I’m moving my way up quite a few learning curves (when you aren’t, you’re dead!) and have uploaded a slideshow to YouTube.  You can see it here, 9 minutes, 70 images. (Permanent link in left sidebar.)

It consists of the black and white images from What We Hold In Our Hands: a Slow Road Reader that you may have already seen. What this has going for it are slide transitions (still studying works best for different kinds of images) and background music (which is not going to do for the long term as it is copyrighted. I’m looking for local replacements, with credits. Ideas?) I may someday elaborate on this, cut the number of images, slow it all down a couple of notches, add voice narration with some snippets from the book and some ambient sounds.

Slow Roads
Slow Roads

I have a twenty minute color slideshow (including the Child in Nature photos of the g-daughters) with some built-in pauses (text frames with nature quotes, etc) where I can interject some conversation, readings from the book(s), and such. Still working on the logistics there but it can stand alone or serve as the basis for shorter cuts. The hard part is the long left-hand tail of the curve where mistakes and retakes abound.That was the past 48 hours.

The other piece of the puzzle is the operation of the digital projector (ViewSonic PJ557D) and it’s interaction with the laptop (MacBook) and the software (Fotomagico Home version.) It took a few false starts last night staging the first mock-program against the wall in the ANNex. I have to have it work seamlessly, predictably and with a minimum of stress hormones or hiccups. Somewhere to the right hand of the curve, that will happen.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. While I thoroughly enjoyed this, it may be a tad lengthy for the general public. I loved the music, especially THE SIMPLE GIFTS. The pics were great as well. It might be nice to have some voice in parts where there are insects and such. You have access to lots of musical talent where you are located. I’ll bet some would be willing to work with you on the music piece. I’ll bet, also, it was fun learning how to do this.

  2. I will use this kind of voiceless slide show for background images and motion only, not for sitting to view in its entirety–set up in the lobby of a library, etc, before or after a presentation. If used as part of the presentation, I’ll use color images (which were prohibitively expensive to include in a book) as interludes between readings and conversation with folks from and about the books. And I have some leads on local music of the appropriate mood and pace.