Nightscapes – showcase your photos in a movie

Now that you have created your nightscapes you might like to share them with friends. One way that you can do this is to package them up into a short movie. With a movie you can enhance the viewing of the images with music that helps create the mood that you want to convey. The above video was created with iMovie as that comes standard with my computer.
Before creating the movie and importing your photos it is important to check out the default options associated with loading still pictures into a video program. iMovie for example will display a photo for 4 seconds by default. It will allow a transition time of up to just under half the time a photo is displayed. Think about how many images you want to show and how long you want the movie to be. Give some consideration to the transition between images too. You can simply just swap from one to another or use one of your programs special effects for transitioning.
I wanted to do a ‘cross-dissolve’ between images and allow enough time for the viewer to experience the transition so set the transition time to 3 seconds. I also set the photo viewing time to default to 8 seconds (this avoids changing it later for each photo).

To do this in iMovie I did the following:

  • In iMovie select ‘File–>New Movie then enter the name of the movie to create it.
  • On the ‘Window’ menu select ‘Movie Properties’
  • Press the Settings button
  • Set the ‘Clips’ time to 8 seconds
  • Set the ‘Transitions’ time to 3 seconds
  • Import the photos by pressing the + (import) button and selecting the images I wanted.

You then select the images and drag them to the timeline in the order that you want.

Select all, then go to Edit–>Add Cross Dissolve to add the transition effect.

By default, iMovie displays photos using the ‘Ken Burns’ effect.  This effect does a slight zoom in or zoom out when showing the photo which can convey a sense of movement.  You can control this by going into the Adjust menu then selecting the Crop button.  There is an option under that which allows you to adjust the amount of the effect.  In this movie I kept to the defaults which just performs a small amount of zooming.

To add audio go to the iTunes menu and select the music you want.  Remember to ensure that you have the rights to play the music if you are publishing or sharing in a public manner.  http://www.purple-planet.com is a great source of royalty free music and is where I found the track that I have used.  You will need to acknowledge them in the movie by inserting the link to their site.

Once you have done that all you need to do is File–>Share and share to the place you want your friends etc to view the video and you are done.

If you would like to share your movie please leave a link in the comments for this blog or in the comments area for this video on Youtube.

Please note that the above video runs for several minutes.  It is meant to be viewed by readers who are interested in experiencing the types of images that can be taken using the techniques outlined in previous articles and how they can be enhanced through music and video editing.

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