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Photo Tips > Slideshows

Here are a few tips to make your slideshows better.

• Tell a story.

Have a beginning, middle, and end.

Answer the Who, What, When, and Why.

What are you trying to communicate?

Why does the viewer want to watch your slideshow?

• Use a variety of shots - close-up, medium, and wide.

• Use zoom sparingly.

Use zoom when there's complimentary movement of a subject in the scene.

• Use a caption to introduce a person, rather than having the person saying, "Hi, my names is . . . ."

• Transitions should reflect the pacing and mood of the slide show at that point.

Slow fades and pans are used differently than cuts from one photograph to another.

• Edit!

Just because a photograph is great doesn't mean it's meant to be part of the slideshow.

If it doesn't add to what you're communicating, the story, the reason why the viewer wants to watch, edit it out.

• Find and use a protagonist.

Viewers like to follow a person through his or her story.

Audio Tips

• If you have a camera with a microphone input, use a separate microphone, such as a shotgun microphone mounted on the camera.

• For the best sound, use a flash card recorder.

• Collect ambient noise to use at the opening, for transitions, or at the end.

• Use a variety of sounds, just as you vary between wide, medium, and close-up shots with your camera.

• Use a multi-track audio editing program to add layers of sound.

• Use royalty-free and public-domain, music, if your slideshow may appear outside your home.


Edit Foundry Video editing with shot-by-shot explanations


Audio Editing

Adobe Audition

Adobe Soundbooth Bundled with Adobe CS4

Audacity Free, Windows or Mac

Switch Audio File Conversion Software


Animoto Online

iMovie Mac

iPhoto Mac


Microsoft Movie Maker Windows

Photoshop Elements Windows or Mac, clumsy audio editing

Photoshop Premiere Elements 7.0 Windows, versatile

Soundslides Windows or Mac, no video, no audio editing