Creating Slideshows In Adobe Lightroom

One feature that I don’t talk about much in Lightroom but is pretty quick and easy is the slideshow feature. Besides cataloging your images and developing them Lightroom also offers many ways to export your work to be viewed by your clients. One option they offer is creating slideshows. It’s pretty easy so lets jump into how to create one!

First choose your folder or collection you want to create a slideshow from and then head over to the slideshows tab in Lightroom. You will see a preview of the first slide in the center of the screen and all of your options on the right. Starting on the left you have some pre made temples from Lightroom that you can start with. For this example i’ll start with the default template and customize it from there.

Lightroom Slideshows

Before customizing the layout and settings of the slideshow you can adjust the order of the images by simply dragging and dropping images from the bottom filmstrip to the order you would like. There is one side note to this, if you are using a collection or a folder that has subfolders as the source you won’t be able to rearrange the images here. This will only work if your source is all in one folder. Now that we have the order set we can start to customize the slideshow. On the right there are many different options you have, i’ll cover the important ones here:

Lightroom Slideshows2

– Zoom to fill frame – When this is selected your image will fill the entire frame of the screen. Since all TV’s are horizontal when you have a vertical image it crops the image heavily to fit into the screen. I’ll normally leave this box unchecked so my images will fit the height of the screen only, for vertical shots there will just be a black border on the sides.

– Stroke Border – Here you can set the stroke (line around the image) to be any color or size. Since the theme I am using is set against a black border I like the clean look of not having a border to distract so will leave this unchecked.

– Cast Shadow – If you have a background that isn’t black and want to have a drop shadow behind the imagine this will allow you to customize the settings of a shadow.

– Show Guides – This is a really important part of your slideshows. The guides are not just lines for your reference but will control the size of your image since they will determine the size of your images. Try clicking and dragging on a guide and you will see the image inside it adjust along with the guide. If you unselect this box the guides will be hidden but the images still constrained by the guides. You can either manually click and drag the guides to adjust the size or use the sliders in the menu to adjust the left, right, top and bottom. One thing to remember if you have a single image you have selected in the thumbnails and are adjusting a guide this will only impact that one image. If you want all images to match this just click on the “Link all” button at the bottom of the show guides box.

After you have the main settings all set you can also create a intro and ending title under the Titles section on the right.

Lightroom Slideshows4

Here you can set either a plain color by clicking on the color box to bring up a color picker or click the box to use your Lightroom Identity Plate. This is a great spot to include your logo to start and end the slideshow.

That gives you a basic overview of the main settings in Lightroom for your slideshows. Next we will adjust the playback options.

Setting the playback options for your Lightroom Slideshow

Once you have customized the slideshow appearance you will want to set the options for playback. At the very bottom of the right hand menu bar you will see a Playback section.

Lightroom Slideshows3

First you can select a soundtrack for the slideshow. Just check the box for Soundtrack and click the select music box to find a music file. Lightroom can play these types of files .mp3, .m4a, or .m4b. If you want to adjust the slides to the music you can click on the “Fit to Music” button.

You can also select the duration of the images by adjusting the slider for “Slides”. The “Fades” slider will let you adjust the time of the fade transition between images. If you want to create a transitional fade with a color between slides just select the checkbox for “Color” below Fades, and then choose a color from the pop-up window.

There also is a button to randomize the order of your slides and to repeat if needed. That’s it! A pretty quick way to setup a simple slideshow for your clients. If you have any questions remember to always leave a comment at the bottom of the page, I love to hear from you.

I am also working on some more detailed overviews on what you can do to further customize a slideshow, so check back soon!

Setting the Slideshow Background in Lightroom (coming soon)

Adding Overlays To Slideshows In Lightroom

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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  1. Informative post Mark. I’ve used the Slide Show feature in Lightroom a few times for events. It gets the job done. However, one improvement I would like to see is Slide Movement. Whether it be a Ken Burns effect or some manual controls, in my experiences adding that little bit a movement is a minor feature that has a big affect on the client. What are your thoughts?

  2. Mark, I am really interested in hearing about adding the overlay.

    Donl’t forget to tell your audience that after they have the slide show all set up to their liking, they can add it as a preset to save time on the next show.


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