24 November 2005

The Photo Processing Industry is Changing Rapidly 

With traditional film down a further 20% this year and photo processing from digital files up 80% the main season shift from the end of the summer holidays to the Christmas gift shopping season.

Agfa, Fuji and Kodak have become household names providing branded products to billions of consumers throughout the past century, but photo processing from conventional film rolls is down about 20% this year. The photo processing industry employs tens of thousand of people in the USA, Japan and Europe and blue chips like Kodak have been rapidly disinvesting from their central labs into other fields like medical imaging, shedding thousands of jobs in their photo labs. In Europe, some of the larger central photo processing companies keep their revenues stable in two ways: Catering for digital photography through POS and online channels, which is up by about 80% over last year (digital accounts for over 20% of all photo development) and with new products like photo calendar printing , photobooks (a new printed photo album), photo mugs, shirts, and other photo gift ideas. Demand for calendars from digital photos was up 1300% in Q4 2005 over the previous year.

The trend towards photo gifts increases the shift in seasonality for the industry. The main season for photo processing used to be the end of the summer school holidays, when people wanted to finally reveal what was on their film roll. With digital photography people have already seen the images several times before processing them and can wait to pick the ones to print, placing their orders between September and December together with a photo book for their partner and a photo calendar or other photo gift for granny. Unlike off the shelf gifts, individual gifts from own photos can only be processed on demand. Photo labs are increasingly seeing the need to install capacity largely underused for nine month of the year and to work 24/7 on the labour intensive photo gifts during the run up to Christmas. With European labour laws making this costly and difficult Europe’s largest independent central lab has put its eyes on Ukrainian. The next stage of the shift in photo printing might see personalized gifts from digital photos being produced in countries with low labour costs and the flexibility to employ a temporary work force during the Christmas season. Goods would need to be shipped back rapidly to where the first world digital consumer demands them.

But it could also happen that people start making more of the photo gifts at home again. For this gift shopping season 1-More is releasing a new version of its popular PhotoCalendar software for PC. Such applications make it easy to create complete, personalized, high quality photo calendar using the summer holiday pics and takes only minutes. Interested users might want to create an art calendar edited with their own digital pictures. PhotoCalendar can also be used to design and print anything from a single page to a thirteen months calendar. There is no better, individual and creative gift for beloved ones.

Many easy-to-use features make the photo calendar output original pieces of art. Applications like 1-More PhotoCalendar help the creative process with many pre-made layouts and the option to add clipart in frames. The registered version allows selecting different typefaces and colors for all parts of the calendar. The order of the objects can be freely defined and image titles and descriptions added. New in this latest release are special filters for professional effects.

1-More PhotoCalendar software can scale calendars to the format supported by the printer, lowering the hurdles to home printing.

Calendars edited in 1-More PhotoCalendar can start on any date of the year, making it a great tool to create gift calendars all year round. The very romantic let the calendar start or end on a special day of the month (this may extend the calendar to thirteen pages; e.g. from Sept. 20th, 2006 to Sept. 19th, 2007), making it the utmost personal present.

The great think about processing or printing photos is that all those digital treasures languishing on hard drives could finally see the light of day with the easy to use PhotoCalendar software. Getting nicely laid out, perfectly printed photo calendars to decorate a wall or desk is easy and set to become the latest must-have application for the creative computer user. Once the user has downloaded the PhotoCalendar applet from the 1-more.com website and installed it, the software guides the user through the calendar creation process. Digital images on a hard drive, CD, or camera are easily accessed. The layout, photo editing and framing tools are self explanatory with clearly laid out icons. A limited version of the application described can be downloaded and used free of charge, the full application for use with own photos costs only $19.- as a download from http://www.1-more-photocalendar.com, where the full version can be unlocked immediately to ensure that gift calendars can be edited and printed in time. Managing Director Michael Bartos and ads: “1-more.com specializes in easy to use creative photographic software. The new release of PhotoCalendar is set to resolve many people’s headaches over presents for friends and family.”

The judgment is open whether central photo labs can compete against domestic craft when it comes to getting personal presents ready for the season. For certain, today’s consumer has more choice than ever.

Press Contact:

International IT Marketing Limited;

Email: cm (at) IITM.info

Tel. +44 8700 114911

Tel. +1 202-470-3242

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10 November 2005

FotoInsight Launches New Photobook 

The innovative photo book featuring 26 glossy satin finish pages takes up to 312 pictures and can be ordered online without any special software

In time for the holiday gift shopping season, FotoInsight of Cambridge launches an innovative 26 page photo book displaying up to 312 images through its online photo processing service. Presenting someone with a personalised, hardbound photo book, complete with the details of an adventure illustrated with own photographs is arguably the greatest gift idea this year. The new photo book can be ordered from FotoInsight.com online without need for any special digital album software. The lay-out tool allows for text and various picture formats and sizes. The photobook is the latest addition to Europe’s most innovative range of photo gifts.

From Cambridge Managing Director Klaas Brumann comments: “Pictures of weddings, births, holidays and parties are fading away in shoeboxes and increasingly on hard drives of aging computers. Digital camera users are finding out that ever bigger hard disks are no safe place for the growing number of images accumulating over time. FotoInsight’s mission is to prevent photographic memories from fading. A printed album, like the new protective photo book, helps families to preserve all these memories in order, crisp colours and accessible now and to future generations.

All those digital photos languishing on hard drives could finally see the light of day with the time-saving innovation. This latest addition to FotoInsight’s digital photo service is delivered within one week of ordering online. Getting luxurious, hardbound, coffee-table style photo books is easy and set to become the latest must-have innovation in photo albums. Once the user has arrived at Fotoinsight’s website and has clicked on the photo book icon displayed along side attractive photo calendars, a window appears in the familiar file tree style with text and animated illustrations explaining the upload. The user selects pictures selected through drag & drop directly from the computer. The order of the pictures can be changed after the upload through a range of interactive photobook editing tools. The cost of £19.99 per printed photo book (plus p&p) (or €27.99) also includes the option to use online storage for photo sharing in FotoInsight’s online photo album facility one month free.

The A4 size photobook features 26 glossy satin finish pages hardbound in a high quality cover. The format allows for two to twelve images per page, with either two photos (landscape, 5”x9.5” / 12.5x17.5cm), four images (portrait, 5”x3.5” / 12x8.5cm), six images (landscape, 2.5”x3.5” / 6.3x8.5cm) or even twelve smaller pictures (landscape) per page (measures indicated can be marginally smaller, depending on the image format). The online service offers an intuitive menu with easy-to-use controls and drag-and-drop selection of images, enabling users to author a personalised photo book with own images and subtitles. The user can adjust the position and format of each photo as well as crop and rotate pictures after the initial upload.

Any event in life that has a memory attached and photos to share is an excellent project for a printed photobook. At birthdays a family photobook is great to hand out to guests. After the party, a special version just for the guest of honour with birthday wishes captioned under each photo of the party guests makes the event unforgettable. Photo books will be popular to preserve memories of a special vacation. These portable memories are also ideal for weddings, anniversaries, holidays and even just everyday memories. “We have done a number of trials to optimize the website upload. The user response to the final results has been phenomenal” comments FotoInsight Ltd. Managing Director Klaas Brumann and ads: “FotoInsight’s photobook is set to resolve the headaches over presents for aunties and grannies.”

Convenience and flexibility
FotoInsight offers a PC and Mac compatible independent online photo service, fully flexible to be used with images from any digital camera. According to FotoInsight’s management the online service offers superior quality at lower costs when compared to inkjet printing. FotoInsight offers an extensive array of award-winning photo printing and photo gift ideas items for the consumer, business, photography, and graphic arts markets. From Cambridge, Mr Brumann comments: “Photographic memories must never fade. Our technology is smarter, providing long lasting photo book printing in superior quality.”

Information about FotoInsight 
FotoInsight Limited runs a custom made and easy to use print processing service. Customers benefit from patented development processes and the experience of Europe’s largest independent photo lab with an installed capacity of 18 million prints per day. Photos ordered through http://fotoinsight.co.uk are developed in one of 20 strategically located, state of the art photo labs, employing 4000 staff, with an output of over 3 billion prints per year.

Contact information
FotoInsight Ltd.
Cambridge, CB4 1ZP, UK Skype fotoinside
Tel. +44 8700 114911 Fax. +44 8715 601675

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