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Photography tips for capturing the Christmas spirit

A couple of the creative people at Albelli have been playing with how to take the best photo of your Christmas tree (can also be used for decorations). Here’s some fun tips for really capturing the Christmas spirit. These are just taken in the office, so imagine what you can do in the ambience of your home!

What do you need?
• A camera that lets you choose the shutter speed and aperture can be set (no need for it to be an SLR).
• A stable surface (preferably a tripod). Hot tip: If you don’t have a tripod, try resting your camera on a bag of dry raw beans, this should help steady your camera and allow you to tilt and position.
1. Christmas lights: The trick is an open aperture setting and not sharp. This ensures that the image will be slightly blurred, creating the perfect backdrop. Take your time, it might take a while to acheive the setting you want!

For this picture we used:
• Mode: Av (Canon). (If you have a Nikon, try using Mode A)
• Aperture: F2.8 (or at least minimize)
• Shutter: 1/8th sec
• ISO: 100 Lens
• Focus: set it to manual focus and set it deliberately blurred

2. A Christmas tree ‘tunnel effect':
The trick here is to zoom in while taking the picture. Step 1: Zoom all the way out and keep your hand on the zoom ring on your camera. Step 2: Press the shutter button and zoom now (during recording) in. This will create the funky tunnel effect you can see.

For this picture we used:
• Mode: TV (Canon) (If you have a Nikon, try using Mode S)
• Aperture: F6.3
• Shutter speed: 2 sec.
• ISO speed: 100 or 200
3. Christmas tree movement: To create this effect, get rid of the tripod and use the below settings. Be creative and try all kinds of patterns. Again the trick is to be as patient as possible – it might take a while to get the effect you are after! The good news is you don’t need a steady hand, so that glass of wine in one hand may help!

For this picture we used:
• Mode: TV (Canon) (If you have a Nikon, try using Mode S)
• Aperture: F9
• Shutter speed: 2 sec.
• ISO: 200

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3 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Albelli’s 5 top last minute Christmas gift ideas

With just one day to go before our Christmas cut off date, we thought we’d help out with a list of our Top 5 Christmas gift ideas from Albelli – perfect for last minute shopping. And the best thing about these ideas? You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home and battle the crowds; base yourself at home by a roaring fire and we’ll deliver to your door!

1. Your favourite shared holiday memory in a modern Acrylic Print – acrylic is great for showcasing vivid colours and sharp contrasts. The colours of India, the magnificent blue of the Mediterranean; find your most brilliant holiday snap and enjoy it all year round.

Liset one of our online marketers has made this acrylic print for her sister of their trip in Thailand earlier this year.

2. The family portrait on Canvas –  think about selecting a candid shot when everyone is natural and smiling, rather than a serious portrait shot. It will bring warmth to any room.

3. A Photo Calendar – every household needs one, making it the perfect gift for all. Make it special with fun memories to make you smile all year round. With our new calendar creator, it’s super quick and easy, plus you create one calendar and order copies for all those last minute gifts in your life!

Tamara from our team with her “Asia” themed landscape calendar, a gift for her parents.

4. A Speedy Book – just 24 photos required and with a simple one photo per page layout, you can create a truly personal gift in less than 10mins – go on, try it!

5. Quickest & easiest of all… an Albelli E-Gift Voucher. Choose your price (£15, £25 or £50), order in moments and because it’s an e-voucher you can order right up until the moment you need it!

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3 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Calling all Christmas decorations – a photo competition

It’s about that time of the year when we are all pulling out our favourite Christmas decorations and decking the halls!

What kind of Christmas decorator are you? The kind that makes everything match and changes colour schemes every year? The kind that still has the Childrens homemade Christmas tree decorations many years on? Or somewhere in between?

We’d love to see your favourite decorations and of course hear why they are so important to you. Post them on our Facebook page or @Albelli_UK on Twitter and on Wednesday 14th December, we’ll choose our favourite to win an extra large acrylic print worth £174.95 – in time for Christmas gifting.

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3 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Albelli personalised photo canvas – for those in need of nothing

I’m sure we all have a “there’s nothing I need” type on our Christmas gift list. By that I mean, their response to birthday, Christmas, or any other celebratory occasion is always; “there’s nothing I need“.  Now this might be nice for the greater good and they may be sincere about their lack of requirements. However, even though they may not need anything, chances are, you need to get them something!

So, what to get those in need of nothing? Something personal, thoughtful and unique …an Albelli photo product perhaps? This afternoon, I’ve created a personalised photo canvas for one of the “there’s nothing I need” types in my life. Because it’s so quick and easy and because I’m thrilled with the result, I thought I’d share it with you and perhaps solve the “nothing I need” dilemma for you too.

Step 1: Find your way to our Canvas product page and decide on the size and shape you wish to create.

Step 2: Find a photo you know they’ll love to relive all year round and upload it to our online editor.  Select from our choice of colour, black and white or sepia. Zoom and position your photo to exactly where you want it. Make sure that the quality is sufficient for the size you wish to print. Note the photo of the lounge on the right which shows how big your canvas is in a typical room setting.

Step 3: Order your product and complete payment information in our secure system. Albelli will then will deliver it to your door. Talk about easy!

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3 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

For the love of photography

Here at Albelli, we love all things photography! So when Dave from Geekanoids approached us about putting forward a prize each month for his new Geekanoids photography competition the “Photo Critique”  we were very keen to get involved!

Dave (normally the YouTube Geekanoids guy)  is as passionate about photography as we are. So much so, in fact that he was determined to get his viewers involved in a photo critique group; “I want to encourage people to get out and about with their cameras. Whether they have a cheaper compact camera, an advanced DSLR or even a smartphone camera, everyone can capture that intriguing moment and share it with others”.

The Critique concept is simple, every month Geekanoids will run a themed photography competition on their Flickr page and the winner will receive an Albelli gift voucher.

The inaugural November competition theme is “Water” and with just two days to go, the quality of the entries is brilliant. I’ve shown a couple below that really grabbed my attention!

‘Im Thirsty’ by Michael Roberts – taken on a Canon 600D with an 18-55m F/3.5-5.6 EF-S lens

‘Deep Sea Treasure’ by Adrian – taken on a Panasonic DMC-G10

If you are a photography enthusiast who’d like to enter the competition, instructions can be found here… good luck, the competition is stiff!

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4 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

5 photo books she’d love to receive this Christmas

Personal – tick, thoughtful – tick, unique – tick, doesn’t break the bank – tick! A photo book ticks all the boxes as the perfect gift for her this Christmas and with our 5 great suggestions below, you just need to get creating. (Oh, and did we mention the creating part is fun?!)

1. The golden days: We’ve all got piles of old photos where we sport less wrinkles, greys and a great hair do! Pull together the pick of the bunch, get yourself to the scanner and load them in – this one is guaranteed entertainment on Christmas morning too!

2. An ode to her: A little flattery goes a long way… pull together your favourite photos of her and the two of you together into a beautiful ‘I Love You’ photo book. So personal, so touching and really shows you care. Just be sure to only include the pretty photos – we warn you, the others aren’t funny!! View our example

3. The artist: Collect new or long forgotten artwork from the children, scan it in and create a fun book filled with those charming finger paintings and crayon drawings. They’ll be remembered long after they come down from the fridge. View our example

4. A day in the life book: Surprise her with a special book filled with all those little things – a cup of tea in bed, your ironed shirts, freshly bathed children – whatever it is she does that makes your life that much more enjoyable. Don’t forget to add comments about just how special these things are and how they make you feel. A real tearjerker of a book and a great way to show just how much you appreciate her.

5.Those adorable little rascals: Your children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews all make the perfect content for a beautiful keepsake photo book. Get the family to send you in their favourite photos and combine them all into one beautiful edition to treasure.

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4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Yay! Albelli voted best photo books by The Gadget Show

Last nights announcement that Albelli photo books had taken the number one spot on the group test of The Gadget Show has provided a lot of excitment in the office today! There’s nothing nicer than being recognised for all your hard work.

About two months ago we were contacted by The Gadget Show, asking if we would like to put our photo books to the test alongside our competitors! “OF COURSE WE DO” was our answer. We really believe in the quality of our photo books, and we know you do too. Even so, it’s always a little nerve racking when you are being tested in this environment… What if they don’t like our software? What if something goes wrong at some point in the process and they receive a less than perfect product? There’s always the risk that you could get a negative review on live television and ruin your hard work!

But, at the end of the day, we believe in our quality and in turn, it performed beautifully against the 14 other entries to take the number one spot! It was fantastic to hear the comments from The Gadget Show team… “I really like the Albelli one, the clarity and colour – it looks like real skin tone.

Just what we like to hear.

If you missed the show, you can catch it here, and our press release about the award here.

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4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Calendar excitment in time for Christmas!

Finally the long awaited day has come! Our team have been as busy as Santa’s elves making sure we could bring you our new calendar range and editor in time for Christmas – as we know they’ll make the perfect Christmas gift.

Our designers were charged with the task of creating all the great new themes (to see all visit our inspiration pages). In typical male fashion, it turned into a bit of a competition! Pictured below is Milko with his “playful” theme and Rogier with his “modern” theme – both of which you can find in the new editor and can use to create your own calendar.

Milko & Rogier play-fighting over their calendar prototypes

A few of us in the office have also been testing the new editor, which is much quicker and easier than in the past – great news for all! David who looks after our Albelli e-newsletters has already created some Christmas gift calendars ready to wrap and send to his family in Canada!

And as for me? I’m thinking if the weather stays cold and miserable like this, it may just be the perfect reason to hole up inside, take our new editor for a test drive and tick off a few Chrissy presents while I’m there!

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4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Creative style tips for a summer staycation

Staying at home this summer? Forget about feeling like you are missing out! With our hot tips for staycation style, you’ll be happy you’re escaping the travel dramas and making the most of our stylish tips.
The importance of a good invitation
Remember that feeling of receiving a letter in the post? Outside of bills and junkmail it doesn’t happen often these days! So, grab the bull by the horns and post your friends an invitation to your summer soiree or bbq, the rsvp’s will fly in!
*  Personalise a greeting card and use as an invitation. Why not use a fun or silly photo of those invited to get the party started.

Paint the walls
Been staring at the same walls all year and a little bored? Why not redecorate with a fantastic new piece of wall art – quicker and easier than sanding back the walls and it leaves you with a lot more time for summer fun!
*  Use a favourite shot of you or the kids or re-live past holiday glory on canvas.
*  Give the room a modern feel with something dramatic printed on glossy acrylic rather than canvas. Can’t find a picture of your own for this purpose? Purchase a professional shot from an online photo stock company.

Summer Reading
Although we all love to capture special occasions in photo books, sometimes the most interesting books can be produced from normal day to day activities. Check out our list of things around the house to capture in a really special book.
*  Put your favourite summer recipes into a recipe photo book. It’s easy – just record the recipe as you cook and snap a corresponding pic of everyone enjoying their meal – this book would make for fantastic gifting all year round.
*  Get snap-happy around the house and document life’s little moments – you’ll have a snapshot of summer 2011 that will last a lifetime.
*  Turn the childrens artwork from the past year into a photo book – ready and waiting for their 21st!

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4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Make change of address cards: the most fun job on your checklist

When you are preparing to move you have a lot on your mind. Did you know that moving is one of the top 10 most stressful events in a person’s life? But if you’re lucky, you’re moving somewhere you will enjoy even more! To help you see the forest through the trees, we’ve provided a checklist below to help you keep your head cool.

One of the items on the list is to make change of address cards. That certainly has to be done too! So let making these cards be the most enjoyable item on the list. For example, why not make a change of address card that shows your new home, or a photo of you packing boxes? Read through the checklist and check out the examples of great change of address cards. Let yourself be inspired by one of these original cards. Designing a change of address card is something you can easily do yourself. Take a photo of yourself or copy an image from the internet. This is one task on the list that certainly won’t cause you any stress. Albelli wishes you all the best in your new home!

· cancel your rental contract
· arrange a mover
· request information from the new municipality
· save bills
· make and send change of address cards

· arrange to get moving boxes
· cancel/request gas, water and electrical service
· register at new school
· arrange a babysitter
· notify medical insurance provider
· notify old/new municipality
· order a name plate for new home

· cancel/request cable TV service
· return library books
· arrangement to pick up keys
· reserve parking place for moving van

· set thermostat lower
· set freezer to lowest setting
· take meter readings
· check and lock up old home
· hand over the keys
· defrost refrigerator
· secure washing machine drum

With a change of address card you have made yourself you show how happy you are with your new home. Because after all the effort you’ve put into the move, isn’t the occasion worth a great change of address card? You can show in your own way just what your new home means to you. And making a change of address card is quick and easy.

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4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL