2. ORGANIZE THE PICTURES
I started with my thousands of digital photos. Photo
Gallery divides the screen into 4 sections: a central
photo thumbnail viewing pane called List View, a
Navigation Tree on the left, a photo Info Pane on the
right, and a Media Player-type Navigation Bar control
panel at the bottom (Figure A). This allows you to
organize and sort photos using properties called Tags.
Tags are like group names and are easily created
by selecting the Add Tags button in the photo info
pane. I created the 2006 DVD tag and 14 subcategory
tags representing the major events of the year:
Canyon Ridge Fire
Canyon Ridge Utilities
Tara’s 16th Birthday
Florida Keys Sailing
I nested all 14 subcategory tags into 2006 DVD by
simply dragging them to that tag, as if I were dragging files into a folder.
66 Make: Volume 12
I wanted for the DVD, and tagged them to 2006 DVD
by selecting Add Tags ⇒ 2006 DVD in the Info Pane
on the right (Figure B).
Next, I clicked the 2006 DVD tag in the Navigation
Tree on the left side and displayed those 1,287 images.
I also applied the other 14 tags to the corresponding
pictures by Ctrl-clicking pictures and selecting
Add Tags followed by the appropriate tag in the
This sounds complex, but it was easy to do since
most pictures were already in large chronological
groups. When the tagging was finished, I changed
the grouping by selecting Thumbnail ⇒ Group By ⇒
Tag, Descending. This put all the various tagged
groups together (they had been in different chunks
because 3 of the groups were taken around the
same time with different cameras), and in chronological order within each group. Now I was ready to
import these groups of photos into Windows Movie
Maker to design individual slide shows.
3. DESIGN A SLIDE SHOW
Most people think that good design stands out.
I disagree; good design is like a transparent window
revealing the subject, which in a slide show consists
of the people or places in your photographs.
Good slide shows are also about emotion and
imagination. They involve art more than technology.
Keep it simple: good pictures and music. As the
architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe famously said,
“Less is more.” Simplicity is elegant. This was important to bear in mind when I used Windows Movie
Maker since it has so many tempting features,
which should be used with restraint.
Movie Maker divides its screen into 4 sections
(Figure C). At the top center is the content pane,
where audio/video/photo media Collections can
be imported with the Import Media button. This
content pane is also used to display Effects and
Transitions. At top right is the Preview pane, like a