DigiKam Rocks!

For about a week or so now I’ve been hunting down and importing all my digital photos I can still get my hands on and importing them into DigiKam. I’ve got to say I’m very impressed with it, I added the current version (0.80) via Achim Bohnet’s apt repository for KUbuntu (recommended by the digikam folks) and it’s just blown me away.

Hierarchical albums are no problem, as is batch renaming (with easily customisable formatting), RAW image conversion (using dcraw), transformations and even a really nifty fuzzy-match duplicate finder!

But the two most useful features are (for me) tagging and the automatic calendar of photographs.

Tagging allows you to have a hierarchy of tags, you get 3 starters of Events, People and Places but then it’s dead easy to create tags below those, and then more below them, and so on. So, for instance, one particular hierarchy goes Places->Australia->VIC->Melbourne->VPAC. When (in tag view) you click on a tag at a certain level you will see photos from that tag and any tags that are children of it, so in the example if I click on the VIC tag I get any photos tagged just as Victoria, as well as those tagged as VPAC, Melbourne or anywhere else below that point.

The automatic calendar of photos is just that, as you import photos the date associated with them is used to create entries in a calendar. By clicking on a particular month you’ll see all photos taken then, and individual days with photos are highlighted in bold. Clicking a day will show the photos from that particular day.

Helpful hint: Importing photos into DigiKam works best when you’ve got the EXIF “DateTimeOriginal” set to the time the photo was taken. Most modern digital cameras will do this for you, but if they don’t you can use tools such as ExifTool (a Perl program) to insert such data. DigiKam will also allow you to add/subtract years, months. days, hours, minutes and seconds from a selection of photos too.

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