Jul
21

Author:

Tips for Capturing Great Shots on your Summer Vacation

Tips for capturing great photos on your summer vacation.

Going somewhere fun this summer? With a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’ll be prepared to capture great shots on your next vacation. Check out these helpful tips below.

Plan What You’re Going to Shoot

On my latest trip, I visited Hawaii. It’s a magnificently photogenic place, so I knew that finding good subject matter would be easy. Regardless, when I travel, I like to come up with a list of things and places to shoot.

Searching Google images, social media, and even tourism websites is a great way to identify locations and find some creative inspiration. This helps me address which of my photographic skills I’d like to work on, as well as help me figure out what I need to pack in my camera bag.

Gear Up

When preparing for my trip, I looked back at images from previous vacations and identified that most of my shots fell into one of two categories: 1) wide angle landscapes, or 2) zoomed in on subjects (70mm or more). With that in mind, I headed over to Borrowlenses.com and rented my go-to choice for landscape photos, the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom. I also splurged a little and rented the absolutely amazing Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.

Now here’s where creating a list of things comes in handy. While coming up with my list, two common elements kept popping up…water and sun.

I knew I would be doing some snorkeling, and I wanted to get some photos underwater, so I headed over to Amazon and found a deal on a great waterproof point and shoot, the Nikon Coolpix AW100. (Tip: I paid half price by getting a refurbished unit).

For my DSLR, the water and sun issues became an opportunity to practice working with some filters. So I made sure to add a Circular Polarizer and a couple of Neutral Density filters to my bag.

Getting Great Shots

If you’ve packed the right gear and planned ahead, getting great shots is a breeze! Here are some of my favorites from a recent trip to Hawaii.

Tips for capturing great vacation photos
With the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom, I was able to get all of the Byodo-In temple in frame without having to be 100′s of feet away. Shooting in the middle of the day is always a challenge. By adding a Circular Polarizing Filter, I was able to reduce the glare coming off the pond and bring out more color in the sky.

Tips for capturing great photos on your summer vacation.
The super-wide angle lens also allowed me to capture a really nice view of Waimānalo Bay.

Getting great shots on your summer vacation.
By bringing along the extremely high-quality Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II lens, I was also able to get some really amazing flora shots.

Tips for getting great shots on your summer vacation.
While there’s nothing technically interesting going on in this shot, it’s a great example of something totally unique and amazing you can capture when you have a “I want to shoot this” list, and you pack the right gear. Special thanks to the Nikon Coolpix AW100 underwater point and shoot.

Getting great shots on your summer vacation.
Despite all of my planning, some of my favorite shots from my trip were of moments that I just stumbled upon. Thankfully, most smart phones these days feature very capable cameras!

Putting it all together


The best part of having great shots from a vacation is sharing them with friends and family. A slideshow video is the perfect way to showcase a collection of your travel and vacation photos all at once, in a fun and dynamic way. Here’s my video made with ProShow. Make your own travel slideshow today.

Travel Slideshow Contest
Don’t forget to enter your best travel, landscape and nature slideshows into our ‘Ultimate Story‘ contest! Click here to learn more and watch recent entries.

 

Jul
16

Author:

Create a Moving Clouds Effect in ProShow Producer

Today’s guest post comes from multimedia producer, Paul Sparrow. His recent video ‘The Rockies‘ spurred a ton of questions from readers about how the ‘moving clouds’ trick was created. Paul shares the step-by-step instructions on how to re-create this effect in your own slideshows below.

When producing an AV show I always consider how the first minute of the production will effect the audience. No matter what kind of show you’re doing it should have a strong opening…something that will “grab” the audience.

In my recent production “The Rockies” which highlights the awesome power of the Canadian mountain range, I wanted to start the show with some striking black & white imagery of the mountain peaks with low lying cloud banks to draw the viewer into the show.

The shots themselves were dramatic on their own but I decided to add some movement in the clouds that were drifting over the hills in the distance, to add that sense of dynamics to the otherwise static imagery. This necessitated using a number of techniques in ProShow Producer as well as Photoshop to accomplish the believable but subtle movement. Here’s how it was done.

Start with a Base Layer

Figure 1

In ProShow Producer, I started out with my “base layer” which was an image that had trees in the foreground behind which had low lying clouds rolling over the mountains in the distance. For my “animated” layer I added a second image on top that had similar clouds that would act as the “moving” bank of clouds.

The trick was to make the cloud layer appear as if it were moving in the distance “behind” the foreground trees to make the effect convincing.

Create a Mask in Photoshop

Figure 2

First I had to create a mask in Photoshop of the base layer tree line image.

I used a variety of “feathering” and “painting” techniques to create a blending of the masked area so it would transition nicely to the unmasked area, which in turn would reveal the moving cloud bank.

Add a Masking Layer in Producer

figure6_sm
This file was saved as a jpeg and now in Producer was added on top of the cloud layer as a “Mask Layer”. The resulting effect was to “hold back” the foreground and trees so the moving clouds would not show over this area.

Pan the Layer to Create Movement

Figure 4
Using Producer’s motion keyframing feature, I added a left to right pan on the cloud layer to give the appearance of moving clouds drifting behind the foreground trees.

But even though this layer was “masked”, to prevent it showing overtop of the trees on the layer below, the effect was still not as convincing as I’d like. Because this layer was opaque by default the moving clouds completely covered those that were in the layer below.

One way to alter this would be to change the “opacity” of the moving cloud layer so that the layer below would partially show through. But that would have created the effect of “transparent” clouds that were not at all realistic.

What I was after was a blending of some of the clouds in this moving layer with the static clouds in the layer below so you would see some moving clouds and some static clouds that would create the appearance of clouds at various distances moving at different rates.

Use Chroma Key to Finish Off the Effect

Figure 5
To accomplish this I altered how the densities of the moving cloud layer blended with the static layer below. This was done through the use of the “Chroma Key” option in Producer which allowed me to alter which tones would register and which would not. I could keep the moving cloud layer at 100% opacity but “knock out” the darker tones, allowing only the lighter tones of the moving layer to reveal themselves.

This ultimately gave the appearance of one bank of clouds moving over the mountains in front of the another bank of clouds to create the subtle effect of various clouds moving past each other as you might see when they roll over the mountains.

Watch The Rockies video in its entirety here.

Copyright Paul Sparrow 2014

 

Jul
15

Author:

Photographer Documents Bittersweet Moments of Dog’s Last Day on Earth

Houston pet owner, Jordan Roberts adopted her dog Dukey 3 years ago after falling in love with his adoption video. Dukey sadly had health issues over the years and after several surgeries and a hard decision, had to be put down on July 7th.

Photographer Robyn Arouty, a family friend of Roberts, documented Dukey’s last day and posted a beautiful tribute in photos and words on her blog that’s been sweeping the nation and tugging at heartstrings. You can see the post in its entirety here.

We are very touched to learn that ProShow was used to make Dukey’s original adoption video and helped Jordan fall in love with the rambunctious lab 3 years ago.


Video made in ProShow.

ProShow is used by shelters and animal rescue organizations around the world to bring awareness to shelter animals and help get them adopted.

 

Jul
14

Author:

Hands on Review of the ProShow Web app for iOS

ProShow Web app review

Today’s guest post comes from photographer Rob Knight.

When I first began to explore the idea of “hybrid photography” the editing and output options for still photography + video were a big question. I thought, “Sure, I have a camera that can shoot video along with stills, but then what do I DO with it?” Luckily for me I was introduced to ProShow Web soon after that!

The web version of ProShow allows you to upload, edit and share photos & videos right inside of your web browser. It is easy to learn, easy to use and the results are beautiful. The folks at Photodex even seem to listen to their customers because they are constantly improving the software and adding features.

One of the things I’ve always liked about ProShow Web is the integration with the ProShow app for iOS devices. I can access, edit and even create shows on my iPad or iPhone. Now the iOS version has been updated to add many of the features that I use regularly in the web version. It is the perfect companion for my hybrid photography workflow that begins in my Wi-Fi enabled LUMIX cameras and ends with sharing my hybrid “eScapes” online.

Choose a Theme

ProShow Web app review
The ProShow app is a powerful tool, but it is also easy to use. Once you sign in and touch the “New Show” button you will pick a Theme for your show. A Theme is basically a collection of effects and transitions that will be applied to your images and videos. I find that “All the Standards” and “Full Frame” are good options for a variety of shows. If you take a few minutes to watch some of the Theme previews I’m sure you will find a few that are perfect for your project. Touch the “Create” button at the bottom of the screen when you’ve decided on a theme.

Add Your Content

ProShow Web app review
The next step is to add content to your show by touching the “+Add” button in the bottom left corner of the screen. My first stop is usually the “Photos & Videos” button. You can add photos and videos from your device, or you can choose content from your online services like Facebook, Instagram, SmugMug, etc. You can also import slides from your other ProShow Web projects.

Choose music from the built-in library

ProShow Web App Review

Adding a soundtrack to your show is an important part of creating a mood. Touch the “+add” button again, then touch “Music”. I generally stick with the built-in music library so I can share my shows without worrying about licensing music. If you upload music from your own library be sure you have the necessary permission to use it. The built-in music library contains hundreds of royalty-free songs that you can search for by tempo, category, length and more. I always seem to find a piece of music that is perfect for my projects.

Add titles

ProShow Web App Review
Titles are a new addition to the ProShow Web app. You can add a title slide by touching “+add” then “Title”. Use this to create a title slide, chapter divider, credits, etc. You can also add a title to a photo or video. To add titles to an image, select the image (or video) and touch “Edit” at the bottom of the screen. Use the “Text” box to add a caption to the slide. Turn on “Use Headings” to add a heading and sub-heading to your slide.

After your content is uploaded and added you can simply drag and drop to arrange your images, videos and titles. I usually mute my video clips by selecting the clip, touching the “Edit” button and selecting “Mute” in the Video box. Once everything looks the way you want it touch the “Build” button in the top-right corner of the screen. When your show is rendered you can save it to your device by touching the “Save” button, but I usually use the “Share” button instead. From here you can upload the show to Facebook, YouTube, SmugMug, etc. You can share your project without taking up valuable space on your mobile device.

The Finished Product

Hopefully these tips will help you get up to speed with the ProShow Web app. It is an easy and fun way to create beautiful slideshow on the move. Interface refinements and new tools like captions and titles make the mobile app better than ever!

 

 

Jul
9

Author:

Top 10 Effects for Your Vacation and Travel Slideshows + Freebie FX

Top 10 Effects for your Vacation and Travel Slideshows + Freebie FX

Summer is a popular time for vacations and travel holidays. Whether you have a trip coming up or you just returned from one, don’t let your beautiful travel photos sit in some forgotten folder on your computer! Why not make a fun slideshow video of your favorite vacation memories? It takes just a few minutes to create a show that everybody can enjoy on the big screen TV, or share it on Facebook or YouTube. It’s easy!

ProShow is the perfect tool for making photo slideshows of your vacation memories. Instantly mix photos, video clips and music together with gorgeous built-in effects. Want to make it extra amazing? Download our free ‘Beach Tide’ effect + check out our top 10 favorite effects for vacation shows!

Free Beach Tide / Waves Effect

Download Free Beach Tide Transition

Download the free Beach Tide transition effect (.zip) >
Designed for: ProShow Gold 6 and ProShow Producer 6
ProShow Web users will be able to use this effect in the FX dialog.

Download

To Use Your New Effects:
You’ll need to manually install your new effects into ProShow Producer or ProShow Gold. Once installed they’ll show up like all your other slide styles and transitions. Need help with manually installing? Read this how-to article on installing & managing FX in ProShow.
 


 

Top 10 Vacation + Travel Slideshow Effects

Looking for travel and outdoor-themed styles & transitions to go along with your vacation photos? Check out our top 10 favorite picks for travel slideshows below!

Luxe & Light Styles + Rays Transition


Boost the sunny ambiance of your outdoor pics. No sunscreen required. Available in Effects Pack 6.

Cloud Transition


Perfect for airplane and aerial photos, or imagery from misty locales. Available in Transition Pack 1.

Title Montages: Block Collage + On the Line


Excellent opening title options that show a sneak peak of the trip photos. Available in StylePack 5.

Bubble Drift Transition

Bubble Drift Transition from ProShow Transition Pack 2
A playful set of transition effects with variants that look like air-borne or water bubbles. Great for aquatic adventures, outdoor kids photos or poolside pics. Available in Transition Pack 2.

Water Ripple Transition


This water ripple transition effect also works well for any type of aquatic imagery — cruise photos, scuba diving excursions, fishing at the lake, etc. Available in Effects Pack 6.

Castaway Photo Montage


A high energy 5-photo montage with lots of momentum and excitement. A great way to start or end your show. Available in StylePack 3.

Print Blend – Portrait Photo Montage

Print Blend - Portrait Photo Montage from StylePack 3
Got a bunch of portrait / tall-format photos but don’t know what to do with all the extra space on the left and right sides? Display portraits in style with this beautiful montage from StylePack 2.

Texture Fade – Photo Style


Give your travel photos a painterly brushed-on look with this gorgeous effect. Suitable for any type of subject matter but works especially well for architectural & portrait shots. Available in StylePack 4.

ProShow StylePack: Escapes


Enjoy dozens of travel-themed photo and title effects conveniently bundled into one dedicated StylePack. Get StylePack Escapes today for just $19.95.

Postcard Freebie Effects


Sprinkle these airmail-inspired effects throughout your show (w/ title, caption & photo options) to give it a fun, ‘travelling-abroad’ theme. Download the free ‘Airmail Postcard‘ effects.

Save 15% off Effects and ProShow Upgrades
 

Got the right tool to build your slideshow?

Planning to make a vacation / travel slideshow? With ProShow, it literally takes just minutes to make a beautiful video slideshows using the automated wizard and instant effects. Upgrade or download a free trial of ProShow 6 today!
Get ProShow 6 Today

 

Jul
8

Author:

Getting Started with ProShow Web: 5 Steps for Wow-Worthy Videos

Today’s guest post comes from photographer Rebecca Danzenbaker.

Hi all!  I’m a professional newborn, maternity and family photographer located in Ashburn, VA, and I’ve been using ProShow Web to produce every single one of my clients’ slideshows for the past few years.  I just love how easy it is and the beautiful quality of the finished products.

Let’s do this!

1. Getting started and picking a theme.

Visit http://web.photodex.com/create to create your slideshow and click the green button for “new show”. Tip: Bookmark this page, and you’ll be automatically logged in when you visit. Sweet!

Getting started with ProShow Web

Pick your favorite theme or create your own! I like simple, so the Simplicity Zoom Lt is perfect for my style! I’ve also created my own custom theme that I use often. It’s so awesome how Photodex has categorized the themes for us!

 

 Make your first slideshow with ProShow Web

Make your first slideshow with ProShow Web

2. Name your slideshow and import content.

After you’ve named your slideshow, choose your favorite way to import images. You can upload them from your computer or many other popular image-hosting and social-networking sites.

 

Make your first slideshow with ProShow Web

Make your first slideshow with ProShow Web

 

I just adore the integrated Zenfolio plug-in. Since the photos are uploading from site to site, I can walk away from my computer or even close my laptop and come back to the slideshow later. Bonus: it doesn’t take up any of my bandwidth, so while the photos are loading, I can also answer emails and do other work without any computer or web slowness.

Hey fellow Zennies, there’s a 20% off coupon code for you on Zenfolio for a discount to Photodex!

 

Make your first slideshow with ProShow Web

Make your first slideshow with ProShow Web

Tip: To select all images in your gallery, click the first thumbnail, hold down Shift and then click the last one (or use the Command/Ctrl button on your keyboard to choose select photos in a gallery).

Once your photos have been loaded, you can click and drag to rearrange them. Alternatively, select multiple photos and then the shuffle icon that appears at the top to mix them up randomly.

3. Add music.

A slideshow isn’t a slideshow without music! The music adds the emotion to your photos and will create the connection between your art and the viewer. I’m a sentimentalist, so I love the slower, acoustic melodies. My absolute favorite song to use is “Give You My Love” by Adrina Thorpe. The Dave Warren melodies are also used quite a bit!

ProShow Web Review

Tip: Click the stars to the right of the songs you like to add them to your Favorites menu. This saves so much time later!

4. Add titles and/or captions.

To add a title slide, click the “Add content” button at the top left. Then, the “Add Title Slide” option on the bottom left of the pop-up box. You can add multiple “title” slides throughout your show.

To add photo captions, click on one of the photos, and then first little pencil icon that appears at the top.

ProShow Web Review

5. Output and Sharing.

You’re almost done! Click the green “Build Video” button on the top-right and then click “ready to build, click to build your video” (the large black box in the middle of the screen. You can’t miss it).

Next, choose how you want to share it. I usually render the photo as a 1080p HD slideshow and then using the Share settings,embed it in Zenfolio and also upload it to YouTube. I LOVE that Photodex gives me so many output options!!!

Here’s the finished product!

 

Jul
7

Author:

Video Showcases the Majesty of the Rocky Mountains

The Rockies‘ is a beautiful video created by photographer and videographer Paul Sparrow, that showcases the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. Paul used ProShow Producer to make the video and added some special effects along the way.

You’ll notice scenes where clouds move behind the peaks of mountains and appear to come alive on the screen. Paul expertly crafted this special effect using ProShow Producer’s masking feature. The clouds were cut out of the original image and used as a new layer on a slide. Using a combination of masking, keyframing and chroma key adjustments, Paul was able to create the final effect.

“The phrase “Multi-Media” has come to mean different things to different people. As a photographer I use the multi-image medium to communicate my work. This includes image movements, animation and the dynamic co-ordination of the images to a soundtrack that takes the images beyond just individual photographs.

My intention has always been to use these media in unique and imaginative ways, creating avenues of communication that have a strong visual impact. My goal is to arouse in the audience an emotional response to the images beyond just what we see, to make the audience really “experience” them, and go beneath their surface.” – Paul Sparrow

See more of Paul’s work on his website here.

 

How-To + Tutorials

Tips for Capturing Great Shots on your Summer Vacation

Monday, July 21, 2014

Going somewhere fun this summer? With a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’ll be prepared to capture great shots on your next vacation. Check out these helpful…

Create a Moving Clouds Effect in ProShow Producer

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from multimedia producer, Paul Sparrow. His recent video ‘The Rockies‘ spurred a ton of questions from readers about how the ‘moving clouds’ trick was…

Hands on Review of the ProShow Web app for iOS

Monday, July 14, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from photographer Rob Knight. When I first began to explore the idea of “hybrid photography” the editing and output options for still photography +…

Getting Started with ProShow Web: 5 Steps for Wow-Worthy Videos

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from photographer Rebecca Danzenbaker. Hi all!  I’m a professional newborn, maternity and family photographer located in Ashburn, VA, and I’ve been using ProShow Web…