I have been back and forth with different options on how to approach building an image gallery in Drupal. And I am getting closer to really seeing what will work well and what won’t.
I use Views. For many things. Views and Panels are the backbone of my site. So I really want to use Views for my Galleries. I found this great tutorial from James Tombs on how to create galleries that will be displayed via colorbox from a custom content type AND, how to use Views to build some really cool flexibility into the galleries. Basically, his tutorial will show you how to create three (or more) galleries, then have the first image in each gallery serve as a link to the rest of the gallery from a View. So the View will give you a nice way to show a top level grouping of galleries based on content type and an image specific to that gallery.
Check this out. Follow it step by step. I learned some cool tricks about Views that I never would have figured out on my own.