May 2009 Newsletter


Welcome to the Photo to Movie Newsletter

May 2009

The graduation season has arrived. Remember the important event by choosing some great photos and putting together a Photo to Movie video on DVD or the web. This month we give you some tips and techniques for constructing that graduation slideshow.

Also, don't forget to update to Photo to Movie 4.2.4 if you're using the Mac OS version. It fixes some minor bugs and adds the ability to Show or Open your rendered movie in the Finder once it is finished rendering..

Finally, as we mentioned last month, we've started a Facebook group for Photo to Movie users. We had great response and you can see many awesome examples of Photo to Movie in use. Visit and see other user's videos, techniques, and feature requests.

Tips for Making a Graduation Slideshow


A graduation is a time to celebrate the hard work of school and the completion of a goal. This article will help you think of ways to commemorate that event with a slideshow using Photo to Movie.


Planning the Slideshow

An easy way to do the slideshow is to start with a song that represents the graduation. There are many songs relating to school and it's easy to pick one. Wikipedia even has an entire page dedicated to songs about school. Grab something from your own library that speaks to you. Ideally have a song that is three to five minutes long.


Once you have the song, estimate the number of photos that you'll need. A rule of thumb is about 12 photos per minute of slideshow (5 seconds each). And remember, you can always use audio editing in Photo to Movie to fade the song out at a certain time to be shorter. You may want to have two versions of your slideshow: one that is very short (one to two minutes) for the web; and a longer one (three to five minutes) for archival purposes or DVD.


Key Shots

If you're planning to take photos of the graduation, think about getting these key shots. If you've already taken photos, you can always revisit the location and grab a few more scenic filler shots. Try to return at a similar time of day with similar weather.

  • Wide shot of all participating graduates
  • Narrow shot of participating graduates
  • Action shots such as throwing hats in the air
  • Close up of graduate
  • Medium shot of graduate and friends
  • Graduate with parents
  • Scenery shots around the school or campus
  • Close up of diploma, hat, or scrolls


Most amateur photographers do a good job at keeping their subjects centered and understand the rule of thirds. But with Photo to Movie, an occasional photo with the subject off to the side or with a strange perspective can keep the slideshow interesting. Don't be afraid to use the motion capabilities of Photo to Movie and use these photos.


For the more advanced photographer, using narrow apertures and a fast lens can lead to some awesome shots for your slideshow. Keep the graduate in focus and the background out of focus.


Friends and Parents and Close Ups

When you're taking photos of the graduate with friends or parents, take the standard photos where everyone is looking at the camera. But also include some shots where the parents and friends are looking at the graduate or the graduate is studying something like the diploma. During a slideshow, a varied set of shots will keep your audience interested.


Include shots with varying facial expressions. A photo of the graduate talking with someone, studying something intently, or just an emotion that isn't quite a smile goes a long way towards remembering the day.


Sequencing the Slideshow

Try to order the slideshow roughly in the order that the photos were taken. Start with shots before the ceremony, during the ceremony, and then the post ceremony celebration!


Also, try to vary the shots. Mix wide shots, action shots, close-up shots, and medium shots. If you have two close-up shots that you want to have in the slideshow, separate them with a couple of wide or medium shots in between.

Use subtle motion effects to highlight specific items in the photo.

Vary the transitions but remember that the more interesting the transition, the less the viewer will be looking at the photos. So use transitions sparingly and keep them short (1/2 second or less).



Armed with these tips and techniques, you should be able to put together a great graduation slideshow using Photo to Movie. Have fun!

Photo to Movie Facebook Group

As a place for further discussion of tips and techniques, video samples, support, feature discussions, and more, we host the Photo to Movie Group on Facebook. It's a great group so check it out and get in touch with other Photo to Movie users for tips, samples, and help.

Visit the group home page by clicking on this link:

Photo to Movie Facebook Group

Photo to Movie 4.2.4 (Mac OS) Release

IMPORTANT We recommend updating to Mac OS X 10.5.7 if you're using Photo to Movie. The operating system release fixes some bugs that can affect Photo to Movie also.

Photo to Movie (Mac OS) 4.2.4 was released in April and is now available on our website or through automatic updates. We recommend all Photo to Movie (Mac OS) users to upgrade to this latest version.

This latest release fixes some minor bugs and adds the ability to Show or Open your rendered movie in the Finder once it is finished rendering.

The easiest way to upgrade Photo to Movie is to launch your existing version and choose the menu item Photo to Movie > Check for Updates...

You can also download Photo to Movie directly using this link if you have an older version without the Check for Updates... menu item:


Newsletter Archive

All of our previous newsletters are available on our website. Check them out for tips, news, and information items.

Newsletter Archive

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