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Creating The Eagle Slide Show

This tutorial describes the creation of the  Eagle Movie which may be viewed by clicking on its Icon.

The photography and show production where done by Russell Pickering, a well known nature photographer and photo guide.  He is also the the author of this tutorial. 

Photographic and Location Information

These images were shot on the North Fork of the Shoshone River in the Shoshone National Forest about 27 miles east of the east gate of Yellowstone National Park. The carcass in the river was a ram or mountain sheep. That series represents approximately 50 hours of sitting in the bushes over 7 days. The eagles would make one or  two runs a day at unpredictable times. I actually had to leave my truck 3 miles away and be in the blind by sunrise to get in undetected. Their vision is 4x better than 20/20 and they monitor prey for hours before committing to a feeding. There were entire days where they never showed at all after 9 hours of sitting.
It was shot with a Canon 10D in RAW mode. I used a Canon 75-300 Image stabilized lens with the series being shot on the 300mm end of that. It was entirely on a tripod. The frame rate for the series shots was 3fps for a burst of 9 shots.

Creating the Show in ImageMatics PE

The first step is to prepare a project folder for the show to keep things organized. I usually put all of the show images into an image folder within the project folder. With  PE you can insert images from any location on your computer if you wish to add to the show as you go.

The ImageMatics PE program also automatically resizes and formats the images for you. I recommend using images that all have the same aspect ratio. This will ensure edge-to-edge coverage in the final output. If you show the movie with a  different aspect the ratio then that or  your images you’ll have border space around your displayed movie.  Setting the Movie Background color to the background color of your web page or player alleviates this consideration.


When you open PE it will present you with a Quick-Start screen as shown in Screen Shot 1. Select the ‘Create a new show from a folder’ option and direct the program to your image folder.


This creates an instant show. Screen Shot 2 is what you will then see in PE's Slide Sorter View. PE's  slide sorter interface  lets you drag photos into the order you want them to play as well as delete, copy and paste.

If you double-click on a slide, you’ll have options for customizing the parameters of that slide in a variety of ways as in Screen Shot 3. Selecting the Transition tab lets you customize your transition type and display time. The Show tab controls how long the slide is displayed and whether you want it to be still or pan/zoom.

The Edit tab lets you  crop, resize and adjust the brightness and contrast of individual slides. The Label tab supports annotation and  text overlay into the slide.

The Sound (Slide Sound) tab let you add sound to individual slides such as the eagle screech at the end of  show.  Additionally, narration can be added that automatically synchronizes the slide duration to the sound byte.

PE’s interface allows extensive creative control on individual slides as well as the entire slide show.

To create the animated “claymation”  effects on the eagle flying and landing I used extremely short times on the transitions which are controllable to a tenth of a second if desired.

To create animated sequences as I have done here your camera should be securely mounted on a tripod. 

The other effects where created by experimenting with timing and transition selection. I strove to keep the visual action in synchronicity with my selected background  background music which added drama to the captured visual event..

PE can use .wav and .mp3 in either mono or stereo. You can control the file size by choosing the music compression within the program. I used the default of medium size and quality in this show.

The Slide Show Properties window in Screen Shot 4 is where you set properties that affect the entire show rather than individual slides. You can set the image size and quality as well as other display features. The Sound and Title tabs are self explanatory.

For this show, I relied on the default compression, frame rate and background settings. I did choose a custom movie size to ensure a match with my image's aspect ratio for edge-to-edge coverage.

Remembering to save my work as I created the slide show was one of the is one message I want to convey in this tutorial. I used Save As under the File Menu to create different stages of my show as it progressed. 

Once I was satisfied with my slide show the final step is to publish the show in the format and media you desire.

The Publish selection shown in Screen Shot 5 shows you your publishing options. For the purposes of our show, we’ll save it as a Flash File (SWF) which I can now add to an exiting web page.

My Eagle show is now complete. Visit the Photo Safari America Web Site for more great nature and outdoor photography.



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