How To Add a Voice Over or Narration to a Slideshow

Adding a voice-over to narrate a family history slideshow is a simple but effective way to enhance the storytelling value of your production. ProShow offers two ways to include audio narration in your slideshow. You can import pre-recorded audio files if you have them ready to go. If you have a USB microphone hooked up to your computer, you also have the option of recording voiceovers directly into your show. At any time, you can use ProShow’s built-in tools to trim and edit the timing and volume of these audio tracks. For more details, watch the video below.

 

5 Tips for Creating Memorable Vacation Slideshows

Forget the snow globes or golden tan! The best things you’ll bring back from any vacation are the memories. Here are some tips to help you capture and share all of the best moments from your latest get-away in a fun photo + video slideshow.

Tip #1.  May the Camera be With You, Always

Keep a camera handy at all times, even if it’s just your smart phone.  Remember,  you’re supposed to be on vacation, so don’t overdo it by documenting every waking moment!  Relax, enjoy those fruity umbrella drinks and simply be prepared for those great moments when they happen.

If you’re heading someplace wet, don’t let that stop you from taking pictures!   Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Olympus all make excellent, affordable waterproof point and shoot cameras.   If you love having your iPhone camera with you at all times,  check out this travel friendly case from LifeProof.

Tip #2.  The Kid Stays in the Picture

Breathtaking beaches, gorgeous sunsets and famous landmarks are all terrific vacation slideshow staples, but don’t forget about people!   Your photo composition and vacation slideshow storytelling both benefit by including people, animals or objects in your photos.  Use these items to help demonstrate scale, add life and can even create a feeling of motion within your pictures.

Tip #3.  Keep the posing to a minimum

Candid shots often make up some of the best vacation images. There is definitely room in your vacation slideshow for a nice shot of the whole family,  but please keep in mind that no one wants to sit through a 5 minute show featuring hundreds of images of your family lined up by age and/or height.  Try to keep your photos of friends and family looking natural and fun.  Oh, and if you happen to visit Italy, please don’t do the “I’m holding up the leaning tower” thing.  It’s been done.

Tip #4.  Get Inspired…by Postcards

Postcards are often terrific at balancing beautiful images with simple, welcoming text.  Try to recreate that style for the title slides at the beginning of your shows.  It will go a long way toward connecting the scenery found in your vacation photos with the story you tell in your show.  Plus, if you’re visiting someplace new for the first time, postcards will often introduce you to local attractions that you might be interesting in shooting.

Tip #5.  Accessorize

Dust off the old scanner or take some pictures of all the assorted paperwork and trinkets you bring back with you.   These odds and ends often work well as background images for your “real” photos.  They can also be used as transitional elements when your storytelling covers more than place or theme.   Items like maps, ticket stubs, brochures, tiki mugs, unique food/drink packaging often find their way into my vacation slideshows.

Now all that’s left is creating your vacation slideshow!
Import your photos into slideshow software to create your show. You’ll want to choose a slideshow tool that’s easy to use and gives you the flexibility to output to multiple formats. ProShow is an excellent tool for creating slideshows for any occasion and you can download a free trial if you don’t already own the software.

Download a free trial of ProShow and create your vacation slideshow today.

Learn How To Make a Father’s Day Photo and Video Slideshow

June 17th is Father’s Day, do you have the perfect gift yet? Take Dad on a trip down memory lane by creating him a personalized photo and video slideshow. It’s easy to do and will be a huge hit with the entire family.

Here’s what you need to get started!

  1. Gather old photos and video clips to include in your father’s day slideshow. Dig up old photos from the past, vacation photos or anything you find that would make a great addition to your slideshow.
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  3. Import your photos into slideshow software to create your show. You’ll want to choose a slideshow tool that’s easy to use and gives you the flexibility to output to multiple formats. ProShow is an excellent tool for creating slideshows for any occasion and you can download a free trial if you don’t already own the software.
  4.  

  5. Create your slideshow. With ProShow, you can quickly get started by using the built-in wizard. Just click through the steps to add your photos and any video clips you have, import a soundtrack, add effects and you’re done! Go back and add fun title slides or captions to any photo, great for including a year to time-stamp a photo or including the names of the people in the photos.
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  7. Decide how you’d like to output your slideshow. DVD for playing back in the living room, MPEG for playing back on a laptop or to project during a dinner or event, you may even want to output to YouTube or Facebook so friends and family from far away can enjoy the slideshow you’ve put together for Father’s Day.
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  9. Never under estimate the power of a Father’s Day slideshow. You’ve created a special keepsake and touching tribute that everyone will love watching. Photos from the past are always fun to look back at. With the addition of a touching song and ken burns style pans and zooms, you’ve got a recipe for success! (just don’t forget to bring the box of tissues – there won’t be a dry eye in the room!)

 
Download a free trial of ProShow and create your Father’s Day slideshow today.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Organizing Your Digital Photos

If you’re like me, you probably have thousands of images on your computers and portable devices. If you’re ready to do some Spring Cleaning, here are some tips that I find very helpful.

Don’t Save Everything
If it’s not picture you’d be proud to print or share with the world, toss it! All too often I’ll end up with 10 or 15 shots of the same thing. While each photo may be unique in its own way, I don’t need to keep them all just because I was trying a different camera setting or lighting idea. Pick the best one or two and delete the rest.

Smart File Naming
Trying to find one picture in a folder with thousands of jpegs is a nightmare. So make folders -a lot of them! Categorize and even-subcategorize your images. I prefer to give my folders names that describe the overall event or theme. From there, I’ll create sub-folders that are more finite.

Even more crucial….rename your files! No one should ever have a folder where every image begins with “IMG_” or “DCM_”. Typically I like to combine a description, the date and a number for my file names. For example: “Summer_Vacation_June2012-001.jpg”.

Back Up Your Images
Save your photos….and then save them again using an alternate method. Your computer won’t last forever, so keep your memories safe by backing up your images in a second location. External hard drives and DVDs are great. Photo sharing services like Flickr or SmugMug are also solid options. If you’re looking for a cloud-based storage solution, check out Carbonite or Mozy.

Software for Organizing Photos
There are a handful of great tools that allow you to sort, tag, rename and manage photos. My favorites are Google’s free utility, Picasa and the Adobe products Lightroom and Photoshop Elements.

 

How To Make a Graduation Slideshow for your Graduate


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Have a son or daughter, friend or loved one graduating soon? Creating a graduation slideshow is a great surprise and fun way to showcase photos from their childhood and growing up into the adult and graduate they’ve become!  Here’s what you need to get started!

  1. Gather old photos and video clips to include in your slideshow. Scour old hard drives or memory cards or bust out the shoebox or baby album and get scanning. You’ll want a great representation of birth to present time to showcase in the slideshow.
  2.  

  3. Import your photos into slideshow software to create your show. You’ll want to choose a slideshow tool that’s easy to use and gives you the flexibility to output to multiple formats. ProShow is an excellent tool for creating slideshows for any occasion and you can download a free trial if you don’t already own the software.
  4.  

  5. Create your slideshow. With ProShow, you can quickly get started by using the built-in wizard. Just click through the steps to add your photos and any video clips you have, import a soundtrack, add effects and you’re done! Go back and add fun title slides or captions to any photo, great for including a year to time-stamp a photo or including the names of the people in the photos.
  6.  

  7. Decide how you’d like to output your slideshow. DVD for playing back in the living room, MPEG for playing back on a laptop or to project during a dinner or event, you may even want to output to YouTube or Facebook so friends and family from far away can enjoy the slideshow you’ve put together. ProShow outputs to over 40 formats including DVD, CD, MPEG video, Facebook, YouTube and more. So, any way you’d like to playback your graduation slideshow, you’ll be able to.
  8.  

  9. Never under estimate the power of a graduation slideshow. You’ve created a special keepsake and touching tribute for your graduate that everyone will love watching. Photos from the past are always fun to look back at. With the addition of a touching song and ken burns style pans and zooms, you’ve got a recipe for success! (just don’t forget to bring the box of tissues – there won’t be a dry eye in the room!)

 
Download a free trial of ProShow to start creating a graduation slideshow today.

How to Add Multiple Slideshows to a DVD

Let’s say you want to burn a DVD but you want to include a series of slideshows on the disc instead of just one. This is easy to do in ProShow slideshow software. I’ll show you how!

To add multiple shows to your output you first you need to select an output format that supports multiple shows like Blu-ray, DVD, EXE, Web Shows and/or Autorun CD.

Known as ‘Chaptering’ in ProShow, you have the ability to include multiple shows that you have created and include them together on one disc. These shows are then accessible from the menu included on the disc when you playback the show on your television or computer.

To add multiple shows to output:

  • Select the publishing option of your choice (Blu-ray, DVD, EXE, Autorun CD or WebShow)
  • Then click on the Shows tab to bring up the included shows list for this output. (Notice that your currently loaded show is already present in the list.)
  • To add additional shows click the “+” sign on the top right-hand side of the shows list
  • Browse to the location where your show(s) is saved, select the file and then click Open
  • Now you should see the additional show that you loaded appear in the list right below the first show.

That’s it! Now you are ready for output.

Once you have your shows loaded into the included shows list, you can move the order around if necessary by using the up and down arrows.

 

Making a Family History DVD Slideshow

Dust off those old family photos and put them to use. With today’s digital tools, turning your old family memories into a DVD slideshow has never been easier or more fun to do. Follow along as we share some easy steps to get you on your way to creating and sharing a personalized family DVD slideshow.

  1. Locate your photos: old photo albums, old memory cards, yearbooks, etc..
  2. Throw in a few ‘artifacts’ if you have them (e.g. documents, letters, souvenirs)
  3. Scan printed items
  4. Retouch /optimize
  5. Sort them into order

Start this process early! It takes a little time—but the rest will be a breeze. Once all your content is digitized, it’s time to create your slideshow!

Software for Creating DVD Slideshows
There are a ton of options out there when it comes to looking for great software for creating a DVD slideshow, but one stands heads and shoulders above the rest. ProShow is an award-winning, easy-to-use slideshow tool that turns your photos, video clips and music into really stunning, personalized slideshows. You can download a free trial to test it out.

The software comes in three versions: ProShow Gold (consumer), ProShow Producer (for the serious hobbyist/ or pro) and ProShow Web (the cloud-based solution for online slideshow creation) See the comparison chart to judge which one is right for you.

Telling Your Story
Once you’ve selected the software you’d like to use, the rest is simply telling your story.

  • Consider the order of which to show the photos to your audience.
  • Add a caption to the bottom of each slide to indicate the year the photo was taken and possibly the names of the people in the photo.
  • Choose a background song that’s not too distracting as you want the focus to be on the visuals of your presentation. Consider a nice instrumental tune or one that is soft and subtle.
  • Voice-overs do a great job of explaining moments in time and life’s milestones. Consider adding a few voice-overs to your slideshow to help tell your story and guide the audience through your presentation.

Inspiration: See What Other’s Have Created
There’s nothing like seeing other people’s work to spark your own creativity. To see what other people are doing with their family reunion slideshows, check out the following videos.


The Wade Family: Created in ProShow Producer by family historian Cyndy McAtee, this is a rich and beautifully-presented story about a family’s ancestral history.


A Marine’s Homecoming: This slideshow is about a Marine coming home from deployment in Afghanistan, reunited with his wife and family. The show was created using ProShow Producer.

DVD Slideshow Quality: What’s the Difference Between DVD and Blu-ray?

Do you know the difference between DVD and Blu-ray, HD vs. Standard Def?  With so many formats  and ways to share photo slideshows nowadays, we thought it would be good to interview an expert and get the straight answers about slideshow playback quality.

We sat down with Josh Green who heads up Photodex’s Quality Assurance team.  Photodex is the leading publisher of DVD slideshow tools for professionals and consumers.  Take a look at the great advice and tips Josh shares below.

Q:  If I burn my slideshow to DVD, will it playback in high definition on my HDTV? 

A: HDTVs are just too good for DVDs, they really are.  The video on a DVD just doesn’t have enough pixels to take advantage of an HDTV resolution and that makes things look less than crisp.  A DVD has a resolution of 720×480.  Compare that to an HDTV resolution of  1920×1080 and you’re looking at a TV display that has approximately 2 to 6 times more pixels than the DVD it’s displaying.

Q:  But when I playback a Hollywood DVD on my HDTV, it appears to be a high-quality.

A:  Yes, motion picture DVDs appear to be high quality but they actually aren’t.  For example, ProShow DVDs show the same amount of data per second as a Hollywood DVD, more in some cases.  The real difference between the two is content.  A motion picture video has lots of non-linear edges moving in natural motions with a relatively great deal of visual density.  Pause one of those DVDs and give it a closer look.  Those frames can be pretty blurry.

Q:  So, what are the best (and easiest) ways to play an HD slideshow on your HDTV? 

A: If you want something nice and portable I’d go with Blu-ray.  Players for that format are becoming more and more popular all the time.  You can also create an HD video of your slideshow and play it back through your laptop or computer directly to your HDTV.

Many laptops nowadays come with an option to feed directly into an HDTV.  That probably gives the widest range of playback options since you’re only limited by what your computer supports.  You can also do this wirelessly now with some USB based devices that connect a computer to a TV but the technology does have its limits, primarily broadcast range.

Q:  Do you suggest a certain type of media to better ensure a playable disc?  DVD+ or -?  Are there brands that are better than others?

A: Historically we’ve seen the best success with Taiyo Yuden DVDs.  I haven’t seen a big difference in playback support between +R and -R formats but I know that +R is technically more compatible with the average DVD player.  I can say from personal experience that the +R format is easier to burn onto.  This is especially true when you’re dealing with +RW versus -RW, which I strongly recommend if you’re going to be doing any disc based proofing.

Once you get into the Blu-ray realm my experience is primarily with BD-RE media and the difference between manufacturers has been pretty negligible.  Again, if you’re going to be proofing on disc be sure to us the BD-RE format.  It’ll save you a mint.

How To Create a DVD Photo Slideshow

If you’re looking for a great, easy-to-use tool for creating a photo + video slideshow, look no further!

ProShow Gold by Photodex is the best slideshow software for turning your memories into really beautiful slideshows. It comes packed full of cool effects, animations, photo and video editing tools, plus tons of publishing options for sharing your finished masterpiece. You can burn your slideshow directly to DVD, Blu-ray, CD and share online on popular sites like Facebook, YouTube and more.

Download a free trial and watch the video below to see how you can get started with this great software today.

Best DVD Formats for Burning a Photo Slideshow Project


If you’re planning on burning a slideshow to DVD, you might be asking yourself what the best type of DVD format is for burning and sharing your slideshow. Let’s first take a look at the different DVD format types there are and what each type offers over the other.

There are several types of DVD formats.

  • DVD +R
  • DVD +RW
  • DVD-R
  • DVD-RW

The + and –symbols represent the way data is stored on the disc.  The ‘R’ stands for recordable, meaning you can write to the DVD. The RW means that you can record multiple times to the DVD, often referred to as ‘re-writable’.

So, what’s the best format to use to get the most compatible, playable DVD?

The +R and +RW format has been shown to be technically more compatible  with the average DVD player. This would be the recommended format for burning a photo slideshow to DVD. Also, as you can only write to a DVD+R once, consider purchasing DVD+RW discs in case you burn your slideshow, only to find that you had a mistake or need to go back and change something.