gThumb – Photomanager
gThumb is an image viewer and browser for the GNOME Desktop. With gThumb you can easily view, manipulate and manage your photo’s.
Once you start gThumb you can navigate to your photo directory in the left pane of the program. When you enter the directory which holds your photo’s all photo’s will be shown as thumbnails in the right pane of the program.
This makes it easy to find a particular photo in a directory when you don’t remember the file-name of the photo.
But when your photo directory holds a lot of photo’s, say 1000+, it will take some effort to find that one particular photo.
Managing your photo’s
Nowadays most people own a computer and a digital camera. And most people will have a directory on their computer which holds all their photo’s. In that directory they usually have sub-directories that indicate what type of photo’s you will find there (e.g.: ‘Summer Holiday 2007′, ‘family’ or ‘Ted’s last day at the office’). For most people this works just fine. But what if you’re a professional photographer or just an amateur who makes hundreds of photo’s per session instead of the usual two-dozen? At a wedding, for instance, most people would take about 40 photo’s, but a professional photographer will take 600 to 800 photo’s. How will he (or she) find certain photo’s they need? The answer would be to tag every individual photo. Don’t worry, you can tag multiple photo’s at the same time. When you do this, you can use the search option in gThumb to quickly find all the photo’s with your given keyword(s). It takes a little practice, but when you use smart keywords and, better yet, multiple keywords you will be able to easily find the photo’s you need.
How to tag your photo’s:
When you put all your recently shot photo’s on your computer in the directory you want it’s best to tag them right away now that they are all still fresh in your memory. In gThumb you can tag your photo’s in different ways.
You can add a comment to a photo, add the photo to certain category or make catalogs.
To add a comment to a photo simply right-click on the photo and choose ‘Comment’. Here you can also enter a place (where the photo was taken) and a date. When using the search option you will be able to find the photo by this information. When inserting comments try using both global keywords (e.g.: ‘Castle’ and ‘beach’) as well as really specific ones (e.g.: ‘Castle Haarzuilens Utrecht The Netherlands’ and ‘Rossbeigh Beach Dingle Ireland’). If your looking for a particular photo you took of your friend on the beach, you don’t want to sift through thousands of beach photo’s. Carefully think about your tags/comments and how you think you’ll be able to easily find your photo’s.
In gThumb there are several default categories. You can delete those, use them or add as many categories as you want. You can place photo’s in different categories and search them by category. I’m still trying to find the best balance between categories and comments for my situation. To add a category and/or add a photo to a category simply right-click on the photo and choose ‘Categories’. In the window that opens you can view all available categories, delete them or add new ones. And, of course, add a photo to one or more categories.
When you add photo’s to a catalog you quickly view them in gThumb by using the ‘Catalog’ button in the menu pane. The files don’t need to be in the same directory on the file system, but will be shown in the right pane as thumbnails as if they were next to each other on the file system. A catalog is like a category, but a catalog is more like an album and a category is more like a search parameter.
Apart from managing your photo’s you can also just use gThumb to view photo’s. When you see your photo’s in the right pane of the program simply double-click on a photo to open it. You can view the photo in full size, full screen or any other zoom factor. You can also view a slide show of your photo directory. gThumb can handle JPG, (animated)GIF, RAW, TIFF, BMP, PNG, ICO and XPM.
NOTE: When you open a RAW image file (e.g.: CR2) gThumb will automatically enhance the photo by it’s own judgement. So never judge your RAW images in gThumb because it doesn’t reflect the reality. Always use a RAW image program, like ufRaw or Rawstudio, to open you RAW images.
In gThumb you also have the option to manipulate photo’s. You can rotate them or adjust brightness and contrast.
But there is much more. Resizing and cropping images, desaturate, negative and hue are also a couple of options. These option work quite well, but personally I would use a program like GIMP or Krita to do these kind of adjustments.
Batch convert images:
When you have a (large) collection of photo’s made in RAW format the last thing you want is to convert them to jpg (or any other popular format) one by one. gThumb enables you to convert a batch of photo’s at ones. Simply select all the images you need to convert en go to the menu item Tools -> Convert format. There you select the format and the destination directory. I would make a new subdirectory and choose that as my destination. Click OK and wait. The converted images are already enhanced by gThumbs best judgement. This is, however, not always what you want of it. I advise everybody to use UFraw for batch converting images. Check your man pages on how to do this.
# man ufraw-batch
# ufraw-batch –help
One option in gThumb I would like to tell more about is the ‘Create webalbum’ option in the ‘tools’ menu.
Simply select all the photo’s you want in your webalbum by holding the CTRL key and selecting the images. Then choose the ‘Create webalbum’ option in the Tools menu and add a destination and name for the album. Please create a new directory for this webalbum and choose that directory as your destination, because gThumb will copy all the selected images and create an index.html file in the destination directory. It’s quite handy, but the webalbum looks simple and crappy. I personally would not use this option when I want to create a webalbum for publishing on the web. But this is a quick and easy way to create a last minute webalbum.