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Old January 8th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 71
Montage Preferences?


I have 120 4x6 prints that I want to create a montage with.

I was planning on setting up the video camera and shooting 10 second clips of each print (20 minutes total) and editing transitions etc in Premiere. Seems much faster than scanning each one.

I use the camera on a tripod beside a table with a 30 degree inclined board covered with a black velvet fabric for shooting the clips, keeping the camera angle at 90 degrees to the photo. Using the remote I can get good video clips of each image. It is fast to switch the photos in and out while the camera is paused. I have PSD images to drop in as well.

Question 1: Is there any advantages/drawbacks to this in comparison to scanned images done in Photoshop Elements 4.0...which really makes it easy to create a slideshow.
I was also going to try my hand at creating a few special effects with some of the photos in After Effects, but this part is just an aside if I have the time.

Question 2: What is the best lense/filter setup for this type of shoot? I would like to reduce any glare there might be.
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Old January 8th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Green Bay, WI
Posts: 73
my 2 cents.

Scanning for me has proved to be a waste of time, so has using a camcorder to get 10 seconds worth of video on each photo.

Prior to actually executing the following steps, I shoot tests, write down all settings that work and use them consistantly.

My process is as follows, depending on what the customer needs/wants.

Easy quick method - Copy stand, black velvet, tripod and digital still camera. Shoot all photos, import into anyone of your desired programs, set up the time duration per slide, put in your transitions. Time it, add your music, time it again, preview, make changes then export. Voilla you got yourself a slide show in probably a half hour tops. I usually post the preview to the web for the customer to preview. After minor changes are made. I finish the job up and send it out.

Timing, well if you want to add the "Ken Burns" effect or fill a certain time frame then work your desired timing out that way. My rule of thumb is 5-8 seconds max per picture. If you go too long, you lost the audience. Don't just add PS Elements or other graphix to fill time, cause it'll show. Fulfilling the meaning of what the customer is trying to convey is the key. Montages are meant to evoke feelings of happiness, joy, sadness, not boredom, confusion, anger or bouts of narcolepsy (the uncontrollable urge to fall asleep).

Scanning photos is time consuming, and people often make the mistake of scanning because they things its so much better. Well it can be if you can afford to take the time. So many I've seen say well I scan at 1400 dpi - blah blah blah. I could put a 1400 dpi and a 72 dpi scanned photo next to each other on a tv screen and you wont see a difference. At least not in my humble opinion. I believe every project needs to be reverse engineered, ask yourself what is the desired result. Don't scan super hi rez for screen. It's always 72dpi. Bit depth is a different story. If you going for print then scan for print.

I just do what works for me and makes the customer happy, because in the end, thats what matters - the customer!
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