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from the east coast hip

The Atlantic Photo blog is a gathering spot for our favourite customers, photographers, gear hounds, and suppliers.

Here's where we'll share enthusiasm, insider tips, and creative inspiration for everyone from the beginner to the seasoned pro - and we hope you'll share the same with us. Enjoy!

Many thanks to Marc MacArthur of Heckbert Studio & Gallery (Charlottetown PEI), Liam Hennessey of Applehead Studio Photography (Halifax NS), and Chris Lovegrove (Northern NB) for our banner images. We've got a diverse professional community in the Maritimes, and we're proud to be a part of it.

the APS photographer's circle

Q  |  "As a wedding photographer, what does creativity mean to you?"

A  |  "You know that ‘think outside the box’ saying? We like to get outside the box and then run as far away from anyone that seems to be gathered around outside it. We don't do the Public Gardens. Converse chucks are suitable wedding shoes for a bride, groom or photographer. Tattoos are awesome and love does not always need to look at the camera and smile."

~ Liam Hennessy, Applehead Studio, Halifax, NS

on the bookshelf

Portrait Photography by Mark Cleghorn

From choosing the right equipment to artful composition and making your subject comfortable, this book lays out the essentials of capturing moving and unique portraits.

The Photographer's Guide to Portraits by John Freeman

This inspiring, practical guide explores everything from composition and light to digital tweaks. Learn how to set subjects at ease, and how to photograph with all kinds of light, lenses, and tools.

Mastering Black and White Digital Photography by Michael Freeman

With this essential guide, discover how to create a stunning monotone image, and experiment with colors as gray tones, manipulating tonality for dramatic effect, and high contrast, infrared, and pseudo non-silver looks.

Mastering Digital Flash Photography by Chris George

Learn how to decrease contrast and shadows in outdoor portraits, control the light using bounce techniques, and employ high-speed and rear curtain synchronization to create impressive motion-blur images.

The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby

"This book is all about you and I out shooting where I share the secrets I’ve learned, just like I would with a friend—without all the technical explanations and techie photo speak." ~ Scott Kelby

Digital Photography by Steve Luck

Explore the digital explosion, the difference between film and digital, and how to choose a camera wisely. Get a grasp on ISO, megapixels, post-processing, slideshows, printing, and compositional theory.

Black & White Digital Photography by Les Meehan

From basic concepts to advanced techniques, learn how to create great monochrome prints via camera calibration, white balance, and scanning equipment to emulating traditional darkroom techniques.


Profit From Printing


 Digital Photography for Profit

          We are introducing a website hosting and cart program designed to turn photographers work into profit; an online storefront that ties directly with our lab to process and ship. This platform is designed to allow professionals to post their images online, set their pricing and allow APS to handle printing and delivering the final product. The idea certainly isn't new and we have had a variety of platforms in the past with varying degrees of success. The advantages with APPIXPRO.COM are that hosting, printing, and shipping are all done in-house, and the prices are in Canadian dollars. Our goal is to provide a solid solution, made in Canada for the Canadian market.

            There is overwhelming evidence that consumers are not only grasping the concept of online shopping, but demanding it from retailers. On a more global scale Amazon would be a 50 Billion dollar example of how this is not a fad but a true permanent shift in consumer purchasing. Consumers want a choice! Photography is an industry rife with potential for online ordering. Photographers can sell their images or sell prints, canvas, and other photo products. I see no argument against allowing more of your images to be accessed by potential clients.

            Customers would be best served with a quick and convenient solution to ordering photo products that would guarantee print quality. Taking the time to analyze your current business model will help you decide if you are profiting enough from your from your efforts. Allowing your client to dance off to a box store with a thumb drive only to get substandard quality prints doesn't make any sense. Aside from the fact it's not good business sense to leave money on the table, you lose control of the final experience.  Even bricks and mortar studios can gain profit by giving clients increased ordering options and choices.  



 How It Works 

There are 2 choices to our platform. The first option is a cart only solution. The cart is a simple webpage that allows you to upload photos in categories. It can be a link on your current website or a standalone.  Your images could be portraits, landscapes, sports events or any type of image you wish to sell. We create a URL under the appixpro domain and open up the lab products for you to add to your cart. You set the prices for your prints. You can have the site public or create passwords for the privacy of your clients. Your customers go to the site, order and pay for the products and the order goes to the lab and printed and shipped to your customer. You can see the orders in your order manager, and chose how you wish to route them to the lab. 
    The second option is a website and a cart. Through a website provider we offer many templates to choose from and build your own site with or without a cart. Slightly more time consuming then setting up a cart, but a dedicated website is easily the best way to showcase your work.


 At The End Of The Day 

After many years on operating an online store I can tell you that this only a piece of the puzzle. We have enjoyed our online solution to the point 90% of our sales come to us online and 60% of that is shipped. If I were to start shooting again I would have a shopping cart. On the other hand if you can’t sell enough to pay $24.95 a month for a cart then it probably not a fit for you. In any case it's always good to reexamine your business model.

If anyone wants to reach out to me I can reached at 1 866 905-3335 or

                                                  Allen Sutherland 





Why Silver Halide?


Image Quality

The "smooth continuous tone" of RA-4 printing is what makes it the "gold standard" for professional portraiture and for commercial printers and it's this standard that the other technologies are measured.


Image Permanence

Proven image quality for today and for tomorrow. According to Kodak, "Endura Premier Paper will last over 100 years before a noticeable change occurs." And, they have enhanced their papers with special resin stabilizers that have improved stability both for visual and for structure.



With the productivity in the printing and finishing processes of the Chromira ProLab and by recycling the recovered silver with a refiner, RA-4 printing is one of the most economical ways to put images onto a medium.


Continued Improvements in Performance

"Kodak Alaris is continuing to take a leadership role in the research and technology innovations that keep silver halide at the forefront of photographic printing. In just the last 12 month we have launched and upgraded five silver halide products in our portfolio and we are continuing to innovate products on an ongoing basis."

"Fujifilm has pledged to boost its R&D investment in silver halide paper technology as increasing numbers of photographers opt to use it."


Telescope Power

   Celestron PowerTank LithiumThis may sound a little strange but I was pretty excited when our Celestron shipment showed up this week.  In it was Celestron’s new PowerTank and it is one you can really get charged up about.

   Until now, if you wanted to get a power supply to run your telescope you were limited in your choices. Celestron made two, and all were wet cells.  While they worked great, they were heavy and a little cumbersome but most importantly could not be fully drained of a charge.  If they were fully drained they would no longer hold a charge and became just a big heavy door stop.

   Over the years at the store, in the field or at trade shows we would have to make sure we turned off the Power Tanks at the end of the day and diligently remember to charge them.  Otherwise, dead tank.

   Celestron’s new PowerTank is power by a lithium battery.  It lasts up to 10 hours when used with a scope, and up to 25 hours if you just want to use it for light (it offers both white and red light).  It also has a couple of USB ports so you can charge other devices like a tablet or phone.

   The other thing I like about it is the size.  Unlike the wet cell power tanks this one is relatively small and lightweight.  The smaller size and weight makes it possible to strap the  to one of the legs of your telescope – no more tripping over it in the dark.Celestron Lithium PowerTank

   Oh, and I almost forgot – you can charge and discharge this battery pack more than 2000 times.  This is a power source that is going to last just as long as the telescope you are using it with.

   We received a limited supply (more to come) but if you’d like to grab one drop by our Dartmouth store for a look and a demonstration. 


Go Search Yourself!

Some would say that with the advent of the internet that the days of the little guy in a local market are numbered. Then again a lot of folks don't really understand the opportunities before us that allow the small companies to jump out into larger markets. The biggest obstacle is often time. Time, a commodity that is not infinite in the game. Being able to take the time build your online presence can be a challenge, but the alternative can be costly. 
  For many small companies the time factor is the killer. I encounter so many small businesses that can't afford the big marketing companies budget and can't even or have not claimed their business in Google Business. Google for this minute in the internet stratosphere is the king. Then there is social media. A shifty moving target that works for some and not for others. Again it's all about time. Take the time to sit down and look at your digital presence. Block off time in your week to study. You will be rewarded.   

                                        IF I HAD A Dollar
 If I had dollar for every email I get from companies purporting to revolutionize our website and improve our SEO (search engine optimization) I would be retired now. If you are going to go the route of hiring a company then do your research. You can spend a lot of money for very poor return on investment. If you want to do a better job on your own then I advise you try the following.
                                      SIMPLE STEPS
1) Google your company. See where you show up and note all sites that list you and your services. Sites like Bing, Yelp or Yellow Pages can affect your inbound traffic.
2) Claim your own business on google. Make sure your location in Google places is correct. When you claim your business Google will send you a postcard with a code that will allow you to control your own identity. Do the same for Yelp and Bing and any other site that allows you to claim. You will be surprised to find that some of the information about you is wrong right down to the address.
3) Review your Website content. Make it real and tell a story. Landing pages with keywords that can be found in a search are more effective. Use Google keyword planner to help out. If you sell widgets then make sure that you say that on your landing pages. 


Calendars 101

It's usually around this time of year when calendars start to roll in at APS. And Christmas cards, ornaments, photobooks, blog is about Calendars. Right. I'll leave the rest for another time... if I don't drown in all of these christmas orders before Santa arrives. 

It's also around Christmas when people start to get sentimental. And dare I say...stressed? So here you are, staring blankly at your high-def screen; a single bead of sweat rolls down your forehead as you wonder what the heck to get your dear 'ol Mum this year. You are fresh out of ideas and know you can't buy her another pair of slippers. 

So you go on Facebook. Because that's what we do as a society now; we escape to our screens. Because for some reason it makes us feel better? Who knows the reason, but as you scroll and de-stress you open an album from the summer - now what seems like a distant memory. It's a wedding album. Your sister's wedding. Some of the photos make you laugh. Well, let's face it: most of them do. Some of them make you cry, ugly cry, and even snorty-throat cry. Yeah, snorty-throat.

As you snorty-throat cry, you have a revelation. 

Remember that time you went to your friend's place and saw the gorgeous canvas hanging above their couch? You asked where they had it made, and they told you they were recommended to Atlantic Photo Supply. Then they showed you a calendar that they had made for their son earlier in the year, also from APS. A CALENDAR! So I googled it. Because that's also what people do (and Google rules the world). I learned that you can make the calendars online, using your own photos and special dates! 


*If you have trouble seeing the images, right-click the image and Open In New Tab to view the full size version.*




at Atlantic Photo Supply


STEP 1: Sign In

Create an account if you don't have one already and ALWAYS sign in. It's fast and easy (I promise!) All you need is an email and password. When you sign in you are able to save, edit, leave and return to your projects. The system holds them for 30 days! 


STEP 2: Select "Photo Gifts" from the menu

Once you select Photo Gifts, you'll see the screen below. Note that until Christmas any orders over $50 get FREE SHIPPING! So you might want to order a few extra calendars, just in case. Plus - you could just have it shipped to your house if you're not paying for it. That means more Facebook time. Win Win.




STEP 3: Select the Photo Calendars icon

There are 3 options:

One Page Calendars are great for office spaces. Choose from your favorite photos from Facebook or your computer so that you won't get tired of looking at it! Comes in sizes 8x10, 11x17 and 12x18.

Monthly Wall Calendars are great for anyone and can go anywhere. Who's going to stop you? Unlimited photos, 6 templates available, and customizable. Add special dates, change background and font colors. Sizes 8.5x11 ($19.99 for 1/$14.99 for 2+) or 12x12 ($24.99 for 1/$19.99 for 2+)

Magnet Photo Calendars are for the fridge or filing cabinet - any magnetic surface! Choose up to 12 photos on any of our 5 templates. 8.5x11 only.


STEP 4: Choose Calendar Type

For this lesson, we are using the Freestyle Layout - Custom Colour Light calendar. Note the Dark option, which is great for landscapes! When you order 2 or more of the same calendar, you get a price break. Maybe Dad should have one, too...

Select Begin Creation to go to the Calendar editor. 



STEP 5: Add your photos

Select the blue + at the bottom left-hand side of the screen.

 Hint: It is recommended to first create a folder on your desktop with copies of ALL of the photos you are thinking about including in your calendar. Then upload from this folder for a quick selection and upload of your photos! Make sure they are the best resolution possible to avoid low resolution prints. Facebook and Instagram photos may sometimes be problematic depending on size. Note that the product viewer may make images that you thought were high resolution look soft around the edges. Try to ignore it - I promise they will print beautifully!

Once they finish uploading, you are free to place photos and text anywhere within the borders of the calendar (shown in red).

Use the arrows highlighted in red to navigate the thumbnails at the bottom of the screen. Note that when selected, each one says exactly the Month and Thumbnail. You can add text to both the calendar pages and the photo pages. 

Select Show All Images for a dropdown menu. Choosing Show Unused Images Only is a surefire way to ensure there are no duplicates! Unless of course you want duplicates. In which case, duplicate away.


Oh. And don't forget to save. The floppy disc icon at the top will do that for you. If you have correctly saved your project a confirming "Order Saved" will pop up near the bottom of your screen. 




Step 6: Arrange your photos on your calendar


Drag and drop the images you want to use from the thumbnails on the left to the canvas on the right.

Hint: If you drag and drop your image to the center of the canvas, it locks to the center for easy alignment. If you want to make sure the image is centered on your page, select the photo and - rather than dragging it - grab the crop line arrows and drag in the direction of the corners. This way, it's ensuring that the photo is in the exact center of the page.

Add multiple photos to the same page and arrange them by dragging, dropping and resizing using the above technique. When a photo is selected, you can remove it by hitting the garbage can icon in the upper left hand corner. Here you can also bring the photo forward or backward (helpful when overlapping images), crop the photo, change it for another, or add a colored border. 



To crop your image, select Crop and drag the slider to the right. You will see your photo start to adjust! The green bar indicates the constraints to your crop according to how you've chosen to size the photo. 



You can also add borders of varying thickness and colours to your images. 

Slide the Add Border slider so that it becomes blue. Choose a color from the swatches below (be careful of white-on-white, etc). You can have either straight or rounded corners, and you can choose the thickness by using the Size slider. You have the option to have multiple images bordered and overlapping, all with individual colors and sizes. 







STEP 7: Add text to your calendar


Select the Add Text button at the top-left of your canvas. A great big text box will appear in the center of the page. DON'T PANIC! You can change what it says. Although, sometimes people forget to change it and I'm printing calendars with TYPE TEXT HERE across Grannie's head.

Yes - what you see IS what you get so be careful!



You can drag around text like you drag around photos. All of the options can be found on the left side of the screen: color, size, font type, border, and alignment.  The fonts are in a dropdown menu so hover over or click the selected font to open it.  

Dragging the edges of the text box will not make your text larger. Font Size is controlled only by the slider. In this case, note how the textbox is placed on the trim lines to ensure the text is centered on the page. Add, color and resize important dates as you see fit using the cut lines for guides.

Obviously I'm adding Mom's birthday...



Hint: Sometimes the page gets tired and decides it doesn't want to work anymore. When that happens, simply right click and Reload the page. You will be redirected to exactly where you left off. Wouldn't hurt to click that little floppy disc either.


STEP 8: Background Color

Decide if you want to change the background colors of your calendar or simply leave it white. Select BACKGROUND, and then you must click on Color for the dropdown menu to appear. You can make each Calendar page a different color as you wish! Go crazy - we dare you. 



STEP 9: Wash, Rinse, Repeat


Take an extra minute to scroll through each individual page to make sure you are happy with the colors, fonts, images and layouts you have chosen. Once you checkout, you are agreeing that what you see is what you get. If you see something that shouldn't be there, like a stray text box, remove it or change it. The last thing you'd want to have is a lab rat fixing and tinkering with your calendar order because you forgot something......We have photoshop you know.


Step 10: Complete your order


You've looked at your calendar one final time and are happy with what you've created. Mom is going to cry and Dad will pull you close to give you a manly shoulder hug. It's going to be a hit. What do you do now?




Once you've selected Checkout, you're on your way out the door. I'll show you the important things and will try to answer potential questions as I go.

In Options, you can decide on how many you want to order (remember the price break!) and you can also ask us questions in the note section. We will call or email you back as soon as possible.


Click on Next Step to continue.



Now we are going to review the order ONE more time. Here you can see a summary of the options you've selected, what you can expect to pay, and the comments you've added. 



Once you choose Add To Cart, you are able to enter a promotion code. Check Facebook for promos! 

Proceed To Secure Checkout when you're ready.



Here is where you sell us your soul. We want to know EVERYTHING. Okay, maybe not everything. Just the regular stuff - and thanks. Don't forget to choose whether we are shipping your order to you or if you want to pick it up at any one of our two locations in HRM.




Select pick-up at either our Halifax location or our Dartmouth location.


Our Halifax Store is located at 1535 Dresden Row in Halifax, NS.

Our Dartmouth Store is located at 202 Brownlow Avenue, in Burnside. Right next to the Burnside Vet and near Pets Unlimited and Goodlife.





Choose to pay when you pick up, or pay online (you must choose this option when having your order shipped). Sometimes, paying upon pick-up is your best option. If any adjustments have to be made to your order, which does happen from time to time, totals can change and then begins the refunding game.  


This page is very important. Especially note the Order Number (in this case it's 9113309). If you need to contact us about your order for any reason, you must provide this number so that we can quickly help you. The lab rats are always working hard to streamline your products and turnaround times!


If you are okay with everything at this point, you may as well order the darn thing.




Once your order is submitted, you will recieve an email confirming that it went through properly. Calendars will be made right until December 24 at noon. Right now they are taking up to five days but we will get them done for Christmas!!!

Once your order is complete, you will recieve a second email to tell you that you can come and get your order. Or, that your order was shipped to you.

I hope that these steps were easy to follow and that they helped make your calendar creating experience more enjoyable. 


Your Mom will love it.


Merry Christmas and happy creating!