PowerPoint: Using Photos and Video Effectively for Great Presentations
Illustration by Neil Webb

PowerPoint: Using Photos and Video Effectively for Great Presentations

with Richard Harrington

Video: Welcome

You've heard me mention the term stock photography.
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  1. 1m 38s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 28m 4s
    1. Why use photos in a presentation?
      1m 59s
    2. Aesthetic recommendation when choosing images
      7m 54s
    3. Technical requirements for presentation images
      3m 14s
    4. Using stock photography
      7m 52s
    5. Sources for free images
      4m 19s
    6. Copyright essentials for presenters
      2m 46s
  3. 11m 27s
    1. Using the ribbon to browse content
      2m 17s
    2. Browsing online
      4m 39s
    3. Browsing photos and video
      3m 16s
    4. Organizing media
      1m 15s
  4. 13m 37s
    1. Using the Insert command
      2m 39s
    2. Dragging and dropping images
      1m 39s
    3. Copying and pasting images
      2m 32s
    4. Using screenshots
      4m 23s
    5. Inserting a photo album
      2m 24s
  5. 18m 12s
    1. Using Corrections commands
      3m 28s
    2. Using Recolor commands
      3m 8s
    3. Using Artistic Effects
      2m 47s
    4. Creating background images
      3m 36s
    5. Reusing an effect
      2m 56s
    6. Compressing pictures
      2m 17s
  6. 12m 42s
    1. Cropping an image
      4m 7s
    2. Cropping with a shape
      2m 15s
    3. Adjusting an image within a crop
      2m 19s
    4. Straightening a photo
      4m 1s
  7. 14m 7s
    1. Using embedded transparency
      2m 31s
    2. Removing a background
      2m 59s
    3. Adding transparency with Photoshop
      4m 59s
    4. Adding transparency with Photoshop Elements
      3m 38s
  8. 7m 55s
    1. Designing with a grid
      3m 10s
    2. Using photo-oriented themes
      4m 45s
  9. 11m 34s
    1. Supported files
      1m 57s
    2. Adding a video file
      1m 41s
    3. Trimming a video file's duration
      2m 15s
    4. Setting the volume for a video clip
      1m 43s
    5. Setting playback controls for a video clip
      1m 45s
    6. Controlling video playback during a presentation
      2m 13s
  10. 14m 51s
    1. Prepping a photo for PowerPoint with Photoshop
      4m 22s
    2. Prepping a photo for PowerPoint with Photoshop Elements
      4m 30s
    3. Prepping a video file with QuickTime Pro
      3m 7s
    4. Prepping a video file with Windows Media Encoder
      2m 52s
  11. 49s
    1. Wrapping up

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Watch the Online Video Course PowerPoint: Using Photos and Video Effectively for Great Presentations
2h 14m Appropriate for all Jul 28, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Start incorporating photos and videos more effectively in your PowerPoint presentations, and create a message that paints a picture worth a thousand words. In this course you'll learn best practices for using photos and videos in your PowerPoint presentations. Author Rich Harrington covers both design principles as well as practical techniques to improve the look and usefulness of your presentations with multimedia.

Topics include:
  • Working with photos
  • Using the Photo Browser
  • Adjusting images in PowerPoint
  • Animation
  • Cropping and masking
  • Transparency
  • Building a slideshow
  • Inserting video
  • Prepping images and video for PowerPoint
Richard Harrington


You've heard me mention the term stock photography. You might not be familiar with this concept, but essentially, it's photography that has been shot to be sold to many people. You could of course hire a custom photographer to shoot all the images that you want. You've commissioned an individual photographer to choose exactly what you need and to shoot those images. Those images are likely going to be yours that you've licensed from the photographer. And while this works great for many situations, you might not always have that luxury, or the budget.

In this case most people turn to stock photography. In this situation, a professional photographer, or semi-professional photographer has gone out and shot photographs that they perceive to be needed. Perhaps, it's things like concepts, or particular things like photo illustrations. Imagine a cup running over, or the passage of time with an hour glass. There's a wealth of stock photography websites out there. I'd like to give you a few tips with choosing stock photography websites as well as give you some ideas on where to look.

With stock photography, realize a few core concepts. You're going to want to look closely at the licensing terms. These will dictate how you can use the images. Stock photography has different rights and if you want to use the image in a presentation, that's generally less licensing rights needed than if you wanted to make a product for sale. For example, it's much cheaper for me to download a photo at the resolution for a presentation than it is to download it at print resolution. Additionally, if I wanted to make a tee-shirt with that image on it, I'd have to pay significantly more than just showing it my presentation.

So, make sure you're licensing the right terms. And generally speaking, it's going to be one of the more affordable, if not most affordable rights that you need for a presentation. You'll also want to perform targeted searches. A targeted search makes it easy to find things. And I'll give you some examples here as I do a licensing search. While you're doing that search consider exploring images that come from the same photographer. This will make it easier to find photos that match visually in style. And of course buy only the resolution that you need. Don't spend more money on the print resolution if you're not going to need it for a print job.

Let's talk a bit about licensing terms. In this case, I brought up the terms from iStockphoto. iStock is a popular photography website. Things that you'll want to look for are standard terms. Things like perpetual, meaning that once you've licensed it, you can continue to use it. Non-exclusive, meaning that other people can use the same image. And that it's non-transferable, meaning that it's given to you, but you can't hand it off to other people outside of your company. You'll also want to explore things like permitted uses as well as prohibitions.

Many stock photography websites will place restrictions on certain segments that can't use their images. And take a look at what is allowed as far as making copies, the reproduction run. Another thing to take a close look at are things like the representations, warranties and indemnifications. Most stock photography websites ensure that they have proper model releases for the images. However, if you decide to use an image in a way that's not covered by one of their release terms, you might open yourself up to risk.

Making sure you're buying photos from a website that does get model releases will limit the chances that you have problems of someone coming back later. However, make sure that you're not using photos in a disparaging way. Sure, you could download a photo of a man or a woman, but if you then put them on a slide and imply that they were a criminal or facing embezzlement charges and they're identifiable, that could be problematic. When using stock photos to show something negative, make sure you find photographs that obscure the face, or are a bit more of the photo illustration style.

Another thing you could do is a targeted search. Things that I like to look for include, searching with a keyword, or multiple keywords. Sorting the results based on certain criteria, such as price or size and then, searching within collection to find other similar styles by perhaps related artist or the individual photographer. Narrowing the prices will help you find only things that match your needs and of course the license type. Or perhaps file type, if the site offers multiple things including illustrations and music.

Let's do a search right now. This is another stock photography website called fotolia. Let's do a search here using that same term of baker. And I'll tell it to search only photos. I'll click Go. In this case, you see, by eliminating the search, only photos are being shown. This particular website also offers subscriptions. Well, let's narrow things down. For example, perhaps I only want to search images that are available with my subscription. And I'd like to get images that were delivered within the last six months.

And we'll do photos. Include ones that have people in them only. I don't want to see ones without people. And I prefer ones that are horizontal in shape, since that matches the aspect ratio of my screen. Under sizes, any of the large ones are fine here. And under options here, you see I can narrow content to keep out anything that might be considered adult. Generally a good idea for most professional presentations. I could assign a maximum price. In this case it's referring to, since their download, what's included. And I'll accept ones that count up to two credits.

And I'll click the refine search button. And you see that everything updates. When I mouse over individual images I can get a good healthy preview of what that looks like. And if I click, you'll see that they become available for purchase or download. Here's that resolution kicking that we mentioned earlier. For purposes of a typical presentation, the medium or large image is going to be enough for a full screen presentation. Remember the H.D. television set is 1920 x 1080. This medium image is a little bit small for that but I could scale it up slightly to fill the screen.

If I'm only using the photo on part of the screen, I might be able to get away with using the smaller size. But you see here this gives you a pretty good idea of what’s in play. Always consider your delivery size, and this will help you understand what you’re going to download. If you have a subscription from one of these sites, you can see that some of the multiple plans are available, giving you access. For example, 250 images a month for $75. Feel free to choose a plan that works for you. When you're on a particular photo, you could choose to see more about a photographer.

Typically the websites will list the photographer, the ability to see more or, see a portfolio. Choosing this will let you browse other images made by that photographer. And in this case, we see that this photographer has a handful of models that he or she likes to work with. This might make it easier to see the same model appear through multiple set ups or environments, or to find things that are visually consistent. And remember, no matter which website you're on, always take a look at the resolution available. Generally speaking, buy the image that's closest in size to what you need.

It's easy to scale down, but typically those larger images cost more. If you scale up, you'll typically notice a visible quality loss, particularly if you do anything much larger than a 20% enlargement.

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