A framed photo from HelloCanvas allows you to display your own photo in a beautiful wood photo frame. It is a great way to display and relive your memories.

One of the problems with digital photos is that it allows you to take too many photos. In the days of film it cost money to get photos developed and we were sparing with film. These days most of us have many photos on our hard drives and memory cards. Sadly it is not often they get printed out and seen.  In the days of film I had photo albums and framed photos on display.

Recently I was asked to review a framed photo from HelloCanvas. How many times have you found the perfect photo to frame then been unable to find a frame to fit? HelloCanvas solve this problem. They print out the photo for you and then add the perfect frame. Such a great idea. It allows you to keep your memories alive with a framed photo on your wall.

Ordering a Framed Photo from HelloCanvas

The only hard part about ordering a framed photo from HelloCanvas is choosing which photo to pick. I have so many photos it took me ages to decide which one to use. In the end I chose a photo of my husband and son taken on our visit to the S.S Nomadic in Belfast.  This ship saw service shipping passengers out to the Titanic and is part of the Titanic Exhbition. It is worth a visit if you ever get a chance. After choosing the picture I had the choice of four different wooden frames to display it in. The wooden frames come in black, white, whitewash oak and oak.  You will definitely find something to match your décor. The oak frame was a perfect match for other pictures in my home.

Framed print from HelloCanvas

Photos can be square or rectangular. When you have the perfect photo you just need to pick which size frame you want.  There are three sizes of square frame, the smallest is 8 x 8 inches and the largest is 24 x 24 inches. If you prefer a rectangular frame the sizes vary from 8 x 10 inches to 24 x 32 inches with three other sizes in between. This allows you to choose a size to fit any space in your home.

Delivery from HelloCanvas

After sending my print to HelloCanvas I didn’t have long to wait for delivery. It only took a few days for my framed print to arrive. The print quality of the photo is excellent. The print goes onto professional photo paper and has the protection of an acrylic sheet before framing.  The frame itself is nice and thick and the oak adds a nice finish to the photo. It looks great hanging on my wall.

Framed print from HelloCanvas


Sometimes frames can be difficult to hang. There is no such problem with this print. On the back is a metal hook which pulls out to fit any type of picture hook. All I had to do was put the picture hook in the right place and hang the photo. It looks great on my wall.

Framed print from HelloCanvas

What did I think?

I was very pleased with my framed photo from HelloCanvas. The quality of the photo print was excellent and the frame set the photo off to perfection. The delivery was speedy and I love the final product. I now have plans to buy some more of these prints to show off some of my other photos. The range of sizes means I can display the photos in different places around my home.

As well as being a great way to display your own photographic memories these prints would also make a lovely gift. It is a great way to commemorate special occasion. If you have a wedding in the family or a special birthday coming up one of these prints makes a great memory. I am really pleased with how well my photo looks in its frame and will definitely use HelloCanvas again.

Do you have any photos you would like to frame? Let me know below.

I was sent a framed photo from HelloCanvas in return for an honest review. My opinions are my own.



Canvas prints are a lovely way to display your photographs. A large print on a wall will bring back precious memories for years to come.

Photography has come a long way since the days of film. Now when we take a picture it is instantly displayed on a screen. There is no waiting for the film to reach the end of the roll so you can take it in and get it developed. Digital photography has many benefits. One of the disadvantages is that the photographs are stored on memory cards and computer hard drives. This is not as accessible as a print or a book full of photographs.

Fortunately the firms that once dealt with film now have a wide range of ways of dealing with digital photographs. The possibilities are endless. You can get your photographs put into a photobook, create cushions and mugs and even create canvas prints to go on the wall. Recently got in touch to see if I would like to put one of my prints onto canvas. As I have a hard drive full of photographs I was more than happy to get one where I could see it.

Creating memories with canvas prints is an  online store that specialise in creating canvas prints, photo books and photo gifts. They have a range of gifts from mugs and cushions to blankets, phone cases and mouse mats. You can even get your favourite photo made into a jigsaw. The canvas prints come in a range of sizes. The smallest is 20 x 20 cm and the largest is 80 x 60 cm with plenty of options in between. The prices are reasonable as well, the largest size is £32.

Canvas from My Picture

Ordering from

The only hard part about ordering a canvas from My Picture is choosing which picture to choose. I have so many photos it was difficult to choose just one. In the end I went for a photo taken at the Angel of the North with my husband and son. It was taken when we were hunting for Great North Snow Dogs. The Angel of the North is an iconic North East icon which fits in with the other photo canvas in my living room. That is a picture of the Millennium Bridge over the river Tyne. Once you have the perfect photo you just upload it to the site, choose any effects you want and pay.

A few days later my canvas arrived. The parcel was well wrapped in bubble wrap and came in one piece. The canvas is stretched over a wooden frame which can be easily hung from a picture hook. The photo quality on the canvas is excellent and even better the ink is guaranteed to be fade resistant for 75 years. This means I can enjoy my canvas without having to worry about it losing its vibrancy.

Canvas from My Picture

I am really pleased with my canvas and it now has pride of place in my living room over the mantelpiece. It looks fabulous and is very eye catching.

Canvas from My Picture

Discount Voucher for My Picture

Would you like to order your own photo canvas and display a special photo in pride of place in your home? My Picture have given me a special promotional discount code for my readers. This will give you 30% off the already discounted canvas prints.

To get the discount go to and order a canvas of the photo you love. When you get to the product checkout enter the code: FAIRYDUST30OFF in the voucher code section.  The code is valid until the 32st December 2016 and can be used one per person.

What print are would you love on a canvas? Let me know below.

I was sent a canvas in return for an honest review. My opinions are my own



 Over the past few weeks I have been exploring how to use my camera in order to learn how to take better photographs. There are two parts to photography, the first part is the technical part and know what the different settings on your camera do. I have learnt that the camera sees the world as an 18% grey shade and that a photographer will need to compensate for this in order to get the correct exposure. I discovered how aperture can be used to blur the background in a photograph, how to capture fast moving objects by changing the shutter speed and how to compensate for dark days by using ISO.  Finally I learnt how all these elements work together in an exposure triangle allowing you to take control of the photograph. I finally put my camera on manual mode and took some photographs.

There is much more to photography than being able to take a technically perfect photograph. Photography is an art. The art is in the way the photographer has captured the scene. Two people may take a photograph of the same object but the result will not be the same. How the object is placed in the frame is part of the art of photography. This is the composition of a photograph and there are rules that can be used to help make the photography more compelling. Before learning about these we need to know what elements make up a photograph.

The elements of a photograph



A photograph is made up of a number of key elements:

  • Foreground – This should lead you into the image and guide you to the subject.
  • Background – The background should show context or contrast but not detract from the subject
  • Subject – A photo should only have one subject
  • Whole frame – Once you have placed your subject in the frame with the right amounts of foreground and background, look at the whole image and see if it is pleasing.

The elements of a photograph


Changing the viewpoint

You can change the way the image looks by changing the viewpoint. Move your camera higher or lower, alter the amount of foreground and background and you will get a totally different picture. The art of photography is picking the view point you like the best. Don’t just point and shoot at the scene, take a few minutes to walk around and find the best viewpoint and the best lighting. Taking time before you take a photograph will improve your photography without having to have the best camera in the world.

To demonstrate how moving the camera changes the viewpoint I took a number of photographs of a diffuser bottle I have in my house. Whilst it is not the most exciting photograph in the world it does demonstrate how changing the viewpoint can alter a photograph.

Mostly subject

Bottle mostly subject

This picture shows more of the subject than foreground and background.

No foreground

Bottle - no foreground

This picture has very little foreground. I could have even removed the foreground altogether.

Mostly foreground

Bottle - mostly forground

This photograph has a very long foreground which leads you into the photograph

Mostly background

Bottle mostly background
This photograph shows more background.

A pleasing balance between the three

Bottle - a pleasing balance
This final photograph should show a balance between the subject, foreground and background and look more pleasing.

Do you think about the foreground, background and subject when you take photographs or do you just snap away?



One of my projects for this year was to learn how to use my camera properly. Most of my photographs until recently have been taken with my compact camera and my phone. At the end of last year I bought my first DSLR. Until recently I have been using it mainly in auto mode, but over the last few weeks I have got more adventurous and tried some of the other settings. I have learnt how you can use aperture priority mode to create a blurred background and how you can change the shutter speed to capture fast moving objects. Finally I found out what ISO was. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO all work together to ensure that a picture is correctly exposed, not too light or too dark. When you are in auto mode the camera will adjust all these for you and will aim to create a picture that is 18% grey. In manual mode you need to learn how to adjust these yourself to get the correct exposure. This week I have finally put my camera to manual mode to the first time.

The exposure triangle

Exposure trangle diagram

Before trying manual mode I needed to learn about the exposure triangle and stops. The exposure triangle shows the interaction between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. If you alter one you need to alter another to compensate.

  • Aperture – Aperture is the size of the hole in the camera lens which controls the amount of light entering the camera. The size is measured in F numbers, like F4, F5.6, F8 etc. These are called stops. The larger the F number the smaller the hole in the camera and the less light enters the camera. Each stop lets in half as much light as the one before. Aperture also controls depth of field which is how much of the image beyond the subject  is in focus. You can use this fact to blur a background.
  • Shutter speed – The shutter is a little door on the camera that opens and closes to allow you to take the photo. How long that door is open is the shutter speed.  The shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second like 1, 1/5, 1/30. These are called stops. The smaller the number the faster the shutter speed and the less light enters the camera. Each stop lets in half as much light as the one before.
  • ISO – ISO is a measure of the camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive to light it is. It is measured by an international standard. Each ISO setting is double the one before: if you increase the ISO from 100 to 200, you double the camera’s sensitivity; and if you increase it from 200 to 400, you double it again. The higher the ISO the more grainy your picture will be.

On manual mode if you adjust one of these settings you need to adjust one or both of the others to compensate.  This is the exposure triangle. For example if you reduce your aperture by two stops, you are letting in less light. To correct the exposure you need to increase the light and you can do this by increasing the shutter speed by two stops or increasing the ISO by two stops or increasing the shutter speed by one stop and the ISO by one stop.

Turning my camera to manual mode

Time to experiment with manual mode. First I took a picture in auto mode to see what settings the camera used. This picture used aperture F4.5, shutter speed 1/15 and ISO 800.


Next I had to work out how to turn my camera to manual mode. This was a case of reaching for my camera manual. To change the camera to manual mode on my Nikon D3200 I had to turn the dial to the M setting. Without any changes I took this picture. In this case the aperture was F4.5, shutter speed 1/15 and the ISO was 400. As the ISO was less the picture was darker.

Manual mode

I then had to figure out how to change the shutter speed, ISO and aperture on the camera. This took a bit of figuring out but I eventually worked out you can change the shutter speed by turning the dial, change the aperture by holding the plus/minus button and turning the dial and the ISO is modified on the display. I tried to increase the shutter speed to make the image brighter. This one was aperture F4.5, shutter speed 1/25 and ISO 400


Finally I increased the ISO even more and the image looked very much like the original. This was aperture F4.5, shutter speed 1/25, ISO 1600.

Now I know how to take a photograph on manual mode. Do you know how to use manual mode on your camera? Have you ever tried to use it?



Over the last few weeks I have been learning about taking my camera off auto mode and learning about exposure. I have found out how to change the aperture on my camera as well as how to blur the background and create an artistic image. I found out how to capture fast moving objects without getting blur by changing the shutter speed and also figured out what ISO is and how to change it. I also found out why the camera does not always show an image the way you expect by learning about how the camera sees the world.  These are all aspects of photography and a good photography will instinctively know how to adjust these values and get a correctly exposed picture without thinking about it. However it takes more than a correctly exposed photograph to make a good photo. Photography can be compared to art, a good photo will have a good composition and evoke emotions in the viewer.

Thinking in black and white

When taking a photo it is so easy just to point your camera randomly at a scene and press the button. How often have you taken a photo and looked at it afterwards to see you have placed a tree so it looks like it is growing out of someone’s head or something similar? When you take a photo you need to learn to analyse the scene before you take it. You need to think about the composition and the light and try to get a shot that works. Shooting in black and white helps remove distractions from the image and makes you think about the image you are taking. You really need to think about shape and form, light and shadows in order to get a good shot. This is a shot I took in the Grainger Market in Newcastle Upon Tyne, which works really well in black and white.

The weigh house in the Grainger Market, Newcastle

The strong shapes and lines are accentuated in black and white which makes for a good image. Once you can start visualising in black and white you get a feel for strong composition. It is however a hard thing to do.

King Charles Spaniel in black and white

This shot of my dog has also worked well, the two different textures of background on the quilt accentuate his eyes and make him look soulful. Once you start shooting in black and white you need to take into account shapes and textures and start thinking more about what you are taking.

Strangely enough I have just received my first magazine in a subscription to Digital Photographer which has a section  about fine art photography in black and white. This made interesting reading.  It offered ten techniques to help shoot fine art black and white photographs which really made me think.


The four main tips that caught my eye are the ones I am going to try concentrating on for all my photographs. These were:

  1. Capture compelling subjects
  2. Establish a style
  3. Compose selectively
  4. Make use of shadows

The subject of a photograph is the thing that draws your eye to it. So often I take photos that do not have a subject, they are just a landscape or a scene. I want to think about what I am taking photographs of. I also want to have a consistent style so people can tell that a photograph is my work. Composition is a skill I need to work on so I need to start thinking about photographs before I take them. Shadows are particularity interesting in black and white photographs as so often they can not be seen when the photograph is in colour. They can be used to help accentuate a photograph. I am going to continue to try and capture photographs in black and white to help with my composition skills.
A snowy street

A snowy street, you can see the snow falling as slightly greyer marks in the sky, in colour these were not visible.

Going back to the past

This thinking in black and white took me back to the past and my first camera. This was a film camera and I was given black and white film to work with as my dad could develop this himself. In the days of film processing was expensive and it was so easy to make mistakes when learning with a camera. The pictures were developed onto photographic paper which I kept stored in boxes. I have since scanned a few of these pictures and this one of the Staten Island Ferry is one that I really like. These photos are really windows on the past.

 photo StatenIslandFerry_zps9beb40f4.jpg

It seems really strange to be going back to the days of black and white film in order to take my photography forward. Do you take photos in black and white? Do you find it hard to do?