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Create a digital slideshow with music

What You Need:

Photos in a digital format (.jpg, .tif .png .gif, etc.)

Music in a digital format (.wav, .mp3, .mpa, .wma, etc.)


Determine a Theme

Begin by selecting a theme for your slideshow, which will keep your slideshow organized and on track. Some possible themes could include your summer vacation, your wedding, or old family photos for a reunion. Remember, there are no rules to your theme!

Choose Photos

The most important element of a slideshow is the photos! There are several ways to get photos for your slideshow. The easiest method would be to use photos that are already in a digital format, such as photos taken on a phone or digital camera. If you want to use old photos that were not taken on a digital camera, you can scan them and make them digital. Scanners are available at the Elmhurst Public Library. The final way to get photos for your slideshow would be to download them. Downloaded photos would include photos posted on social media (such as Facebook) or photos found on search engines (like Google Image Search).

TIP: Save all of the photos you plan to use to one folder on your computer for easy access!

Select Music

Music is a great way to make a slideshow interesting by creating a mood and adding to the theme. It can also help to determine the length of your slideshow video. If you have a particular song in mind, you can purchase it through iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. If you don’t have a digital version of the song, but you do own it on a CD, you can import the tracks using programs like Windows Media Player or iTunes.  If you don’t have a particular song in mind, there are plenty of websites with free music available to download, such as Incompetech or Freegal (which is available to Elmhurst Public Library cardholders).

Use an Editing Software

There are many great editing programs out there for varying skill levels. Here are a couple to get your started:

iMovie (Mac)
iMovie is a little more user friendly for the novice video maker and it comes free with most Mac computers.

Adobe Premiere Pro (Windows, Mac)
An excellent program for the more seasoned video maker! The possibilities are endless when using the Adobe creative software.

Both of these software programs are available for use in the Creative Suites at the Elmhurst Public Library.

Choose Transitions

To make your slideshow flow together smoothly and give it a professional look, you can insert transitions in between each photo. Most editing programs have transitions built in that can be easily placed between two photos by dragging and dropping.

Share Your Slideshow

When your final video is complete, either publish in a viewable format (in iMovie) or export (in Adobe Premiere). This way you will be able to send your slideshow for others to view or be able to watch it yourself without opening your editing program. If you plan to view your slideshow mostly on a Mac, Quicktime (.mov) is a good format choice. For Windows, a good format is Windows Media Video (.wmv).

TIP: Files ending in .imovieproj and .prproj are not playable movie files, they are project files and cannot be opened by most computers. (EXAMPLE: “untitled.imovieproj”)

Once you have published or exported your slideshow, you can share it with your friends. A couple great ways to do this is to upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, upload it to a cloud storage device like Dropbox or Google Drive for friends and family to download, or make a DVD copy using a DVD authoring program like Adobe Encore, iDVD (Mac), or DVD Maker (Windows).

Need more info? Check out these links!

Video tutorials on iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro, as well as many other softwares that allow you to set photos to music, are available through: Lynda.com

Slideshow tips: Photographyontheside.com