An Alternative to the Slide Show Module

by Ken Milburn

I really like emailing slideshows as a way of showing the results of a shoot or of telling a story, rather than just emailing a series of shots. For one thing, most slide show programs have some way of automatically reducing file size to make the whole thing more e-mailable. It's also nice if you can put a little music in for drama. Finally, I like to use the image description metadata so that there can be some verbal guidance under each slide for the story being told. By putting that information in the metadata, I'm also able to keep that description with the image when it's sent to clients, stock agencies, and the like.

Lightroom does a pretty decent job of most of these things. The objection I have is that it only produces PDF slide shows. I usually tell my audience to make sure they have the latest version of Adobe Reader installed, but that scares some people away. I know, it couldn't be simpler, but lots of people are downright paranoid of installing anything that their consultant or The Genius Bar didn't tell them to install. It's also difficult to add a soundtrack to a PDF slide show or to create your own background from scratch in Photoshop.

Here is an example screen from a quick and powerful alternative:

DrBrowns Slide Show.jpg


2007-11-15 06:46:35
Links would be much appreciated, this is the internet after all :-)
2007-11-15 07:56:41
If you build a slideshow in iMovie, I'm assuming the output would be a Quicktime movie? If limiting file size is a concern, this is hardly a good option. I doubt it would be practical to email a QT movie with several images and a soundtrack in it. Right?

I'd be pretty shocked, too, if there are too many people out there who can't view PDFs at this point. The "Preview" app can read PDFs, and that is a standard part of OS X. I don't use Windows, but I'm assuming Acrobat Reader comes pre-installed on Vista, XP, etc. Right?

2007-11-15 09:02:02

I understand that it creates QT movie file, but what compression (mpg4, H.264 etc.) does it use, do you know? I know you can convert it, but that always costs time and quality.

The idea is that it would be able to produce format which can be replayed on any DVD player. That would be useful. A lot of people get together and there's nothing worse than crouching around PC monitor to see a slideshow. I know there devices out there which can do wireless right to your TV, but they will never be as widespread as any DVD player is right now.

I agree that to e-mail it to someone would be bandwidth demanding for most. Unless, of course, your slide show would be under 20 image large on average.



Ken Milburn
2007-11-15 09:35:29
Actually, after continuing to do some experimenting this morning after the deadline past and the blog was posted, I have to tell you that all three of the comments I've seen so far make some worthwhile points. What "fooled" me was just the idea of having a common format that could be incorporated into another movie.

You can set the image quality as low as you like to save file size, but the files were still big enough to take many minutes to upload. A soundtrack would have been even worse.

I do still think that this is a very valuable routine for being able to pass along DV movies and for making presentations on projection TV screens.

And thanks for getting on this so quickly. I hope I've learned a lesson here.