Why Linux Rocks For Photography

If you’re a photographer, Linux may not be the first thing that leaps into your mind for managing your images.  That is your loss, my friend, both financially and in terms of functionality.

I originally got into Linux mainly for surfing on the internet because Linux didn’t run all those wildly popular Windows viruses and trojans that were circulating in the days when Windows XP was king and Windows 2000 was reaching the end of its days.  But the more I used it, the more I started to discover functionality and automation that made managing images a lot easier.

Oh, I’ve got a Windows laptop, mainly for watching movies, but also for video work.  For photography, it would be tough to move away from Linux.  There are two tools that I’d be lost without.


When I’m on assignment I may take hundreds of pictures a day.  At the end of grueling day behind the camera, most photographers still have to sort their images, make contact sheets and send them off to whoever is paying them that day.

Not me.  I can dump all my images into a folder and kick off a script that does all that automatically.  The script I’ve written goes through every image in the folder and makes a backup to an external drive, then resizes it to proof size, renames the image adding “_small” to  the name, converts it to a JPEG, runs basic color correction, moves the image into a special folder.  When all the images are processed it then takes all the small images in that folder and adds them to a zip file and FTP’s the zip file to a location of my choosing and sends an email to the customer letting them know the zip file is there for the taking.

About ten minutes after starting that script, I’m down at the bar where, strangely, you’ll find many other photographers after a hard days work.  But I get there first because, while they’re up proofing their shots for the day, my Linux laptop is handling all that for me.  All thanks to a batch script and ImageMagick.


Digikam is a little bit Photoshop and a little bit LightBox.  Just like the big boys, Digikam works with 16 bit color depth in RAW files.  It’s got a built-in image database that automatically scans your image folders looking for new pictures.  When it finds them, it adds them to your collection and lets you run a bewildering array of special filters on them.

Like ImageMagick, Digikam has a feature called Queues that let you process images in batches.  Unlike ImageMagick, Digikam uses a GUI to manage batch work.

For screen shots and a more complete look at Digikam features, take a look at: Digikam – The image program your Windows buddies wish they had Article

Its a great feeling to make to achieve more faster.  Thanks to Linux.

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One Response to “Why Linux Rocks For Photography”

  1. JP McCool says:

    Nicely put! I’m no professional, but I have taken about 2000 photos while traveling a few years ago. ImageMagick and Bash scripting were the only tools that could automagically adjust timezone metadata (forgot to set the times zones on my camera!), perform auto-corrections, rotations, conversions, backups, etc. in *precisely* the way I wanted it all done. If it saved me that much time, I can only imagine the $$$ and hrs. you must be saving yourself! Excellent choice of tools, and nicely written article! Cheers,

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