Photo slideshow on a 16:9 HDTV
Posted on 13 Sep ’12 by Earl Moore
I’ve been working on a slideshow of my best photos from our recent Italy trip for after dinner enjoyment with the friends we travelled with. Normally I try and not bore people with vacation photos but when the audience is made up of those who experienced the same trip/locations it can be fun remembering and recalling stories around the photos.
I’ve decided it would work best to use my iPad and AppleTV to display these photos on our LCD TV using Airplay. This allows a smooth slideshow, with a music background, but also gives me the option, from my chair, to stop the slidewhow and focus on a specific photo if need be.
Getting a photo slideshow on the HDTV was easy…getting it to look good has been much more difficult. While most of my photos are a 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratio the HDTV is 16:9. With a standard slideshow not all of the screen can be utilized leaving wide black areas on either side of displayed landscape oriented photos — resulting in a smaller display.
There are a couple of slideshow options, Ken Burns effect or Zoom to fit, which use all the screen but also do a virtual 16:9 crop of the photo dead center. Since for visual interest sake I try not to always photograph the main subject dead-center these options were not acceptable — however, I did love that use of the full screen.
What I’ve finally settled on is going through all slideshow photos and doing a manual 16:9 crop for those it’s acceptable on. This way I can decide where the crop will fall so as to not lose the essence of the photo. Surprisingly, I’ve been able to re-crop 80%+ of the landscape oriented photos with what I judge to be good results and a few have surprised me by perhaps being better at that ratio.
A lot of extra work re-cropping was made simple in Adobe Lightroom. In the Develop mode I selected my first slideshow landscape oriented photo, selected the cropping overlay and set the aspect ratio to 16:9. Once I finished positioning the new crop I performed a copy (CMD/CTL C) of only the aspect ratio and without leaving the cropping tool I selected my next landscape oriented photo. I then pasted (CMD/CTL V) of the 16:9 aspect crop and positioned it to best advantage — on to the next photo, assess it, and another paste/positioning if warranted. It went quickly.
On photos which are portrait or landscape oriented but cannot “survive” the more extreme 16:9 aspect ratio the blank screen on either side of the photo will be tolerated.
I’m certainly open to anyone that has a better idea/workflow on how to utilize the full screen of a 16:9 HDTV for a photo slideshow.