What do you do with your images?

You have a digital camera. You want the pictures on your computer. You want them marked somehow (grouped or tagged) so you can find them later and do stuff with them now. You want to share the images. You may also want to print them…

What matters to you? How do you currently get your photos in the computer? What do you do from there? How would you like to have it work in your ideal world?

I’m wondering, as I want to make F-Spot work the way you (or at least a lot of you) want it to.

Leave a comment below… and/or post to the mailing list.

Tags: , , ,

56 Responses to “What do you do with your images?”

  1. Josh says:

    The way I currently retrieve my photos and store them is by popping my CF card into my reader, then by hand copy the directories on the card that contain the photos to a dated/semi-named directory (ie: 20041016 – Lake Trip) to a certain location on my hard drive, they pretty much just sit there after that. to find anything, I have to rely on my memory to remember which directory photos are in, and then go through each of the thumbs until I find it. Highly inefficient.
    What I would like in F-Spot however, would be a process that went something like this: Pop the CF card into the reader, F-Spot recognizes this, and based on whether or not some or all of the photos are been copied before, it copies them off the card and stores them in some logical fashion. From there it would be nice to tag them with kind of a who/what/when/where/why/how method. Then when I had time I could go through and label individual photos. I would love a search-by -keyword feature so I could find photos easier. (ie: Dad Bass Fishing Mirror Lake)
    I doubt much of this makes sense cause I was mostly rambling. Just my $0.02 though like you asked for, Garrett. 😉 I may think of more nonsense throughout the day, so I it’s possible that I’ll pollute your comments even more. 😀

  2. gch says:

    Garrett, thanks for this call to arms of users.

    I’ve been taking and archiving digital pictures for over three years. Over time, I’ve developed a system where I organize my pictures by year, then month, then name of whatever I was doing. It’s certainly good enough for me to find anything I’m looking for, but I do think it would be nice to also search with tags.

    The biggest thing for me has been the meta-data. I love EXIF tags. XMP excites me, because it’ll actually be easy to modify the tags. Previously, I had to use commercial software to modify my photo’s titles and captions in the EXIF data, then I used some homebrew PHP to scale and display the photos on my website. Unfortunately, a large number of distinct galleries isn’t the easiest way to navigate several thousand photos.

    Currently I’m working on a system to incorporate a Wiki with a photo gallery with a Blog, ie one and the same. This will make it simple to incorporate triplogs into your photo gallery, or thumbnails of photos into your blog.

    The most important thing for me is that the metadata stays with the Photo. I know F-Spot stores this in SQL. Please, please, please, always make sure that the tags in the photos are in sync with the SQL database!

    Hopefully this is somewhere along what you wanted …

  3. Ted Reed says:

    Currently, plug in my camera and use gphoto to pull them all to a certain directory (ex: “Yosemite 2004”), then use gqview to look at them.

    In terms of f-spot, I’d like to see a way to attribute images to a given collection (or maybe more than one). Not really keywords. I see keywords as being more of a quick notation as to the type of image (landscape, family shot, etc) which could also be useful, but should be separate from the concept of a “collection”. A way to add a description about who or what is in the image and search based on that (ex: All pictures of John Smith) would also be a good feature.

  4. Nico says:

    What do I do with my photos? I’m copying them to my hard drive (luckily gnome-volume-manager automounts my camera and I can just drag over the images), create folders like “2004-10-20 Trip to Paris” and then sort out the not-so-good ones into a subfolder “non-public”.

    If I want to share the set, I upload them to my website, which has a simple (album based) photo browser component.

    Recently I discovered the “tag metaphor” (realized that it may be a good idea to use it on photos). I’m still not sure if this approach is better then the album one, but it surely sounds interesting.

    Imagine the following:
    You have several image sets, and now you want to see all pictures of your cat. You have many pictures of your cat, but not a single “album” because the “cat pics” spread over several sets because your cat randomly appeared on different events.

    Maybe a Flickr-like approach would be the best:
    you can tag your images (and thus search for “cat images”, for “vacation images” and for “vacation images with the cat on them”) and store them into sets.

    So there would be a n:m relationship between photos and tags and an n:m relationship between photos and sets (so you can create a set “my summer vacation” (with your favorite cat pic in it) and a set “my cat” (which has the same cat pic as well)).

    These sets could be exportable to Gallery, Original, or whatever.

    (sorry for polluting your comments with this brainstorming, but this is what I’m thinking about for weeks now as I’m planning to re-write my website photo scripts…)

  5. Adam Roben says:

    I currently use gThumb for importing/viewing my photos. I think it’s interface and metaphors are fairly intuitive, and the ability to have albums and/or to search by keyword is very nice.

  6. chris says:

    Right now I store images in directories corresponding to the dates I took them off the flash card. So I’ve got /pics/2004-10-20, /pics/2004-10-11, etc. Ideally I’d like them to be organized in a similar layout, except using the actual image capture date instead.

    I’ve made a few comments on my blog about how I think backups could be done (something I feel is extremely important in an image mangement application), and how I really would like to preserve the original images as they come out of the camera. Modifying the EXIF tags leaves a dirty taste in my mouth…

  7. Gardner says:

    “The most important thing for me is that the metadata stays with the Photo. I know F-Spot stores this in SQL. Please, please, please, always make sure that the tags in the photos are in sync with the SQL database!”

    I am in total agreement with gch here, sine most users are most comfortable looking/organizing picutres in a directory nestings scheme. It becomes a major pain to reconstruct all the metadata if the files are moved around. Keeping the metadata in the file itself is a must.

  8. Spider says:

    The system I’ve had running for a few years is this:
    My images are moved into a separated folder (on another partition than $HOME for archiving reasons) sorted as "YYYY-MM-DD-/" or where the crap ones are discarded, and the rest are named into a series.

    examples :


    Usually for this I also want to leave a more detailed comment, at the moment I could use gthumb for this, but I found its method opaque, since my older (predating even gthumbs existance) scripts to create web albums don’t handle this, but simply use the format :

    For those I want to move online after this, I simply move aside , resort if necessary, and generate albums for upload. Its cumbersome and dull, and a very inelegant way of doing it.

  9. chris says:

    The thing that scares me about this is the possibility that one of my images will become corrupted as a result of trying to modify the metadata, or that some of the original EXIF data generated by my camera will be destroyed. A few options I can think of that would give me peace of mind:
    – Always always always make a copy of the original image and put it in a safe place. That way you can revert back to the original if something goes horribly wrong.
    – Metadata is associated with the file by means of a hash identifying the file. That way if you move the file around, it can still be identified from its hash. This won’t work if you edit the image outside of F-Spot, however.

  10. Joey Reid says:

    EXIF, EXIF, EXIF. Update the rotatation flag, update the thumbnail, keep the comments in there. That way I don’t need to use F-spot all the time, and when I do it doesn’t screw anything up or lose anything.

    Thank you.

  11. mrd says:

    Thanks for asking for opinions…

    I take shots with my camera and download them to my laptop via USB cable into a date-and-subject-based directory (e.g. /usr/local/photos/20041018-TripToChicago/). Then I view the images using nautilus (since I haven’t found any other app intuitive to do this) and rename the photos so that they have meaningful names that can be searched for later. I then (r)sync that directory to a server for burning to CD. Back on the laptop, I then tag images that I want to make public and upload them to either a new or existing gallery album co-lo’d out on the net.

    Having f-spot recognise and be able to import images from my camera would be great, as would an easy and quick interface for viewing and renaming photos. Being able to tag some images for export for gallery would then meet all my needs.

  12. Moray says:

    I currently copy the pictures across into directories by when they were taken. This is mostly just because directories with thousands of images are a pain to deal with otherwise.

    Once copies of the ‘original’ images are on the computer, I avoid changing those files at all. One exception to that rule is that, now we have EXIF tags, I’ve been using jhead’s autorotate function and not keeping the unrotated files. Now that I’ve started that I’m probably stuck with that procedure (so I don’t get things rotated twice), but I’d originally have preferred that photograph viewing programs rotated the images when they displayed them rather than changing them on disk at all.

    I then make albums from the photos using a program I hacked up years ago (http://www-jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk/~mma29/photogroup/), which itself was based on an older program I’d written on RISC OS.

    At this sorting stage I make potentially overlapping albums for different purposes, for local display and for my website. It’s at this stage that I currently add any text labels to the images – most of these would be better off stored as meta information for the individual photographs, but some of the labels are added to structure the photographs for display (e.g. a label saying what city the next few images are of).

    I have a Perl CGI script which reads the album files produced by this process (examples at http://www-jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk/~mma29/photographs.html). The album files can contain section markers which this script uses to let the viewer skip forward/back by sections rather than individual images. A separate Perl script reads one of the album files and scales down the original images, rotates any which have been marked for rotation at display time in the viewer, and feeds out a directory containing the scaled images and potentially-modified album file for my website.

    Currently any edited images just go into the same directory as the original, with for example “-cropped-redeye” added into the filename.

    I’d assume that I’d ideally be indexing all my photographs in F-Spot. At the moment the photographs might first get onto a computer at home on my desktop or on my laptop while I’m travelling. Since everything’s file/directory based at the moment, it’s relatively simple to synchronise them (manually or with disk synchronisation tools). If information goes into a central F-Spot database, then there would need to be some synchronisation tool for this – though, that could improve usability by automatically synchronising the photos (including newly-added edited images) rather than requiring the user to notice which are only in one place.

    With all the images in F-Spot I’d probably start by categorising them by time and place: place is generally my primary key, since most of my photos are architectural/archaeological, but I want to be able to see the time groupings that images were taken in, as well. It’s possible that the time distribution of images within a category could automatically be displayed, showing graphically where there are e.g. overnight gaps or gaps of a few months.

    I’d prefer bad images, e.g. completely out of focus, to still be categorised as normal, but to be marked such that they don’t normally get displayed. (Along the same lines I can imagine that some people would like the option to lock access to some images when they’re letting a friend browse their photos…. 😉

    Separately to the main categorisation I’d then want to select the best images of various kinds for web or local display. For web display there should be an export function which feeds out appropriate files including scaled-down images (I prefer to save on bandwidth; if people want big copies of individual images then they can ask me for them).

  13. danw says:

    I pointed Larry to this a while back:

    K. Rodden and K. Wood, “How Do People Manage Their Digital Photographs?“, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI 2003)

  14. gch says:

    Take a look at XMP. EXIF is nice, but it isn’t exactly easy to modify the tags. libexif has been around for years but I still don’t think it can easily and safely modify tags.

    XMP, on the other hand, is just a bunch of XML (RDF) attached to a file. It can go on any file type. It’s easy to edit (just need libxml and know the appropriate tags).

    From the looks of development, F-Spot will show EXIF, but will save XMP. Clean, easy, and no dirty taste in your mouth.

    Anyone, please correct me if I’m wrong.

  15. gch says:

    Oh, and a few reasons to modify EXIF tags. Currently, I use a simple commercial CLI app, but it’s far from optimal.

    1. Adding GPS information to photos. EXIF has tags for this, but only GPS-enable cameras actually add the info.

    2. Being a dumbass, and forgetting to change the timezone after your cross country flight. (Unless your a masochist, and take pictures in GMT).

    3. Adding titles, comments to photos. Again, EXIF tags exist for these items, but are never used.

    Certainly, you don’t want to modify your makernote, or other camera settings at the time of the picture, but there are certain tags where it’s very useful to modify.

  16. dave says:

    About the use cases page on the wiki. This paper suggests a different approach: http://www.foruse.com/articles/structurestyle2.pdf

  17. Sean says:

    Here’s my idealized version of what I’d like to be able to do with my digital camera:

    After getting back from a day out taking pictures, I’d like to be able to sit down and plug my camera in and have some importing application pop up (g-v-m handles this currently). From there I would like to be able to do any of the following three things:
    1) Import the photos into some “album” on my computer. At the very least, organized by the date. Additionally, I’d like them to be saved into folders by date. I suppose this would require an “album” container, which could contain photos from any directory on the hard drive.
    2) Email (or send over IM? or IRC?) the photos to family and friends. Also, sometimes I just want to show someone a photo that I took earlier that day without importing all the photos on my memory card.
    3) Print photos in various sizes, whether it be 4×6, 5×7, or 8×10. Again, it might be nifty to be able to print a photo w/o importing everything.

    I imagine others might want functionality like easily putting pictures onto a webserver (for a blog or webalbum). It would be pretty cool if you could just export a web album, or drag and drop a photo into your blog entry. Other photographers might want easy access to editing tools like the gimp.

  18. Mike says:

    I’ve tried pretty much every app out there and I have to say at least for the non-professional market Adobe Photoshop Album is about as good as it gets. It is slower to start than I like but it has very nice tagging and organizational abilities. It also ouputs to just about anything you can think of. Finally its basic photo editting features are very nice. Its lightnes tool is based on the one in Photochop for example. I HIGHLY suggest trying it out to at least see what it does so that you can get an idea of what people might like. The free edition will at least give you some ideas of what it does.

    One final thing which will give you major bonus points. Get in contact with Ofoto or one of the other major outfits and find out the protocol for interacting with their photo service. Being able to easily upload and order prints from Fspot and Gnome in general would be quite the feather in you cap.

  19. What I want :
    1) Plug the camera, and photos are automatically downloaded to a directory based on the day, photos were taken.
    Ie : if a photo was taken the 10th October it will go in the directory 2004/10/10.
    2) I would like to quickly rotate photos
    3) I would like to have a way to compare photos, and to quickly (no confirmation) delete a photo that’s no nice
    4) I would like a way to quickly organize them into albums
    5) Albums should be exported in just one click into gallery on http://gallery.ephaone.org
    6) One more point, I would like to import album from gallery, modify it, and export it again.

    Thanks for your work !

  20. Josh says:

    I knew I’d have something else to say… I’ve also been thinking about archival options. It would be really neat to do a batch process of burning cds, dvds, (maybe even tape backups?) for those of us who don’t trust our hard drives. I would love to be able to say “burn [may 2004] – [october 2004] to dvd” and have it tell me the process will require 6 discs to complete, and then prompt me to insert the first disc. Maybe even periodic reminders to say “It’s been 3 weeks since you have made a backup. You currently have 3.7GB of un-backed-up photos.” That seems to be the biggest problem with me making back-ups of all my photos.. I just never remember to do it. Not to mention, anything that made it easier for me would make a big difference..

  21. Simon says:

    Whenever I do a transfer from the camera, the photos go into a timestamped directory. From there, I have a python script that generates thumbnails and an HTML file showing the thumbnails with room for a description. An index.html file includes descriptions of what each directory contains.

    It’s a bit clunky, but it does work. Haven’t tried f-spot yet, but I’d be horrified if it didn’t offer a vast improvement.

    I don’t own a laptop that I take with me when I travel, so a single directory might contain hundreds of photos from an overseas trip, or just a dozen or so from a family gathering.

    Printing support isn’t particularly important to me – I’ve only made hardcopy of one photo in the last two years, and if I want to it’s just as easy to take a copy to a local print shop as to order prints online.

    Automatically grabbing the photos off the camera (gPhoto?) would be nice, as long as I still have control over how/where they’re stored. Having it died in with HAL to get proper plug-n-play would be great. I gather this is part of the grand direction of the Linux desktop, so I assume that’s the way things are headed.

  22. Bram says:

    Besides all usefull functionality tips here the most important thing to learn from these comments seems to be:

    So many users, so many wishes.. think about a way to combine them.

    Maybe by making the interface adjustable by some kind of the-way-you-work-wizard. Anyway, don’t force users in some kind of set of limited functionality which seems logical for you or some of your blog readers. Some only want to import pictures and enter a list of keywords per picture. Others want full hierachical functionality with virtual folders and stuff. Leave it to the user.

    Offcourse this shouldn’t kill discusssions like this since it’s not wrong to suggest methods or analyze what you should implement first.

  23. chris says:

    I’d love it if the program would not only backup pictures that haven’t been backed up, but also fill up the CD with images that HAVE been backed up – gives you some redudancy 🙂 My backup CDs are rarely full with exactly 650 (or 700) MB of data, it would be nice to use that extra space for something.

  24. lang says:

    I really like the mockups and ideas you’ve posted on the Wiki, and thanks for calling for input. 🙂

    What I’d like:

    1. A sane directory structure (which would be great to have user definable in the preferences).
    2. Metadata left out of the original files’ EXIF, and easily read by other programs (like a “upload to my website”-script, so you don’t have to support every small gallery out there).
    3. In the metadata being able to mark which lense a photo was taken with would be nice.
    4. Sort by filename/time/exiftime.

    I currently manage my photos with standard unix utils like cp/mv/rm/etc., and copy the photos from a USB CF-reader to my harddrive, where I store the photos in the following structure;


    As I shoot everything in RAW, I first copy the files to the RAW directory, then convert the photos (mostly using PhotoShop), and store them in JPEG or/and TIFF, and maybe a version in PSD, if I’ve added layers and such stuff for manipulation.
    If I want to upload any of the photos to my web gallery I resize them to 1024px (and maybe run UnSharp Mask) and save them in JPEG/1024. I then scp JPEG/1024/* (as well as the .thm-files for the images) to my server, where the files are stored in the following structure;


    and if I want several folders from the same day;


    As I use <a href=”http://apaghegallery.dk”>Apache::Gallery</a> for my web gallery, I also create <year>/<month><date>/<filename>.comment and <year>/<month><date>.folder files if I want to comment any of the photos and name the folders.

    Ideally I would like to have F-Spot do all this for me, and support “export” to Apache::Gallery, so it can create .comment, .folder and so on, if I’ve added that information in F-Spot. But just being able to easily access the information from an outside script would be fine.

    Hope this wasn’t too much of a ramble. 🙂

  25. JJ says:

    I’d like the ability to “bulk add” tags to photos, without necessarily deleting the previous tags. So for example, select 20 pictures and add the tag “Birthday Party.” Then select 10 of these pictures and 10 new ones and add “Davey Jones” without removing the “Birthday Party” tag. In other words, I would like a way to accumulate multiple tags in a dynamic way.

    Then, I’d like to be able to view/organize all the photos by all of these tags, either hierarchically or flat.

  26. john says:

    First of all, F-Spot is rad, so I’m eager to supply info that would let me use it as my primary tool.

    I do the following:
    1. Import my “roll” into a directory (YY-MM-DD_name) w/ gphoto
    2. Go through and manually name my photos location_people_#.jpg

    Sometimes I don’t have time to do #2, but I’d want any photo tool to allow me to change the actual file name. This is important because of the following:

    Ocasionally I need to go dig up the jpeg w/o access to the photo management tool. Thus I need to be able to identify the image from its name alone. Thus tools which save all its meta data in a database, keeping the file name as DSC-XYZ.JPG cause it to be difficult to find the file I want w/o running the tool.

    I also wantto be able to import files w/o using the tool and to have the imported images be picked up by the tool w/o too much trouble. It would be nice to just give the tool a directory and have it scan for new files in any subdirectory every time it loaded (although this could be costly, so something else may be needed).

  27. Alessandro Giusti says:

    Garrett, F-Spot seems like a promising thing, so here is my 2 eurocents.

    First of all, I do never rename photos made by my Canon A60, because I often change software and I like them to be correctly ordered.

    Currently all my photos are under a “Photos” directory, which I backup on various media.

    A must-have thing is the possibility to triage (rate) photos on the fly while viewing fullscreen (otherwise I can not judge). I think that this “rating” concept should be integrated into the app. Photos are rated (“triaged”) as soon as they are downloaded from the CF. In a pass I want to be able to rotate (losslessly) and rate all the photos I did. Ratings will affect a lot of details on how photos are handled, and could be:
    0- Trash
    deleted when exiting session, not before so if you change your mind…
    1- Pass
    do not upload to gallery, do not backup unless backup media is big
    2- OK
    always backup, if uploaded to gallery feel free to resize.
    3- Good
    always backup, automatically upload to gallery, keeping full res version too.
    4- Masterpiece
    always backup, prominent space in gallery, keep full resolution

    When viewing photos, you should be able to filter a-la-slashdot.

  28. Kevin Driver says:

    Garrett, I admire your work and talent. You are a gift to the linux community.

    Most often I find myself importing my photos directly into Gallery. I’d like F-Spot to be something that has some integration with that software, whether it is simply allowing you to spider through your albums directory and create a local view of that or something more advanced. What if you had your photos published to a web dav directory on your server? What if F-Spot had a feature set like iPhoto that generated pages and published them or used some Gallery API to publish photos?

  29. bisho says:

    Do you understand spanish? I reciently write a post in my blog about interfaces for searching images, because I’m programming a web gallery and want to implement some of the ideas.


    What I have more or less implemented at the time is a timeline with quantity indicator of the number of galleries on each month, and a World Map with dots in the places were there are galleries (thanks to the list of coordinates from libical’s evolution).

    The mockup of the interface is at:
    (There are some more polished designs at the blog article)

    Furthermore, I would want in F-Spot:

    – Lossless Auto rotate of files based on EXIF (jhead -autorot)
    – Time correction, when you travel to another timezone you usually forgot to change the time in the camera (jhead -ta< +|->h[:mm[:ss]] )
    – Show photos by time, so you can have photos from several cameras on the same gallery and see them in chronological order.
    – Rename fotos.
    – Show equivalent focal lenght. Some cameras include in the EXIF data the sensor size, so is easy to calculate it (jhead does it). In the cammeras without that info is quite easy to locate the specifications googling. Perhaps a sensor’s size catalog would be nice, or allow the user to specify his cammera settings.
    – Work with RAW files.
    – Make index images, with the title and description of each gallery. Very usefull when you want to send to print a lot of photos, and you dont want a generic index, but a index for each gallery, to have all the photo classified.
    – Printing and other effects for sending to print (add date, title, margins, … to the photos so you could just give the CD to the shop).
    – Panotools integration?
    – Some basic but hight quality modifications: levels, color, sharppen, inteligent sharpen (only sharp the edges, not the ones very sharp to avoid halo, and not the rest of the image to avoid increasing noise (I don’t have here the links to the tutorials on this), noise reduction…
    – Flexible export tool
    – Flexible catalog that handles well removible medias
    – Find duplicate CDs, compare similar fotos -fotos of a burst-, maintain several versions of the same file if edited.
    – Add the concept of group of galleries. In some travels I have 1000+ photos and I make more or less 30 galleries, one for each activity. Handle them as individial galleries is not very nice. Maybe instead of group of photos, the solutions could be classifying photos inside a gallery into groups.
    – Add a selectable index photo for each gallery, so you could browse looking for galleries more efficiently.
    – Integration with ifolder? would be nice to share a gallery that way, an allow others to make comments, add photos…

    That’s all by the moment. I also missed the edit functiontionality on the F-Spot blog the last time I wanted to contribute this ideas.

  30. Gabriel Burt says:

    I think the ability to share all or parts of one’s gallery with friends or family would be amazing.

    For example, I could choose to share certain categories or time periods of photos, and I could subscribe to parts of their galleries and I would automatically have a copy of their photos that interest me.

    Also, I’m not sure where F-Spot stands on this (been a while since I’ve used it) but it would be great to be able to run slideshows based on time periods or labels too (and/or recursively on a chosen directory).


  31. David Holmes says:

    I guess rather than specific features, in light of the huge number of suggestions, my comment would be to not forget what makes a GNOME program.

    When one reads so many comments it may seem like lots of people like lots of features, so it’s easy to think it’s a good idea to implement them all, but most users have very simple needs regarding photo management. Don’t fall into the feature-crack trap.

    I’m not saying not to implement the features people want, but do it in a way that keeps the program simple and GNOMEy, and don’t be afraid to turn down a feature if it’s crack.

    Sorry if this is obvious; I just felt somebody should say it.

  32. Olaf says:

    Multiple version management of a photo.

    Apart from putting pictures in year/month/day/subject folders, tagging and using Exif data (automatically rotate), I would like some way of relating different versions of the same photo.

    I usually edit photo’s to adjust the lighting, remove red eyes and other basic stuff. Sometimes I go wild in Gimp or Photoshop and retouch or remove objects. I want to keep the unedited version next to the modified ones.

    Now I’ve been thinking about storing it in my subversion repository, so I can always get an earlier or the original version. I could add the tags in the properties field of the photo. I haven’t yet done this yet and am not really sure if it’s worth the trouble.

    But a backend store to a repository would be a cool feature. The client could cache the thumbnails and retrieve the full picture (HEAD or some other revision) on selection.

  33. Kai Willadsen says:

    Not everyone who manages their photos digitally uses a digital camera. Some of us paupers simply get photos scanned onto CD and then import them into f-spot. The major problem here is that you can guarantee that the time-taken metadata is incorrect. This pretty much sucks when we’re talking about holiday photos or similar.

    So, as everyone else has said, metadata editing is really, really important. I just thought I’d provide a different use case.

  34. Olaf says:

    Heh, just noticed F-Spot already has some primitive version management by copying the image with the version name appended in brackets. This does work a little like I do now (by creating a subdirectory called original).

    So a subversion backend would be a bit overkill, but the more I’m thinking about it, the more I like it already…

    As a side note: I have to explicitly create another version inside f-spot for it to handle it. If I just copy my gimped version in the same directory with the naming scheme of the version name in brackets then f-spot doesn’t recognise it as another version. If I import the directory again, the pics are loaded twice (Debian f-spot 0.0.2 which tends to crash a lot).


  35. Michael says:


    I haven’t escaped Win for image upload/conversion 🙁

    I shoot Raw and use CaptureOneDSLR on XP to convert the images to jpegs. There are raw converion tools for linux, but they just aren’t up there with C1.

    What I’d like, once they are converted is to be able to categorise them like iPhoto does, and have a method of nominating which ones are published to the website by just categorising them into a particular category.

    With controls about how they are published, and smart upload setup that determines if the photo is already on the website (only send the changes) etc. I could do all of this in linux. I currently use JAlbum for web galleries, it’s Java and not too shabby: (http://www.datadosen.se/jalbum)

    Ive had a look at F-Spot, it looks good, I’ll give it a run. Thanks for the opportunity.


  36. There is so much potential for better software for digital images.

    I am especially interested in creativity and control in printing.

    I am also interested in preprocessing before going to a developer. eg: be able to merge 8 different images into one big image that I can get developed at a shop as one photo – so that I then have 8 different wallet size photos.

  37. Ryan Zygar says:

    I used Iphoto all the time. I have found that this beats most the applications I have used either Linux or Windows. Although I would use gphoto to pull pics off the camera once mounted. I would then really heavly on Nautilus to work the names and folders.

    I like what you are starting the ideas I would like:

    1. Rolls of film created by date, called rolls
    2. Ability to have thumbnails that you can zoom in out on the pictures via either mouse wheel or zoom bar integrated into the program
    3. Ability to email the photo, or earmark the photo like your mock up to email the photo(s)
    4. Given previous ability, ability to resize and make email ready automatically set preferences
    5. Set as desktop!
    6. Upload to my picture gallery with some sort of plugin for Jakubs gallery

    A cool name like F-Spot

  38. Arcterex says:

    Organizing: Currently files go into a remote mount on my fileserver (so they can be accessed from other machines on my network for use by PS under windows for example) in a /YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD – DESCRIPTION format. Currently I get them there by dragging files from the CF reader mount (under windows or linux) to the directory, which I create by hand. This part I’d like to be automated, I dislike organization tools that force me to use their structure or setup. The only one I’ve seen that uses the same dir structure as I is jasc ps album 5, but this doesn’t support RAW which I use. What I’d like is to be able to define the base dir, then either define the dir to be created or have it ask for a description and have it put the files into the directory. Maybe allow the user to set up the format with something like %Y = year, %M = month, %S = description, etc, so that the user could define a mask for the directory that’s created based (%Y-%M-%D – %S) on the description. Just an idea. My main point is that the user should be able to change where the images go when they are imported.

    Once the images are on the server I open and edit them. Images are generally RAW or jpg and are saved as jpg or tiff. I’d like to keep a backup of the original image of course, in pristeen condition. Editing is done in the gimp or photoshop. Editing is for the most part:
    – levels/curves/colors
    – cropping
    – convert to black and white (under PS various actions are used for this, not the default greyscale command)
    – straightening (ms picture it! has a great tool for this that lets you define a straight line and then it auto rotates and crops… this is not something that I’d see being done in the photo organization tool)

    I’d like to be able to have a working and original version, and revert to the original if I mess up. Images are saved either as high quality 16 bit tiff images or higher quality jpgs for printing, or using the ‘save for web’ feature in photoshop to get smaller JPG images for putting on my webpage.

    Once the image is edited I will either manually copy it to my webserver with my blog in it into /photos/xxx.jpg and /photos/xxx_thumb.jpg and then manually put in the href and img src= tags into my blog entry. I’ve been too lazy to set up a proper photo blog. It’d be nice to have the upload part (or copy, as the files are mounted and available on the computer that would be running f-spot) automated, and be given text for the href and img src HTML code given to me (again, maybe user defined with flags to substitute filename, description, etc).

    Occassionally I also upload a group of images to gallery.

    So in summary things I’d like to see in f-spot in my perfect world
    – auto import from connected cameras, via gphoto2 or from CF reader (scsi flash device)
    – put in user defined directory under defined base dir, perhaps based on a mask that can take things like date, description (asked for at import), camera type….
    – easy organization and tagging of files (labels basically, with the ability to define your own labels)
    – ability to move files in between directories (ie: minor file operations like move, delete)
    – easy rename of files
    – easy adding of description to files, ie: one after another without having to do a lot of mousing or lots of extra tagging
    – saving of description to the JPG exif description field so that apps like Apache::Gallery can automatically create web pages with this info
    – ability to edit a copy of the file
    – full RAW support via dcraw (or whatever), same functionality as PSCS or the vuescan for adjusting color temp, exposure, sharpness
    – simple editing in the program such as auto-colors/levels/curves and cropping without having to have the gimp run
    – virtual folders with and/or support, running of dates, cameras, filetypes, description wildcard searches, date searches, tag searches (or a combination of all of the above)
    – calendar view
    – day view with group by picture group (ie: you take a bunch of pictures, wait an hour, take a bunch more… these gaps will most likely represent different subjects, and it’d be nice to see this in a view to help organization… unless you upload your pictures every day or after every photo session, chances are you have many different subjects and locations in a given “roll” of film. I talked about this on the list this morning I think
    – import from scanner/other source
    – export a group of pictures, folder, vfolder, or selection to gallery, static html page, remote directory via ftp/sftp

    Those are my thoughts, probably have many more, probably duplicated with the rest of the people here as well…

  39. Erik says:

    Right now, I do something like this at the command line:

    mkdir ~/Photos/2004/10\ October/20\ Fall\ Foliage
    cd ~/Photos/2004/10\ October/20\ Fall\ Foliage
    gphoto2 -P

    Then I delete the photos off my camera manually (on the camera, because gphoto2 seems to have trouble with this).

    Then, in gthumb, I open up that folder, and poke through the photos, looking for ones I want to post on my weblog. The ones I do, I resize down to 640×480, and adjust the brightness/contrast. I save these as JPGs in the same folder with more descriptive names (“alexcooking.jpg”)

    Then I use rsync to upload those to a folder on my web server (via the command line).

    Then, I import them via epiphany into a custom-build PHP photo application.

    Finally, I use Movabletype to create a blog entry, adding the HTML for the photos by hand. This entire process is a huge pain in the ass, and thus I rarely put photos on my blog any more.

    Ideally, I would:

    1) Plug in my camera and turn it on. Some app would download all of the new photos into my photos folder.
    2) A window would open that showed the new photos. I could click certain ones and adjust the brightness/contrast, hopefully in a way that I could easily move from one to the next (gthumb forgets where I was in the album after I save a copy of a photo).
    3) There would be some way to tell it to delete the photos off my camera (though I don’t *always* want to do this).
    4) I could select a number of photos (using CTRL+click or something) and then do a command to upload them to the web. This would remember my preferred file size (640×480), create thumbnails for my blog, remember where I want them uploaded and my password and everything. This would leave the full resolution pics on my computer. I don’t need to keep the web ones around.
    5) It would then pop up gnome-blog, with the code for embedding those photos pre-added to the entry. Ideally the actual thumbnails would be in there, but the code would be OK too. I could add the entry around the photos and post it.

    ta-da. Sometimes I like to browse back to a certain time (“let’s look at those photos from last semester!”) but I rarely go back to look at my photos except on my blog.

    If F-Spot did that…

    Well, if F-Spot did that, I’d use it.

    Erik P.

  40. Michael says:

    Additional comment:

    A lot of people are asking for date based organisation of the images. That’s a good idea, but I think you need other parallel categories so that you could look for instance at a particular day’s session, or a particular topic. So, I could look at the photo’s I took on say 20/10/2004 or I could look at every flower photo I have. The date category would be automatic, based on import or perhaps actual camera shooting date, and the flower category would be manually assigned by me, by dragging the image over the top of the flowers album icon, just like iPhoto does. Any photo could be in multiple categories, perhaps the flower shot could be in both ‘flowers’ and ‘gardens’ albums. 2 or more views across the same data.



  41. Michael says:

    Additional Additional comment 🙂

    Storage backend so that I could easily store my images and data on my debian woody home server, but run the F-Spot GUI on my ubuntu machine (or any other machine I might have that would run it)


  42. I agree with a lot of the previous comments. There should also be a very easy way to import a giant load of images for first-run situations. A lot of people first starting to use f-spot will want to be able to import all of their gigs of photos without a lot of hassle. A lot of people use a date scheme in their directories. This should be preferred over EXIF dates which are often 01/01/2000 due to battery resets. Then of course fspot should be able to rewrite the tags based on the directory name. But, at the same time, sometimes the tags are right and the directory is the day it was transferred, not the date the picture was taken.

    What I, and a lot of people worry about destroying their data. It’s important that the initial process be non-destructive until it’s made very clear what’s going on.

  43. kh says:

    The biggies are crop, color correction, and sharpen (USM). If it can do those — with live previews — it does 90% of what most photographers need in terms of editing.

    Presentation for me usually means putting it on the web. Right now, that’s a Python script that makes thumbnails, generates some simple HTML, put my header on it, etc. Just give me some textareas to paste my HTML header/footer, let me specify a few things like how many rows/columns and what size to make the thumbnails and full-size images. That would be sweet! (I don’t like Gallery’s interface, and I want to serve static pages, anyway.)

    Since there isn’t a good backup program for Gnome (that I’ve found, anyway), being able to easily burn photographs onto DVDs would be very helpful. (I’d only use it for backup, but I imagine burning a slideshow DVD of low-res images for sticking on somebody’s TV could be nice, too.)

    Finally, all else being equal, I’d use a program whose name didn’t tongue-twist and confuse me. Say “F-stop, “F-spot” a few times quickly, then tell me which one’s the program and which one’s the aperture setting. Ugh! Sounds cute the first time you see it, gets annoying fast.

  44. Ben Hill says:

    I mount my camera in Nautilus and copy off the pictures, pasting them into a new or existing directory based upon their “type”. My photos and pictures directory is hugely polluted and badly organised. I use Jimmac‘s Original to turn them into a web gallery and display them on my website.

    I’d love to have a mechanism that can easily organise pictures based upon:

    1) Content (trip to the beach, Christmas day etc)
    2) Date
    3) Used in web gallery

    I’d like to firstly have things organised by content, so I can find “pictures when I was on holiday last year”. Then by date order, such as “pictures from Christmas day” -> “from 2003”. I’d like also to know if those pictures are used in my web gallery or not.

    Add and remove individual pictures from a web gallery.

    Also organise pictures based on EXIF data – all pictures with shutter speed of 1/1000 etc.

    This is a bit of a brain-dump, but I’ll have more of a think.

  45. Loz Hygate says:

    I never want the original photo to be lost. If, in the process of editing it I get a copy I like I want to be able to say “don’t lose that one either”. Optionally I’d like to be able to give the new version a name.

  46. Arcterex says:

    I think that the date based organization and date based presentation of photos has to be separate. I put my stuff into YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD – Description/something.jpg so I can know what is going on when I access the photos from my other box, and via Apache::Gallery. Inside f-spot I’d love to see the date organization based on the file dates or exif data, and almost completely ignore my date folder organization except for storing files.

  47. Steve Peters says:

    I agree with and fully support many of the comments mentioned here and am super excited about seeing quality open source software like F-Spot. I’m currently a Mac user, so I import all my photos into iPhoto automatically, which stores them physically by date, I believe, and maintains some other metadata. An essential tool for managing my pictures has been Keyword Assistant ( http://homepage.mac.com/kenferry/Software/docs/KeywordAssistant.html ) which adds keywords to all the photos. I add a keyword of the name of each person in the photo for cool tracking and sorting purposes. Keyword Assistant even looks into the Apple Address Book and autocompletes names as you type, which is sweet.

    What would be ultimately way cool, and for which I would take you out to dinner twice, is software that enables the following scenario:
    1. I plug in my camera and import photos.
    2. I then make some sort of rating / categorization pass through them and rotate / adjust them. During this phase there should be a window with the pictures of people in my address book that I can click on / drag’n’drop to indicate that they are in the picture. Auto-facial recognition software? Maybe someday, but manually is fine for now.
    3. Upon indicating the subjects of the photos, they are automatically updated to my website and an email is sent to people in my address book with new pictures, including a link to the specific pictures of them.

    That’s my thought.

  48. Josh says:

    That would be pretty sweet, especially if you told the software what the label on the cd was. You call it “October 2004” and it only uses 500mb of the cd. Then it throws on some other photos that it has a record of not being in two places. Then when you want to get a certain photo back, it may say that the image is located on “September 2003” and “October 2004.” I love the idea of keeping a history of my images.

  49. Paul says:

    In addition to all of the great comments above, I’d like to see some of the functionality that

    rdnk says:

    I think this would suit better for some gimp plug-in, but it would be nice if color management could be applied, at least in the most basic level as an ability to insert an ICC-profile into the image.

    This relates to the absent of a working CMS in Linux or Gimp, but some efforts are already done: http://www.freecolormanagement.com/color/gimp.html. Color management I think is a must-have ability in order to achieve usable workflows.

  50. kh says:

    The big problem with color management on Linux is that there are a number of patents — http://www.levien.com/gimp/gcmm.html lists some of them.

    Gimp can surely do a better job at color management (does it do anything at all now?), but it’ll probably be a loong time before any Linux-based program has color management anywhere near Photoshop, sadly.

  51. john says:

    At the moment I pop the CF/SD in the reader and hand copy, or more recently with nautilus, the images over to my main server in a YYYY/MM/DDn format for the directory. I sometimes export some of them to gallery and I am experimenting with flickr.com. I keep theses images as origonal and any editing or changes I do are on copies of them.
    I would like this sort of protection of the origonals from f-spot, you can’t get the image back once you have cropped and adjusted the colors!
    I would also like to be able to share images just by tagging them as public, so that I could create a web version that has all the tagging info, searches and comments built in.



  52. berto says:

    Wow, so many comments already; I’ve made it to the party a bit late! 😉

    I’ve been using iPhoto for the past two years and it’s okay but not excellent. I’d love to have the following:

    – make a hierarchy of albums.
    – simple way to create macros for repetitive tasks
    – an API to access the meta data stored for each picture
    – an easy way to upload photos using scp/ftp/rsync/etc

    I guess the most important feature for me is to be able to have a hierarchy because that’s how I typically “name” a group of pictures based on the event. When I need to find a picture, I can more or less remember what event I took it at, so I go to that folder. Hmm, folders can almost be considered a keyword that gets displayed as a folder; that’d be interesting. You can then start parenting the keywords together to get a heirarchy.


  53. me.eae.net says:

    What I do with images
    Saw a short piece by Garrett LeSage, What do you do with your images?, over at Planet Gnome about F-Spot (an image manager for gnome) where he asked how others worked with their photos, and what he could do to make F-Spot aid in that.

    Now I haven’t…

  54. UFies.org says:

    Image Organization Under Linux with F-Spot
    Garrett over at linuxart asks What do you do with your images? Good question, and it looks like f-spot has…

  55. To XMP, or not to XMP
    Garrett’s question at linuxart, What do you do with your images? has generated quite the discussion. Many excellent suggestions being made, including the use of XMP to store the metadata for your images directly within the image files.

    The advant…