Brief Notes on My digiKam Workflow

Every now and then, I get questions about an optimal digiKam-based workflow. It’s rather difficult to give general advice, as a lot depends on specifics. So I thought I’d share my photographic workflow for managing and processing photos in the hope that it answers some questions and provides a few starting points for users who want to use digiKam as their primary tool for working with photos and RAW files.

Preliminary note: I shoot both RAW and JPEG, and I usually do all adjustments on the JPEG files. Sometimes I process RAW files manually for better results, but usually I simply store RAW files as source files.


Renaming rule in the Import tool

I use digiKam’s Import module to transfer files from a storage card to the production machine. The Import setup is configured to rename incoming files on the fly using date and time data from EXIF metadata using the following format: yyyyMMdd-mmhhss. While digiKam makes it easy to see the date and time of each photo, having these data in the file name helps to manage photos outside the photo management application.

All incoming photos are transferred into a dedicated album in digiKam called INBOX. Once the photos and RAW files have been transferred, I enable the MIME Type filter that displays only JPEG photos and quickly prioritize them using picks. I assign the Accepted pick to photos that are worth keeping and processing, and I use the Pending pick to mark photos that have potential but I don’t plan to process immediately.

After the photos have been prioritized, I move accepted images and their RAW files into the appropriate target albums. I prefer to organize photos by camera model, so I have separate albums for each of my current and previous cameras. To process the added photos, I enable a filter that displays photos flagged as accepted. Once the photos have been processed, I tag them and add a brief description containing the camera model, lens, and other info I might find useful.


Expanded stack of grouped photos

Each RAW file and its accompanying JPEG files are then grouped using the grouping feature in digiKam. This way, each stack contains a RAW file, an original JPEG from the camera, and a processed JPEG — with the latter being on top of the stack. It’s possible that a similar approach can be implemented more efficiently using the Versioning functionality in digiKam, but I prefer to do this manually.


Color labels in action

Color labels help me to keep track of the current status of each photo. I use the following system:

  • Red labels mark processed photos ready to be uploaded to Flickr.
  • Orange labels are assigned to photos uploaded to Flickr but not shared on social networks like Google+
  • Magenta labels and/or star ratings are applied to photos that have been shared
  • Green labels are used for a few selected photos that are published on Mejiro.

That’s all there is to it. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the Comments section.

Posted in Scribbles

Mejiro Update: Now with a Stream View

Time for another Mejiro update. By default, Mejiro displays all published photos as a thumbnail grid, but the latest version also features a stream view that displays the photos as a continuous stream.


To switch to the stream view, click the hamburger icon in the footer (it looks like three bars stacked on top of each other). The new release also features a handful of under-the-hood tweaks. As always, a Mejiro demo is available for your viewing pleasure. And you can download the latest version of the app from the project’s GitHub repository.

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Posted in Open Source, Software

How a Nikon F3 Still SLR Was Modified to Film Indiana Jones in 1983

How a Nikon F3 Still SLR Was Modified to Film Indiana Jones in 1983

Did you know that a Nikon F3 still photography film SLR was used to shoot the 1984 movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? The mine cart chase scene in the film would have been too expensive if the track were built to scale, so George Lucas and Steve Spielberg turned to the special effects team at Industrial Light and Magic. They modified a Nikon F3 to shoot the chase scene in miniature using stop motion.

Continue reading How a Nikon F3 Still SLR Was Modified to Film Indiana Jones in 1983.

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Posted in Good Read, Photography

Monkey Stole My Camera

Although I prefer to use a regular camera whenever possible, I do occasionally shoot with whatever Android device I happen to have on me. And since my digiKam library already has quite a few snapshots that I like, I thought I’d share them with the world. I didn’t want to lump them together with my photos on Flickr, so I decided to set up a WordPress blog exclusively for that purpose.


So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Monkey Stole My Camera, a photo blog featuring Android photography by yours truly. I’ll try to keep you entertained by uploading snapshots on a regular basis. Proceed this way, please.

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Posted in Photography, Scribbles

Digital Photography Revolution

Digital photography revolution - Business Insider

At Bell Labs in 1969, two scientists were told they had to make progress on a key research project or they would lose their funding. After just an hour of work, they had a breakthrough.

Continue reading Digital photography revolution.

Posted in Photography

Easy Photo Publishing: Using the Link Box in Mejiro

If you happen to use popular services like WordPress and Flickr, you’ll be pleased to learn that Mejiro provides a handy link box, where you can specify any number of links to practically any service or resource.


By default, Mejiro links to popular services such as Flickr, WordPress, GitHub, etc. But the app is designed to make it easy for you to replace and edit the existing links as well as add new ones. To do this, open the index.php script for editing in a text editor and locate the following code block:

$links = array (
array('','fa fa-flickr fa-lg'),
array('','fa fa-wordpress fa-lg'),
array('','fa fa-github fa-lg'),
array('','fa fa-google-plus fa-lg'),
array('','fa fa-twitter fa-lg')

As you can see, each link here is defined as a separate array containing two values: a URL and a Font Awesome icon. So if you want to add a new link, simply add a new array and specify the desired URL and icon (you can pick the icon you like from a complete list of Font Awesome icons). For example, if you want to add a link to your Instagram profile, the array should look something like this:

array('','fa fa-instagram fa-lg')

There is one important thing you need to keep in mind: all arrays must be separated by commas, except the last one.

By the way, if you don’t want to display the link box at all, you can disable it by changing $link_box = true; to $link_box = false;

Posted in Scribbles

35 Historical Mug Shots Reveal Astonishing Criminal Stories

35 historical mug shots reveal astonishing criminal stories

In the mid 1860s, police forces began to photograph the suspects they arrested. These photographs became known as “mug shots,” after the British slang word “mug,” meaning face.

Generally, officials took full face and profile photographs. If convicted, men had another set of images taken after their hair and beards were shaved off to limit the spread of lice. Women’s hair was not shaved.

Continue reading 35 historical mug shots reveal astonishing criminal stories.

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Posted in Photography

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