digital asset management

collections & film rolls

A collection is a set of images matching a given selection criteria. The most basic kind of collection is a film roll, which contains all of the images that have been imported from a specific folder on disk. Whenever you import images from the filesystem, those images are organized in a film roll whose name is derived from that of their parent folder. You can easily construct other kinds of collection based on various image attributes (Exif data, filename, tags etc.


Each image in the current collection is represented by a thumbnail in the lighttable view and filmstrip module. A cache of the most recently used thumbnails is stored in a file on disk and loaded into memory at startup. The size of this cache can be adjusted in Preferences > Processing > CPU, GPU, Memory. thumbnail creation A thumbnail is created when an image is imported into Ansel for the first time, after an image has been modified in the darkroom, or when revisiting an image whose thumbnail is no longer available.

star ratings & color labels

Star ratings and color labels help you to sort and rank images according to your own criteria. An image’s star rating and color labels can be displayed over thumbnails in the lighttable view and filmstrip module. star ratings You can give an image a rating from zero to five stars. Whenever you import images, each image receives a default rating which you can define in the import module. You can also mark an image as “rejected”.

image grouping

Grouping images helps to improve the structure and clarity of your image collection when displayed in the lighttable view. You can combine images into a group by selecting them and clicking the “group” button in the selected image(s) module, or by pressing Ctrl+G. Likewise, you can remove selected images from a group by clicking the “ungroup” button, or pressing Ctrl+Shift+G. Duplicated images are automatically grouped together. Similarly, if you import multiple images from the same directory, having the same base name, but different extensions (eg.

metadata and tagging

Ansel allows you to store additional information about your images to allow them to be more easily searched and grouped. This information is stored in Ansel’s database and XMP sidecar files and can also be included within exported images. metadata Metadata (e.g. title, description) is free-format text that usually differs for each image. You can add metadata to images in the metadata editor module. tagging Tags are usually shared between multiple images and are used to categorise and group them.

You can also ask Chantal, the AI search engine.