• About Canvas Prints Blog

    If you need help and advice regarding high quality canvas printing products for your home, office or as gifts this blog is perfect for you.

    Or maybe you just need some inspiration on how to put photos on canvas? This blog show you how to improve your home interior and how to create impressive gifts.

    Create the canvas prints of your dreams by adding your very own photos to Photo Canvas outstanding quality prints. Inspiration and information about canvas prints are posted regularly.

    You can also visit our photo gifts website: Bags of Love for a wide range of photo related gifts.

10 Amazing Optical Illusion Photos

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“Photography is the power of observation, not the application of technology.” ~ Ken Rockwell

Who knew photography can be used to trick the human perception, leaving one puzzled even with the power of naked eye. One of the great elements of photography is distorting reality, a.k.a “Optical Illusion”, images that differ from the objective reality . In layman’s terms, optical illusions challenges the human eye to capture beyond the obvious . Taking illusionary photos not only demand the perfect timing but also an eye for ‘phantasm’. So if you’re wondering on how you can leave people awed, here are some intriguing optical illusion photos for you to start with.

 Mind Bending Optical Illusion Photography

opticalillusion00

Mother Nature is ready to combat with the fiercest human technology

Apocalypse Now Ant vs attack helicopter place your bets

  Two faces…

best side

Bike Love

Bike Love

High Five!!

High Five and reach for the moon!

London we have a problem – it seems like the moon insists on joining the games too!

moon joining the olympics

Spread your wings and fly.

Spread your wings and fly.

The Eye of the Drain

The eye fo the drain

Actors posing with gym equipment on the world’s largest 3D painting at Canary Wharf in London.

 

world's largest 3D painting

Towering over toys

 

optical-illusions-32

 

Do you have any of your own optical illusion photos you would like to share?

Top 3 Tips on Taking Amazing Halloween Photos

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With the fast-approaching ‘Halloween’ closing in less than 2 weeks I thought I’d share some tips on taking Halloween photos as there will be countless number of subjects to shoot: jack-o-lantern, kids in costume, ‘trick or treat’ treats and many more.  The second most popular commercial holiday after Christmas, Halloween gives people once in a year opportunity to dress up in the most creepiest way possible.  Before I give away the top 3 tips, here’s a little fact about Halloween, it originated in an area that is now Ireland about 2000 years ago among a group of people called the Celts and not America, a mere misconception. You can learn more about Halloween here.

Getting back to where we left, here are the top 3 tips on taking scary Halloween photos –

1. Subject -The approach here is no different to that on taking travel photographs where I earlier mentioned on implementing the principle of ‘rule of thirds’, that is, placing your subject on one side of the intersection point.  Try shooting from all different angles you can. With lots of interesting subjects, colours and emotions, there will be tons of opportunities to capture from the details of the costumes to scary facial expressions. Don’t miss out.

halloween-photography

2.  Low Light –  The first step is to turn off the flash. You don’t want the light to ruin your spooky Halloween photos, especially when it comes to taking natural candle light images of the jack-o-lanterns. This is then followed by increasing the ISO which in turn makes the image sensors more sensitive to light hence making it easier to take photos in low-light conditions and that is what we aim for. Lastly, slow down the shutter speed as a long shutter speed will help capture the natural looking background details.

jack-o-lantern in low light

3. Go For Candid – Candid photos are the ones that complete an album. Not only the photos turn out to be natural with emotions conveyed but also make unphotogenic people look more photogenic. Taking photos of people in character is sure to make these special moments turn into great pictures.

candid photos

Not the best example, but it does help create a story.

5 Simple Tips on Taking Better Travel Photographs

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“Perception is the key to good photography; owning a really good and expensive camera is not. Driving a Bentley does not make you a better driver…” – Charlie Waite

Charlie Waite

Everyone wants to be a photographer these days withholding the myth that one needs to buy an expensive SLR camera. Martin Parr, a British documentary photographer, believes that people often take photos based on pre-existing set of ideas of what should be photographed; such as the beach or a popular monument. And as much as photos create memories, taking incessant photos of a sightseeing or an adventurous ride tends to spoil the fun otherwise experienced and thereby overfilling the memory card.

Here are 5 simple tips on taking better travel photos:

–  Prep – First things first, do a little research in advance of the destination you will be travelling to. This is one of the very first things you learn in travel photography in order to help better understand the areas one will be visiting. Getting a hold of few postcards is another great way to get an idea of the vantage points for better pictures.

–  Locals – It is easy to fall into the trap of taking overwhelming photos of popular attractions. Not that there is anything wrong with taking pictures of the main attractions of the destination but there is much more to see than you think. Travel photography also constitutes of landscapes, nature (animal/ plant), locals and especially the food and local markets. Capturing the culture is what will make the collection of photos more attractive with candid photos of the locals working. Photography etiquette – Always greet them and ask for permission before taking any photos.

Locals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

–  Angles – Don’t go for the clichéd. It’s easy to shoot the subject from what the naked eye sees but the best shots are taken from all angles but the ordinary standing position. Look for the unusual; climbing over, lying down or going macro (close up) are some of the best angles to give life to a photo. As Darren Rowse puts it, ‘The variety of perspectives that you can shoot images from is only limited by your imagination.

Angles to shoot - Darren Rowse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

–  Focus – Often we try to place the subject at the centre to make it ‘the centre of attraction’ but the truth is, those photos lack creativity. Implement the key principle of photography, the ‘Rule of Thirds’, by simply breaking the image down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically resulting in nine equal parts. In practicality, place the subject on one side and fill the remainder of the image with the surrounding to balance the weight, the result will speak for itself.

Rule of thirds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

–  LightAn underestimated element in photography, light can be the deciding factor in making a picture look spectacular or terrible. The best time to shoot is when the sun does not burn out the colours. Try taking photos during sunrise or sunset, when the light is low and more attracting. Here is an example of how Stephen Wilkes captures New York, the city that never sleeps, from dusk till dawn in a single picture. 

Stephen Wilkes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canvas ideas time: animal art with your pet pictures

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Looking for an original and creative canvas for your home? The answer is already in your home! Ever thought about using your favourite pet portraits or creating some animal wall art with your favourite animals? There are endless sources of animal pictures to make amazing DIY canvas wall art!

We’ve loved having images of animals in our homes ever since early humans created cave paintings of the animals they hunted almost 40,000 years ago, and ancient Egyptians depicted gods with animal heads 5000 years ago.

Animal art is perfect for some brilliant prints on canvas in a sophisticated home or a child’s favourite animal in their bedroom – that’s everywhere!

While you look below for DIY canvas art ideas, here are some facts about your favourite animals and pets…

Dog picture

 

Dogs were probably the first animals to be tamed by humans 10,000 years ago. According to some estimates, almost 40% of homes own at least 1 dog.

 

 

 

 

 

pet cat picture

 

 

Cats have a long relationship with humans from the ancient Egyptians 4000 years ago, they even mummified their cats, and mummified some mice with them for them to eat!

 

 

 

 

Horse picture

 

 

 

Most wild horses are descended from once-tamed animals that long ago escaped. The only species that is truly wild and has never been domesticated is the Przewalski’s horse, but sadly this horse now only exists in captivity as it has become extinct in the wild.

 

 

 

 

 

fish picture

 

 

Fish are a common pet but I think seahorses look great on canvas! Everybody knows that the male seahorses actually give birth, but did you know that seahorses are also monogamous and mate for life? Naww!

 

 

 

 

 

chicken picture

 

 

 

Lucky for us chickens aren’t very intelligent animals as there are 6 times as many chickens as people in the world. They do look good in kitchens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

owl picture

 

 

Owls are everywhere these days, on jewellery, bags, harry potter, and even cushions. But did you know a group of owls is called a parliament? Now you do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly picture

 

Butterflies range in size from 1/8 of an inch up to a huge 12 inches, the fastest butterflies can travel at 37 miles an hour and there are about 24,000 different species!

 

So if you’re looking for inspiration for a DIY canvas photo use your favourite animal. There is a reason animal print keeps coming back into fashion, it looks good! Visit Photo Canvas to upload your canvas image and make your DIY canvas art and make your home totally unique!

 

 

 

What is Optical Zoom? Digital Camera Zoom Definitions

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As a complete photography beginner or a newbie novice, it can be easy to get bogged down in photography terms and end up totally confused. If you’re about to buy your first ‘proper’ camera you are in need of definitions for optical and digital zoom, so keep reading!

We all know what zoom means – especially with the amount of camera equipment around us and the increasing quality of smart phone cameras. But to understand how zoom works and can be compared, you need to think about zoom as magnification. A camera with 10X zoom when zoomed in all the way will make the image 10X bigger than you can see with your eyes standing there, simple right? If only!

What is optical zoom?

Optical zoom was originally the only kind of zoom, found on film cameras before the digital age. It is simply zooming in and out of your subject using the camera lens.

By zooming with a lens what you are actually doing is changing the focal length of your lens. If you look through a camera and the subject looks life size then the magnification is zero, and the focal length is about 50 mm. If you zoom in then the focal length gets larger, lenses that can zoom in really far are known as telephoto lenses. Likewise if you zoom out further than life size, making the subject seem further away and smaller than in real life, the focal length is lower than 50 mm. These kinds of lenses are called wide angle lenses.

The higher the optical zoom is on the camera specification then the closer it can zoom in. All digital cameras will have optical zoom, but only very recently is optical zoom starting to appear in mobile devices.

What is digital zoom?

Digital zoom was invented with digital cameras. It is used to make the subject seem more close up, but it is not actually ‘zooming’ in the same way as optical zoom works, it only simulates it with your camera software.

What it actually does is just crop and enlarge the image back to size. You are effectively only zooming in on the already created photo, creating the effect of zoom, not zooming into actual detail – imagine stretching the image out to make it bigger on a computer and then cutting out the same size as the photo the bit you wanted to focus in on.

Using digital zoom results in loss of image quality and resolution, so your photo will look blurred the same way that using a low megapixel camera will do. Remember, your zoomed image doesn’t contain any extra pixels, as most often pixels are larger to make the zoomed portion of the image larger – hence why the image will have less detail and be blurred. This is the most common type of zoom on a phone camera.

Optical zoom vs. digital zoom

When it comes down to optical vs. digital zoom, always compare optical with optical, you should rarely use digital zoom and most cameras have a feature to turn it off. As optical zoom is not megapixel or resolution dependent – the number of megapixels with image is captured with never changes whether you zoom in or not – your images will always be high quality. You can achieve the same effect as digital zoom with image editing software later if you need to without losing any of the image quality in the original.

Optical zoom and digital zoom

Image credit: Dave Farmer’s blog

Neither of these are the same as total zoom, which is both added together, and isn’t an accurate description of the zoom power, so ignore this when looking at cameras.

It doesn’t mean you should buy a digital camera without digital zoom, you’d have a hard time trying to find one without it! Digital zoom is not the worst feature ever. It can be useful if you are trying to capture action shots such as a sporting event, or if you can’t or won’t use image editing software later to zoom further. The important point is to know when not to use it – for example mountain scenery isn’t going anywhere in any kind of hurry, so don’t use it for landscape shots.

Good camera zoom

One final point to remember is that when a camera says it has 10X zoom, it doesn’t always mean it will zoom 10X closer. Part of the zoom range of a camera normally includes a wideangle range – it doesn’t start zooming from lifesize, it zooms from further out, so you get less magnification than you expect.

Choosing a good camera for your zoom needs shouldn’t be difficult. Point-and-shoot cameras come with lenses built in, so the zoom they have is what you get. DSLRs on the other hand have a huge range of lenses available so you can change your zoom according to the lens you use, you can even chose super-zoom lenses with up to 30X zoom or ultra wideangle lenses (great for scenic shots).

Don’t forget once you’ve got that perfect shot to print and display it on a photo canvas!

Photo Canvas’s Father’s Day Gift Guide!

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It’s about that time of year you’re thinking ‘”oh no! It’s father’s day soon, and I still have to buy a gift!” Photo canvas is here to help. This is a guide to father’s day ideas for the most original gift of all time, okay but still pretty original and definitely more original than another pair of socks – your dad will love a canvas print! Here’s why…

  • This time it’s personal. You’ll agree that a canvas print is much more heartfelt and thoughtful than the standard gift. See below for ideas but you can literally put anything on it – a touching photo of a special day he spent with you, an adorable photo of the whole family, perhaps an image of his favourite hobby or passion. Golf anyone?
  • Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Probably (one of) the easiest father’s day gift idea around. You can make a high-quality handmade canvas from the comfort of your own home. Just upload a great photo, add effects or text, and let us handle the rest!
  • You have photos everywhere! Thanks to that invention called the smart phone you always have a camera with you to capture photos anywhere you go. Have a rummage through it, you’re bound to find a photo of two of you and your lovely dad which you can make into a wonderful canvas print! The only choice you’ll have to make is to use the one of the family holiday, or that football match that amazing day?

 

Canvas prints make the best father’s day gifts. Whether you have a sporty dad, a music loving dad, a you-loving dad (of course) or some other special kind, these cool gift ideas will suit all of them – if you can’t see an idea that would, there’s nothing stopping you making one that will suit your quirky dad who loves hot dogs above all else…

triptych canvas photo print

Black and white canvas print of sisters

 

 

 

Got a brilliant family holiday snap? It’ll look perfect on canvas, just look how high dad can jump!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canvas Prints in Children's Rooms blue baby blanket

 

 

How about using his favourite shot of the kids? Add effects like making it black and white easily with our online design system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is he a new dad? Bless. Give him something to treasure for years, and show off to you when you’re older!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

messages

 

Did you realise you can add a personal message to the back or front of the canvas? It will remain there forever and will really make your dad smile! Why not make up a father’s day poem, pick funny father’s day quotes or jokes, or add the father’s day date to your special father’s day message.

 

 

 

…Help! I’m indecisive, I can’t pick a photo! As the Aussies would say, no worries mate! Take a look at our photo collage maker, simply upload the many photos you can’t choose between and click the button and you have yourself a photo collage generated for free!

Just make sure his father’s day gift reflects how much you care! Check out Photo Canvas for even more canvas print ideas. Happy father’s day fathers!

Canvas ideas time: Flower art in your home

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7 reasons flowers are good for you…

With Chelsea Flower Show in London last week and spring happening all around us, this week we are thinking about the benefits of having flowers in your home, office and the rest of your life.

It’s probably obvious to some but flowers are good for you in so many ways, and not just the standard valentine’s gift for ladies! People in the 1960s were onto something by chanting “flower power” – here are the reasons they make people in hospitals so happy:

paintings of flowers

 

 

 

1.    Looking at flowers makes you happy. It gives us positive, happy emotions and a general sense of emotional well-being about life.

 

 

 

 

wedding canvas print

 

 

 

 

2.    Flowers make us more compassionate. Living with flowers increases our feelings of kindness for others.

 

 

 

 

flower print art

 

 

 

 

3.    We are less anxious and worried with flowers around. Studies have showed people have lower levels of anxiety, worry and depression.

 

 

 

flower decor

 

 

 

 

4.    Flowers make us healthier. They have had well known medical benefits for thousands of years, only now are we starting to realise their importance in modern medicine like in the fight against awful diseases like cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

flower art

 

 

 

5.  Flowers make us cleverer! Cognitive performance (that’s brain power) is better in workplaces with plants than those without.

 

 

 

 

 

flower print

 

 

6.    Looking to be more creative? Surround yourself with green leafy plants.

 

7.    Natural energy boosters. Flowers boost our energy levels, as well as our enthusiasm.

 

So with all these benefits why not have a permanent display of flowers in your home on a beautiful canvas print? You can put as many of these up as you like and they will never fade and wither!

Now be careful when picking the types of flowers you want. If you want to be relaxed use less saturated and bright colours, colours that fall next to each other on the colour wheel and curvy shaped flowers; if you want to be energized and happier pick flowers that have bold saturated colours and bunches with a mix of clashing opposite colours.

Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration for canvas prints to use in your home décor, you can use flower pictures to create spectacular wall art!

 

What Is A Megapixel?

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20 megapixel camera or 8 megapixel camera? Is it even important? If you are on the hunt for the best photography camera, and you don’t know your MP from your mega pixels to your pixels, read on – you’ve finally found your answer!

To help illustrate you should know about the Pointillism painting technique. It consists of small and distinct dots of singular colour arranged in patterns to form a picture. The most famous example of this in the art world is Georges Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” or Vincent van Gogh’s self portrait. The image below is a skittles advert of the Mona Lisa created by Xilong Liu, using this very technique. It relies on the brain’s amazing ability to blend the colour spots into a whole image.

megapixel PC post

Image credit: I Believe in Advertising

A photograph is exactly the same – it is made up of pixels, referred to as megapixels because there are so many. Each pixel is a colour dot – or skittle in this case! And the dots form the photograph. The amount of megapixels a camera has is simply the number of dots it uses to create a photo of the same size.

If you are standing far away from one of these paintings you can’t even tell it’s made up of dots. But if you came right up to it and put your face in front of it – it would just look like a bunch of coloured blobs! The more megapixels on a camera the more dots or pixels are used create the image, so the smaller these dots are (to fit more skittles into that rectangular picture above you would need to use mini skittles) and the less fuzzy-round-the-edges the image looks. This is said to have a higher resolution, and is also the way high definition works on TV.

When digital photography was in its early days it used to be important to buy as many megapixels as you can afford, but now there is no need to choose based on this as nearly all cameras have enough megapixels for a quality photo. The higher the megapixels in a camera, the larger the image files it will create and your memory card will store less photos, so sometimes less is more! (Less megapixels = more photos!)

The only time megapixels really becomes important is when you decide what you are going to do with your photo. If the image is just going to go onto your computer or iPad you can use any megapixel camera, but if you are going to get it printed out and enlarged then the bigger it is the more megapixels you will need to ensure it’s not blurry and is high quality.

The reason a DSLR is set apart from a point and shoot and used by professionals – aside from all the extra functions – is they have more megapixels and bigger sensors as this offers the best image quality.

Don’t let a sales person push you to buy higher megapixels unless you really need it. It’s just a shame you can’t always make photographs out of skittles!

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Need creative photography ideas? Try a photowalk!

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If you need some practice to improve your skills, a seasoned pro looking for some inspiration for your portfolio or trying to learn photography basics for beginners, a photowalk in your local area is one of the best ways to get all of these things. You can join a group, organise a group or walk with friends.

Never heard of a photo walk? It is an alternative to taking photography courses or lessons as often they are run by professionals that can give you advice, and it’s free! Here’s some more information:

What is a photowalk?

Simply walking around with a camera taking photos.  Obviously there’s slightly more to it than that. Most often it will follow a designated route though an interesting local area, perhaps a market or in a park. It’s a very social event not a formal photography class, it could be organised within a group of friends or as a gathering of total strangers all with photography in common, sharing tips and tricks as they go along. It is common to share and talk about the photos after the walk, via emails or in a group on an online site like Flickr. Most importantly they are a fun way to relax and be with other photography enthusiasts.

photowalk

Image credit: Zach “Pie” Inglis Flickr Creative Commons

What do you take pictures of on a photowalk?

Landscapes, interesting people, public events, architecture, iconic landmarks, wildlife, sunsets, sunrises; whatever you want!  Look at colours, shapes, textures, patterns, light and experiment to find something interesting. The key is to find an amazing location with diversity, that can change with time of day or geographic location. Don’t always go for well known tourist spots, explore around the backstreets and visit different times of the day or year. It also helps to stand still for a moment and look everywhere to seek out your shot.

photowalk

Image credit: Chris Heuer Flickr Creative Commons

How long is a photowalk?

It varies but can be anything you want; you’re not committed to stay on a certain route or for a certain length of time. But a good standard is around two hours or one to two miles in length. Larger groups of people move slower! You can combine it with a stop for coffee or lunch along the route if you find yourself somewhere with particularly nice looking cafes!

What do you need for a photowalk?

You are going to be walking around for a lengthy period of time and likely will need to travel to and from the destination so the idea is to pack light. Here’s a simple packing list idea:

  1. Camera. Obviously. A DSLR or SLR, or even point and shoot are all acceptable options for a walk.
  2. If you are bringing a DSLR minimise the extra lenses you bring, and if you are bringing multiple options make sure they’re lightweight. Your shoulders will thank you.
  3. Extra batteries and memory card – nothing worse than running out of power or space and being stuck watching other people take photos.
  4. Pencil/notebook/smartphone to jot down any ideas you have about photos or locations for later.
  5. Comfortable shoes. Don’t forget you’ll be walking.
  6. Sunscreen/hat/umbrella/raincoat/gloves or all of them depending on the climate you’re shooting in. Don’t let the weather get in your way!
  7. Bottle of water. You may be shooting in a desert or a city, either way you will get thirsty.
  8. Snacks. If the walk gets too much, lasts too long, or your attention starts to wonder to dinner this can prove a great motivator, or you might just get hungry!

How do you join and where do you find out about a photowalk?

When it’s all over a photowalk will usually end up in a bar or local pub, so if anything that’s a good reason to go along!

Searching on the internet for photowalk and your nearest county/state/city/town will usually do the trick to find one to take part in near you. Some are free, some are run by professional photographers or tour guides that will charge a fee, or just organise your own!

If you live in London like us or are just on a visit try joining London Photo Walk, they organise brilliant free photowalks in touristy and not-so-well known spots around the city.

If you get really keen World Wide Photowalk organises a huge global annual photowalk in October and you can search for the nearest one for you to join.  It’s free to join, there’s even a competition for best photo and various prizes.

Final thought

This website uses smartphones and google+ to share virtual photo walks with anybody in hospital, housebound or just bored on their lunch break looking to transport to somewhere new or familiar. What a great idea!

Don’t forget to get your favourite photo from your walk printed and displayed on a photo canvas or try a different kind of photo gift over at Bags of Love.

Where is your favourite spot to take photos? It doesn’t have to be in London, we’d love to know!

Photo Canvas Actions

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Use this Photoshop Action to quickly turn a photograph into a photorealistic canvas!

photo canvas

How to use;

  • Create a new image. The Canvas size must be 800 x 800 px. Unfortunately there’s no way round this limit (We’ll be writing a step-by-step guide on how to do this soon, so you can follow along click for click if you need a bigger image)
  • Ensure the image you want is on a layer named ‘Layer 1’
  • Run the action
  • …..profit.

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