It’s been a while since I’ve attempted to make an image gallery with Jekyll. Back in the Octopress days, you had to use a separate Jekyll plugin, or Rakefile to generate it for you. These days, first class support for static files (site.static_files) makes it a breeze.

For this example, assume that images are in gallery/ in the root of your Jekyll/GitHub Pages project.

Add the following to your _config.yml to tag all files in gallery/ with “gallery: true”. This allows you to easily filter out just the relevant files:

      path: "gallery"
      gallery: true

Now in a template, fetch the gallery files and use them:

{% assign images = site.static_files | where: "gallery", true %}
  {% for img in images %}
    <li><a href="{{ img.path }}" title="{{ img.basename }}" class="img">{{ img.basename }}</a></li>
  {% endfor %}

If you wanted to add alt tags or descriptions, you could use a data file, say _data/photos.yml:

  title: A nice taco
  description: Tacos are delicious
  title: Some Nachos
  description: Mmm cheese

Then in a template:

{% assign images = site.static_files | where: "gallery", true %}
{% assign photos = %}
  {% for img in images %}
    {% assign title = photos[img.basename].title %}
    {% assign description = photos[img.basename].description %}
    <li><a href="{{ img.path }}" title="{{ title }}" class="img">{{ title }} ({{ description }})</a></li>
  {% endfor %}

For my usage, I don’t need individual pages per image. If you need to do that, you’re going to need to do it manually or with a script of some sort. If you don’t, this is a great way to quickly embed a list of images or files in one of your templates.