Happy Holidays from the Schweber Family!

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, baby, Photography

As we approach the end of 2009, we wanted to share our holiday card with all our family and friends. Some of you will be getting these in the mail (late, sorry!), but we wanted to share the spirit of the holidays with everyone! This year has brought us a wonderful gift – Aiden!

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Though at night we may be tired because of his colic, we are treasuring every moment with our little prince. Every day I get out for a long walk with him and get to watch him as he discovers the world a little more each day. It’s amazing to see everything from the perspective of a parent.

I hope 2009 has brought some measure of joy to each and every one of you!

Here also is our birth announcement card, which was also just completed in time for Christmas. Both cards were created with Little Star Greetings.

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Our Journey to Victoria

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Events, Photography

We began our trip to Victoria bright and early on Friday morning by meeting at the Vancouver Coast Hotel. There, we met up with our fellow social media gurus (Rebecca & John, Duane, Anny, Karen, Lorraine, April & guests) and Danny & Sherry of Coast Hotels. The photos, videos and tweets started right away, of course (you can even find the hotel on Twitter) – see, here we are on the bus!


Credit: miss604

At the Tsawwassen BC Ferries terminal, we met up with a tour guide who took us through the Market where we all stopped for some much-needed coffee (at the Salt Spring Coffee stand, not the Starbucks one, of course. Mmm, mocha).

We were supposed to be sailing on one of the new Coastal ferries, but the schedules were flipped and we ended up instead on the Spirit of British Columbia. I don’t know if it’s because this is a Victoria-bound ship, but it’s not a class of ship that I’d known in my many years of traveling to-and-from Vancouver Island (way back when I used to live in Courtenay). Our itinerary had us down for a “buffet lunch” and I was pretty curious about that – were they going to put us in a private room, or what? To my surprise, I found out that several BC Ferries ships now have a special Pacific Buffet, in addition to the normal cafeteria area and snack bar. We sat down to a lovely brunch before heading out for a “BC Ferries Photowalk”, even catching a brief glimpse of some whales. Ianiv even had a little Marilyn Monroe moment. Cute.

New Media in New Victoria

On our way back from Victoria today, I also had a new experience – the Seawest Lounge. For those of you who spent endless hours sitting in noisy areas trying to read… it’s like a lovely little haven. The lounge, which you have to pay to go into, sits at the rear of the ship. There are sections with tables as well as a series of chairs that recline a bit (picture me there with my feet propped up on my suitcase). There’s also some pastries, coffee and things of that sort to munch on. A very relaxing place to be after a long weekend of activities!!

After we got to Victoria, we boarded another bus and headed to a Cider farm… more on that in another post!!

Juno Awards in Photos

Posted in Around Vancouver, Events, Photography

My vantage point for the Juno Awards on Sunday night wasn’t fantastic, being up at the 500 level in the “press box” with the other “online media” who weren’t given access to the limited seating back stage in the media room. Nonetheless, I had great fun and did manage to snag a few photos that turned out nicely. Plus, I was doing this while juggling the live blogging, live tweeting, and capturing of video via the flip cam.

Crystal Shawanda at 2009 Juno Awards

Great Big Sea at 2009 Juno Awards

Check out the full set here.

Juno Awards 2009: Live Blog

Posted in Around Vancouver, Events, Photography

Tonight is the Juno Awards in Vancouver! On Friday I had a chance to preview the set for the Juno Awards, created by set designer Peter Faragher and executive producer John Brunton. On Saturday Ianiv & I headed out to the fan fare event where fans had a chance to meet & greet some of the musicians. And last night I attended the Gala Awards Dinner where 32 awards were handed out, from Album of the Year (The Stills) to Children’s Album of the Year (Barenaked Ladies).

Tonight Rebecca (miss604) and I are sitting up in the press booth for online media with a bird’s eye view of the performance at GM place. We’ll both be liveblogging – me here in this post, and Rebecca here. The eTalk red carpet event has already started and the stadium is slowly filling up. CTV will be broadcasting the event live in BC starting at 5pm and one-hour delayed across the country.

Performances tonight include Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Serena Ryder and more. Stay tuned for updates!

4:54PM – The crowd is getting psyched for the Junos The stadium is almost full.

5:00pm – Nickelback kicks off the Junos with a bang. Literally. The place fills with fireworks, smoke and a bang as they begin singing “Something in Your Mouth”. The crowd goes wild, the place just alive with camera flashes. And the set ends with a swash of flame.

5:05pm – host Russell Peters takes the stage doing a couple of dance numbers, including some awkward break dancing.

“Seriously folks, I know this is Vancouver. But what’s with the grow op on stage?”

It’s true, the stage is a mix of industrial with the lush greenery in trippy colors, a hint to Vancouver’s “other” reputation. Russell takes some time to greet some of the stars, from Bryan Adams to Divine Brown, whom he gropes over a bit.

5:10 – KD Lang and Buffy Sainte-Marie present the award for Songwriter of the Year. And the winner is… Dallas Green! His thanks go out to everyone “who has ever tried to write their own song.”

5:15 – Sam Roberts Band, winners last night of Rock Album of the Year, take the stage to perform “Them Kids.” Video:

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunset, HDR and Dreidel

Posted in Around Vancouver, Photography

A trio of photos from the past few days. First we have two HDR experiments using Photoshop. I tried using Photomatix but I didn’t like the results as much and I feel I have a lot more control and understand what is happening better when using Photoshop.

Sunset
Sunset taken from Lonsdale Quay. Not as nice as the one we had a few days ago, but beats the grey sky we have now. 7 shots.

North Vancouver
Around the same time as the sunset above, looking north. You can see the new watefront development. 5 shots.

Dreidel
And last, a dreidel. Hannukah is coming up and I saw this little guy on my bookshelf so I decided to take a couple of shots.

Sixth Photo Meme

Posted in Photography

Derek tagged us in a meme. The challenge is to go to your Flickr stream, choose the sixth page in your photostream, then the sixth photo, and post it to your blog. Here is ours:

Capilano Suspension Bridge

And so now I will tag six others for the meme: Raul, Jeanne, Rebecca, Peter, Duane and Tod.

Photobook: DIY Album from Blurb

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Crafts, Photography

Honeymoon Album using Blurb

Today we got back our first coffee-table style photo book that was created using our honeymoon photos using the Blurb software (free software). We started off with something like 1600 photos from our nearly month-long trip to Europe 2 years ago for our honeymoon (yes, I get camera happy!)

We have nearly 15,000 images on Flickr and have only ever physically printed just our photos from Barcelona last year. We rather suck at the non-digital step. So, I decided to mix the technology in to make it easier. I’m not sure it was necessarily easier to use Blurb to create the photobook, but the end result was something I couldn’t have achieved with just printing photos. Here’s a shot of the software:

In the end, we have a 160-page book featuring about 450 images from our honeymoon. Some of those images are full page, some arranged into quadrants, and some mixed into patterns. There were lots of templates in the Blurb software to create various layouts. The cover I chose is basically a sticker-type thing that goes over the fabric, instead of the jacket (though the latter has the advantage of jacket flaps).

Honeymoon Album using BlurbHoneymoon Album using BlurbHoneymoon Album using Blurb

I chose to keep this book just about the images. It was too overwhelming with so many images to choose from to think about putting in a story as well. I had something pretty written for the flaps, but didn’t realize there would be no flaps with this cover style. Kind of a bummer on that.

I will definitely be exploring this in future, and would like to create books with more full-page photos, with text, and perhaps with black backgrounds instead of the white. We had no idea what to expect from the first try, but were quite pleased by it!

The price was just over $100 plus shipping for the book – not bad considering how many photos there are and that they are full bleed, and many at a large size. The quality was pretty good, with only slightly less vibrant colors than the real photos.



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