Make a Lightroom Slideshow in Five Minutes

Geoff shows you how to quickly and easily put together an impressive image slideshow in Lightroom


One of the joys of Lightroom is its versatility, a good example being how easy the software makes it to create slideshows from your stills and video.

Slideshows of great images always catch people’s attention, particularly if you add some nice music, and they can be a great calling card for anyone who sells their photography commercially. I know several wedding photographers who make quick slideshows of some of that day’s wedding shots to show at the evening reception as a taster, and everyone loves it (often leading to new bookings.

Alternatively, you could quickly and easily post some slideshows of your images up on your Facebook page.

The newer versions of Lightroom enable you to add a professional pan and zoom effect, and sync slides to a multi-song soundtrack, but these bells and whistles aside, the core slideshow-creation tool is as easy to use as it always has been. Here’s a quick guide to how to make a Lightroom slideshow, in about the same time it takes to make yourself a snack.


1. Select images


In the Library module of Lightroom, select your photos in the Grid view or Filmstrip. Selecting images from the Lightroom Catalog can be a bit fiddly if you have a lot of photos in there, so it’s often easier to add the images you want to use in the slideshow to a special folder, or Collection (create a new Collection from the panel on the left, using +). Give the folder a name for easy reference.


Make a Lightroom Slideshow in Five Minutes


2. Arrange the Filmstrip


Now, click the Slideshow module (top of the main window, to the right). Up pops the workspace for creating slideshows, and your images in the relevant Collection folder should be ready to work on. The first job is to set the order of the images that will make the slideshow. Look at the bottom left of the screen and you will see a mini filmstrip – it can be hard to spot. With the images unselected, simply drag them into the desired order. Or, you can tick the Random box and allow Lightroom to shuffle the playback for you.


Make a Lightroom Slideshow in Five Minutes


3. Templates and custom text


On the left side of the Slideshow workspace (under the thumbnail image window), you’ll notice the Template Browser, which enables you to pick a particular style. The choice is not particularly great, so as our five minutes is ticking down, we stick with the Default choice. If you look back over to the right of the Slideshow workspace, however, you can see a wide range of customisation options. You can add a caption, for instance, or change the background colour. You can also add overlays to slides, and a music track stored on your computer – simply click ‘Select Music’ from the Playback panel (pull the sliders down if you can’t see it). Make sure you have the rights to the music if you intend to distribute the slideshow in the public domain, or for commercial gain.


Make a Lightroom Slideshow in Five Minutes


Make a Lightroom Slideshow in Five Minutes


4. Preview and Export


We’re almost done, so to preview the slideshow, simply click the Preview button in the lower-right corner of the Slideshow workspace to see it play in the Slideshow Editor view. Click the Play button to play the slideshow in full-screen mode. If the slides are running too fast or too slowly, adjust in the customisation options as necessary. To save your slideshow so it can be shared, click the Export Video or Export PDF button in the lower-left corner of the Slideshow workspace. We’ve saved our slideshow at 720p HD for better playback quality, but choose a lower resolution for quick sharing on social media or for slow connections.


Make a Lightroom Slideshow in Five Minutes


About the Author

Geoff is an experienced photography journalist and recently stepped down as editor of Digital Camera, the UK’s best-selling photography magazine. He now writes for a range of publications. Geoff is a keen travel and portrait photographer, and a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society. 


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