Joe and Mary Ann McDonald's

Wildlife Photography

August 2005

Tip of the Month

ProShow GOLD
Digital Slide Program

Recently, at our tri-annual Kenya-Tanzania Safari Reunion, several of our past safari participants displayed their work in an exceptionally arresting fashion. They did slide shows, and, instead of using my old stand-by, Microsoft's PowerPoint, they obviously used something different ... something that really stood out. Each time another presenter did his or her slide show and it was different, and arresting, and exceptional in its presentation, we received the same answer to 'what program was that? what program did you use?' In every case, the answer was Photodex's ProShow Gold.

I was extremely impressed, and ordered a copy as soon as the weekend concluded. While I'll go into some of the how-to's of using ProShow Gold in a future Tip's column, let me quickly itemize a few of the features that make the program very attractive. One, the price is only $69.95, and there is a free download trial that you will allow you to test the program and see if it fits your needs. Two, although I've not availed myself of it, the users at our Reunion said tech support was very good. Three, the timing went very smoothly, and the addition of some motion for some effects -- IF NOT OVERDONE -- were very effect.

Other computers do not need ProShow Gold to play a slide show. On our last Digital Complete Nature Photo Course, two students had CDs with their program burned in, and by simply clicking the show played. That's convenient.

The last statement is so important, regardless of the slide show program you use. One that I suffered through years ago incorporated virtually every transition effect that that particular slide program had to offer. After only a few minutes the audience was no longer watching the slides but instead were simply wondering, and sometimes cringing with anticipation, exactly what the next transition would be. The effects took control of the program, and the effect of the images was lost. So ... go easy on transitions and effects in every case. Remember, to you, the first time you try and effect it's often a 'gee-whiz' kind of thing, but after a bit it won't be, especially to your audience that can quickly become jaded.

At any rate, check it out for yourself. The download costs you nothing and I think you'll agree it's a pretty powerful and useful program for producing digital slideshows. Visit their site at or email at (800) 37-PHOTO.

Later this month Photodex will also be offering a 'professional' and very high powered slide show program called 'Presenter.' Details about the program are, or will be, available on their website, but if you are a pro who sells slide shows (for example, a slide show produced from a wedding or party shoot), this is one to drool over.


Our Past Photo Tips of the Month:


  DIGITAL- Digital Birding

 DIGITAL -Shoot for the Future

DIGITAL-Shoot for the Future, Part II

 Capture 1's Most Useful Features

maximizing depth of field digitally

  Backing Up Your Digital Files - you'll need more than you think

 DIGITAL Photographing scenes with extreme exposure values

 NPN- Nature Photography Network - a digital forum for nature photography

 Digital Pro Image Management Software

 Watch Your Backgrounds
The potential of composites or shooting in RAW format

 A Great Website for Information - the Singapore Nature Photography Society

 Save Your Equipment from Crashing!

 The L-Bracket, the ultimate camera bumper

At the Pulse of Life
by Fritz Polking

 Carry Your Gear!

 Ask Questions
Before You Go

 Seize the Moment!

Geared Focusing Rail for Macro Work 

 Protecting your long lens from SAND, the pleasures of beach photography

 How do we protect our gear from dust, and carry our gear when on safari

 The Ultimate Flash Bracket
Padding Your Wimberley
Tripod Head

  Specular highlights and the flashing frog
 Using TTL flash with Hummingbirds  Testing your Flash's Aim
Maximum Depth of Field and Hyperfocal Distance - they're not the same thing!  If you see it, it's too late -- a lesson in anticipation  How do you shoot the Moon?
  Low level tripod work  A great depth of field guide  Wimberley 400 and 600mm IS plate

 Sigma's 120-300mm F2.8 APO HSM zoom lens

 Using The Wimberley Gimbal head with a camera body

 Sigma's 120-300 f2.8 APO
zoom telephoto lens

 Custom Function 4-1 for Nikon and Canon shooters

 Sighting in a very, very long lens
 The Nature Photography Network - a super website for images and information
  Take a Workshop First   Luck, what is it?  Don't take in baby wild animals

  Airline Carry-On Luggage -Let your concerns be heard!

 Disconnect -- travel precautions

Photograph America Newsletter
 Wildlife Portraiture

 Obey the Rules
The Ti Chi Stalk
Photographing Critically Endangered Sites Bushnell Night Vision Optics  Adobe Photoshop 7 for $300

 The Sibley Bird Guides

 Removing Cactus Spines

 Drying out boots with newspaper

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