourage anyone to head down and check out what’s going on.

May Long!!

Photograph by Kristy Miyanishi

According to Wikipedia, Victoria Day (in French: Fête de la Reine) is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honour of Queen Victorias birthday. The date is also, simultaneously, that on which the current reigning Canadian sovereign‘s official birthday is recognized. It is sometimes informally considered as marking the beginning of the summer season in Canada.

God Save the Queen!

Naturally, we encourage having fun, being safe, and of course taking lots of pictures!

I think this makes the perfect time to start your “Summer 2012″ album. Friends, family, pets, places….document it all and have it beautifully bound in a photographic album of our making. We also make some pretty cool lexan cover, coil bound styles that can be made to almost any size.

Take a look at our albums page or come in to the store at 464 Hargrave St. to see what we can do for you!


The Lab Works

*The Lab Works will be closed on Monday May 21st to celebrate the weather, long weekends, and maybe even the Queen.

We will re-open Tuesday May 22nd at 8am.





Photography by: JP Parenty

Summer is officially around the bend! Hopefully for you this means a vacation – perhaps leaving the city for the the cabin, canoeing or wilderness camping. Maybe you will get on a plane and travel a great distance. Personally, I’d be heading for the South of France.

Regardless of where you plan your adventure, we know you will be planning on taking some amazing shots. The following are some ways to think about planning and organizing the possibly daunting (but seriously necessary) task of travel photography!

Brandon photographer Colin Corneau gave me a few great tips about preparation. If you are flying, spend a few minutes researching the airline regulations on carry-on baggage. Some airlines will let you take two, while some only one. If you are flying different airlines throughout your journey, be sure to check each airline for regulations to avoid any assumptions! On a recent trip to Nepal, Colin needed an Indian Visa on route but found out before hand and had no issues getting over borders.

If you are getting in a boat or anywhere near the water with your gear, head to Mountain Equipment Co-op for a Pelican Case. They come in all sizes, are waterproof, and float. There are also special dry bags available  but be sure to do your homework before submerging your gear.

1. Plan your gear. Consider the weight of camera and lenses. Are you heading somewhere that needs a variety of lenses with an SLR/DSLR or can you get away with bringing a light point and shoot? Are you prepared to “babysit” your gear? Maybe you would rather a discreet camera that tucks away so you don’t become a thief magnet ( have you seen my posts on smart cameras?). Consider bringing only one lens or one format. Don’t let gear get in the way of your work! However, if you have to bring something like a tripod, do consider a carbon fibre model that is made for traveling. Get a model that will pack small – including the head. A ball head is likely your best bet!

On that note, In the wise and experienced travel world of Mr. Corneau, don’t bring a back pack. Carrying gear on your back and shoulders, as most of us can attest to, makes for stress and fatigue on the body. Instead, pack your gear around your waist – closer to your centre of gravity. Various models of camera belts have modular additions to be placed where you like them best. You will no doubt be able to carry your gear longer before noticing it. Other advantages include keeping an eye on your camera and away from pesky thieves, quicker access to the gear, and look! Both hands!

2. If you shoot film, a few things to consider. If traveling in a potentially hot car, bring film in a cooler bag. Pack it with an ice pack if you can. If traveling by air and  going through x-ray, ask to have your film hand checked. High speed film will fog with x-ray more so than lower speed film types. To save space, bring only colour film and convert it to black and white by having the roll scanned. Colour film tends to pick up less static and dust so your scanned rolls will come back cleaner. **Be prepared that not all security guards will hand check film. Some won’t know what you are talking about and quite frankly, probably don’t care.

3. If you shoot digital, consider how you will be using the images. If you plan to make large prints for display, set your camera settings to a higher DPI in the capture – shoot raw if you can. I like shooting RAW+JPEG. That gives me a lot of flexibility to send off quick images by email or to post them to social media sites. Having the full file means more in-depth corrections and the ability make larger prints. These factors will determine your memory card capacity and how many images you will fit on to one card.  Are you traveling to remote areas? If you plan to bring a computer to save those files to, consider the availability of electricity and the kinds of power available. Make sure the place you are staying has a secure area to store your hardware.

4. Consider shooting with available light. Leave heavy flashes at home. Colin advises: “Work what is in front of you. Light is what photographers work with, so pay attention to what the light is doing where you are”.

5. Shoot now, edit later! Some of us around here feel like a missed opportunity to shoot is a sad thing. If you are shooting digitally and you are worried about card space, you can always edit to make room when you get back to the hotel, hostel, cafe, etc….If you are shooting film, the cost of processing may be a small price to pay over the cost of a missed shot opportunity. Carpe Diem!

6.If you want the “beauty” shot- consult the local post-card shop. First off, you might want to just get a post card of the popular locals however, a postcard will show you the best angles to shoot those special sights from. If you don’t want to shoot “the famous monument”……try turning around. Literally. The ocean, forest/mountains/lake in front of you may be beautiful, but there might be something worth shooting that isn’t quite as obvious.

Try shooting at night, the break of day, or at some other “unconventional” time. Sitting in a monsoon? Pull out the rain gear, and your camera.

Shoot the mundane. While it might not result in a wall worthy piece, it will remind you of where you were. Depending on how novel or exotic the location, I think shooting every-day life makes the most precious souvenir. Once you get home, you might want to remember the corner store, or the interesting street-fronts of business or houses. They will seem exotic once you get back to your daily grind. Trust me!

7. Plan a shoot route. This will simply help guide some of your image taking and the sights you will see. If you have always fancied taking pictures of the English countryside (whilst in London), don’t forgo a trip by train if only because it seems inconvenient. Much more so when you get home.

8. Joel Ross of Joel Ross Photography gave me this great tip – approach people to get in to the frame! It’s always a good idea to get permission to capture a person’s image. People may surprise you with their willingness! Take a shot of that great bakery/delicatessen/fish shop with the shop owner standing out front. Tell a story with your images and you will have more to talk about when you show them off. Even if it’s a local haunt, maybe some photographic record keeping is in order.

I always forget to get myself in a few shots too so that’s something you might want to consider. You know you were “there”, but there is no evidence to prove it! It’s nice for other people to see you, their favourite photographer in a shot or two.

9. What would you never shoot? Ok – shoot that! Breaking out of old shooting patterns might be what your images need to be fresh again. And it will exercise your brain to see the environment around you in a new way. Win, win.

10. Staying close to home? View  your surroundings as though you were a tourist. Walk around your city and become a part of the moving landscape. You’ll be amazed at your change in perspective. As spring turns to summer, it would be fun to document your favourite tree as it blossoms in to full foliage (I’m actually doing that with my indoor garden. From seed, to sprout, to flower, to food, to table!)

11. Depth of Field. I know it seems like an old trick – but seriously – don’t be shy. Always shooting at 2.8? Go totally nuts and shoot at 22! Always shooting at 22? Go mad and shoot at 2.8!

12. If you are shooting people it’s nice to get them close enough as so you can see who they are. Two words of wisdom were imparted to me by Winnipeg commercial photographer Ian McCausland: “Get Closer”. Take a landscape image of the landscape. Then take an image of your beloved. Sometimes you can do both, but often you get images back and you can’t see the faces of the person/people you were with. That’s sad.

13. Challenge  yourself and have fun. It’s ok if you don’t get a “National Geographic” worthy shot. Remember that some simple editing (like cropping) in post-production can make a big difference to an image. If you have any doubt, come talk to us. We can help you take your images to the most of their potential whether you are shooting 35mm film or digital, 120 black and white or 4×5 transparency!


Photography by Colin Corneau








1. the process or art of producing images of objects on sensitized surfaces by the chemical action of light or of other forms of radiant energy, as x-rays, gamma rays, or cosmic rays.

This is what the dictionary defines as photography. If you are a photographer, a person who takes photographs, professionally or otherwise, do you also practice the art of photography? Apparently, the two are mutually exclusive and you can be either/or.
What if you are a photographer who is new to photography? Maybe you haven’t had the experience of working in a darkroom, or maybe you feel shy to have your digital masterpieces printed. Well, there is only one way to remedy that.
As a lab that’s been around for a long time, it’s staff members even longer (oh dear), we have been through many transitions of photography. Collectively, we have seen the coming and going of film types, paper types, entire companies, and now an industry that some say is doomed.
I beg to differ.
The industry and our collective memories as recorded on photo paper is only doomed as long as we don’t practice the art of photography.
The art of image making is a language. Language is effective when spoken either with the mouth, hands, eyes or body. No matter what, it has to be externalized in order for someone to know what is being said. So you take an amazing image with your DSLR,  your old rangefinder, or even your iphone. Awesome. That’s the perfect place to begin, for there, you are creating a language. You are beginning the dialogue of the idea/discussion/thought/story you want to convey. Your children are playing in the puddle, your cat is bathing in the sun, a wedding is being celebrated.
So, how are you going to keep the conversation going?
A print. A photo album. A canvas mounted wall hanging.
Photography gives your moments a voice so strong, it will speak to all who encounter it for decades.

i Phone Workshop

464 Hargrave St.

A while ago, I blogged about the virtues of cell phone camera technology. Not exactly waning in popularity I am very pleased to tell you that Alexandra Morrison is hosting two workshops devoted to iphone photography. For those of you who don’t know, Alexandra won Manitoba Photographic Artist of the year (as awarded by the Professional Photographers Associated of Canada – Manitoba chapter, PPOC-MB) based on a submission using her iPhone.

Alexandra is talented and bursting with an energy I can only dream of having so I know these workshops will be fun and will help you make the most of your skills with the technology on hand!

The Entry level class will be an intense 1-day workshop where you will learn how to capture, use apps for tweaking, sharpening, and fixing and obviously, a tour of all the fun apps that you can use to make your images truly unique!

The Professional level class will be an intense 1-day workshop that will give you insight on capturing and tweaking using apps but will include a more in-depth exploration of how she makes her images award winning and…..how to use layers with your iPhone!

The best part is,  there will be two draws for $25 gift certificates with The Lab Works. If that’s not inspiration enough to sign up, I don’t know what is!

Space is limited so if you are keen, sign up soon.  Visit her website: www.nature-photography-central.com for dates and spaces available.

Happy Shooting!

The Lab Works