Will Crockett always makes me think in new ways. I follow him because he understands customers.

Admiration for a simple approach.  Most photographers I know love to complicate a process.  We have all kinds of slogans like, "K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid" but in the end we always look for the process that has, at least, the promise of perfection...if only we can grind down into the details and master it.  But that isn't always what our clients are looking for.  And, truth be told, it's not always what suits us best.

I've always been interested in creating slideshows and kinetic presentations that blend images and video but I've always been put off by the "official" methods of creating them "at the highest levels."  There are times when having to have the best or coolest of everything just makes a process a lot less fun. And if it's too much drudgery you reconcile yourself to waiting until a paying client pokes you with a sharp stick until your actually learn a new technique.

But then, out of the blue, my old friend, Will Crockett, sent me a copy of a DVD he'd just done.  That's a scan of it, above.  The program is aimed at amateurs and even beginner pros.  A lot of the DVD deals with what you can do with smaller cameras and micro four thirds system cameras.  And, guess what???  Will also thinks that because clients ARE demanding "blended" products (video and still images ) the lighting of the future seems to be...LED's.  Wow.  How about that?  (I know, I know, you just love your strobes to death and you have absolutely no interest in video.....)

The video shows, from simple to "better," how to put your images into a moving video program, complete with music and effects = for free.  And then it takes you through the ways you can share the video or use it in your business.  It's really an eye opener for me.  I've been struggling to master Final Cut Pro X but I tossed together eight or ten images in the space of five minutes and, with a website called, Animoto, I made and uploaded a fun little video.  The video costs around $40 and you might know lots of stuff that's on there already but it's a pretty good overview of what you need to know to get started if you are trying to create fun products for yourself or your clients without committing to the major time sink of full bore video production.

Here's my first attempt with some downtown Austin photos.  All videos  under 30 seconds are free on Animoto.


Will this revolutionize my world? Naw.  But it opened my eyes to all the free and low cost services out there that can help me share video and still images with friends and clients.  And I have to thank Will for that.  He does a great job explaining technical stuff and his websites are a treasure trove of common sense stuff.  If you want esoteric, look somewhere else.


  1. Kirk:

    The video finished and I looked at the scroll bar, saw 30 seconds, and thought I missed something..I am stunned at how well that held my attention and that it seemed only a few seconds long...

    Very powerful tool!

  2. And "cheap as free." Thanks for the feedback.

  3. What a fun video. Was cool to see that you could put this together in just a few minutes.

  4. I love Animoto for creating fast videos to share with family - I just wish they'd accept AVCHD from my GH2 :)

    1. Here is a short Animoto example of my son when he was just first standing up. A good example of how much control you do have in Animoto, even though the system is rigid in terms of clip length, etc... would have taken me a lot longer in Premiere Elements ! http://animoto.com/play/ht6SYk8H20Kj00I71CJeWw


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