Shotwell

The starting point for my workflow, Shotwell is the Ubuntu Linux default photo organiser, there is support for JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP and RAW formats, it has a set of elementary editing tools, (crop, rotate, colour adjustments, red eye removal etc.)  as mentioned previously editing is done non-destructively, any changes to your image will only be made on export (note! export) your original image is left unchanged on your hard drive.

First step is to import your image/images, personally I use the card reader built into my PC, but you can use a USB connection direct from the camera or browse for images already on your hard drive. When importing the software automatically groups photos taken at the same time, creating folders based on the images EXIF day – month – year data, this grouping is known as an Event there are of course other methods of grouping and sorting images, using star ratings or flags, the image below shows the latest Events, clicking on an Event shows the images taken, clicking on Library will show all indexed images in chronological order.

Shotwell1

User interface showing events.

Although Shotwell has a simple set of tools for editing I prefer not to use them for any major work, but they are useful for a quick edit for checking purposes, right clicking on an image brings up a menu, Enhance (automatic) is quite useful and sometimes does a really good job (sometimes not!) no problem, just click on Revert to original and you are back to the original image, I sometimes use the saturation slider (found under Adjust on the bottom of the screen) to desaturate an image and quickly check to see if it is suitable for B&W treatment,  again Revert to original reverts it. Open with External Editor (configurable under preferences) is one of the methods I use to open an image in my photo editor (Darktable, more about that later) , one final point, it should be mentioned that Shotwell does not strip EXIF data, this is always passed on , there is also the possibility of editing the time and date of the image (useful if you have a camera that is incorrectly set up), had to use this recently, a bit too quick of the mark with a new camera (Fujifilm X10) couldn’t wait to try it, skipped the setting time and date page, oops! but no problem, using Shotwell, date and time was easily changed and the images re-indexed, Voilà, images back in chronological order!

Shotwell2

Right click menu.

I have tested other organisers both in Windows and other versions of Linux but I find this by far the best, most intuitive, plain and simple great software!

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