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Linux Photography Applications


  • Digikam is a fantastic photograph management tool
  • We tag photos straight after we've downloaded them from the cameras
  • The export to flickr tool works very well
  • Have just converted to using the mysql database option for centrally storing tags etc, making it easier to access our photograph database from any machine:
    1. Followed these processes
    2. Created two databases: digikam, digikam_thumbnails
    3. Created mysql user for each local user, and granted all priveleges for each on the digikam databases
    4. Convert from sqlite to mysql:
      1. Settings → Database migration
        • conversion process from sqlite to mysql takes hours, but seems to run ok.
      2. Then manually create thumbnails database since the above doesn't do it: Tools → Maintenance and tick rebuild thumbnails
        • again takes hours if you've got a large collection already.
    5. Then configure digikam to actually use the mysql database: Settings → Configure Digikam → Database
      • Then restart digikam
  • ! do notice when updating a lot of tags that it takes a few seconds - it was never noticeable when the database was a local file.
    • However I think there's still a net benefit to having all computers use the same database!
    • Just need amarok to get their act together to allow the same thing - their current effort at using mysql is broken: don't bother yet!


  • The gimp is a tool that gets better and better
  • I use the ufraw plugin to pull in the raw (nef) files from my nikon and then get it into the gimp.
  • I often combine two or three exposures of the same raw image to get the optimum exposure. The process I use is
    1. create an exposure for the lightest stuff: i.e. the most under-exposed final image, so the sky (typically) looks great and the clouds are not burnt out
    2. Add another image as a layer, this time exposed for the darker areas, i.e. more over-exposed than the first one.
    3. Add a layer mask, as a grey-scale version of the most recent layer, with the exposure inverted. In this way we get the sky from the lower layer nicely showing through.
    4. Optionally convert to completely black or white using the gradient tool on the layer mask for particular areas (perhaps all the sky, or all the foreground etc).
  • Sometimes I use the unsharp mask, but this can be all too easily over used and make pictures harsh to look at.


  • What a great tool!
  • Have done some very successful panos, using 3 exposures per frame, with hugin successfully blending them with enfuse (this is built in to blender). Also mini-planets work well.
  • Exporting tiff layers to manually blend in using the gimp can be useful too
public/compute/photography.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/01 14:30 by jon