Finally! I have my sister's memory card (via work courier between our two businesses without any personal interaction, we're such a CLOSE family). Months of begging for her 244 acceptable edits seems kind of stupid now, especially since I ended up with 5799 acceptable edits of my own, but there you go. I still have to merge them, which will edit out even more, more than likely hers...she's the better photographer, but I have the better camera, so ultimately, mine end up better. Then the real hard part comes...making the DVD's. Even more editing out, building menus, picking music and syncing it, and finally, actually burning the DVD's, which typically burns in real time (so if I end up with three two-hour DVD's, that's 6 hours of burning). Sometimes the software lets me burn copies without rebuilding the menus (which takes no time at all), sometimes it fails, but thank god for OCD and constant saving. Hopefully though, it will be finished by the end of the week and I can get back to stitching.
I know the authoring software well (much better than Lightroom anyway). I've been using the same software for years, ProShow Gold. I have to upgrade it again (which is its only downfall since I only really do this once a year and therefore an upgrade only gets me one use) and considering I've been using it since 2006, that ought to get me enough loyalty to qualify for free upgrades, but alas, upgrade I must (missing out on new transitions and special effects is just too much for me to pass on). It's really simple software though, and it's the only one I've found so far that doesn't limit the number of pictures you can use in a menu. When you're dealing with 5000+ pictures, not having to split them into 100 pics per menu is worth any cost!
But in all honesty, creating the cover art for the final DVD is still my favorite part. The artist in my will never die, it's just forced to subjugation by my cross stitching. And since I make a theme every year, I already have a big part of the front cover (I create a little book with all our details and whatnots in it...called the PIB - Personal Itinerary Book, and it has a cover logo, hence the theme). I just have to pick pictures for the back and sort out the wording and fonts.
There were some really fabulous pictures this time (even if they were Christmas pictures, Halloween at Disney is SOOO much better). The elusive hand-held, point and shoot, brilliant night shots are not so elusive any more! I've said it before and I'll say it again...I LOVE my new camera (although it's not so new anymore, but it's a Sony RX100m2). I have hundreds, if not a thousand perfect firework and parade pictures this time (even before editing them with Lightroom). Even the zoom pictures turned out good, and I never zoom because they always look like crap! I will definitely have to zoom more in future and not worry so much about my shakey hands.
Here are some highlights:
As far as Amber's pics, there was a surprise. My pre-doctor-diet body was still Disney ready (my weight has to be in the 220 to 230 range for my vacation clothes to fit, and I had lost what I needed to be within that range), but actually seeing it versus how I look now was a bit of a shock. My weight loss ticker started with the doctor diet and I didn't include the 20-30+ I lost before that (I don't have a pic of pre-Disney body, picture taking isn't one of my favorite things and I didn't include those pounds because I'm not entirely sure of the actual amount). I haven't been able to tell much change in my body since I've been on this diet. People comment all the time, but I actually haven't been able to see it...now I do. This is not something I would ever do, post an undoctored picture of myself (I would normally photoshop out the hump of my stomach and I will do before it makes it to the DVD), but I'm gonna do it now. Once Kate and I go to Disney again, I'll take another picture and compare the two. By then, I should have all the weight off...a Disney before and after! But here is the before in my full-bellied glory: