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History of Festive Music – Music has played an important role in most religions throughout time, with chanting, mostly in Latin taking the earliest form in the Christian church. Carols as we know them now, written in the venacular, became popular from the 13th century first in Italy, then Germany & England. In 1426 an English priest, John Audelay, listed 25 “caroles of Cristemas” which were probably performed by wassailers, who went from door to door.
The tradition of carol singing for charity began in Britian during the 17th century. In Britain today, very few wassailers are seen and heard, but we still get the large scale charity arrangements including our local rotary club arriving on the back of the horse drawn brewery cart, complete with brass band, choir & amplification – Victoriana at its finest, 21st century style. Somewhat surprisingly, and despite the long heritage and tradition of carols, most carols we sing today date back no further than the 19th century.
Since the mid 20th century pop Christmas songs have come to the fore, thanks in a large part to “Christmas creep” starting earlier & earlier in malls and on radio shows the world over. These are not generally religious but are often infuriatingly catchy and we all have our favourites. What’s yours?
With thanks to Wikipedia
Tutorial – Capturing Holiday Lights OK, so I should start by apologising to everyone who does not have a dSLR camera, this is the only camera I have, so I do not know how to offer suggestions and settings for other cameras.So today,you’re going to need a tripod (although a wall or other solid surface will suffice). And a cold drink. And a Christmas tree. Ready? Right, your challenge, should you choose to accept it is to try and create a photo like this:
I was given these instructions, written by photographer Cheryl Johnson, as part of an online scrapbooking class and found them easy to follow and totally achievable.
- Turn off your camera’s flash & image stabilisation
- Turn off all lights in the room
- Use the self timer (I found the tripod provided enough stability so didn’t use self timer)
- Change white balance to tungsten (didn’t do this either, used Lightroom instead)
- Focus on something in front of the lights (I focused on my wall unit to the right hand side of the tree then just cropped it out of the final picture). Sometimes having a specific item that you want to remain in the frame helps provide definition.
- Play with manual, AV and TV modes to see what works best.
In the shot above my camera settings were:
1 second at f/2.8
focal length: 59mm
I found that I had to keep the focal length low in order to get the wide open f/stop. Consequently, quite a lot of the original photo needed cropping out.
Alternatively, you could try photographing a star burst like this:
My settings were:
30 seconds at f/16
focal length: 24mm
And if you do not have a tree available, how about taking things outside and capturing holiday lights in your neighbourhood. Although I don’t recommend standing in the bus lane to capture shots like this!
Photo of the Day – well, as you can imagine, given the tutorial above, today we’d like to see holiday lights – indoors or out – and you are free to interpret it any way you choose and do post your photos Feel free to post your photos in our Holiday Forum.