Hi there, I’m back with a jazz piano medley just in time for Christmas. Here are two of my favorite holiday tunes: O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum), a popular and traditional Christmas song of German origin, and Christmas Time is Here (Vince Guaraldi) which was made popular by the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack.
For a free MP3 download of the music part of this video, please visit:
Discussion about the lighting used:
This is my first piano video after taking the Art of Camera lighting course at Langara college ( – thanks to my very knowledgeable teacher Thomas Fillingham) For this video I bounced a 200W Soft White incandescent bulb through a diffusing gel into the ceiling in front of the camera, and slightly to my left. This gives a very soft light that makes my skin look almost flawless. :) That’s because bouncing the light off of the ceiling softens the light a lot, and also the diffusing gel softens it even more. From observing lighting used in movies and TV shows, I find that generally a soft light (more diffuse) is used more often to illuminate feminine subjects, or for fashion photography. whereas “Rembrandt” lighting with more dramatic shadows is used for masculine, edgy subjects. One thing I will try for future videos is to use a “rim light” to separate my outline from the background. The Rim Light shines from behind the subject to make the hair and shoulders have a “rim” of light around them.
Note about the camera used:
I used a Canon T2i with a Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens. Settings were ISO 800, F2.8 (I think) and 1/60 shutter. I recorded the video in 30fps 1080p, and set the white balance manually to an 18% gray card. To determine proper exposure I also used the gray card and my reflective meter in the camera (but a separate light meter could also have been used).
Note about the recording equipment:
I used two SM57’s positioned at equal distance from the soundboard, inserted into the top of the piano, recording in stereo. Recorded into Logic and some dynamics compression was applied. I also used a wireless lapel mic to record my speaking parts, and I applied some soft vocal compression to my voice to make it more clear. During the music performance, I muted the lapel mic, and similarly during the speaking parts I muted the piano mics.
I synced up the audio and video using an excellent piece of software called Pluraleyes. Highly recommended: it has saved me hours of tedious work of lining up audio tracks with video tracks.
The font I used for the text at the end of the video is Helvetica. It’s a professional font that is used for artsy purposes as well as heavily used in commercial printing. Fortunately it comes for free with Macintosh OS.
Thanks for visiting and hope to perform piano for you again soon.
Wishing you and your family all the best for the holiday season.