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While working on developing my new food-related website, I found the need to find good photo management software. I have nearly a Terabyte of food photos that I've taken over the years and they are all over the place, on my PC, my laptop, external hard drives, etc. In the past, I used to use Picasa by Google, but they have chosen to retire it in favor of Google Photos. I checked into that in my search, but they have a 15 GB cap on their online storage which wasn't close to fitting my need.

After an hour or so of searching, I found digiKam. It's free, open-source, and I haven't even begun to explore all the features. But what I've explored so far goes way beyond what Picasa ever did. According to the developer, digiKam is an advanced open-source digital photo management application that runs on Linux, Windows, and MacOS. The application provides a comprehensive set of tools for importing, managing, editing, and sharing photos and raw files.

And just take a look at how awesome the layout is:

Overview of digiKam interface

To the left, you can see you can create multiple albums and an entire file structure for organizing just as you would in Windows Explorer. You can see I have selected the unsorted food folder and I'm in thumbnail preview mode. I selected a random picture and to the right, you can see all of the properties of that picture.

And not only does it give you organization options, including tags and labels, but it also gives you editing options:

editing options

And there's a very comprehensive search system to find your photos, duplicates (as well as prevent duplicates), people, etc.

I've only just begun to explore this incredible program and I'll most likely add more as time goes on, but if you need a good photo management tool, this is it!

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With all of the talk about artificial intelligence (AI) these days, it would be awesome if this software automatically identifies what the photo is and either tag or categorize it as needed. For instance, if you could set up numerous categories/tags then it would closely match your photos to belong to one or more groups. I imagine the difficult part would be getting all of your photography organized. If your project is small maybe that is feasible, but like in my case I probably have 20 years of personal memories and to go through and categorize all of that sounds terrible. I like options that do this sort of thing automatically.

I currently use Amazon Photos for all of our backups from our phones, particularly for any photos or videos that are taken on them. One thing I like about it is that it sort of does this auto-categorization for you. For example, I can search by location, date, a person's name, object type, or a combination of multiple criteria and it does a pretty good job and showing me the photos that are related. Check out what happens when I type dog in Amazon Photos:

Amazon Photos automatically classifying photos for search

It brings up numerous photos of our Maltese Dog named Winter as I would expect.

The main downside here is this service does cost money at a recurring rate. However, my main purpose is to have some sort of reliable backup outside of my home where I won't lose the photos. I had a scare a number of years back with a corrupted hard drive and I almost lost years of photos/videos. Was such a terrible feeling but I did manage to recover it before the hard drive died and ever since then I have taken a backup of our personal memories seriously.

Anyway, when I saw your post that is the first thing that stood out to me and the part that has been really valuable with Amazon Photos for me. Even though my primary purpose is for backup, being able to search and find photos without having to do the work to categorize them has been awesome and something I have greatly appreciated.

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    I totally understand the value of online storage and the ability to access your photos on any platform from anywhere. Fortunately, I'm currently at a point where that kind of access is not enough of a benefit for me to justify the cost. — Mark Bowker
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While I haven't played around with it yet, apparently digiKam does have facial recognition. Using digiKam Face Recognition

I also found a video from the guys that worked on the development of the AI Face Recognition Module

Once I get to where I understand how to use this feature I'll come back with an update.

For reference, here is the digiKam Manual

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