Creating a Slide Show

I had some photos I took at the Huntington Beach Civil War Days that I wanted to combine with some audio from a video I took at the same event.

The photo part was easy as I had already selected my “pics” and post processed them to give them on old look (see my previous posts).

The tricky part was how to separate the audio from the video as I didn’t like the video portion but thought I could use the audio portion to bring in the sound of the gun battle.

I brought the video into Adobe Premiere Elements and after looking around the menus and help,  found that there are a couple of ways to export only the audio. In my case, in order to get the file format that I needed, selecting Share>Personal Computer>MPEG allowed me to export the audio from my video in mp3 format.

My plan was to import my photos from Lightroom to Animoto and have their software create a slideshow for me using my audio as my music choice. Normally Animoto creates a great slideshow faster (it only takes their software a few minutes to generate) and better than I could. Here’s the result

In typical Animoto style, it looks great except for one thing. It didn’t use all the photographs I had selected. It used my photos until my music stopped. I went back to check the settings to see if there was anything I could do but I didn’t find an option to repeat the music. I really wanted all the photographs to be used so…..

I went back to Lightroom and created a slideshow from there. It doesn’t have the fancy transitions that Animoto does but I could control the pace better and Lightroom allows you to repeat your music. I then uploaded to YouTube in order to share it.

Lessons Learned:

  • Use can use the audio from a video without using the visual portion ..if you have software that will do that for you.
  • When using “music” with a slideshow, the length of your “music” can affect your resulting slideshow. I put “music” in quotes, because you may be using other audio like I did in place of a song.
  • Lightroom’s slideshows can be exported to PDF as well as video. The PDF version, however,  doesn’t include the audio.

Homework:

  • Check if your software has the ability to create a slideshow and read up on how to do it
  • Create a slideshow using either your own software or give Animoto a try. You can get a 30 second video for free.

Post Processing – Civil War Era Look

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I attended the Huntington Beach Civil War Days Reenactment on Labor Day weekend.

One of the things I wanted to accomplish was to make the photographs look like they were taken in the Civil War era. Well, first off, I don’t consider myself on expert on what Civil War era photographs would look like, but I envisioned that converting the photographs to a sepia tone would do the trick.

The method I chose to do this was the Develop module of Adobe Lightroom. I admit, I’m not that patient about trying different adjustments to see the affect on my photographs so I’m all about the presets.

Lightroom comes with some presets, you can create you own or you can get them from third-parties. In Lightroom you can hover your mouse over a preset and it will show you in the Navigator window what the photograph would look like if you chose that preset.  Once you choose a preset you can either stop there or adjust further if you like.

I found a preset I really liked and applied it to all the photographs that I wanted to publish to my SmugMug gallery as I wanted them to have a consistent look. The photographs below show a before and after

Lesson Learned:

  • Creating a photograph doesn’t always stop with the click of the shutter
  • How you post process a photograph can have a big impact on the final result. Is the first photograph (original) as interesting as the second (processed)?
  • Using presets can take a lot of trial and error out of processing a photograph..meaning it can be faster and easier.

Homework:

  • Look at the software you use. Does it allow you to make adjustments to your photographs?
  • Does your software include presets?
  • Try converting a photograph or a copy of a photograph to sepia

Sources for Lightroom Presets (to name a few)