FROM THE TUSTIN NEWS, THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2005


THE DOC IS IN...

Two-year quest is finally over

The DVD disk slid into the player on top of my television set and in a moment the title of my slideshow blossomed forth on the screen. I pressed the “play” button on the remote, the music started and the title seamlessly transitioned into the first photograph in my presentation. Possibly my two year quest for a DVD slide show was over.

I have been trying to find one single program that would allow me to put together photographs from my digital camera into a slide show with added titles, background music, transitions and other effects. This may not seem like much of a trick. There are dozens of computer programs, many of them free downloads, that will produce very nice slide shows with all the effects I desire. When these are played on the computer screen they look very impressive. The problem has been in transferring these slide shows to a DVD so that they can be played on a regular television set.

Who cares? Good question. Recently digital camera sales outpaced film cameras as more and more people started to take part in digital photography. Digital video cameras also are becoming very popular.

The question becomes what to do with all these digital images? It is so easy to shoot and save that our computer hard drives are filling up with still images and videos. We have great image manipulation programs like Adobe Photoshop Elements that allow us to correct lighting and colors, add effects and remove imperfections. We can show the finished product on the computer screen or make very nice prints on our color printers. But what if we want to share our handiwork with others?

A lot of us take one or two of these images and email them. But how about sharing all fifty images from our last vacation? These are too many to email. Our friends might love the pictures but hate us for making them wait through a two hour download. Of course, we simply could copy the individual images to a compact disk and send this along. But what if we want to be a little more creative?

The answer I found is Adobe Premiere Elements, a new editing and burning program from the graphics people at Adobe. This program will allow us to produce either a still image slide show or a video production with all the effects that I have been looking for. More importantly, when finished, it will burn the production onto a DVD suitable for playing in standard DVD players and shown on television screens. Premiere Elements is not to be confused with Photoshop Elements. These are separate programs with different purposes. Both programs have easy screens to follow and both are a little expensive, but they have lots of neat features. Check MicroCenter or Amazon for price and availability.

You might not be into image editing and DVD burning yet, but one of these days you might think it’s time to do something with all your accumulated images. I’m having a ball putting many of my images into slide show form with music and effects and viewing them on my television. I might even get around to sending a finished DVD to my sister so she can see the pictures of her last visit.

If you would like to hear more about Adobe Premiere or other computer topics, visit “Coffee and Computers” at the Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 S. ‘C’ Street, any Friday morning starting at 9 a.m. Bring your questions or just come in and visit.

In the mean time, keep the neurons happy, synapses snapping and enjoy computing.

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Dr. Art Holub is a long time resident of Tustin and teaches computer and Internet courses at the Tustin Area Senior Center and the Tustin Adult School. Visit his web site at: www.arholub.com. This column is written to address the computer adventures and concerns of older adults. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future columns, Email HIM at: doc@arholub.com.


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