Exporting Lightroom slideshows to the web

After yesterday’s post to Youtube of my photo walk with Scott Kelby, and the fact that I mentioned that it was created first in Lightroom – I’ve gotten many emails asking me how I created it. The answer was quite simple – if you own a Mac.  Here’s how you can export Lightroom slideshows to the web is less than twenty steps:

  1. Create your slideshow as you normally do in Lightroom.
  2. Export the show to jpg files in a folder of your choosing.
  3. Close Lightrooom
  4. Open Garage Band
  5. Mix a track of audio music that will fit the theme of your slideshow
  6. Export that audio track to the folder with the pictures.
  7. Close Garage Band
  8. Open Photoshop CS3 (or your favorite pixel based image editor)
  9. Create an intro and closing image for your slideshow and save as jpgs to the folder
    *Hint* Make sure you keep the dimensions consistent with your previous images so you don’t get pixelation
  10. Close Photoshop
  11. Open iPhoto
  12. Import the photos from the folder you created earlier with the jpgs to a new album
  13. Create a slide show from said album
  14. Rehearse timings and check for image/audio quality
  15. Export to desktop (it will export as a Quicktime movie file by default)
  16. Take said movie file and upload to YouTube
  17. Add titles, descriptions as needed…
  18. Voila!

The key to this is iPhoto.  You don’t necessarily need Garage Band to make a legal audio track.  Many open sourced audio files are available for use, though a lot of that content is classical.  iPhoto has the built in ability to export slideshows as a movie than other applications like Lightroom, Powerpoint, Photoshop, and others.  Lightroom is also rather key too though as the backgrounds and text effects for the titles and everything were done in there.

On Windows, it’s a whole different story – you can do the Lightroom thing, but then you have to go out and buy a slideshow program to accomplish this for you.  While there are many options, and at varying levels of price entry, the ones that I’ve used that are good are Proshow Gold and Camtasia, from Photodex and Techsmith respectively.  The former prices out at $80 while the latter runs for a pricey $299 but allows you to also do screen captures, and lots of other stuff.  Either way, shelling out additional money to do something that is native on the Mac gives just another reason to consider the bundled functionality that Apple brings to the table with it’s computer lines.  (And this is coming from someone who has worked in Windows almost exclusively for the better part of ten years… as I tell people these days though, I work in Windows and play on my Mac!)

Finally, as we head into the weekend, there’s a couple fellow photographer/blogger types that are hosting contests and seminars in the upcoming weeks and months.  So, if you’re interested in improving your craft, there’s no better way than to either participate in a seminar and learn something new, or submit to a juried contest…and that’s just what Rob Jones of Towner Jones Photography is doing and Scott Eccleston, of Weekly Photo Tips!  Rob is hosting an impressive summer photo contest, and Scott is runing a Maine Photography Workshop that is sure to ignite the creative energies.  Act soon on Scott’s as registration is almost over!  Make sure you take these guys into consideration when planning out your summer activities!

That’s it for this week – I am off Monday for the holiday, so there may not be a blog post then.  Next week is the last week for the Lightroom giveaway contest though, so be sure you are getting your entries in to the Flickr page to win your own free copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – a $300 value!  Happy shooting and we’ll see you back here on either Monday or Tuesday!

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3 comments for “Exporting Lightroom slideshows to the web

  1. david
    June 11, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    what I don’t understand is why this is so difficult! You can export a slideshow via the automate function of PS2 and just add a file called useraudio.mp3 to the root and voila! DONE! Why won’t LR do something similar? It’s quite annoying!

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