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Tips, tutorials & inspiration for making slideshows

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travel slideshow

Creating Dynamic Video Slideshows on the Road with ProShow

Today’s guest post comes from photographer Rob Knight.

I led my sixth photo workshop in Costa Rica this past September. I decided to expand the trip from my usual seven day-six night schedule to a full nine days and eight nights. The extra two days allowed the group to relax and enjoy more shooting and instruction.

I held a contest at the end of the workshop to see who could come up with the most dynamic ProShow slideshow. I was not surprised that the best show was created by Kathy Veitch. Kathy has been a student of mine for several years and this was her fourth trip to Costa Rica with me! She won a one-year pro subscription to ProShow Web courtesy of my amigos at Photodex.

I thought I would share some of my tips for using ProShow Web for creating slideshows on the road:

  1. Create multiple short slideshows for a long trip. If you take a long trip that’s focused on
    photography you will probably want to come home with lots of great images and videos. Resist the urge to put ALL of your favorites into one long slideshow. Instead create several “episodes” that feature content from different events, locations, etc. during the trip. If you use YouTube you can create a playlist to keep all of the episodes together so that your viewers can find all of the related slideshows in one place.

  2. Plan your slideshows in advance. Usually I create ProShow Web slideshows by organizing content I have already captured, but sometimes it’s fun to go out with a specific show in mind. You don’t need to have a script or anything, just an idea of a story that you want to tell using a series of images and/or videos. Think of it as an animated photo essay.
  3. Use text overlays to inform your viewers. ProShow Web makes it easy to create attractive title pages to let folks know what your slideshows are about. You can go as simple or elaborate as you like, but titles can add context to your slideshow and let your viewers know what to expect.
  4. Include video clips in addition to your still photographs. Pretty much every camera shoots video these days. I find that including a few video clips in a slideshow adds a lot to the dynamic feel of the finished show. I generally use clips around ten seconds long. If the clips are much longer they slow the pace of the show. Clips that are shorter than ten seconds are barely on the screen long enough to make much of an impact.
  5. Upload your content over night. If you travel a lot you know it can be a challenge to find decent internet service, and Costa Rica is certainly no exception. It can be very frustrating to upload several images and videos to ProShow Web via a slow connection. In order to avoid the frustration I usually set up my upload before I go to bed in the evening. That way I don’t worry about how long it takes and by morning my content is uploaded and ready to go. Once the content is in ProShow Web a slow connection is not as much of a problem because you are not moving large chunks of data back and forth.

ProShow Web is a great way to share your travel photography in a dynamic and entertaining way. With a few tips and a little practice you can create great slideshows on the road in no time!


Tips for Capturing Great Shots on your Summer Vacation

Tips for capturing great photos on your summer vacation.

Going somewhere fun this summer? With a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’ll be prepared to capture great shots on your next vacation. Check out these helpful tips below.

Plan What You’re Going to Shoot

On my latest trip, I visited Hawaii. It’s a magnificently photogenic place, so I knew that finding good subject matter would be easy. Regardless, when I travel, I like to come up with a list of things and places to shoot.

Searching Google images, social media, and even tourism websites is a great way to identify locations and find some creative inspiration. This helps me address which of my photographic skills I’d like to work on, as well as help me figure out what I need to pack in my camera bag.

Gear Up

When preparing for my trip, I looked back at images from previous vacations and identified that most of my shots fell into one of two categories: 1) wide angle landscapes, or 2) zoomed in on subjects (70mm or more). With that in mind, I headed over to and rented my go-to choice for landscape photos, the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom. I also splurged a little and rented the absolutely amazing Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.

Now here’s where creating a list of things comes in handy. While coming up with my list, two common elements kept popping up…water and sun.

I knew I would be doing some snorkeling, and I wanted to get some photos underwater, so I headed over to Amazon and found a deal on a great waterproof point and shoot, the Nikon Coolpix AW100. (Tip: I paid half price by getting a refurbished unit).

For my DSLR, the water and sun issues became an opportunity to practice working with some filters. So I made sure to add a Circular Polarizer and a couple of Neutral Density filters to my bag.

Getting Great Shots

If you’ve packed the right gear and planned ahead, getting great shots is a breeze! Here are some of my favorites from a recent trip to Hawaii.

Tips for capturing great vacation photos
With the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom, I was able to get all of the Byodo-In temple in frame without having to be 100’s of feet away. Shooting in the middle of the day is always a challenge. By adding a Circular Polarizing Filter, I was able to reduce the glare coming off the pond and bring out more color in the sky.

Tips for capturing great photos on your summer vacation.
The super-wide angle lens also allowed me to capture a really nice view of Waimānalo Bay.

Getting great shots on your summer vacation.
By bringing along the extremely high-quality Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II lens, I was also able to get some really amazing flora shots.

Tips for getting great shots on your summer vacation.
While there’s nothing technically interesting going on in this shot, it’s a great example of something totally unique and amazing you can capture when you have a “I want to shoot this” list, and you pack the right gear. Special thanks to the Nikon Coolpix AW100 underwater point and shoot.

Getting great shots on your summer vacation.
Despite all of my planning, some of my favorite shots from my trip were of moments that I just stumbled upon. Thankfully, most smart phones these days feature very capable cameras!

Putting it all together

The best part of having great shots from a vacation is sharing them with friends and family. A slideshow video is the perfect way to showcase a collection of your travel and vacation photos all at once, in a fun and dynamic way. Here’s my video made with ProShow. Make your own travel slideshow today.

Travel Slideshow Contest
Don’t forget to enter your best travel, landscape and nature slideshows into our ‘Ultimate Story‘ contest! Click here to learn more and watch recent entries.


Top 10 Effects for Your Vacation and Travel Slideshows + Freebie FX

Top 10 Effects for your Vacation and Travel Slideshows + Freebie FX

Summer is a popular time for vacations and travel holidays. Whether you have a trip coming up or you just returned from one, don’t let your beautiful travel photos sit in some forgotten folder on your computer! Why not make a fun slideshow video of your favorite vacation memories? It takes just a few minutes to create a show that everybody can enjoy on the big screen TV, or share it on Facebook or YouTube. Continue reading

Video Showcases the Majesty of the Rocky Mountains

The Rockies‘ is a beautiful video created by photographer and videographer Paul Sparrow, that showcases the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. Paul used ProShow Producer to make the video and added some special effects along the way.

You’ll notice scenes where clouds move behind the peaks of mountains and appear to come alive on the screen. Paul expertly crafted this special effect using ProShow Producer’s masking feature. The clouds were cut out of the original image and used as a new layer on a slide. Using a combination of masking, keyframing and chroma key adjustments, Paul was able to create the final effect.

“The phrase “Multi-Media” has come to mean different things to different people. As a photographer I use the multi-image medium to communicate my work. This includes image movements, animation and the dynamic co-ordination of the images to a soundtrack that takes the images beyond just individual photographs.

My intention has always been to use these media in unique and imaginative ways, creating avenues of communication that have a strong visual impact. My goal is to arouse in the audience an emotional response to the images beyond just what we see, to make the audience really “experience” them, and go beneath their surface.” – Paul Sparrow

See more of Paul’s work on his website here.


A Year of Photographs with Roman Kurywczak

Photographer Roman Kurywczak leads photo workshops to some amazing places including Tanzania, the Grand Tetons and Iceland. This video is a re-cap of his travels over the course of the year and features a collection of stunning photographs from around the world.

Visit to see more of Roman’s work and to check out his schedule for 2014.

Where has 2013 taken you? Make a video slideshow with your favorite photos and videos from throughout the year. ProShow makes it easy.

Learn more about our #yearofphotos project here >>


5 Tips For Shooting and Producing Stunning Travel Slideshows


Are you planning a vacation or once-in-a-lifetime trip? Be sure you have a plan in place on how to document your travels. Producing a video slideshow can tell the story of your journey through moving pictures. Below are a few tips to consider for creating memorable travel slideshows.

1. Shoot For Your Show

If you’re going into your trip with the idea of producing a video slideshow afterwards, you’ll be surprised at how you think differently before taking each shot. I find myself thinking: How will this shot work in my show? Is there a sequence of shots I can take to help make my story flow? Where are some great places I can shoot short video clips of bustling city life to add to my show?

2. Try A New Angle

Everyone has a photo of the Eiffel tower. Try a different vantage point – get high, get low, shoot at an angle or with a new lens. The point is to put a personal spin on an overly-photographed scene to make it uniquely yours. I also love browsing through Flickr and Google+ and searching for similar shots and scenes to get inspiration before my trip.


3. Capture the Big Picture

Breathtaking landscape or city scenes can help visually guide your viewer through your video. Start with a wide, open shot. Then come in closer and focus on different characteristics of your destination. Show these in sequence in your slideshow to guide the viewer along on your journey.


4. Don’t Forget the Details

On the other hand, getting all the small details is just as important. City street signs, detailed shots on statues or close-ups of a busy street cafe, all add to your storytelling ability. Use them interspersed in your slideshow to add a professional touch.


5. Add a Twist

The term ‘twist’ can mean different things. If you’re mostly shooting stills, try throwing in a few video clips here and there to add excitement and keep your viewers guessing. Or, try creating a layered collage on a few slides to break up the monotony of full-screen zooming images. In the video below, there’s a little twist at the end. I used Photoshop to cut out the clouds of my last Eiffel tower image and saved the image as a .PSD with a transparant background. Then in ProShow Producer, I added the clouds as a layer to that slide and zoomed them behind the tower for a cool look!

What are some of your tips for shooting and producing great travel slideshows? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


Free ProShow Effects for Vacation Slideshows

Free Airmail Postcard Effects

Where is this summer taking you? Whether you’re planning a fun family vacation or a sight-seeing tour through a distant land, it’s the images you capture that help tell your story when you return. Make a memorable photo and video slideshow from your best travel and vacation shots using our free ‘Airmail Postcard’ travel-themed effects. Continue reading