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Monday, 22 April 2013

Digital Photo Presentations

For some time I've been intending to transfer my old slide shows to digital presentations, and create some new ones.  I'm pleased to say that I've started!  My first move was to buy a digital projector, the best I could afford for projection of photographs.  There is a bewildering array of choices, and I found an online specialised seller that I could phone and get advice from.

The second step was to start creating slide shows.  I already have one digital presentation which I created years ago, A Passion for Colour, which was done in PowerPoint, and it took quite a lot of time to build.  This time I needed to be able to build "My Journey As A Quilter" in two days. So how to go about it? Solution:  do it on my iPad using Apple's Keynote programme (available from the App Store). I already had it, so I started by reading the instructions and found them very intuitive.

I had to make sure that the photos I wanted to use were actually in the iPad, so I transferred them from my computer, which in any case is an Apple one. Then I built my new presentation.

If you depend on other people's projectors, and have a PC rather than an Apple computer, the Keynote presentation can be saved as a PowerPoint one, and transferred from iPad to computer via iTunes. Once downloaded into the computer,  it can be saved, and then burnt onto a CD, or transferred to a data stick, or shown directly from your PC.

But the best and easiest way is to simply connect the iPad to the projector. For that, you will need a special cable, as the iPad does not have the same plugs and sockets that the projector cable has.  There are various alternatives for different connection systems, but the one I bought is an "iPad to VGA" cable.  I plug the VGA end to the projector's connecting cable, the iPad end to the iPad, and then plug the other end of the combined cable system to the projector.  Turn everything on, and hey presto! the projection starts.

I had also had great fun playing with the transitions between slides.

Now I've got to create some more shows. I can see possibilities for workshop use too.  I take my iPad to classes to show students various photos, but taking the projector will be even better.  It is very light (I chose a portable one) and fits neatly in a carrying bag with all its cables.

I recommend giving this system a try!

Thanks for reading!



  1. Sounds fascinating, Alicia. Are you allowed to tell us what projector you bought?? Cheers, Judith

  2. It is a BenQ MX518, from They are very helpful and knowledgeable, and their website is most informative. Have a good look at the website first, there are a lot of explanations of what things mean and what they are useful for. Write down your criteria, and then select a small number of possible projectors within the parameters and your budget. Then phone them and they'll help you refine your choice.