Saal Digital

I spotted an advert on my Facebook feed recently advertising a voucher for £40 off a photo book on the condition that you give a review once you have received it.

As I was after a book to display my Night images of North Wales I thought I’d take them up on this offer and try it out. I filled the form out on their link and had a reply the next day with the T&C’s of the offer and if I was happy to proceed then the code would be sent which is valid for two weeks.

 

I then set about designing the book. Firstly,you need to download their software to design your book but it is fairly straight forward to use.

I then needed to decide on the size, page numbers and style of page, glossy or matte, standard or padded cover etc.

book-layout1
Book options

 

Once this had been decided (I opted for 26 pages, glossy and unpadded) I then needed to decide if I wanted to use a pre set template or start with an empty template. I opted for the empty template.

book-layout2
Templates

 

Then it was down to laying out the images.This was fairly easy once I had decided on my the images I was using.

book-layout
Laying out images

 

Once the book was laid out, I setup the payment details – I paid with PayPal but card options are available. The voucher code was added and the £40 subtracted from the total leaving me with just the postage cost.

I received the book in a few days and I was extremely happy with the quality of the product. The packaging was very sturdy and the book was very well protected.  I was disappointed in myself as I rushed the cover image and details and I feel that they detract from the quality of the product

The pages feel very premium, a heavy weighted paper with a nice gloss finish. The inside front and back pages are printable and the lay-flat design of the book means that you can print across the bind without any issues. I didn’t go for this option but having seen examples in other reviews I wouldn’t have any problems laying out images this way.

A few images of the book:

book-7585abook-7578abook-7582abook-7584abook-7579a

 

I’d definitely use Saal Digital again in the future. They do allsorts of things with digital images and the quality seems spot on.

I’ll update this when I try something else of theirs.

http://www.saal-digital.co.uk

 

Advertisements

2017. A year for giving back…

This year I will be donating any money raised from sales of prints to our local hospital.

Glan Clwyd special care baby unit looked after our son for nearly 3 weeks from birth and myself and my wife Laura (Crafty Crowe)  want to give something back to them.

 

I’ve a stack of prints which have been used in competions in my camera club.  These are all mounted (16×12) ready to be framed.

 

The album can be found on my Facebook page but I’ll update this blog when I get back to my laptop with the images available.

 

Link to Facebook.  There is an album named SCBU donation.

https://facebook.com/ACrowephotography

 

Many thanks for looking.  All the best for 2017.

Visit Scotland…

Skye has been a place on my radar for a while after seeing various articles in magazines and many, many images on Flickr so I decided to take a trip up for a few days.

Myself and two friends planned to visit quite a lot in the short time we would be there, but after speaking to people who had done this trip many times, we realised that everything on our list wouldn’t be ticked off in one trip. Next time!

We drove up from North Wales on Monday morning and the first stop was the Southeast side of Loch Lomond to photograph a tree. The Loch was fairly low though so the tree that is usually in the water was high and dry.

Loch Tree -D-0167

Loch Rocks -D-0166

After this, we headed up to Glencoe to photograph the well shot Buch Etive Mor waterfall.

Hihgland-D-0175
Not Buch Etive Mor , but one of the many snow capped mountains on the drive from Loch Lomond to Glencoe.
Bu portrait-1
Buch Etive Mor
Buch Etive -0579
Buch Etive Mor waterfall

We then headed up to Fort William, passing this small cottage set in the valley.

Glencoe cottage-0853

When we got to Fort William, we checked the Aurora forecast which shown “no activity” but thought we’d take a chance. We managed to get some aurora shots before heading for food then back to the hotel.

Fort William Aurora-0906

Up fairly early for the drive to Skye, I stopped at the Commando memorial on the A82 out of Fort William.

Commando memorial-1041

Managed to capture a shot of a Highland Cow in the Scottish Highlands!

Rain or snow-1073

Then we got on to Skye!

Skye Bridge-1082

The weather was very grey -lots of cloud and drizzle. We headed to Fairy falls, waterproofs and rain covers at the ready!

After this, we headed to our Youth Hostel in Portree where I shot some time lapse at the harbour before heading to get some food and  drink before a very early start to climb the Old man of Storr

5am wake up. We were told this walk would be a good 45mins – 1 hour. it took us 47 minutes with a few stops for me to catch my breath! Worth the walk though for these views!

Storr D-0653Storr photographer-0651

After Storr, we headed to Mealt falls/ Kilt Rock but didn’t think it was worth photographing to be honest. We then headed to the Quiarang but the light wasn’t great and we were hungry!

One of the many side of the road shots that can be had on Skye.

A87-D-1008

Elgol. We planned on staying here for sunset but we got there 4 hours early and there is absolutely nothing to do there, or on only road from the 45 minute drive there so we decided to head back to the hotel for some food and then head out for some clear skies.

Elgol view-1697

We were greeted with clear skies at Loch Leathan but unfortunately there was a lot of traffic which interfered with the planned shots.Loch leathan stars-2159.jpg

We headed back to Kilt Rock in hope of some better skies and we were greeted with some Aurora! Not a bad way to spend your last night on Skye.

Three amigos-2549

kilt star trail

And that was it, time to drive the 10 hour journey back to North Wales.

We stopped at a few places on the way home that we couldn’t get to for various reasons on the way up.

Castle-2552Running man-2585Glencoe reflection-2589

Total of 1186 miles and thousands of images. We’ll be back for sure, better planning next time to make the most of the time we have there.

 

Visit Scotland. You’ll love it.

Cornwall 2015

We decided to get one last holiday before the baby comes in September so we decided a few nights down in Cornwall would be an ideal break away. Laura booked us into a small holiday cottage for the first night a few miles from Weston-Super-Mare which was an ideal stop off point on the way to her aunties in Porthpean on the southeast coast of Cornwall.

Weston-Super-Mare sand sculpture

Holiday-31

Holiday-32

Then on to Cornwall via a couple of National Trust properties.

Holiday-30

Holiday-21

Holiday-25

Holiday-23

Holiday-27

Holiday-13

Holiday-12

Mevagissey 

Holiday

Holiday-4

Holiday-7

The Tall Ships at Charlestown 

Holiday-9

And the Milky Way taken from Porthpean beach

Holiday-35

Holiday-36

Holiday-34

Holiday-33

Venice

With the news that Laura & myself are expecting our first child this year, we decided to try to squeeze in one last holiday before the baby comes. We opted to go the the Venetian riviera, Lido Di Jesolo. We wanted somewhere with a beach but also within reach of something to do! Venice was just over an hour away on the bus/water bus and we also decided on an excursion to Verona and Lake Garda with the holiday company, which was 2.5 hours each way!

Here are some of the images.

Over the Dolomites

Venice-20

The Grand canal

Venice-17

St Marks Square architecture

Venice-19

Gondolier

Venice-18

Venetian woman

Venice-16

Gondolas

Venice-6

Venice from San Giorgio Maggiore

Venice-4

One of many canals

Venice

Verona Town Hall

Venice-2

Verona Streets

Venice-13

Adige 

Venice-12

Burano

Venice-14

Murano

Venice-15

Jettie posts at Lake Garda

Venice-10

Red tractor from a moving coach

Venice-9

Cheers for taking the time to check out this post. We will definitely be heading back to Italy in the future, not so sure if it will be back to the Venice area though.

Back to the summer skies

Well, I’ve been absent from this blog for a while. I have been fairly active with the camera but haven’t really put too much time into the social media side of things. The summer skies are on their way with slightly warmer nights, and with my new shift pattern, I get more chances of catching a clear sky on my time off.

Here’s a few from the past couple of months.

Star watching in Snowdonia
Self

Wind farms on the Denbigh Moors

Redundant energy

spun copy

Split

South Stack light house

Untitled1

SouthStack1-105

Penmon light house

Penmon

The ISS pass over Gwaenysgor transmitters

ISS passThe eclipse, taken from a moving boat

Eclipse 

New year, similar scenery.

So this was my first proper outing of the new year due to my work rota. While in work I witnessed some incredible sunrises so I hoped for a nice day on my first day off. I opted for a 6am wake up and a trip to Snowdonia and then on to Anglesey with fellow photographer https://www.flickr.com/photos/l0kk0/

First stop was Llyn Padarn. I had to get my feet wet to get to the spot.

Benched ReflectionsAfter here we headed to Llyn Idwal. Before the walk up to Devils Kitchen, I grabbed a quick shot of the boat house at Llyn Ogwen.

8.1.15-6

Then on to Llyn Idwal.

8.1.15-3

After Llyn Idwal we headed over to Anglesey. We first went to Penmon point hoping to get a decent shot of the lighthouse but the weather wasn’t playing so we went to “the church in the sea” to have a look for another trip we have planned.

8.1.15

And a couple of shots from last week when me and the wife nipped to Penmon point after clear skies were forecast. Asusual, the met office has their forecast slightly wrong.

Penmon (3)

Penmon (4)

Penmon (2)

The weekend before Christmas

So the wife and I managed to get everything sorted for Christmas with time to spare so we decided to make the most of a free weekend together and go away. I found a nice hotel near Ironbridge as we had some vouchers to see the attractions there. Something I’d highly recommend.

First stop was Blists Hill.

The Baker

Weekend-28

Blacksmith

Weekend-31

Candle maker

Weekend-29

The dentist chair

Weekend-27

http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/our-attractions/blists-hill-victorian-town/

We then went into Ironbridge to look at the at the Bridge and have a look around the town. There’s a brilliant shop if you like a good selection of Beers and spirits.

Ironbridge

Weekend-25

Weekend-26

Next stop was the hotel for some rest, food and drink before a busy day on the Sunday. Up and out fairly early, we headed to RAF Cosford which I was looking forward to. I was amazed by the architecture of one of the Hangars there, especially with the light I had.

RAF Cosford

Weekend-23

Laura with Airfix James May and his Spitfire

Weekend-16

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_May%27s_Toy_Stories

Weekend-17

Weekend-20

Weekend-21

I really wanted to get a good shot of the Vulcan but just couldn’t get the angle I wanted with it being indoors and surrounded by other planes, not to mention the size of it! I would definitely recommend RAF Cosford though and I’ll definitely go back there.

We then headed over to Attingham Park for a bite to eat. Whilst driving up to the house I noticed a few Deer in the grounds. We had a walk over and I was surprised at the numbers there, between 160 & 200 according to one of the notices.

Deer

Weekend-35

Weekend-5

Attingham house

Weekend-7

The Skylight

Shapes and shadows

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park/

We had booked tickets for the light show at Erddig as it was on the way home and something we had both seen last we and wanted to photograph. This was the first year that they had put the event on and after speaking to a volunteer, it looks like they will be doing this next year as it paid for itself and had a very good response from the public.

View from the canal

Weekend-4

Weekend

Reindeer

Weekend-2

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/erddig/

And thats it. A filled weekend before christmas thanks to being very organised with most things. Something we will hopefully be able to do again next year.