Virtual album - "collection" in Darktable

Hi guys, is there a way to create, what in Adobe Lightroom is called “a collection” in Digikam? I figured out you can do a search on various parameters and save that, but this means that you’ll have to make sure your entire collection is properly tagged. As I have only started recently with Digikam, only a small part is already tagged. In the mean time, I would like to create a “collection” by manually going through my albums and assign some photos to these new “collections”. It’s clear to me that “a collection” in Digikam means something completely different than in Lightroom, but what should I be looking for? A virtual album?

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I do not know if it’s relevant but in shotwell I create albums or collections by creating a specific tag for each album/collection I want to have and using hierarchic tags to put theses under an “albums” tag.

You could add tags for your named collections, e.g. “collections|summer holiday 2019”. The only problem is that individual sorting in such a collection is not possible.

Other than that, there is no virtual album feature implemented.

The biggest issue I see with adding this kind of tag is that these “virtual collections” are something short living.

For example: I want to create a photobook of my kinds with pictures taken in 2020 to give to the grandparents as a christmas present. I would create a collection “album kids christmas present 2020” go through my albums either manually or by tags/search whatever. Assign photos to that collection, go through that collection, cull the images, send them to the printer and once printed I’d delete that collection as it has no use anymore.

I think deleting tags is possible in more recent versions. However, I am a big proponent of such “named collections” as a more visible feature and with individual manual image ordering per collection.

have you tried selecting “custom sort order” in the sort combo box in the top bar? you can drag/drop the images into your desired order.

Yes, but you cannot have two different sort orders. E.g. a different one for the photo book and the blog post with overlapping image selection.

i see. more like an ordered directory of symlinks or so.

Yes, but integrated into darktable. Unfortunately, this would either break with the fundamental “no metadata that belong to more than one image” rule (implementation as simple list) or it would require to implement as a linked list with hashes instead of file names and paths (but that also somehow violates the rule). A list could as well be contained in every xmp, if you limit the number of images such that the file size does not explode.

Personally I think the one image rule is obsolete today as many techniques require to manage several images (hdr, pano, focus stacking). And losing a “named group” could be countered by heuristic image searches and checksums (kdenlive does something similar when clips are moved on file system).

This would be such a helpful thing. I hope to learn programming when the children left the house (in 25 years or so) … :wink:.

Teach the children to program and unleash them on darktable :wink:

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Working on the latter already. Unfortunately my son (6) expects different features from a photo editor than I do. Somebody interested in implementing stickers and AR masks (adding e.g. rabbit ears to a face) in darktable? :wink:

I don’t know if that will work but I would like to make a try. FR #5018.

Wow, dreams becoming true and darktable may get its last missing feature[tm] :smile:. Thanks so much for giving it a try. Where can I throw my money :wink:?

Technical comment I put on github. Thank you so much again.

Coming back to my original question: I think I might solve this by creating a “to print” tag and have various nested tags. For example “to print” | “Kids Calendar 2020” | “10x18”

Don’t know if this is workable… time will tell I guess

That is what I do, so it is feasible for me. Ymmv, but I do not see an alternative at the moment.

If you have time to look at it, or better to make a try … PR #5134 and comment.
There are 2 commits. The first one with an album entry in collect module.
But as this album is based on tags, the second commit offers the same image order awareness for all tags. Simpler and probably more general.

So, I have bookmarked this since 1.5 years already, and a recent feature request got me back to this thread.

First, I am very sorry that communication from my side ended so suddenly. Unfortunately, life chimed in and this was shelved for a while. In particular, as I am still stuck on my Ubuntu 16.04, and since a couple of weeks, also nixos quit working on my machine, I am stuck with darktable 3.2.1. This version already holds your implementation, but I was rarely able to do photo work since then, such that I was not able to reply. I hope I will be able to be more active again in the new year, but as I was stumbling over this old thread, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for the effort you put into this. I just started to create my first “album” tags, and I think the feature could be more exposed. But this is already a great achievment, so thank you again and again :wink:!

What happened with nix? I have a bunch of overlays if you want to use them.

I get some ssl error, and it seems that it is because of curl in combination with the let’s encrypt certificate of the nix packages repository. I investigated already for several hours, but was not able to resolve the issue. My ssl is up to date regatding let’s encrypt (there was an update for ubuntu 16.04), but it seems that curl ignores all of this. I can run other applications again since the update which talk to let’s encrypt hosts (e.g. my nextcloud client), but nix refuses to do anything useful.

I hardly have the time to debug this further as it seems nobody on the internet has the same issue, but nix is my only chance to stay up to date regarding darktable unless I find the time to update my OS or even buy a new laptop. But with two young children in corona times, with both parents having a job, I even do not really have the time to write this message … This is not a complain, we are fine and privileged, but unfortunately IT time is the one that is always cut first when there are other things that need attention. While before the pandemic I used to spend some after-10pm-time on these topics, these days I am happy if I make it till 10 and do not sleep before dish washing etc. is done.