Shooting in Winter

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Winter is a beautiful time of the year to photograph. Snow, hoarfrost, icicles, frozen waterfalls, you name it! The list doesn’t end. Everything looks nice under the blanket of snow. The only problem is the motivation to go out there and brave the cold. Here are a few tips to help:

BEFORE:
1.    Prepare your gear. Make sure to have extra batteries with you to switch from time to time. Batteries tend to die faster in the cold. Have one in your camera and another (or two) warming up in your pocket.
2.    Dress warm but don’t overdress. You want to be able to comfortably shoot and move around, especially when snow is up to your knees.

DURING:
1.    Inhale when taking a picture, exhale (away from your camera) after the shot. Otherwise you will fog your viewfinder and screen which will make it difficult to see your next shot.
2.    Use your histogram. When shooting snow, you want to overexpose your shot a little bit to make your snow appear white.

AFTER:
1.    Keep your gear inside your bag as you transition from outdoors to indoors. This will avoid condensation forming inside your lens and camera that could lead to shorting out electric components in your gear.

Do some research before heading out so you have an idea of what you’re getting. It also helps to see photos taken from that location to get inspiration from. There’s so much out there to shoot, but you won’t get them with your camera sitting at home. Go out and happy shooting!

Benefits of ShootProof for online proofing

Are you looking for a online proofing solution?

Then you should consider ShootProof as they offer a great product that has many benefits. These benefit’s affect both you and your clients in Uploading, Sharing, Selling, Printing and Delivery. This gives photographers all the advantages without the need of technical or administration staff to keep track of payments and web development. This is literally the power of the software doing the work it was suppose to do to make our lives more efficient.

shootproof-homepageTheir vision is for photographers to have a platform of beautiful online galleries so you can share and sell photos with no commission fees. They are built up with a team of photographers, developers, engineers, perfectionist with great customer service. This vision helps empower photographers to increase sales while simplifying the proofing, buying and fulfillment process of the client. Here are some of highlights for you and your clients.

Uploading
ShootProof has 3 different options for easy uploading of your images. Since everbody’s workflow is a little different you can choose what works best for you.  Your images can be uploaded using any web browser or by using their Desktop Uploader. Shootproof also offers a free Lightroom Plugin that can Publish and manager your images directly from within Lightroom.

Sharing
The client image galleries can be viewed, favorited and purchased from a standard web browser or from a mobile device. There is control of the client galleries with colour themes, public or private galleries, password protection, expiration control and pricing. If you are wanting to protect the images you can set custom text to be used as an optional watermark. For those that link to share there is optional social sharing via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Selling
The photographer has full control over the products offered for each gallery and with ShootProof invoicing you can easily manage session fees and client payments. ShootProof is a commission free service as you pay for the plan you select. These plans are based on the amount of images you are wanting to host. They also offer an archiving service for backing up your images. Your client will experience a simple, intuitive purchasing experience. ShootProof has secure credit card processing of major cards through ShootProof Payments, Authorize.net or Paypal.

Printing and Delivery
When ShootProof was looking for a Canadian full filler they chose The Lab Works as their Canadian full filler. Once your client has made the purchase, you as the photographer can approve the crop and replace the image prior to the order being submitted to the lab. These client orders can be shipped directly to the client on an order by order basis. There is no lab branding or cost information sent with the order.

Since this has only highlighted some of there great features and options for ShootProof, consider checking out there website (www.shootproof.com) for a full list of their options and services.

Let’s Grow Your Business with online sales.

Remembering the Good Times

It’s that time of year, when extra cleaning happens around the house…

Did you find that stack of old negatives or prints you had forgotten about? The term “remember when” starts to be used as you start recalling that childhood trip or get togethers with cousins. Wouldn’t it be nice to share those pictures and moment with your friends and family. These memories become much more vibrant with the actual image.

These snap shots of the good times are great to preserve. Some will scan there images which allows them to take them wherever they go. There are others that want that physical print or a photo book from those most memorable moments. Either way you are preserving that moment in time and sharing the good times with friends and family, so they never get forgotten.

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New Shipping Options

All smiles with Exciting New shipping options!

You will now be able to pickup your orders at a few new location across Winnipeg. The new locations will be treated as a depot pickup and will be hosted by Don’s Photo within Winnipeg.

The payment for these orders MUST be arranged with The Lab Works prior to shipment. There will be a extra day added on to the production time to allow for shipping and will be available for pickup in the afternoon. We will inform you via email when your order has been sent to the depot.

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If you have any questions please contact us at upfront@thelabworks.com or call 204-943-9430.

 

Last Words..

So the time draws closer to our time off, our break, our rest, reprieve, respite and all the rest! Our elves are busy maintaining the equipment and making sure everything is spotless for our return in January. We are wrapping up the last few pick – up’s for our day and will soon be off in to the blustery weather ourselves to get last minute shopping, gift wrapping and general Christmasy errand running done before the dinners and festivities begin.

As we have also just passed our winter solstice we hope among the bows and gift wrap, you take time to pause and notice the very eventual lengthening of the daylight. We have just passed the official start of winter (December 21st) which paradoxically marks the return of the light. So maybe then, winter isn’t so bad after all. The cold wind can be harsh, but mother nature softens the blow by allowing us longer days; more sun rays to warm our skin and brighten our days and spirits.

But I digress.

What ever your plans over the next few days we wish you all the best! Enjoy a walk, breath the air and feel the turning of the earth! (and obviously take loads of pictures!!)

Merry Merry!

The Lab Works.

see you in 2014!!

Canada Post

Mailing Deadline


 

We thought this schedule might be helpful for you in getting your cards and gifts via post in time for the 25th!

Don’t forget to check our print/card deadlines as well to be sure you can get them printed and in the mail on time~

Get Ahead!

 

Well, we all know that the holiday season is right around the corner. It somehow never fails to show up – Christmas -  the same time every year. And darn it, how many of us are left scrambling the week or two before the BIG DAY trying to get the ideal gift for the person and people we love?!

So this year we would like to suggest that you beat your own timely records and start early. Hunting for negatives or photographs to be reproduced is a tiresome, strenuous, even to some a nearly impossible task. Some of us are forced down a memory lane we just didn’t want to visit  just to find “that one” image in the pile. Others have boxes of prints and negatives with goodness knows what else (cat toys, sewing needles, cookie crumbs) just waiting to be sorted since 1982.

Ok, now that I’ve painted the ugliest picture of a task you know totally want to avoid…..but know will be soooooo worth it if you just get over this hump…

Here is what we  suggest.  If you are going to find that picture of you and your brother/sister playing in the snow when you were cute little buttons, the gift you know will make them melt at the memory and give you hours of memories to reminisce you better get started NOW. (And yes, we will be posting our production cut off dates shortly).

1. Before you start, decide who you are doing this for first. If you happen to come across something wonderful for another loved one then awesome! Keep your eyes on the prize. It will eliminate distractions and ease the process.

2.Decide upon an image size and whether or not you would like to have it framed. If custom framing, your going to need to get moving soon as frame shops also get very busy this time of year. If you are after the DIY frame, get the frame after the print has been made. Often old negatives/prints don’t fit the “standard” size constraints. You may have to consider a custom matte to go with your off the shelf frame. Again, you’re going to need extra time for this.

3. Don’t assume you can do this all in one day or one afternoon. Mostly don’t try to simultaneously re-organize your entire closet or basement in the spirit of “while I’m at it”. This will only overwhelm you. Likewise, don’t also think about organizing the last 20-50 years of images now. Wait until January or never. Focus, focus, focus.

4. Think about your budget. We have a range of service from “economy” to “custom”.

5. Once your ready to go, set aside time. Get plenty of rest the day before. On “the” morning make a lovely pot of herbal tea (coffee will amp you up too much and then the closet really will get re-organized and nary a photograph to be found). Play some relaxing music and put the cat outside (they will try to sit on everything you pull out). We suggest only 2 hours. This way, you won’t be burnt out and there will be nothing negatively impacting your experience. If you need more time, take a break. Go for a brisk walk then only get back in for another 1/2 an hour. Anymore than this and you will end up frustrated and confused. And what ever you do, don’t feel like if you don’t find “the perfect” image that it just won’t do.

We have seen hundreds of images and we know that when there is thought and care involved, the person receiving your gift will LOVE it. They will not even know about”the” image you had in your mind. Let go ideas of perfection. Make this a happy gift and a  positive experience. Do not be thwarted by invites out for lunch just yet. The longer you delay the search, the greater you will fear the process. Celebrate your search with a coffee and a cookie and march on down to see us (Monday – Friday, 8-5) and tell us what you need. Give us at least 5 working days to complete the task.

And hopefully, you already are super organized and have everything colour coded according to year and event on a perfectly dusted shelf so all you need to do it select it out, open it to exactly the page you also have colour coded with sticky flags. Either way, we do suggest you get on this task soon, because as those of you who celebrate Christmas and gift giving, it really does happen at the same time every year!

Why The Lab Works?

What sets The Lab Works apart from other labs?

Some say a lab is just a lab, a print is just a print. But we say no. An unequivocal, absolutely not, categorical no.

Allow me to explain.

 

1. Speed. When you order on-line with ROES, your order will be ready before you are. We print on (Kodak Premium Endura) lustre every morning. When you send your files to us the night before or before 9am that morning, your prints (no matter how big or small) will be done before the close of our business day and usually before soup is on the table for lunch.

2. Consistency. We calibrate every roll of paper that goes in our Chromira Pro-Lab. With few exceptions, you can expect if you or your client orders an 8×10 one week and a 16×20 the next (from the same shoot), they will match. Flawlessly. We are as consistent as you are. That’s a fact.

3. Quality. Kind of a no-brainer. The Lab Works has been producing the highest quality prints from negative or digital file since 1988.If you want it done right, you come to The Lab Works. No fuss, no muss, no monkey business.

4. Individualized service. Say? You don’t see what you need on our price list? No problem. Tell us what you want and we will do our best to make it happen (within reason). Like yogi masters, part of our strength is in our flexibility so we will bend however possible to help meet your needs. Custom prices and customized products (if you can think it, I bet we can make it) are our specialty. We enjoy a challenge and will prove it!

We are professionals in our industry with more than 165 years of combined experience.

Take a look at our website, download our on-line ordering software and join the fun. And remember SQIC. (Speed, Quality, Individualized Service, Consistency).

We clearly take acronyms very seriously.

And most important, we always have really good candies at the front desk! That’s a fact!!

 

Who are you?

 


 

What kind of photographer are you? If not a seasoned pro, but not a green student, you may have a hard time defining your place in the market.

If you are new to the game, have fun learning! Likewise, you just love taking pictures and want to see them “in the flesh” – we are happy to make your images come to life.

If you are new to the art and know that you want professional quality prints but unsure of your next step you have come to the right place.

While our history comes from the commercial, portrait and wedding industry, The Lab Works caters to all photographers. Our staff has approximately 165 years of combined experience. Needless to say, we know photography.

With everything there is to know about photography – digital photography – the last thing you want is to take what you thought are good files to a lab that gives you poor output.

When starting new with us, it is sometimes a good idea to start off with small prints that you can use as a “test”.  Often is the case, your screen looks great so you send it off to the printer and your print looks, well, not like you envisioned on your computer screen! That is exactly the problem we want you to avoid.  We are pleased to provide some tips on “easy” calibrations if things aren’t looking as you need them. That is our basic rule for everyone who chooses The Lab Works for their print services. All you need to do is ask!

We offer a range of products that we hope will make your life a little simpler. Simple mounting solutions like CollageWall Display is available to order on-line and provides you with all the tools required to make your own wall collage – no Photoshop experience required! Dressier solutions like plexi mounted plaque/float/flushmounts make stunning art of your images.

We also make a variety of albums, in house, on true photographic paper. Coil bound books are casual and perfect for displaying your last vacation or as a guest book at your special event. Peel and Stick and premium photo pressed albums are clean and elegant for more formal occasions.

Make it your mission to get prints made for yourself and your clients. This is what history is made of. Our job is to make sure you have the highest quality photographic archival print that will survive generations beyond the next iphone.

Stay reading for more exciting new products like mini-accordion books and die-cut cards on deluxe press-printer papers. We have only a few more details to hammer out – you wont be disappointed by the wait!

*A plug for all film users – yes, we still process film (b/w, C41 and E6). And we also print from both colour negative and black and white!

Happy Shooting!

 

 

 

Tips for Cross Processing

Lomo is fun, sassy, sometimes cheeky, and very serious about being interesting and creative!

The Lomography Brand is a bunch of things, but to sum it up, they make “toy” camera’s that take film. Now indeed for some, film is a little bit mysterious.

This how Wikipedia explains film:

Photographic film is a strip or sheet of transparent plastic film base coated on one side with a gelatin emulsion containing microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide crystals. The sizes and other characteristics of the crystals determine the sensitivity, contrast and resolution of the film.

The emulsion will gradually darken if simply left exposed to light, but that spontaneous visible change is too slow and incomplete to be of any practical use. Instead, a very short exposure to the image formed by a camera lens is normally used to produce only a very slight chemical change, proportional to the amount of light absorbed by each crystal. This creates an invisible latent image in the emulsion which can be chemically developed into a fully visible photograph.

So, the low down is – there are a couple of different types of film that each follow certain rules. C41 is colour print film. It is a negative film that when printed becomes positive. It is called C41  because it is processed in a chemistry called C41.

Colour Reversal  film is also known as slide or transparency. It is also referred to as E6, based on the chemistry it is developed in. Colour reversal film is a positive film type.

Black and white film is just black and white. It’s process is based on the film speed and type (Delta 100, TriX, PanF, etc..). It is a negative film that when printed becomes positive.

Lomography has inspired a new wave of photographers who are shooting film. Not only is it super fun waiting for days to get your film processed, but it’s also fun to understand the photographic process and then mess with the rules!

What is Cross Processing?

Cross processing is a technique for C41 and E6, where you process your film in “the wrong” chemistry. (You can’t do this with black and white).

In doing so, you can create some very fun visual effects that programs like Instagram are mimicking digitally.

I want to share a few easy tips to consider when cross processing. (You may want to do additional research if the terms I’m using are unfamiliar).

When crossing from colour reversal (E6) to colour negative (C41), the film tends to pick up density. This means that highlights or white areas will be “blown out” (lacking detail) and shadow areas will be very black and also without detail. The film you use will partially depend on the outcome as well. A contrasty E6 film will become contrasty colour negative. (I worked with one technician who called this “chewy film”). The opposite may be true when you shoot with a more neutral film, such as a portrait film. Sometimes contrast will be the effect you desire and sometimes it won’t be. To minimize the contrast gained in cross processing, you can always “pull” the film back either in chemistry or when you are shooting.

*This is where it can get complicated…

Ex: If you have an iso 100 film, I would rate it at iso 160, then process “as though” it’s been shot at 100 (you don’t need to instruct the lab other than to tell us to cross process). However, you could request that we process your film with a pull process. If you rate and shoot “normally” and want additional contrast, you can ask us to Push your film – or you could “push” in-camera. If you have a 100 iso film, you could shoot it “as though” it were an 80 iso film and then have the lab cross at “normal”. (No push or pull).

When crossing from colour negative (C41) to colour reversal (E6), the film tends to lose exposure and you can end up with almost nothing on your film. Mediate this problem by overexposing your film from 2-4 stops of exposure. Depending on how much light-leak you have in your Lomography camera, the film might already be over exposing itself! Bonus! If you aren’t 100% certain, you can ask us to “push” the film at least 1 or 2 stops in the development process, which will “add light” to the film. Keep in mind that once the film is processed, you should have it scanned where you can play even more with those digital files! Different saturation rules apply with this type of crossing. I prefer a super neutral film (drugstore film is good). Sometimes, when crossing C41 – E6 highlights can pick up pink. To offset this effect, try filtering with an 80A (Tungston balance filter). Play around and see what works best for you!

There is a lot of fun you can have with cross processing. Once you get to learn your camera and what it is doing with your film of choice, you can  bend and play with the rules.

I have posted a few images that were shot with a lomo camera (sorry, I have scant details). Our client wanted the “lomo look” so we took her C41 film, pushed it a stop and crossed it through E6 (Colour Reversal) and got these fantastic results. We love the way the photographer composed these shots and hope we get to see more of her work in the future!

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COURTESY OF LOCAL SHOOTER CHIMMY LIU. THANKS CHIMMY!

 

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