Monday, June 17, 2013

Slideshow Attempt

by Anita Mae Draper

I've often thought of creating a slideshow, but never had the urge to put in the effort until this past weekend. Working with the genealogy, experiencing 2 graduations, and having lots of family stuff going on, I've spent a lot of time in our photo boxes and albums. We're also in the process of digitizing our photos which floods us with memories. And to top it off, hubby's mom has given us a box of old negatives to process and digitize. Negatives remind me of the 1994 Forrest Gump movie where he says, " was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Well, negatives are the same way.

Negative as you get back with film after developing.

Negative after home processing on computer.

Nelson processed the above negative at home using light and our computer. It's not professional in anyway. Use of a professional photo processor would probably bring out more color, a sharper image, etc, but it's good enough for our purposes as we go through the negatives trying to identify people.

But back to the slideshow... I had been searching through my photos for a photo of Nelson with the kids that I could use as a Father's Day scripture pic on the church website when I had a brainstorm. I had photos of Nelson spending time with the kids collectively, and with each by themselves. Why not combine some in a side-by-side fashion and photocopy them in a small booklet?

But when I opened PhotoShop, I'm such a dunce at it that I couldn't position 2 images beside each other. After 15 mins, I was ready to give up when I saw a Create button on the top right of my screen. When I clicked it, a list of possibilities dropped down and the word, Slideshow drew my gaze like a beacon.

There are probably oodles of other software programs to create a slideshow, but I have to say, PhotoShop Elements 8 version is easy peasy. (unlike editing the images themsleves) And although I couldn't figure out how to display images side-by-side, the option of adding text balanced it out.

Yesterday was Father's Day and the slideshow below was shown in church as a tribute for all fathers, which is why no names are mentioned. And although it's told from the kids' perspective, neither of the boys saw the complete version until they watched in church. And the girls will see it here, or on Facebook.

We hadn't told Nelson about it, either, so it was a complete surprise when he saw himself up on the screen. He couldn't talk for a few minutes after, but when he could, he said he, "really, really enjoyed it." And then he asked for a copy for his Facebook page.

I can imagine you're thinking, "Oh, no, family movies!" right about now, but here is my first slideshow attempt. Let me know if it doesn't show for you. Oh, and there's no sound as I couldn't think of any music that wasn't copyrighted to use for this one.

BTW - the picture where it says, "You feed us" shows Nelson with his mouth open and is where he was pretending to eat a daddy-long-legs on the window screen. For whatever reason, you can barely see the spider in the slideshow. (Yes, I know - not technically a spider.) Now that I've created my first slideshow, my mind is boggling with possibilities for my writing projects. And I really must check into music. I know many of you have created videos for your books and family. I'm brimming with ideas for those, too. But for my question today is... Have you ever created a slideshow? For what event? And who did you share it?
Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae's short story, "Riding on a Christmas Wish" will appear in A Christmas Cup of Cheer, Guideposts Books, 2013. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at


  1. Brave, brave Anita! I will have to wait until I get home to watch your slideshow (work blocks all videos *sigh*). Photoshop Elements is a tad different than Photoshop, but even after years of using it, I still find little gems to help me do things. (ps. you can always ask me for help too...*heh* - except i forgot to check my email this weekend and you probably already did... oops)

    i've never done a slide show for anyone. i've collected pictures for others doing slideshow stuff though. it is pretty fun to go through photos and negatives. what Nelson has done is a really good start - minor tweaking and you'll have "professional" looking digitized photos yet!

  2. I enjoyed the slideshow, Anita. I love when you share your passion for photography with us.

  3. I did a literal slideshow for my parents 25th anniversary (you know, the old slide projector) and then a digital one for their 50th anniversary. It was played at their anniversary celebrations.
    Sounds like your family is a lot of fun! :)

  4. Actually, DebH, I didn't email you this time. By the time I thought of creating this it was Sat afternoon and Nelson was home. I was in the house and not my office and was so worried he'd see what I was doing that I spent the time making notes on what photos I wanted and looking through the photo boxes - something he's used to seeing me do.

    Then when he went out to cut the grass I went into the albums and pried the old pics out from under the cling sheets. After scanning all the photos, I hid them in the side of a photo box before he came back inside. But I had to wait until he went to bed at 10 pm before I could even start on it.

    Talk about a last minute effort.

    Thanks for the compliment to Nelson. I'll pass it on. :)


  5. Thanks, Lisa. I love finding a use for the older photos, and now that I'm actively doing the genealogy I have all sorts of ideas to combine the two for the generations to come.

    About Nelson and his negatives... I over-simplified the process because he had to invent a 'light gizmo machine thingy' to take the picture of the negative before he could scan it into the computer. It really is basic, but if there's any interest, I may take some pics next time he has it out and then do a post on it. We can't be the only ones with old negatives sitting in boxes from another generation.

  6. Slides! Oh, Elaine, you've just reminded me of the trays of slides I have set aside. It's the missing years when Crystal was 1-5 yrs old when we were on a budget and slides were much cheaper than photos. Rather than quit taking pics - can you imagine me quitting - we went the cheaper route.

    Actually, our Kodak scanner takes mounted slides as well as the negative strips. This means the only thing stopping us from digitizing our slides is time. Ha!

    However, the Kodak scanner won't accept the older single negatives like the one in the post which came in a variety of sizes, or the tiny negatives from a 110 camera, etc.

    Your folks are blessed to have your slideshows, Elaine. Good job!

    And yes, we have a lot of fun here. :D

  7. I smiled all the way through it.
    Nice job! Good for you. My big dream of scanning all my family photos hasn't happened yet and for some reason my new computer and old scanner don't want to know each other. It's a big job and I congratulate you on it.

    And thank you for sharing your family with us! How did Nelson like it?

  8. Deb, he was too choked up to talk for several moments after. But later on he said he 'really, really liked it'. Then on the way home he asked for a copy so he could post it to his Facebook page. I don't know if it's up there because I've been too busy to check, but I like to think he liked it enough to share with everyone.

    And I have to explain about that last pic... I can't remember why we stopped, but we were driving past the fenceline into our yard after church on day and he stopped the van and ran out under the trees. He asked me to take his pic with his face framed by the snow-covered branches. I did. Then suddenly, he whipped up his top for a second only. Then he laughed at me when I told him I'd snapped a pic. He said I wasn't fast enough. Well, guess what. :D

  9. What fun, Anita! I think you're pretty awesome. :) I have never attempted to make a slideshow. Though, as you know, I did attempt to make a little video of some sea lions last summer while on a bouncing boat, and a video of some little Small World images while on a gliding boat. Hee! Fun memories, and I'm glad you were there to share those with me, even if my video attempts were a little on the weak side.

  10. We did a slide show for Christi's graduation. It was looping all day with a cute music video we made with her when she was three months old. Dani handled all the technical stuff.

  11. Hey Suzie, I remember those fun rides - didn't care much for the droll announcer at Balboa Beach, though. That's the tough part about taking pics/video when you're moving - the viewer could get seasick. That kind of realism we don't need.

    I'm sure yours turned out fine and would like to see them some time. :)

  12. Oh yes, Dina. I can imagine Dani would want to put that together since it's his field. And I can also imagine it looping in the background like those photo frames people have in their living rooms now. It's a great way to show pics to a large amount of people.

    That's a great idea.


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