DigiKam Tutorials & How to...

By: Mohamed Malik

i@mohamedmalik.com www.mohamedmalik.com
These tutorials are dedicated to the digiKam team, users and most importantly everyone who reads my blog. All these tutorials were initially posted on my blog, and since I have written many, I thought it is time that I published them as an ebook. Enjoy! Please note that as I write more articles I will update this book as necessary from time to time. Permission is hereby granted to share and modify any texts and screen captures that I have used. Special Thanks: A very special thanks to the following people, without whom this book will not exist. The Digikam Team Gilles Caulier Dmitri Popov Mohamed Hussein Mariyam Shahinda

Introduction: Over the past few years, I have been using many image management applications. These applications include Google Picasa, digiKam, Shotwell, F-spot and many more. Up until a few months back my favorite image management application was Google Picasa. Even though I was also using digiKam at that time, I never delved much into it. When Picasa released version number 3.5 they dropped support for the Linux platform, and The only option I was left with was Wine I never liked the idea of running applications under Wine. I only do it when there is no alternative. This was my turning point. Instead of Picasa I discovered a perfect alternative that has a lot more features than Picasa. So here is my user guide and tutorials about DigiKam. I have arranged the tutorials in the same order as I have published them on my blog.

Contents digikam: Manage your photographs like a professional with the power of open source ----------3 Reducing Noise ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 How to enable fast thumbnail loading --------------------------------------------------------------------------6 How to find duplicate images-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 Geotaging Photos -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9 How to geotag photos in digiKam using Google maps -----------------------------------------------------11 How to export and import pictures to Picasa web --------------------------------------------------------- 13 How to upload pictures to facebook ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15 How to download facebook albums ------------------------------------------------------------------------15, 16 Straighten Your Pictures ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------17 Re-compress Images -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------19 Applying Image Effects ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------21 Creating Calendars ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------22 Remove Red Eyes From Your Pictures ---------------------------------------------------------------------------25 Batch Renaming Photos ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------28 Batch Converting Your RAW Files ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------29 Adding Textures To Your Images -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------30 Generating Aspect Ratio Crops ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------31 Optimising digiKam’s Performance -------------------------------------------------------------------------------32 Using The Time-Line View ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------33

digikam: Manage your photographs like a professional with the power of open source digiKam is definitely the best image management tool that is available for Linux users. It supports all major image formats - including RAW files from all major DSLR camera manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon etc..., We can organize collections of photographs into directory-based albums or dynamic albums, by date, time-line, or by tags. Moreover, users can also add captions and ratings to their images, search through them and save searches for later use. Furtherplugins enable you toexport albums to 23hq, Facebook, Flickr, Gallery2, Google Earth’s KML files, SmugMug, Simpleviewer; burn them on CDs, or create web galleries. Features digiKam provides functions for organizing, previewing, downloading and/or deleting images from digital cameras. Basic auto-transformations can also be deployed on the fly during picture downloading. In addition, digiKam offers image enhancement tools through its KIPI (KDE Image Plugins Interface) framework and its own plugins like red-eye removal, color management, image filters and special effects. digiKam is the only free photo management application on Linux that can handle 16 bit/channel images. Digital Asset Management is the mainstay of digiKam. The 0.10 version is a hallmark in development as it integrates digiKam in the KDE4/Qt4 desktop environment which is now available on all major platforms including Unix-like, OS X and Windows (XP and Vista). New features are: XMP metadata, DNG format read and write, database file is independent of photo libraries, enabling remote paths, multiple roots and offline archives, improved database with many more metadata that can be searched (e.g. camera or lens), Marble integration for geolocation, non-modal image editor, live search boxes (in both sidebars and main window) and many more. Due to these high end features that are available on digiKam, it can satisfy the most serious photographers and people who have tons of pictures or picture collections. digiKam has two views: one is the default viewer and the other is the editor view. In editor view, users can edit the picture by using various tools that are available. In this regard, many filters such as artistic, color paint and emboss are available. By using the editor view users can also apply various effects to their pictures as well .In this manner it can be regarded as a fully fledged replacement for proprietary photo management tools like Apple’s Aperture and Adobe’s Lightroom Due to its usefulness and popularity, it has been awarded the TUX 2005 , 2008 & 2010 Readers’ Choice Award in the category of Favorite Digital Photo Management Tool.

Optimize digiKam’s Performance There are a few things that you can do in order to optimize the performance of digiKam when you are using it for the first time. 1. Rebuild All Thumbnails - when digiKam starts it loads the thumbnails when ever an album is opened, most of the time this takes sometime. However, you can solve this issue by generating thumbnails. To do this, go to Tools > Rebuild All Thumbnails. This will take time depending on the amount of images in your collection 2. Rebuild All Finger Prints - this option is a must if you want to search your images for duplicates or if you want to enable fuzzy searches. To do this, go to Tools > Rebuild Finger Prints. 3. Disable Scanning For New Images At Start up -by default digiKam scans your collections for new images. If you feel digiKam is slow when starting up disable this option. To do this, go to Settings >Configure digiKam. When the window opens go to the last option named “miscellaneous” and disable it. Observe screen capture below.

Using Image Versioning In digiKam 2.0 Beta 3 digiKam 2.0 beta comes with image versioning support, meaning that when an image is edited the user can create a new version of the image there by leaving the original untouched. The most interesting thing about this feature is that users can set there own preferences while using it. In digiKam go to Settings > Configure digiKam

Navigate to the section go to editing images and you will be presented with many options. ——- Choose the workspace file format, meaning when ever an image is edited, you can choose the file format for the modified image. ——- You can set the image editor to ask you to save a new version or to automatically save a new version. ——- Keep a snap shot of an edited image, this give a few options too ——- After converting from a RAW file ——- After each editing session ——- Or after each step that is not complete reproductible

And also in the mail album view you can choose to show the original image and intermediate snap shots. When the configuration of editing images is done, you can edit the configuration of saving images. Navigate down to saving images and set your preferences. You can choose the file format and there compression ratios or not to compress any image at all. Here is how it really works.

You can set in the options to have only the latest selected version visible in the main digiKam view, or to have all of them visible and viewable all the time. In the first case, you select the image, then in the sidebar you select which version do you want to see/edit/work with and the pics get switched. Simple as that. They are all physically in the same folder, with the same filename but with “_v1″ appended for the first version, “_v2″ for second etc. So yes, the versions are complete images, just like in F-Spot versioning. The image’s versions are saved in the original image format, except RAW (of course) – format for storing RAW versions is settable in the Settings, for now it’s possible to do the saving in PNG or JPG.

Next new thing is list of all used filters/transformations/effects on a particular image. This is part of the new right sidebar tab. So you can see what modifications you did to the selected image. This comes very handy in the Image editor. You apply some filter, it will show up in the new sidebar. When you press undo, the last entry will get a ‘disabled’ look, so you know what was undo-ed. Also when you press redo, the entries will get ‘enabled’ accordingly. Then when you have a bunch of disabled entries and you apply some new tool, the disabled entries will get lost and they will be replaced by the new applied tool, just as you would expect. So in short, in image editor this list presents a visualized undo/redo list. In the future I’d like it to be able to dynamically switch any entries on or off to see how would the image look and also to change the used values for particular filters. Basic foundations for this are already layed down. This will later also allows you to take one set of modifications and apply it to any other images.

In the image editor, the ‘Save’ button is now replaced by ‘New version’ button. By default, when you’re editing again some already created version, not the original image, the changes are saved back to that version. The new version file is created only in case you’re editing the original. So, when you’re editing some version of the original image and you want to have the changes in a new image (and preserve the old version), that’s what the ‘New version’ button is for. It will create a ‘subversion’ of the current version. Another use is to open the original, modify, click ‘New version’, click ‘Revert’, do another set of changes, click again ‘New version’ and this way you can quickly create several versions off of the original image and after closing the Image editor, see them all next to each other.

Reducing Noise In Your Photos

All DSLR cameras produce noise up to some extent. This is most true for entry level and consumer level DSLR cameras. These cameras have very good ISO performance, up to almost ISO 800. I use a Nikon D3000 and its ISO performance is good up to ISO 800. ISO 1600 is good too and it can be used in smaller sizes. However, images taken at an ISO of 3200 are very grainy and noise reduction is obligatory.. digiKam has an exceptional noise reduction tool. Double click the image that you want to reduce noise and right click > edit or press f4 on the keyboard. You will be presented with the editor view. In the editor view go to ‘enhance > noise reduction’ and you will be introduced to this window.

You can either copy my settings or adjust till you get your preferred result. . Below are outcomes from my tryout. The images are much more presentable after the noise reduction.

Before Applying Noise Reduction

After Applying Noise Reduction

How to enable fast thumbnail loading

One of the things that bothered me during the first few days of using digikam is that the thumbnails take forever to load.. Given that I had been a Picasa user for a long time, I am well accustomed to the speedy thumbnails it delivers. However, this is mostly due to the fact that Picasa is developed by Google - a multi-billion dollar company who has all the money in the world. Yet, digiKam can also be tweaked to load thumbnails quite fast, although probably not as fast as Picasa. When you install digiKam for the first time, it creates two databases: one for images which carries all the information about the images in your library and the other for thumbnails. By default, thumbnails are generated as the folders are being accessed. However, you can generate the thumbnails faster with just a few clicks. After installing digiKam and showing it the root folder where you have kept your images it is very simple to enable the thumbnail to load faster. First, go to tools and select the option “Rebuild All Thumbnails”. It will give you two options.

1. Scan - this option scans for missing thumbnails in your library and generate them. This is a fast process. 2. Rebuild all - this option scans all the images in your collection and generates the thumbnails – this process is slow and time consuming. After choosing either one of the above you will find that the thumbnails now load almost instantly . Doing this is beneficial for you and it enhances the performance of digiKam. You can choose either one of the above options. After the process, digikam loads the thumbnails noticeably faster, enhancing the performance abundantly.

How to find duplicate images on digiKam!

If you are, like me who have numerous pictures in your database then this feature is definitely worth having a look at. Most of us, including myself, will surely have a thriving amount of photos in their library, and it only gets bigger and more chaotic. Thankfully, digikam has a very nice feature to make sure we don’t have any duplicates hogging our hard disk space. However, in order to use this feature you need to do something beforehand. First go to tools on digiKam’s tools bar and go to “rebuild fingerprints”. Just like the thumbnail generating options, this too has two options.

1. Scan - this option scans your library for missing fingerprints (this is a fast process). 2. Rebuild all - this option scans all of your images for fingerprints and rebuilds them (this is a slow process). When you have done that it is easy to identify duplicates. From the bar on the left, click the icon resemble a magic wand and you will be greeted with three options. From the three, I will talk about the last option - “duplicates”. When you go to the “duplicates” section you will get a menu similar to the one below, where you will be asked which folder to search. Choose a folder.

Then click the button ‘find duplicates’.

When the folder is scanned, it will show you pictures on the left hand side that it feels are duplicates. Go on to click on an an image and viola, it will show you the duplicates and look alikes. Here is an example:

Using The Time-Line View In DigiKam DigiKam comes with some useful features and among them is the time-line view, where it shows the images according to days, weeks, months and years. This is useful when you are trying to find a picture that was taken at a certain date.

Click on the time-line view and the following window will appear. In the screen capture I’m asking digiKam to display my images according to the month. So it displays the months. If you take a closer look you can see that below the bar graph it has some letter “J” and “F”, here “J” stands for January and “F” stands for February. Meaning that, it will display images taken during the month selected. Here the year is divided into months within the time line. When you are done selecting the month, click on the red dotted square that you see around the month. It will display all the images taken during January 2011. And it also gives you the total number of pictures taken in January 2011. It shows that I have taken 2947 picture in January 2011!

How to enable video thumbnails in digiKam If you have videos within your image collections, then you need to have the previews of them too, however there are a few things which has to be done first. First open up your package manager and install one of the following packages “mplayerthumbs” or “kffmpegthumbnailer” When the package is installed. Open Dolphin and go to Settings > Configure Dolphin And enable the previews of video thumbnails

Now open digiKam and navigate to any video files that you may have, you will see that video thumbnails are now generated!

Adding Captions To Images In digiKam Captions are what describes your images, giving you the possibility to define when where and why the image was taken. You can add a more detailed summary of your images as captions and adding them to digiKam is very simple. Select the images that you want to apply captions to and go to the right hand menu bar.

When you click here the following window will appear

In the area mentioned captions you can add a detailed description to your pictures. You can also add “tags” and “ratings” to all the pictures. As of digiKam 2.0 beta 3 you can apply color labels and pick labels directly from the captions menu aswell. However adding pick labels and color labels are not availabe in current stable versions. If you are applying captions RAW files then you need to enable write meta data to RAW files, you can find detailed instructions to enable it here… When you done click apply and digiKam will write the captions to pictures!

Using Pick Labels In digiKam 2.0 beta 3 Digikam 2.0 beta 3 includes support for pick labels and color labels, the pick label feature come with 3 options Rejected ( Alt +1), Pending ( Alt +2) & Accepted ( Alt +3) For a person who has a large number of pictures in there collection this will become very handy, while managing pictures. Basically for all the pictures that he has processed he can select the pictures and hit Alt +3 and the accepted pick label will be assigned to those pictures, however to reject the pictures in an album you can apply the rejected pick label by using Alt +1. For images that you still haven’t decided on you can apply pending by using the keyboard short cut Alt +2. However this is not the only way to do this.

Searching your library for pick labels. On the right hand side menu click filters

And on the left hand go to the root of your albums so that it will display all the pictures in your database. In order to view all the images in your database at once you need to go to View> and enable Include Album Sub-Tree From there you can select the pictures that you want to show by adding filters, go to the album view on the left hand side and select the album or all of your albums and select the filter you want from the right hand side to display the pick labels that you have used.

Using Color Labels In digiKam 2 beta 3 By assigning color labels it makes it very easy to find pictures if you have a huge amount of them in your collection. At the moment i have some 70000+ pictures in my database so it gives me the option to find the ones easily and efficiently. First you need to assign color labels to your pictures.

Inorder to do this select some pictures and give a right click and give it a color label from the available choices. You can assign various color labels to as many pictures in your collections. When you are done assigning color labels you need to find the pictures according to the color labels that you have assigned. On the right hand menu click filters.

And on the left hand go to the root of your albums so that it will display all the pictures in your database. In order to view all the images in your database at once you need to go to View> and enable Include Album Sub-Tree In the filters menu you can click on the color labels so that it will only display pictures which has been assigned to that color labels. You can select as many has you want. In the screen capture below i have selected yellow and blue therefore all the pictures that has been assigned with yellow and blue appears in the previews pane.

Geotagging Photos.

Geotagging has become a popular hype amongst a lot of individuals, and not without its benefits. Digikam also lets you do this, and also rather simply.
In digiKam, select the photo(s) you want to geotag and from Image > Geolocation

This opens the Edit Geographical Coordinates window containing a map. Drag the map with the mouse and zoom on a specific area to locate the exact place where the photo was taken. Alternatively, you can use the Search field to enter the address, for example: botanic garden, Berlin, Germany. Hit the Search button and you should see a list of results pinned on the map. To add geographical coordinates to the photo, click on the exact spot on the map to add a pin to the place where the photo was taken. You can then drag the pin with the mouse for more accurate adjustments of the pin’s position. Hit OK and you are done.

But if you have used a GPS device to record your track while shooting photos, you can use

digiKam’s Correlator tool to geotag the images (mapping photos using a GPX file is often called geocorrelation). To do this, you have to export the recorded track from your GPS unit as a GPX file. In digiKam, select the photos you want to correlate. Choose Image -> Geolocation -> Correlator. Then press Load GPX File button and select the GPX file. Hit the Correlate button and digiKam does the rest. Keep in mind that for this feature to work properly, the time on your GPS device and digital camera must be in sync. If the time on both devices differs, don’t fret. You can also specify the time gap in the Difference in min[utes] field. Once you’ve geotagged your photos, you can view them on the map without having to leave the convenience of digiKam. To do this, click on the Geolocation sidebar to expand it and select the photo you want. You should be able to see it on the map. DigiKam even lets you choose between different map providers including Google Maps, OpenStreetMap and MSN Maps. To switch to the desired map, choose it from the drop-down list at the bottom of the Geolocation sidebar.

Adapted From: scribblesandsnaps.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/geotagging-photos-with-


How to geotag photos in digiKam using Google maps Notably, Google Maps is one of the most accurate and precise maps that are available to use for the general public. Digikam has two options when using maps. The first option (default) is the marble virtual globe which uses the open street map and Google maps. Open street map is good and it has many quality features. However, it is just not powerful enough compared to Google maps. The only reason that I prefer Google Maps over Open Street Map is that the Map of the Maldives is much more complete. In my case, my home town of Inguraidhoo and many other places are not included in Open Street Map. And this goes true for most of the other remote areas comparable to Maldives.. Thereby using Google maps I can pin point the exact location of my pictures and geotag them more accurately. Here is how to use it. On the right hand side of digiKam click the tool maps and change it to Google Maps. Screen shot is shown below.

Now go to album view and choose your snaps and go to Image --> Geolocation and the geotag tool will appear. If that window still contains the Marble Virtual Globe, then change it to Google Maps. See screen shot below.

When the map loads, drag and drop the images on to the exact location where you want them. Since this map uses Google maps, in-order to use this feature you have to be connected to the internet.

Using Reverse Geocoding In digiKam The description of the project says this “The idea of reverse geocoding is that when the coordinates on earth of an image are known, the application retrieves the associated human readable location: City, street, country, etc. and stores this information in the image. The location names can be stored in the images as new tags, allowing the user to easily search for all pictures he took in a country, city or even street” I am using this picture of Fernando Alonso in Brazil, which i downloaded from Google image search, please bear in mind that i do not own the copyright of this image. I don’t have any images of my own from another country and the Maldivian included in Google Earth, Marble & Open Streets Map has a very few locations and cannot be fully used to unlock this feature. First go to the tags menu and apply a new tag named “Places”, inside a new tag you can write your country, here im tagging Brazil and assigned the tag to the picture that I’m using. Second, go to the image that you have select and go to Image > Geolocation I’m using Google maps, you either use the Marble Interface or Open Street Maps. Go to search and type the location of where the picture was taken, here I’m searching for “interlagos”, the circuit and which the image was taken. See Screen Capture

Then Click Apply…

Then go to the tab ” Reverse Geocoding” and navigate to Places Tag and the sub tag Brazil, give a right click and select ” add all address elements“, there are many options you chose any option that you prefer.

Choose from the options and the click apply “reverse geocoding” And then you will see that the select address elements are now applied.. You now close the window, go to Tags and see the places tag when you choose country now you will also see all the address elements, this now means while searching for pictures within digiKam, now you can for city’s and sub address rather than searching for a specific country.

How to export and import pictures to Picasa web using digiKam I had used Google Picasa for sometime, before when they released Picasa 3.0 for Linux. However, since the release of Picasa 3.5 and the discontinuation of their support for Linux systems due to low adoption. Even in those days I used digiKam as well. Since then digiKam has been my first choice to manage images. As I have mentioned previously, I was previously an avid Picasa user, and some of you use Picasa Web Albums along with digikam. For those of you who do, digikam has a very clear-cut route.

Exporting Images In order to export images to Picasa web, select the images that you want to export and then go to export menu on digiKam and select “Export To Picasa Web”. When you select this option you will be asked to enter your Google account password and username. Once you enter your credentials you will find a window as shown below.

You can either choose to create new albums or upload into an existing album. You can also adjust the size of the files that you to upload. When you are ready, just simply press Start Upload.

Importing Images Importing pictures is also as simple. Go to import>import from Picasa web. If you have already entered your account information when you were exporting the images, you will not have to do so again. On the contrary, seamlessly, you’ll come to this window.

Select the album you want to download and choose where that album goes to. Give it a name and click Start Download

How to download Facebook albums by using digiKam Need to download Facebook albums of you or your friends? Don’t want to save each and every image individually? Well in that case digiKam has got you covered. It is easy and less time consuming. Here is how to do it. Go to import and select import from Facebook. When you press it you will be asked to log in to your Facebook account or either link your Facebook account with digiKam. Your web browser will pop up and give it permission to connect. Then you will be greeted with this window.

Here you can download your own albums or your friend’s albums. If you choose ‘my album’ then when you click the menu named album you will see all the albums uploaded by you. If you wish to download a friend’s album, then choose the name of your friend and then select the album you want to download. As you can see on the screen shot, you need to specify where you want to download the photos. Select the location on your albums and select “new album” and give it a name. And press “start download”. It will download the pictures that you have selected.

How to upload pictures to Facebook using digiKam In the previous article I wrote about how to download pictures from Facebook using digiKam. Now let us learn how to upload pictures to Facebook using digiKam. This too is immensely simple, select the images that you want to upload and export to Facebook and with a new window,you will be asked to log on to Facebook. Follow the onscreen instructions and you will see this window.

As you can see the process is very easy and straight forward. You can create a new album give it a name. And choose to resize the pictures to your preference and can even alter the JPG quality settings. When you are done with settings just press start upload.

Straighten Your Pictures Using Digikam Do you have any images where the horizon is not straight? I have many. In that case you can straighten them using digiKam. Here is how to do it. Take a look at this picture. It definitely needs a serious alignment job.

From the picture view press either press F4 on your keyboard or right click on the picture and press edit to go to the editor view From the editor view go to transform>free rotation

Then you will see this window. Take a look on to the right. And you will see two sliders-marked; main angle and fine angle. Change these and you will be able to contemplate the effects in real time. Alter these values until you have straightened your image. Here is what I got.

Batch Processing Images Using digiKam digikam comes with a nifty features called batch processing, meaning that many image editing features can be applied to many pictures at once, rather than editing each them individually. Select the images that you want to batch process and press B on the keyboard. The batch queue manager appears. Drag and drop the editing tools to the list of “Assigned tools” if you want to alter the settings of individual tools, simply select the tools and the options which are available for that tool will appear on the right hand side.

In the bottom left you will find queue settings, from there select a target folder or a new album. When you are done press RUN ( Control + P)

Adding Borders To Use Photos Using digiKam.. Many people add borders to there images, since they make the image look better and stands out unique and digiKam makes this very easy and simple. There are two ways to apply image borders in digiKam Method 1 Select the photo that you want to apply a border and click f4 on the keyboard. This will take you to the editor view. From there select Decorate > Add Border And you will be presented with many options.One option is the solid color, this option gives you many colors that you can choose from. The color options are ——-Forty Colors ——-Oxygen Colors ——-Rainbow Colors ——-Royal Colors ——-Web Colors ——-Named Colors You can change the hue, saturation and value of any color and add it to your list of custom colors. See screen capture below.

When you are done press ok.

If you prefer predefined textures to apply as borders you can select from the available options menu, this give many choices.

If you choose this option then you can choose the first color and second color, first color is the color that you will see in the inner area, where as second color is the color you will see on the outer area. When you are done press OK.

Method 2 Method 1 is very useful when to test the feature and try to get a border that really suits your needs, however if you have many images that you want to apply borders to then the batch queue manager would be the best option. Select all the images that you want to apply borders and click B on the keyboard and the batch queue manager appears. Drag and Drop the Add Border Tool to the list of assigned tools and set your preferences select a target folder and click RUN ( Ctrl +P)

Watermarking Photos With digiKam Each and every photo is a hard work, when people do share there pictures online or when they print they always water mark them, showing there identity. It is also one of the most effective ways of keeping your images safe from unauthorised use. Choose Tools | Batch Queue Manager (or press the B key) to open the Batch Queue Manager tool. Drag the photos you want to watermark from a digiKam album onto the Queues pane to add them to the current queue. Click on the Base Tools tab in the Batch Tools Available pane and double-click on the Add Watermark tool to add it to the Assigned Tools pane.

digiKam can use text or images as watermarks, and you can choose the desired watermark type in the Tools Setting pane. If you want to use the Image type, make sure that you already have a graphics file handy. Specify then the available settings such as Placement, Size, and Margins. Next, select the target folder in the Target section of the Queue Settings pane. In the Behavior section, you can specify what the system should do if it detects a file with the same name as the processed one in the target folder. You can either choose to overwrite the existing file or rename the processed file before saving it. You can also use the options available in the File Renaming section to specify a renaming rule to automatically rename the processed files. Once you are satisfied with the settings, hit the Run button, and once digiKam’s finished, you’ll find the watermarked photos in the target folder.

Re-compress Images Using digikam Many people argue that pictures should always be taken using the highest JPEG setting available. However I am someone who doesn’t agree with them due to many reasons. When I’m shooting pictures of friends and family and other normal occasions I always keep the JPEG setting at the basic level. In this case we have several factors that have to be taken into consideration. I’m not an expert in the field of photography; however this is just my personal opinion. Most cameras have JPEG settings which are FINE, NORMAL & BASIC. JPEG is a lossy format meaning it is compressed. However, the main difference between JPEG FINE and all other options is that each compression eliminates colors which are concealed to the human eye. If I’m shooting JPEG FINE, I can only shoot 2300 pictures into my 16GB memory card. However, at the BASIC setting I can shoot 8200 pictures onto the same memory card. For me storage matters and there is no need to shoot high quality images if they all look the same on the computer. We only need high quality if we are printing each and every image to a canvas. For any other reason, I don’t find it necessary. Digikam gives you the option to re-compress your images. This is useful if you have many JPEG pictures with JPEG setting FINE (on scale 0-100). Changing the scale from 100 to 85 can significantly reduce the file-size & still can look exactly like the original picture. Example: a 3.1 MB file at JPEG setting 100. When this image was re-compressed to a quality of 85 the image size reduced to just 1MB.

Meaning hundred similar files will require a total of 310MB. When these hundred pictures are re-compressed to a scale of 85 you will only require approximately 100Mb of storage, saving 210MB of hard drive space. If you have many images like I do and if you need to convert these images it will save GB's of hard-drive space. To re-compress your files using digiKam go to Tools > Recompress Images and a wizard will pop up.

Then click options. By default digiKam has a compression level of 75, change this setting as you wish. Please bear in mind that when you move the scale below 75 it will alter image quality. In my personal opinion a value of 75-85 is most adequate.

DigiKam can re-compress JPEG files as well as TIFF and PGN files. Choose either to remove the original or to keep it. If you are doing this for the first time, I advice you to keep your original and later observe them yourself and delete them as you wish. Note: This is just my personal opinion regarding image compression and quality. 75% of the images in my Flickr photo stream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/malikdhadha) have been shot by the camera at BASIC default setting. I only shoot high quality when needed.

Applying Image Effects Using DigiKam Digikam can apply various image effects to a batch of images. To do this go to tools menu and select apply image effects.

It gives you a few options. For instance, on the above screen shot the specified image effect to be applied is “charcoal” however that is not the only effect that is available. The screen shot below shows several effects which can be applied.

Choose any image effect from the list. If you want to adjust the settings press the options button on the left. I have chosen “paint”. When you are done press the preview button to see the outcome. Case in point seen below. If you click “remove original” option in the window your original file will be deleted. It is better to leave this option off since digiKam will create a new modified file, thereby leaving your original files untouched.

Creating Calendars Using Digikam Did you know that you can create calendars using digiKam? It is very simple and easy to do this. First you need to select some photos, most preferably 12 photos so that those 12 photos correspond to 12 months in the calendar.

After selecting the pictures go to Tools> Create Calendar. When you click Create Calendar, the window shown below appears.

Here you can alter your settings accordingly. Paper size: you have two choices standard A4 and US Letter size. Image position: set the position you want the images to appear in the calendar. Draw lines on calendar: meaning that you can either disable or enable the lines which appear on the calendar. Image to text ratio: Increase the size of the image or decrease them according to the ratio, move the slider and the preview will change duly. Set your font: choose a default font to be used.

When you have completed this click next in the wizard and you will be greeted with this window.

The website http://www.icalshare.com has many great templates that can be used. It is free to use and download, all you need to do is register and account with them. It includes templates which contain information about public holidays and events of many countries. I searched this website for Maldives; however, I didn’t find anything about my country here so I skipped this step. If you are using Korganizer to organize your daily work and if you have marked special days like birthdays of friends and relatives you could really use this feature, and rather seamlessly too. Firstly, open Korganizer and go to file> export>calendar and save the calendar file on your computer. Next, select the folder button on the current screen-shot and show it to the file manager and select open. This will add that to your calendar. Finally, press next in the wizard. And you will be provided with the window below.

Here you need to select the year and images. Since this is 2011 I have chosen 2011 and if you by any chance want to change any images you still have the option to do it. Left click to change the image and the file manager will pop up, show it the new image and press open. If you need to clear an image, give it a right click and the image will be cleared. Moreover, you can add any other image that you prefer. When you are done, press next. You can either send it directly to your printer or print it as a PDF file. However, personally I feel it would be a wise decision to print it as a PDF first so that you can see what you have created. If you need to change the printe setup click “properties”. Here you will be able to change the page layout (portrait, landscape) and the units of measurements (cm, inches, pixel etc). You can change the ultimate location of the file by clicking on the button on the right.

When you are done press print and it will generate a 12 page PDF file exactly like a calendar.

Remove Red Eyes From Your Pictures

Take a look at the picture above. The eyes are blood red and they look like one of those vampire eyes, that we see in movies like Twilight and it needs to be corrected. Mostly the red eye occurs when we use flash. Most cameras come with an option to correct red eye by default. However, that function does not always work properly. digikam can remove them very conveniently and let’s you remove them. Select the pictures that you want to remove red eyes and then go to Tools>Red-Eye Removal From there you will see this window. Here you have two tabs, one is the file list and the other is settings.

Remember it is very important to take a look at this window and understand it before proceeding.

It gives you many options on the left hand-side Slower - removes red eyes better but process is slower Standard - the standard setting are applied Faster - means the process is faster. I personally didn’t get good results with this option On the right hand side, It gives you the option to rename the files. When red eye reduction is applied to a file it creates a new file. You can add a prefix or a suffix or choose from the other options that are available.

Example: if you choose prefix.

If the original had a file name “malik.jpg” then the corrected file will have the following name “malikcorrected.jpg” if you choose suffix the corrected file name will be “correctedmalik.jpg”. If an image cannot be processed – (which basically means that red eyes cannot be removed), it gives the user a few options. First option is “ask the user”, next option is “keep the file in the list” or “remove the file in the list”. I have processed many files and no such thing has occurred to me so I leave it at “ask the user”. On the right hand side you can see a button named “advanced mode” click this if you want some more options. You can use these setting to make more adjustments. When you are done adjusting, click “correct photos”.

This is not the only way to remove red eyes using digiKam. This option is useful when you want red eyes to be removed from many pictures at once. However, if you think you should do them individually select the image and press f4 and this will take you to editor view. From there select the part where the eyes are red and got to enhance --> red eye. Remember the picture at the top of this article is the original photo? If not, here it is again.


After, hmm the eyes no longer look like the ones we see in Twilight!

Batch Rename Photos In DigiKam I am someone who is very serious when it comes to file management . Many of my friends keep there entire data on the desktop. I have advised them many times to use the filemanager effectively. I keep my pictures in a folder named “my pictures” in a separate partition and within the folder I have several subfolders (Friends, Family, College etc.) .

Within each subfolder I create yet again new subfolders, and give these subfolders related names. For Exampleyesterday I shot our college’s six a side football tournament. So the name of the subfolder within college folder is named as below. College – Feb 19th 2011 Faculty of Education Football… This way, it becomes a lot easier to find it when needed. I also rename the files, rather than keeping files like DSC0215 etc. The file names should be related to the event should also enable it to be better organized. If we don’t organize these files I don’t see the need of filemanagers and picture managers. The sole purpose of these are to keep your files organized. If you want to batch rename pictures in digiKam, it is very simple. digiKam’s main user interface has this button by default. See screen capture below. Select the images you need to rename and click it.

Then, you will see the window below

Choose from the options and when you are done, click ok.

Batch Convert Your RAW Files Using Digikam Do you have a lot of RAW files that need to be converted? If you do digiKam has got you covered and this saves a lot of time. As for me I don’t have time to process each and every image separately. Here is how to convert them seamlessly and easily. Select the RAW files and go to Tools > Batch RAW Converter and the wizard below will popup.

The wizard gives you to choose from the following settings.

-8 bits or 16bits –White balance –Exposure correction, brightness –Noise reduction, chromatic aberration correction –Color management –Various output file formats such as PNG, JPEG, TIFF & PPM Remember you can alter each and every one of these settings. When you are done applying your personal touches to the images just click convert on the menu and digiKam will do the rest.

Adding Textures To Your Images Using DigiKam Many people add textures to their images which most of the times produces very good results. If you want to apply textures to your image here is how to do it. Select the image you want to add texture and press F4 on the keyboard, this will take you to editor view. From the editor view go to Decorate> Apply Texture

On the right hand side you will see the texture options available, and another option called “relief”. You can use that option to control the amount of texture that you are applying for the texture that you choose.

Generating aspect ratio crops in digiKam Each and every monitor has an aspect ratio where the ratio of the width versus the ratio of the height. DigiKam can produce these crops very easily. This is very useful if you are creating wallpapers and images to fit a certain ratio. I use this feature when I upload my wallpapers to kde-look.org Here is how to create them. Choose the image and click f4 or right click on the image and go to edit. In the editor view menu bar click transform> aspect ratio crop and this window will appear.

The tool has the following predefined ratios, they are, 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 5:4, 7:5, 10:7 & 5:8

It also gives the option of custom aspect ratio. Therefore you can choose any ratio that you may prefer. After choosing aspect ratios hold the tiny square that you see on the edges of the highlighted area and move to the area of the image that you want to crop. Any area you select will have the aspect that you specified.

Sharpening Your Pictures Using digiKam. A few months ago i met Mauroof Khaleel, Official Photographer to the President of Maldives ( i don’t think he remembers me). A few friends of mine were in Villingili and we saw him and asked him to take a portrait of us, he saw my camera setting and i have kept the sharpness at “hard” and he told me that applying that level of sharpening to pictures destroys the picture. However there are situations, where you want to apply a bit of sharpening to your images to make them look better. digiKam has a very simple and advanced sharpening tool available, here i’m doing to discuss about the simple sharpening tool. Select the image and press f4 on the keyboard and the editor view opens. Go to Enhance > Sharpen

Choose a level of sharpening and try it. If you want more advanced controls select method menu and select either unsharp mask or refocus options and give it a try.

Here is a sample of before and after…. Before sharpening was applied

After sharpening was applied

Five Simple Image Fixes Using digiKam digiKam image editor comes with many useful features, making imaging editing and fixing a breeze. It has five automatic fixes for images. If you are eager to try this select an image and press f4 to take you to the editors view. In the editor view go to Color > Auto Correction Or within the editor view press Control + Shift + B and a new window pane will appear on the right hand side, giving you five very simple fixes for your pictures. These include, Auto Levels, Normalize, Equalize , Stretch Contrast & Auto Exposure I find these fixes very handy and effective.

Writing Meta Data To Raw Files In digiKam Almost all images contain meta-data and these data contains all the setting that you used to create the picture, these include, shutter speed, aperture, focal length etc.

Most image management applications allows you to add and remove custom meta data to your files. This can be easily done while using JPEG’s files. However the same is not very true for RAW files.

While we add more labels and captions to the meta-data of an image we need to save it. If you have a lot of RAW files, digiKam gives you the option to write meta-data to RAW files as well. However please bear in mind that this feature is still experimental Inorder to enable the writing of meta-data to RAW files, you need to edit your configuration of digiKam From the main menu go to Settings> Configure digiKam Then you will see the configurations menu. On the left hand side select meta-data. And enable the option Write meta-data to RAW files.