Sunday, December 9, 2012

Printcopia Photo Canvas Giveaway

Here we go with another giveaway--a great one just in time for Christmas.

Printcopia
(image provided by Printcopia)

Canvas photo prints. Who doesn't love them? There's something about seeing one of your photographs recreated on a canvas that makes it feel extra special. Prices--and qualities--for canvas photo prints vary greatly depending on the company you choose to create your piece. Now you have a chance to win a great-quality, free 8" x 10" canvas from Printcopia!

I know the canvas is great quality, because we got one ourselves of Mr. Desmond. And I have to say, I was very impressed with the process of making the canvas on their site. (That is until I ran into some difficulties switching back and forth from the side-wrapping options. Every time I clicked a different option, it would bump my photo into an off-center position on the preview canvas. Very odd. Although, truth be told, my browsers are all out of date, because my OS on this MacBook is so many versions old that the software I would need to begin the dual-process upgrade is no longer even available on the Apple store website as a download. Le sigh. For the record, I am running Mac OS X Version 10.5.8. If any of you IT folks out there have any tips for me on how to upgrade without waiting for software to get delivered or going to the Apple store in person, I'd love to hear them. Anyway, my point is, I don't know if that problem was coming from my end or Printcopia's, but it was a problem nonetheless.)

So sorry. Major sidebar there. Back to the canvas.

On Printcopia's site, it's super easy to upload your photo. The biggest problem you'll have is choosing a photo to upload, because not only can you pick from whatever you have stored on your computer, but you can also upload directly from Facebook and Instagram.

Now you know that I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that Instagram option. I seriously considered a few shots from our feed there, but in the end--after much debate--we decided to go with this photo I took of Desmond at Coindre Hall last winter:

I purposely lightened the shaded areas on Desmond's front, because I was worried about it all coming out too dark to see his facial expression, which very clearly says, "Oh, bother. The ball is just out of my reach. Woe is me." 
Throughout the process of making your canvas, there are various customization options to choose from, including dimensions and custom dimensions, thickness of the canvas, resizing your photo, retouching your photo, choice of backing (for hanging purposes), and how to treat the sides of the canvas. You can very much make this photo canvas your own. Plus, they offer you wall-mount hangers to help you get your canvas up on the wall easily. We didn't choose to buy those, because we happen to have one of those ridiculous frame-hanging kits that comes with like 200 of these things.

Here are some screen shots from the process--I just did another one really quick to show you how it works. I pulled the photo directly from Instagram onto an 8" x 8" canvas (because the Instagram pix are squares, so it's just easier that way).

I resized my image so I wouldn't need to include the black area that lives at the top of it or the railing that's at the bottom of it (neither of which you can see here)

The first of the wrap/border options is a mirror image. This is the option that caused all the problems for me when I did this the first time around--that I mentioned earlier. Today, I didn't have that problem, so I have no clue what that means. Maybe the site wasn't working properly at the time. I surely haven't fixed my computer in the meantime.

The second involves the image continuing around the sides. Here you can see how the actual photo has black at the top (due to the way I added it to Instagram) and a railing at the bottom. 

The third option is to choose a border color. I really liked this idea, but I couldn't get it to look quite right when I tried with Desmond's pic and I was very worried that what looked like it matched on my screen would not look like it matched in real life. 
And here's the final preview, as a mock 3D canvas. That gray color on the side is just to represent shadow--it does not come out with a gray tint when you get the canvas.
One of the other great things about Printcopia is that everything is made right here in the U.S. and all inks are nontoxic and eco friendly.

Now, I was supposed to do this review almost a month ago, which at this point feels like it was about a year ago. Obviously, the hurricane put a bit of a kink in all my blogging plans, but the other main effect this has had on this review is that I do not want to remove the canvas from the plastic wrap that it arrived in. We are not living in our house again yet, and I don't really have anywhere to keep extraneous items, so I thought the canvas would best be kept safe until I have my own walls again if I kept it all wrapped up in its original packaging, under the watchful eye of my dear mother. So, forgive me, but these photos of the finished product are semi-terrible.

With flash, on the iPhone, in terrible indoor lighting. Ugh.

Without flash. Slightly less horrible.

We went with the image wrap for the sides of our canvas, and I really like the way it came out.

A shot of the back, which comes with a standard hanger attached. Please note the date on the back. When I got my shipping notification, it seemed as though this was going to arrive the day of or perhaps the day after the nor'easter that blew through shortly after Stupid Sandy (as I am now calling her). I was in a near panic that this would be sitting on my front steps, getting drenched in snow and rain, but we have some very good friends in the neighborhood who kindly checked for the package at our house. Turns out it was delivered a few days after and our mail hold had already kicked in, so it was safely at the post office. Anyway, the date on the back implies that this was made and shipped out the same day, which I think is pretty cool. 
Needless to say, I am very happy with our canvas.  I know it's hard to tell from the pictures I took, but the quality is great--which can be tricky with a black-and-white photo for sure. I'd certainly love to see a color photo on one of these canvases in real life. I bet it's quite vivid.

For years now, I've been planning a gallery wall in our living room--planning being the farthest I got with that. When we get back to the improved version of our house in a few months (yes, I said months. Le sigh. Again.), I am going to make this photo canvas the focal point of the entire gallery. And I will be very very happy to unwrap it and hang it up.

If you'd like a chance to win your very own 8" x 10" photo canvas from Printcopia, please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open only to continental U.S. residents (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, and beyond!).

It seems they are currently running a 25% off sale on the site, which is great if you either don't win the giveaway or if you are in a big hurry and would rather just buy one now. :-)

Additionally, they have a sister company that does other kinds of printing: signs, banners, magnets, and business cards. The giveaway winner can arrange an exchange for one of those options if that better suits him or her. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was provided one free 8" x 10" photo canvas from Printcopia in exchange for my honest opinion of their product & service.
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