I'd like to be able to quickly show other people a set of pictures, from a folder or a collection (I us both).

My current workflow ends with exporting every album as JPGs and keeping a collection of finished photos that I show others with Picasa. With Picasa I can:

  • Show photos full screen
  • Manually go back and forth between photos
  • Get a nice short crossfade between the photos

I'd tried to do the same with Lightroom, without success. My attempts:

  1. Impromptu slideshow (CTRL+Enter). I have to wait too long (several minutes for big albums) at the 'Preparing Slideshow' dialog.
  2. Render 1:1 previews, then start Impromptu slideshow. Lightroom doesn't always react to arrow keys and there are no fades between the photos when I go to the next or previous photo. Also, I have no way of knowing what folders have 1:1 previews and how long they are stored.
  3. View full screen with the F key. There are no fades between the photos and if there are no 1:1 previews, loading takes long.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure that you are going to be able to achieve exactly what you want with Lightroom(or any software) and the speed you desire from high resolution images. It takes some time to create high quality slideshows with transition effects. For ultimate speed you could use Photo Mechanic but will lose transitions. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd like to quickly showing a series of photos with manual advancing and short fades between the photos. I don't care if this takes up a lot of hard drive space. After all, currently I have a full res JPG of every photo in Picasa now to achieve this, which I could remove if I get Lightroom to just show pictures nicely. \$\endgroup\$
    – kslstn
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not about HD space. It's about the processing necessary to on the fly display full resolution images and transitions. Photo Mechanic is great with the former but not latter. LR isn't that efficient at either. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, Lightroom's 1:1 previews should handle that right? \$\endgroup\$
    – kslstn
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


I tested out a few different combinations and have come to the realization that Lightroom is terrible at slideshows. They have come a long way since v1 but the entire slideshow module is still just a bolt on "extra" and they don't give it enough attention for many reasons I could complain about.

I found some of the same odd inconsistencies that you found. In some cases, the arrow keys do not work properly. In other cases, I found that a 100 image slideshow rendered within 3-4 seconds, but a 400 images slideshow took 4-5mins even though both had 1:1 previews generated already.

Oddly enough, I really couldn't find much in the way of complaints or documentation on usage of the Lightroom Slideshow module. I think many people gave up on it some time ago and moved on to other options that are dedicated for Slideshows (but not good for on the fly presentation).

The only solution I have for you is to essentially do what you are already doing, by exporting JPEG only versions of your images, then importing those back into Lightroom and creating an actual slideshow in the slideshow module by using the "Play" button (not Preview or Impromptu Slidesshow). In reality, its no better doing this then just rendering 1:1 previews and using the Play button, as either way you are going to be waiting for some time. But at least this way you don't have to spend time in Picasa and go back and forth.


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