Thanks for all the swift replies. I've never dabbled with scripts before but from reading the suse help files I assume I simply create a file as follows:
I will run this as root but which folder do I put the script in? Will this propogate through all sub-directories?
chmod 755 /home/abcde/Albums && chmod 644 /home/abcde/Albums/*
chmod 755 /home/shared/photos && chmod 644 /home/shared/photos/*
I had thought Gwenview's import facility already had some of these advanced functions but maybe that's in an upcoming release. In 4.5 it only has a few basic renaming tools. I'll have a look through the developer Aurelien Gateau's blog and see if he's got anything planned. I'm sure it would be a popular feature.