Audio for Photos - Bring your digital slideshow to Life | Print |
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Written by Barry Starlin Britt   

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture with music is a Story come to Life.

When I attended Berklee College of Music we had to synchronize music to old photographs as part of our film scoring class. Every student had the same fifty pictures with which to work in same sequence. But, the music selection was entirely up to the individual student.

The results were astonishing because of the variety of emotions and sensations that were depicted from each project. The music selected would completely change the mood of the viewer and how they perceived the photographs.

One of the first principles is applying the psychology of music. To learn more about this topic, you can review my previous article “Making Your Videos POP” that covers the 8 principles of what to consider when selecting music for multimedia. Many of the same principles for video apply to audio.

1) Know your audience
2) Association
3) Beats Per Minute (BPM)
4) Instrumentation
5) Current Styles, Novelties and Pop Culture
6) Moments of silence

Use of Software to Create Slideshows with Audio
Microsoft PhotoStory™, Mac iPhoto™ and Adobe Photoshop™ are some of the photo programs that can be used to create your digital slideshow that incorporates audio. In this article, I will demonstrate the use of iPhoto to create your slideshow. Next month, I will demonstrate the use of Microsoft PhotoStory.

For directions on creating a digital slideshow with audio in Adobe PhotoShop and Premier Elements™, you will find tutorials at on this topic.

Creating a Digital Slideshow with Audio in Mac’s iPhoto

Using iPhoto™ and iMovie™ on your Mac, it is easy to create a slideshow and synchronize with voiceover narration and music. In this example, you will see a project I created after visiting the construction of the Academy Awards ceremony in
Hollywood, California.

Step 1
Open iPhoto and edit photos to your liking.

Step 2
Open iMovie and click the camera button to access your iPhoto Library

Step 3
Select and drag photos from your Library (A) to the editor screen (B).

Step 4
To move a photo in the sequence, highlight it and drag to the desired position.

Step 5
To record your voiceover or narration, click the microphone icon then click on a picture to start recording.

Step 6
Download your copyright safe or properly licensed audio file(s).


Step 7
Click the music icon (A) then type the title of your audio track in the search field (B) and drag the selected audio to your editor (C).

Step 8
To edit your narration audio:
A) Click the Voiceover Recording to highlight
B) Click the speaker icon to open the audio editor
C) Raise or lower the volume
D) Ducking will lower the narration audio if desired
E) Adjust the fade in
F) Adjust the fade out
G) Normalize Clip Volume will automatically adjust your narration volume to match music. CAUTION: This is not always accurate, so use step C for more definite accuracy.
H) “Revert to original” will remove any editing of the audio to its original form.
I) Click when done to save

Step 9
To edit the music track, follow step 8.

You are now ready to publish your slideshow.
IMPORTANT: Publishing photos or audio of which you are not the owner can be a potential copyright violation. If your are not the owner, be sure and secure the necessary permissions or use license-approved media. For more information on copyright and securing media permissions, please review:
Copyright Issues When Using Music in Videos—The Digital Age!

How to Get Media Permissions for Your Videos and other Media

Next month: we will review how to create a photo slideshow with audio in Microsoft PhotoStory™.

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