Last year (2004) I took 3180 photos and this year I’ve already taken 2223 so far. Organising a collection of over 5000 digital shots (around 10 gigabytes worth!) so that they are easily accessible and well referenced is no easy task. The more photos you take the worse the problem becomes and it’s important to stay on top of it. Of course there are tonnes of programs which claim to solve this problem but in my experience they are mostly of limited use as simply take too long to maintain or are too slow to be usable. This is where a new piece of free (as in no cost!) software which I have recently discovered comes in: F-Spot.
At the moment it’s only available for Linux users so for once those using Windows will have to look on with envy! The beauty of this small application is that it takes the hassle out of importing, exporting, printing and sorting digital images. After importing an image into the catalog you can give it any number of tags (e.g. people, places, events etc.) which you can then browse through by time/date/tag etc. For each photo you can make basic alterations and view additional EXIF data associated with it. For those with limited storage capacity you can also archive the photos to CD or put them to creative use by uploading them to Flickr at the click of a button.
F-Spot is still under active development so some features are still a little rough around the edges but so far I’m very impressed. If your running a Linux system take a look!