Steven's Notebook

Look Ma - No Hands!

iPhoto and iDVD for Slideshows

One of the local high schools’ lacrosse program had their annual post-season banquet last night, and it included some of my photography. I’d stopped by one game back in February at the request of one of their coaches, my friend Peter. I took and edited some pictures, posted them on my photography site, and was quickly asked to come back to more of their games.

As the season came to a close, I met with a few of the team parents; they selected pictures and I built some slideshows – one each for the JV and Varsity teams and one just covering the graduating seniors – and provided them with a DVD to show and distribute to the families.

I used iPhoto to gather the images into a slideshow and set the beginning and ending points for the “Ken Burns effect” for each picture. That moves the image slowly across the screen, with an optional zoom, to make them more interesting.

(if you’re not seeing a sample in your browser or feed eader, here’s a link to a quicktime movie.*)

For several of my pictures I had to go back to the original images and re-crop. I had cropped them tightly, so that parents would get good close-up pictures of their kids, but that meant that there wasn’t enough room to pan nicely. If you’re a photographer and are planning on making slideshows, that’s something to remember as you’re shooting and editing. Also remember that portrait-oriented images don’t fit on a landscape-oriented screen as well.

iPhoto has the option to export a slideshow directly to a quicktime movie, which I thought I’d then just bring into iDVD. What I found was that it only has a few options on size, and though the slideshows can be defined as “widescreen” all of the export options create a “standard” aspect ratio movie. Bummer.

There is another option, which worked well. With a slideshow selected in iPhoto, choose “Send to iDVD” from the Share menu. It seems to take about the same amount of time as exporting did, but preserved the “widescreen” settings.

I then was able to use iDVD’s templates to build a very nice menu (to choose between the three videos) and burn the DVDs.

I could have used other tools with much more power, but the combination of iPhoto and iDVD worked very well for a small project like this.

* Thanks for helping get the small, fast-moving, sample go to my buddy Drew at TPI and, of course, to QuickTime Pro.

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