From Aperture 3 to YouTube in 3 Steps

From Aperture 3 to YouTube in 3 Steps

When you think of photography, YouTube probably isn’t the first website that comes to mind. But by using the slideshow export feature of Aperture 3 you can show off your work in an entirely new way on the site. Chris Folsom explains.

Step 1 – Create a slideshow

Click File, New and then click on Slideshow. You’ll be prompted to name your slideshow and pick the transition effect. Click the “Choose Theme” button and you’ll be able to add photos to the newly created project… just drag them in and rearrange them in the order you want.

The slideshow settings will allow you to change things like the Aspect Ratio of the presentation, how long slides will be displayed and whether or not you want the title shown. All of these settings can be applied to individual slides or the entire slideshow, so you can customize the presentation to a pretty granular level.

Step 2 – Add a soundtrack

Adding music can enhance your photos by influencing the mood of the viewer. But, much like photos, copyright prevents you from using most of the commercial tracks you have sitting on your hard drive. Thankfully, there are many sources of music available licensed under Creative Commons (remember that?). The “Legal Music For Videos” page on the official Creative Commons site is a good place to start.

Do some searching, find some music that fits your slideshow and import it into Aperture by dragging the audio track into your slideshow project. Once it is in Aperture, it will show up under the Library option in the music settings (which can be found by clicking the little musical note icon on the right side of the screen). Drag the song you imported down to where your photos are and it will now play in the background during the presentation.

Step 3 – Export and upload

Once you have your photos arranged in the order you want and have the music added, click the Export button in the upper-right area of the window. You will be presented with a dialog where you can name the file, choose where it is saved to and pick the format. Choose the “MobileMe, Youtube” option and click the Export button. Once the slideshow is done converting, it is ready to export to YouTube!


Here is an example recent slideshow I created in Aperture 3 and uploaded to YouTube:

These slideshows can be embedded on your own site or emailed to clients and are another way to get your photos seen by a whole new audience.

Chris Folsom is a photographer based in Baltimore, MD. You can view more of his photos at Flickr or follow his photographic endeavors on Twitter.

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Some Older Comments

  • Rizal Smarts September 12, 2012 04:43 am

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  • der April 29, 2010 01:16 am

    I cant figure out how to export to youtube in HD.. my slideshow has hd video and high rez images. When using the export to youtube setting, its not hd.. when exporting 720p it makes a mov file.. and youtube doesnt like that. any thoughts?

  • c-impact April 13, 2010 10:58 pm

    This message is for Sebastian....i use Aperture 3 and and feel that is a very good program...I use to use other editors and libraries and am thoroughly please with Aperture and would recommend it to any mac user photographer or not...

  • Gremlins666 April 10, 2010 03:36 am

    PhotoStory 3 is free for Windows...... I downloaded it from Microsoft. And it still works in windows 7.

    It's very basic..... but if I remember right, it had the ability to zoom in... out.... left... right etc. Soundtracks etc I never uploaded to youtube.... but I don't see why you couldn't.

    Can't beat free!

  • Colleen April 9, 2010 02:21 pm

    You are right that Aperture is both great for creating simple slide shows, but I've been having good success with iMovie for slightly more complicated slideshows where you want to vary the content and transitions. What's great is that if you're a Mac user you can use iMovie in tandem with iPhoto and create some pretty awesome video without spending a dime on software.

  • Colleen April 9, 2010 02:18 pm

    Zach Jones - that is called the Ken Burns effect and is included in Aperture to automatically zoom in or out on your photos.

  • john Merryman April 9, 2010 08:56 am

    Great training tip! I really appreciate your work.
    Loved the imaged and music.

  • Zack Jones April 9, 2010 12:20 am

    How exactly did you create that zoom effect? Seems to me that in order to create something like that and not recording it as video would require an incredible number of shots. If aperture can create such smooth zooms from a series of still photos it's a pretty amazing piece of software.

  • Jason Collin Photography April 8, 2010 03:55 pm

    Thank you! I have been using Aperture 3 since about the day it was released, and had been wanting to do "video" on my photography site. I really like things that are easy and self-contained, and your method looks easy enough for me! Can't wait to try it tomorrow.

  • jamesdon April 8, 2010 03:43 pm

    by far the lamest tutorial on here. Been reading DPS for a long time and content is starting to seem desperate as of late!

  • Michael April 8, 2010 11:19 am

    Hi Mr Crab,

    I'm not sure if it does videos straight to youtube however I use Picasa 3 to manage all my photos and upload it to facebook or create albums/slideshows etc..

  • PhotoBuzz April 8, 2010 07:17 am

    I used Aperture before, and for a slideshow it works pretty good, however there are many other software out there that are much easier and as good as Aperture, Thanks

  • Greg Taylor April 8, 2010 07:07 am

    I am Aperture user and have been for a while. I've been slow to upgrade from 2 to 3 because all the new hot features are things that I can really do without.

    Yes they are cool yet I don't know if they are entirely necessary for my productivity.

    ~ If you haven't heard about The Music Matters Project - music photography helping non-profits please click here:

    Sorry for the link post that is off topic - it's very important. Thanks.

  • Sebastian April 8, 2010 07:06 am

    Great! The first Aperture 3-lesson in this blog. :-) I think about buying Aperture 3 so I kindly ask: Please, more Aperture Stuff. :-)

  • Danferno April 8, 2010 07:03 am

    I don't want to sound like a cynic here, but slideshows are incredibly boring.

  • Mr.Crab April 8, 2010 06:46 am

    Aperture 3 works only on Mac PCs. What if we use Windows operating system? which similar software do you advice?