Free Photo Slideshow Maker
What Makes a Good Slideshow
You're here because you want to make better slideshows. You might
be sick of seeing your company make boring presentations, or you
might just want to create an evocative slideshow for your parent's
anniversary. Whatever the case, I'm here to give you some easy tips
on how to step up your game when it comes to making slideshows.
There are three keys to turning a decent slideshow into a "WOW,
that was amazing, I'm actually crying" slideshow. These
three keys are:
You can't have a good slideshow without a somewhat cohesive story.
If your audience can't piece together what's happening, they're
not going to be happy. This is the most basic element to any presentation,
yet we all still see presentations that are out of sequence on occasion.
Think of most movies. At the beginning, there will be an introduction
of the characters, followed by conflict. Then there will be more
conflict, which will build up to a climax. Following that, there
is a resolution and an ending. Now, you may not have characters
or conflict in your presentation, but you should keep this basic
structure in mind when making your slideshow. Slowly build up to
your best material, then "resolve" or slow down to let your audience
unwind, then wrap up the slideshow.
For instance, I made a video for my friends when we studied abroad.
The first shot of the video was simply a title screen that said
"New Zealand 2007." That was followed by a single group-shot of
all the people who were in the video. This was my basic introduction,
and it let the viewer know what the rest of the video entailed.
An important element to the story key is transitions. You know
what I'm talking about. We've all seen the PowerPoint presentations
where we're looking at one slide, then the next slide develops from
the shape of a star. Now, not all transitions are that tacky - some
actually enhance the experience. That being said, I'm not a huge
fan of anything that distracts from the story, and I tend to think
that most transitions do just that.
2. Visual/Aural Timing
This might seem like a strange concept initially, but it's definitely
something you'll need to get the feel for if you want to make great
Visual/aural timing is important because it means your image
is in sync with the sound elements of your slideshow. This is absolutely
crucial. Now, if you're making a PowerPoint presentation about oil
derricks in California, this key may not help you too much (unless
you're the editor of "There will be blood.") But if you're making
a movie about your son's 1st birthday, this is a great key to take
This element really gives you a lot of flexibility. You can completely
change the meaning of your story and/or enhance the image on screen
by syncing it up with the audio at a specific time.
If your subject strikes a really powerful pose, you'll want that
pose to be shown right when the most "powerful" part of the song
comes (e.g. cymbals clashing, loud horns blaring, etc.) If you're
making a remembrance video to be shown at a funeral (sounds morbid,
but I've done it before), you don't want an image to be in sync
with the wrong lyrics. You want to show a picture of the deceased
hugging their child right when Sarah McLachlan sings the line "in
the arms of the angel." It's more powerful that way, and you'll
get the appropriate response from your audience.
For instance, I once made a slideshow for my cousin who'd just
had a baby girl. I had the song "Tiny Dancer" playing along with
the images, and right when it hit the chorus and Elton John sings,
"Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer," I had a picture come on of the dad
holding his baby girl. If that picture had come on four seconds
earlier, it wouldn't have been nearly as evocative. But because
I used the Visual/Aural Timing key, the image was much more moving.
Which brings us to another important issue...? Movement: Should
you use it or not? What I mean is, should you have your picture
zooming in/out, moving up and down, side-to-side? (NOTE: this element
can be incorporated when using iMovie or iPhoto - it's called the
Ken Burns effect)
My answer is: absolutely, but make it interesting. Don't get
lazy and use the same movements over and over. If you're just alternating
between zooming in and zooming out, throw in an occasional side-to-side
movement shot. But only do this if it doesn't detract from the image.
For example, if you have a picture of a woman by herself smiling
at the camera, a side-to-side movement won't look too good. Use
it when it's more natural, such as when you have a shot of a long
mountain range, or someone running along a beach.
Also, you have to consider the speed of the movements. If it's
a really slow song, you can't have it zooming in and out really
fast, showing each picture for a half second. You want it to match
the song. If the song speeds up, you're not limited to shortening
the amount of time the picture is shown. Instead, try zooming in
or out of the picture even more. This will make the movement seem
faster and more pronounced, which will be consistent with the changing
speed of the song.
3. The Right Music
I cannot stress this enough. It is so important to have the right
music for a slideshow. It can truly make or break your slideshow,
and I'm not even exaggerating. The most important thing you need
to realize is that just because you really like a song, it doesn't
mean it will fit well with your slideshow.
"Should I pick a song after I've put the slideshow together,
or should I edit the slideshow to the song?" Hard to say. Sometimes
when I have some video footage, I'll realize later on that having
a song playing in the background will enhance that footage. When
I'm compiling a slideshow of pictures, however, I prefer to pick
the song and then add the pictures in. This way I can time the pictures
with specific parts of the song (e.g. certain lyrics that are reflective
of the picture).
Picking a good song is something you'll have to judge on your
own. Whatever emotions you have tied to a song will determine what's
best for you and your audience. Obviously, you don't want to pick
a heavy metal song for a wedding (unless you're trying to be funny),
and you don't want a song with offensive lyrics (unless the occasion
calls for it). I feel the need to bring up these points, but it's
really not my call. This one is in your hands.
Like what you see?
Download Free Photo Slideshow
You have just finished your honeymoon vacation and taken
a lot of photos, why not create a slideshow with your photos
to amaze your friends and family? Free Photo Slideshow Maker
provides users with a fantastic tool for quickly creating a
slideshow of photos and images with background music and animated
transition effects. Just a few clicks will get all your slideshow
made - download and try this program for free now!