"Open source photo organizer application."
Whilst Shotwell does not present an impressive complexity nor an extreme amount of features, the developers of this software utility aimed to simplify the task of transferring pictures taken via the digital camera to and from the computer, making it as fast and as easy as possible. If you love photography and you take thousands of pictures every day, then Shotwell will clearly enhance the way you are storing, transferring, sharing and even editing them. This software program also excels at exporting images to your specifications and enables you to modify the characteristics that are associated with the size of the file. We will take you on a comprehensive journey through the characteristics that recommend this small freeware utility dubbed Shotwell.
Before proceeding with the installation of the Shotwell application, it is necessary that your operating system incorporates gtlk+, libgphopto, libexif, SQlite and Vala. Furthermore, the camera that you plan to import the pictures from is required to be compatible with the gPhoto standard. Shotwell needs around 31 MB to work properly, so installing it will not take longer than a couple of seconds. Apart from the aforementioned requirements, Shotwell necessitates fairly little resources. It is notable that this freeware utility does not incorporate any additional programs, so the only thing to bear in mind during the installation are the terms and conditions and which drive you would like Shotwell to be placed on. After launching the program, you will see a pop-up screen that requires you to import files from the My Pictures directory. You do not have to have this screen displayed each time the program is opened as users can uncheck the associated check-box.
Shotwell includes a minimalist interface. Then again, this does not hinder the functionality or impede access to the picture transfer or editing capabilities of the program. Essentially, the upper part of the window enables users to edit the files, switch the type of view for the folders containing them, and sort based on different criteria, modify the characteristics of the pictures or enter the help menu. An addition to be noted is the Event section, which can prove beneficial for remembering what files you have recently transferred, added or modified. At the same time, Shotwell also permits users to tag the pictures, an invaluable tool for properly sorting them once their number becomes overwhelming.
The lower subsection of the program is partitioned into two. The left subsection of Shotwell displays the pictures that have been imported from the camera or folders and also the ones that have been sent to the trash folder or the events section. Whereas the right subsection window allows you to view the pictures or thumbnails of the directory at an adjustable size, thanks to the scaling feature.
Even though the editing capabilities of the Shotwell software utility are limited to the basics, the good news is that they can be modified in a more complex manner via the external editor feature. However, you will be glad to know that the basic editing features do not miss the classical crop, rotate or enhance capabilities. A further benefit that few other, less complex picture viewer freeware offers, is the ability to change the name of the file that is currently open without saving an additional copy. However, since the primary function of Shotwell is to sort pictures, the good news is that it excels at this, as it enables arranging the files based on size, a five-star rating system, name, category and tag. Moreover, the software also allows you to create slideshows.
The Shotwell application is still in the development phase so minor bugs can occur, although they are rapidly ironed out by its developers. Although it permits photographers to sort their image files, they will also require another tool for performing slightly more complex editing. On our testing, Shotwell froze a few times, but that proved not to be its fault as it was caused by a theme used by our OS (also a clearly documented bug on developer's FAQ).
Overall, the Shotwell is precisely as advertised: a freeware application very capable of sorting your picture collection and with a basic level of editing tools that does not occupy system resources or hard drive space. Photographers that are aiming for an "all-in-one" approach would be better off with a more complex and extensive program than Shotwell but do note that, while digiKam and F-Spot are more renowned competitors, Shotwell is slowly starting to close the gap between them with the latest versions. This is one product worth testing!
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