I decided to tell you about what many consider to be one of the best value for money solutions: PhotoStage Slideshow. When you come back from a trip or take stock of a whole year of photos, you usually think you can incorporate them into an attractive and dynamic photo slideshow that you can give to anyone who comes home.
Well, to that end I scoured the market looking for the best photo slideshow maker and I decided to tell you about what many consider to be one of the best value for money: PhotoStage Slideshow. Do you want to see how it works and what this photo slideshow program offers you?
What applications and criteria have I considered?
Perhaps, like me, you are already using a photo slideshow program like Picasa, XnView, MemoriesOnWeb, or PhotoLapse. Or you had opted for PhotoStory, which practically all of us have tried on occasion.
Or, perhaps, alternatives offered by other photo slideshow programs not specifically designed for that purpose, as Lightroom itself does through its projection module.
However, what I intended to do with this research was something more. More capacity, more control, more rotation, and better results. And that’s why I had to open up the range and consider specific photo slideshow programs for this purpose, regardless of whether they were paid.
The result? I chose PhotoStage Slideshow, over other photo slideshow creators in the industry like PhotoStory Deluxe or ProShow Gold. Applications that surely sound familiar to you if, like me, you’ve ever delved into this topic.
It is the best option for those who want something more when preparing our photo presentations, but do not want difficult management and many options, nor have to give the house as a guarantee to buy the slideshow program.
Let’s take a look at PhotoStage Slideshow
The first thing I have to tell you is that even if the screenshots are in English, this program is available entirely in Italian! Furthermore, it can be said that it is an incredibly simple and intuitive application, as you will see below.
From the moment you open the application, you notice a certain sobriety, but also a clear organization of the points that you will have to face to create photo presentations:
- Add photos, videos, and music
- Add effects
- Add transitions
- Record and add a voice narration
- Save and generate your presentation
To create your presentation, you will only have to follow the different points of the interface. Do you have doubts about any of them? Quiet, let’s see an example where we will follow each of the points, ok?
1. Select the photos and audio you want to include
The first step is to select the photos and possible audio tracks you want to include in your slideshow. To do this, select the “1) Add photos, video clips, and music” option and click the “Add photos and media files” button.
Then mark the files you want to include and click to add, you will see the media list section is loaded with the selected files. As you can see in the image above.
Finally, to actually add the photos and songs to your slideshow, you’ll need to select and drag them into the image sequence or audio sequence, depending on whether it’s the image or audio you want to add.
As an alternative to dragging photos, you can also, once the files have been selected, click the “Add to Show” button. The presentation is taking shape, right?
2. Apply concrete effects to each of the photographs
There may be some photos where you want to add text, apply a zoom effect, show it with a sepia filter, superimpose another image… This is the second step. This way you can selectthose images on which you want to apply a certain effect (or more) and apply it to them.
To do this, as you can see in the image, select the clip, select the option “2) Add effects” and then apply all the effects you want on it. You will be able to see, edit, and delete the effects applied to a certain image in the “Applied Effects” section.
In addition, you can preview the result in the right section of the program and decide if you like it or need to continue working on the photograph.
3. Work on transitions between clips
As you know, in any presentation, the way you switch from one image to another is called a transition.
PhotoStage, by default, applies the same transition to all photos, but if you want to vary any of these transitions you have to follow these steps: select the photo whose transition you want to change, click on the option “3) Add Transitions”, select the transition you want to apply, choose the duration of the transition and finally click on “Apply”.
After the transition has been edited, you can see on the clip “reel” that the transition image has changed andthe selected transition time is also displayed below it.
4. Add narratives
If you want your slideshow to already include a narration describing each of the photographs and you don’t even have to talk when showing it to your friends, this is the option you should choose.
The application will allow you to record the clip and, when the recording is finished, insert it in the place of the presentation you want. Extremely simple and very useful, as I said, if you want the presentation of photos to be completely autonomous.
5. Record your presentation in the format you need
If you followed the 4 steps above, you would already be able to generate the presentation in the format you want. That’s what the 5th step is for.
However, my advice is to preview the presentation first to make sure you agree with the result (“Preview”), then save the project via the “Save” option.
Once this is done, you can choose between the output options (CD / DVD, Computer file, a portable device like iPod, Image sequence, Youtube, Flash, etc.), Define the output format, the resolution, and, finally, the number of frames per second.
Once you have chosen this, simply press “Save Presentation” and wait for the presentation to be generated. Ah! and go make popcorn to enjoy the “movie”
Try it! And if you like it, buy it!
If you find it interesting and want to try it, it’s very simple. You just need to go to the PhotoStage Presentation page and get the evaluation version (which is a fully functional version).
And, if after having done the tests you deem appropriate, you think it’s worth it, buy it for $ 29.90 (about 22 euros, at current exchange rates). After a couple of days of testing, I ended up buying it and for now, I’m more than satisfied.
Do you have the courage? Do you prefer another application for this purpose? What’s your advice for anyone who doesn’t know which presentation software to choose? You know, we want to hear what you think!
Of course, there is no excuse for not preparing a photo slideshow as God intended with Photostage Slideshow.