Sending a holiday photo to family and friends has become a yearly tradition for many of us, who shoot it ourselves using a high-end camera such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7K SLR-like, $1,000, an inexpensive basic subcompact, such as the Nikon Coolpix S6500, $180, or even a smart phone or tablet.
But why settle for just one photo? Impress everyone with a multimedia slideshow (which is actually a short video file) instead. Here's one I created to demonstrate what you can achieve in a relatively short amount of time, about two or three hours. I used photo-organizing and -editing software, Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 to create the slideshow and Apple's Garageband iPad app to record an original song, “Holiday Photo Blues,” which I wrote just for the occasion!
Like most software, Photoshop Elements includes lots of tools and settings for things suchh as changing the speed at which images scroll by and the length and type of transitions between images. You can make your slideshow as simple or sophisticated as you want. For instance, at the beginning of my slide show, a photo seems to disintegrate as another materializes to take its place. In other instances, it looks as if one image is pushed off the screen by another or a pinwheel effect is used between two photos.
There are other effects that I chose not to use: I didn't use the "apply pan & zoom to all slides" feature. In this setting, the software will either zoom in or zoom out a little bit on each photo, which adds additional movement to the slideshow. It's the sort of effect that the film maker Ken Burns often uses in his documentaries when presenting old photographs.