Video idea: photo management that doesn't suck

Hey guys, I have wondered for a long time what the best way to wrangle a large photo collection is. I know there are proprietary pieces of software like Adobe Bridge, but what I am really looking for is something similar to Google Photos where I can add things to albums/tag pictures/search etc without having to make filesystem-level copies of things.

I looked at Digikam and that looks like a really close option but I had issues with cross platform support on it (Set up Digikam with a remote SQL server on a Windows box, then my Linux box tried to find Z:\FamilyPhotos\Whatever and wasn’t happy with me)

Anyone have any ideas? I think this would make a really cool video if @wendell, @kreestuh or @ryan have a nice way of doing this.

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My photos are scattered across multiple LR folders of various versions on half a dozen drives with random thrown together backups. No labels, tags or anything. I’m just horrible at that so I would be interested in a video on that too.

I have seen a bunch of videos on the topic already but those are always done by photographers, basically people that are slightly more organized but nowhere near the level of tech-heads around here. It’s like having trouble to sort books and asking a writer for help instead of a librarian. Pretty pointless. :wink:


Agreed. All the seemingly elegant solutions to this problem are very vendor-locked and proprietary under the hood, Digikam has a LOT of potential if they’d just allow you to manually specify the library path that goes with a given database on each system instead of it being pulled from the database.

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Can you use the network path rather than the disk path?

I don’t think so, I need to try and poke around in the SQL DB and see what’s stored where, but I’m pretty sure it will only take a local path and it hard codes it in the database (which ideally you centralize)

Would darktable be useful for this sort of thing?

I haven’t used it much myself, but I find myself often hearing good things about it.

I haven’t personally used it, but from what I’ve read on their site Darktable looks like more of a digital negative developer and less of a photo manager/organization system. If L1 does a video on this, maybe they could include a good workflow to pair Darktable with digiKam? Seems like that would be sort of similar to the Bridge+Lightroom pairing.

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