Workflow digiKam + darktable ??


with digiKam 7.0.0 released, I currently take another look it. For raw development I use darktable, but am looking at digiKam for the asset management capabilities that might be stronger than in darktable. Nevertheless I somewhat struggle to find a suitable workflow for interaction between the two. E.g. with questions how to make visible in digiKam, that there has been done a raw development for an image in darktable.

Is here anyone who is using both of them in an integrated workflow and might give some kind of best practice and guidance?

Thank you very much for any input.
Cheers, Martin

I’ve personally been using digiKam + darktable for the past 6 months. I just upgraded to digiKam 7.0.0, and I don’t remember which version I was using before that, I just know it wasn’t the latest.

I’m curious to see how the changes from digiKam 7.0.0 and darktable 3.2.0 effect my workflow, and I’m also eager to hear how everyone else approaches this from an asset management perspective.

As my lenses are rather soft, and I shoot a fair amount of action of my wife’s sporting competitions, I typically import a large number of images which need to be heavily culled. My personal workflow is as follows:

  1. Import directly from SD card into digiKam.
  2. View each image fullscreen(or zoom to 100% if necessary) and assign a rating.
  3. Select all images with less than 3 stars and delete.
  4. Geotag images with relevant location.
  5. Select all images and write metadata to files.
  6. Open relevant folder in darktable.
  7. Filter filmstrip by 4 or more stars.
  8. Begin editing.

I suppose I don’t typically care whether my edits from darktable appear in digiKam, as I use it primarily for keeping my photos organized. However, if darktable’s asset management was a bit closer to what is implemented in Lightroom, I’m not sure I would have a large need for digiKam.

Edit: Although all the features I use digiKam for are available in darktable, I find that importing/organizing/culling are much quicker in digiKam on my aging machine.

thx for this reply.
So you let digiKam write into the XMP and then at least the star rating are carrying over to darktable?
Or are you writing metadate into your raw files? I rather would not like to have anything touch my raws :wink:

I also mostly for speed in tagging, culling and also face recognition would look into digiKam.

I can’t say for certain that digiKam doesn’t touch the RAW files, but I’ve opened the XMP files several times and taken note of the metadata that digiKam has written.

I’m not sure if selecting Image > Write Metadata to Image (in digiKam) is necessary for having the star rating carry over into darktable, but it’s what I do, and my ratings appear in darktable 100% of the time. Now that I think of it, I’m not clear on whether “Write Metadata to Image” is writing to the RAW or the XMP, I just assumed it was necessary for “saving” to the XMP.

I hope that helps in some way. Maybe someone else can shed some light on ensuring a smooth relationship between both applications.

If digiKam is set to write an xmp file, darktable can read the star rating since it is a common tag. You need to set darktable to look for updated sidecar files on launch.

I’ve got DT selected as the main editor for Digikam but because I’m using the dev version of DT it’s a toss up whether it works or not. ATM the moment it just crashes when calling DT from either Digikam or Gimp unless I open DT first, then it sort of works but it won’t display the edit in the editor window like it should do, it works for getting the file into Gimp though.

I much prefer using Digikam for all my organisation after I got going with it I removed all my images from DT and now most of the time work on one image at a time and load it to DT or RT etc… from Digikam. If I’ve got a set of images I want to edit I can just import them to the editor and remove them after I’m done.

Scrap that about what I said about it working for getting the file into Gimp it’s not loading it at all now.

Currently I use digiKam only as a search database (a very powerful one), where I add all the images before and after edition. But all my metadata edition is done in darktable. The single most important reason was introduced in darktable 3: the export metadata editor. I can add all the metadata to the XMP file, including private data as people names and GPS coordinates, and decide on export just what data I want to keep on the JPG, depending on the target. Images meant for archiving get all the metadata, images for sharing get only a public subset.

An example: I add a tag with the plus code to each image. On export, I use darktable’s metadata editor to replace the full code (5m resolution) by a shorter code (5km resolution) or to remove it altogether. As this is managed by a preset on the export module, all it’s done automatically.

I’ve yet to explore an equivalent workflow that includes digiKam, and I don’t know if it’s worth the effort. What would I win by doing all the culling and metadata edition in digiKam? The metadata fields available since darktable 3 and its handling are all what I need. But yet, I’d like to be sure I’m not missing some killer feature :slight_smile:

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I much prefer digikam for initial rating and culling, and for adding keywords, captions and titles. Not so much for the possibilities, but for the interface. And dt reads those ratings, keywords, caption and title with no problems.