Now that iLife applications can be purchased separately in the App Store, I highly recommend iPhoto ’11 as the most essential program in the suite to have on your Mac, especially if you regularly take digital photos.
We have written about iPhoto before, but with each new version of the program, Apple has added features that make its premiere image management and enhancement application do everything you need with your photos. For example, you can actually create a photo slideshow in under ten minutes – and 20 minutes if you want it to look completely professional. Let’s walk through how you can use this software to create a slideshow.
You start off by selecting a group of photos and putting them in an album. It’s best to arrange the photos in the album in the order you want them to appear before you go into slideshow mode. As you will see, the iPhoto slideshow themes will typically display 1-4 photos at a time, so group them accordingly.
Once you’re in slideshow mode you can still re-arrange photos, but it’s easier to do so in the album itself.
You can also include and edit movie clips right inside iPhoto, and in slideshow mode.
Shoot and Show
Now if you really need to whip out a slideshow super fast, iPhoto is ready for you. Simply select an album of photos (or the Last Import collection); click the Slideshow button in the menu bar at the bottom of iPhoto—and presto you’re showing off your images.
If you have the time to create a more professional looking slideshow, there are a few other features and steps you need to consider. This time, select your collection of photos, and choose Create >Slideshow button in the menu bar.
iPhoto presents you with 12 fancy slideshow themes to choose from. The one you choose (“Places” for travel photos, the “Holiday” theme, or “Scrapbook” for say birthday party photos) depends the the type of photos you’re presenting and the purpose of the presentation.
It’s not a problem to go back and change to another theme any time during the process of creating a slideshow.
The slideshow settings is where you take the little extra effort and time to customize your slideshow. This where you decide to change slide duration of your presentation, as well choose the format you will present it in—on your computer, HDTV, iPad/TV, or iPhone.
You can also choose to show the title of each photo slide, and if you want the slide to automatically repeat. Under “This Slide,” you can change a photo to black and white, Sepia or Antique. But these options are limited.
Instead, you can simply double-click on a photo in slide show mode and make edits and enhancements as you normally would. The beauty of this feature is that you don’t have to exit your slideshow to make edits.
iPhoto also includes an awesome selection of Theme Music for your shows, so you don’t have to hunt down royalty free music on the net. You can also of course choose a song from you own music library.
If your show is rather long, you might choose more than one song for your presentation, though unfortunately it’s difficult to accurately fit a particular song with a particular set of slides. If your presentation automatically repeats several times, as say a stand-alone presentation, then you probably will not want to use music, for it could be annoying to hear the same thing over and over again.
In this version of iPhoto, Apple also included a way to add titles to your show. The features works a little differently in each theme, but you can typically add titles slides or overlays wherever you want in your presentation.
Play and Export
Apple also made it easy to preview your presentations so you don’t have to play them full screen until you’re ready. If you are doing a formal presentation, of course always preview your slideshow a couple of times to make sure everything is in order. If you choose the Ken Burns theme, you definitely want to preview the results, for the various panning effects can chop the heads of people in a slide, and you will need to make adjustments.
Finally, Apple has made it super easy to export your slideshow out of iPhoto and into another format and device. When you select a size, you can click on the “i” to see get an estimate of the resulting file size. This is useful if you’re concerned about the file taking up too much storage space on say your iPhone or iPad, for example.
Depending upon the number slides in your presentation, the exporting process may take up 10 or more minutes.
iPhoto on your Mac is the one application that you should use often and maintain because you can pass it down like your parents or grandparents used to pass down paper photo albums.
Let us know how you use iPhoto the most. For other ideas about slideshows and using iPhoto, check out these articles: How To Edit Your Photos Easily With iPhoto and 5 Ways to Create Beautiful Slideshows of your Digital Pictures.