The very first thing you have to do before being able to edit the photos you have taken for the end use is surely transferring them to your computer first. There are many ways to do this. From the conventional method to the more modern one.
The conventional method I mean here is that you release the memory card from your camera and plug it in to your computer. There is no bad with this method. The problem is, your photos will be tend to unorganized. In order to make your photos be more organized it’s highly recommended to import your photos using certain tool like Shotwell. By transferring your photos using Shotwell, your photos will be placed into structured folders automatically.
Shotwell itself is a handy tool to help you manage photo collections in your computer. You can also use this tool to import photos directly from your camera, without having to release your memory card. Currently, Shotwell is only available for the Linux platform. It was basically designed for GNOME, but it can run seamlessly on other desktop environments too. If you are a photography hobbyist or professional and use Linux on your daily basis, there is no reason to not using Shotwell for transferring photos from your camera to your computer. Here are why.
1. Your photos will be much more organized
Not all photographers have a good file management skill. Some photographers even tend to be ignorant over the photo collections they have on their computer. Starting today, stop this bad habit. Your photos are your assets. You will need them somewhen.
When you import your photos with Shotwell, they — your photos — will be placed into folders based on the date the photos were taken. For instance, photos that were taken in September 2, 2017 will be placed in a folder named “02”. This folder is located under the folder of “09”. Above the folder of “09” is “2017” that becomes the top folder of Shotwell. In other words, Shotwell has a very structured folder hierarchy. Take a look at the video below to make it clearer.
2. No more duplicate file
When you are deleting photos on your camera, your camera will delete everything related to your photos, including file name. Next days, when you take some photos using the same camera, your camera will store the photos with the same file names as the ones that were been deleted before. That is why you sometimes will meet a duplication message when you are copying photos from memory card to a certain existing folder in your computer.
Like I mentioned above, when you import photos using Shotwell, your photos will be placed in the folders based on when the photos were taken. That way, photos with the same file names will be placed into different folders so that you will see no duplication message like you usually meet when transferring photos using the conventional method.
3. Shotwell is capable to handle multiple image file formats, including RAW
The common reason why most photographers prefer to shoot in JPEG rather than RAW is because RAW requires more complex processing. Naturally, you need to convert your RAW photos into JPEG before being able to edit them using GIMP or Photoshop. Shotwell makes it simpler to process RAW. The tool is capable to handle multiple image formats, including RAW. With Shotwell, you can perform basic editing to your RAW files like cropping, adjusting the saturation, adjusting the exposure and so on. Lastly, you can export the edited RAW photo into portable image format like JPEG.
4. Shotwell is a versatile tool
Like I explained above, you can perform basic editing with Shotwell like cropping the photos, resizing, rotating, adjusting the exposure and saturation and so on. Not just to RAW but all of the image formats including JPEG, PNG and TIFF. These simple editing features are really helpful if you have to work with multiple photos. You don’t have to open every single photo one by one only to crop the photo, for instance, like you usually do with tools like GIMP and Photoshop.
5. Shotwell is very simple and easy to use
Other reason why you should try using Shotwell to import your photos is because this tool is very easy to use. To make it clearer, I will compare it with digiKam, another photo management tool for Linux.
DigiKam is undoubtedly a great photo management tool. It is very feature-rich. The problem is, digiKam is a bit complicated to use. Before being able to use it you will be asked to create a database. The different story goes to Shotwell. You can even use it without performing any configuration at all.
Well, everyone has their own favorite tool to import photos from camera and manage them. Shotwell is just one of the examples of photo management tool. I am not saying that Shotwell is the best photo management tool. I just love its simple interface and the way it organizes my photos. The structured folders ease me finding the photos I need. All I have to do every time I need a certain photo is to remember when did I take it.