[Digikam-users] Albums: how do you organize them?

Daniel Bauer linux at daniel-bauer.com
Fri Apr 30 10:15:50 BST 2010

On Friday 30 April 2010 08.13:19, Photonoxx wrote:
> Le Wed, 28 Apr 2010 23:18:57 +0200, Sebastian Schubert
> <schubert.seb at googlemail.com> a écrit:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'm just curious how you organize your albums in digikam. My idea is not
> > to just use the date -- I can get that automatically -- but to have albums
> > like that Party / Peter's Birthday 50th or holidays / 2010 Prague etc.
> >
> > Maybe there are still better ideas out there.
> >

I guess organizing the folders is a very personal task and it depends on how 
you use digikam, and for what purposes. I for my self still havn't found the 
ideal way, I have to move the files quite often, but hey, I am not a genious 

So this mail contains a description of my complicated workflow I use at 
present. Maybe its of interest to someone. If not just forget it and delete 
without reading the long story below :-)

I always shoot raw + middle size/quality jpg and have many more images than 
space on my laptop...

I have two things that are important for grouping my files:
- what/who is it
- what is the state of the images (unselected, selected, etc.)

I copy the card to my desktop and rename that folder with the number of the 
card in chronological order (100EOS5D_1 for the first card, ..._2 for the 
second..). Then I rename the file-numbers using mc according to the folder 
number ( IMG_0* = img_1* in folder ..._1 etc.). This way the original file-
numbers/chronology is preserved and I don't have double numbers within one 
session (I always begin with No. 1 on a card).

Then I make a new folder on the deskop, with the name of the model or client. 
Within this folder a subfolder with the date and in there two subfolders for 
cr2 and jpg:

- Model_or_Client_Name
  - Session_2010_04_30
    - original_cr2
    - original_jpg

I copy this to 2 external HD's.

In digikam I have a complicated structure:

- new_sessions
- do_it_later
- in_work_progress

- personal_stuff + subfolders
- uncategorized (divers) + subfolders
- publications + subfolders 
- clients + subfolders 
- models + subfolders 

I import only original_jpg into digikam: 
then delete the folders on the desktop.

Here I do the time consuming selection. I mark similar images, from which I 
want to select 1, and open them with kuickshow. I can then have always 2 
images side by side, keep the better one and close the other one, compare the 
left over one with the next one etc. I remember the number(s) of the last left 
over one(s), close them, unmark them in digikam and move the rest to a 
"unused" subfolder.

Finally I divide and move the rest into several "series" subfolders. Then I 
use digikam editor to click thru each series. Sometimes I have to remove 
another one and move it to "unused" or take one back from unsused into the 

When finished, I delete the "unused"-folder and move the complete 
Model_or_Client_Name/Session_date/original_jpg/subfolders into 

Using a script I now copy all the needed cr2-files from my external backup 
into my virtual-windows-shared-folder. I develop the raw files using Canons 
software in Windows-XP running in VirtualBox. I don't change anything else 
here, just adjust the white balance, colors and brightness, removing "grain" 
when using high ISO settings.

Again using a simple script I copy the developped TIFFs, converted to png, to 
a new folder 

Now I go thru this folder, using digikam editor to do cropping, color 
enhancement, converting to black-and-white etc. When retouching or work on 
parts of the image only is needed, I open gimp (I miss right-click, open-
with... within the editor...). I also use gimp for curves.

After finishing all the editing again I use a simple script (using 
imagemagick) to convert the pngs to jpgs (sometimes of different sizes), 
insert my copyright mark, and distribute the files to their series subfolders.

I backup in_work_progress/Model_or_Client_Name/Session_date/edited, delete the 
pngs , and move the folders to clients or models.

So in the end the images stay here:

- models
  - Model_Name_X
    - Session_date
      - series_name_a (herein original file-site jpgs)
        - 800px
        - 1500px
        - etc.
      - series_name_b (herein original file-site jpgs)
        - ...
    - Session_date
      - ...
  - Model_Name_Y
    - ...

From finished images no more original files or editable pngs are in digikam. 
They are all on backups only and I have to get them from there if once needed 
again or to send to publishers that want more than jpgs.

This workflow uses a lot of moving, which on system base is no problem, but 
digikam doesn't really like my way of doing it... It punishes me with long, 
long waiting times and sometimes crashes.

I use this complicated workflow because I must find the photos under the name 
of the client or model, plus I must know, if I already edited them or not. 
Unfortunately most of the time I cannot select/edit the photos of a session 
right on, so I cannot avoid the copying from and to external HDs - otherwise 
my labtops HD would overflow...

I don't want to use tags anymore. It was too unstable in the past, it was too 
complicated to change many tags at a time, I don't want the tags in the image 
files that will go to other people. I tried to use tags for embeding 
"keywords" into web-images, but as google etc. don't look at image-tags, I 
strip all tags anyway. I don't use flickr etc, where tags might help to 
organize or give infos. I can also imagine, that for personal use, tags can be 
very helpful.

I rarely use the stars, and if then only temporarily during selection. In the 
end I only have "good enough" or "waste", no "almost good enough", "maybe 
waste" etc..., so the image is in digikam and usable, or it's deleted...

However, I *never* delete raw files on my backups. I want to preserve the 
complete sessions and who knows, what I think about "good" when I (or somebody 
else) looks at the session years later. If we then still have energy to run 
our computers :-)

So this is my novel of the day. Hope it was not too time consuming for you....

have fun!

Daniel Bauer photographer Basel Barcelona
professional photography: http://www.daniel-bauer.com
my new blog: http://www.guapamania.com/wordpress/

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