Fix EXIF to Make Rotated Photos Look Correct

About: I am a journeyman of projects - when I see something that I want to accomplish it, I do so with attention to detail and quality. I have a background in software and hardware, but also excel in DIY home impr...

If you have ever found a photo from your camera oriented the wrong way, you have probably fallen afoul of software that doesn't handle EXIF data correctly. I had some issues with photo orientation for a while, but it became a real pain when I started uploading photos to my blog.

It appears that Instructables doesn't operate the same way as Blogger.com, so maybe you haven't had problems with this.  Just in case, here's the info you need to fix the problem if you come across it.

These are just the quick-fix instructions.  I put a more complete writeup on my blog here.

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Step 1: Background

Here's a good explanation of orientation, with much more detail than I included:
http://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/exif-orientation.html

The short of it is that Microsoft Picture and Fax Viewer doesn't correctly show the orientation of the picture -- but it lets you rotate the picture so it looks right.  What results is that your picture looks right in windows explorer.

However, it's actually now wrong.  Software and websites that respect the EXIF settings will "correct" the orientation, leaving you with results that you didn't expect.

Step 2: How to Fix the EXIF

I wouldn't recommend rotating the photos in the Microsoft picture viewer, but just in case you have already done so (or have a picture that received similar treatment), don't worry. The picture can be saved, and quite easily. There are several EXIF editors out there, but not all of them are compatible with all systems (or even have write capability without paying). I found “EXIFeditor” and was able to get it to work.

Update: the old software disappeared, here's a new option:

https://www.colorpilot.com/exif.html

These instructions do not quite match up to the new software package, but it's mostly the same:
-Open EXIFeditor and open the jpeg in question
-On the dropdown, scroll down to “Orientation”. Note that it may not be there unless the photo has set a value for orientation. If it has been set, it is likely something other than 1
-Change the value to 1
-Click “commit changes”

Now check your photo will look the same in picture viewer and irFanView , as well as blogger (or other web services). I perform this fix on photos that look upright in picture viewer but not other software, so now it looks correct everywhere.

Step 3: How to Not Have This Problem

I wrote a more on my blog showing how to prevent the problem.  Check it out.
http://www.projectjourneyman.com/photo-orientation-understanding-and-fixing-exif-issues

And now, the corrected photo, which looks correct everywhere.

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    3 Discussions

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    michaelg672

    1 year ago

    Both your link and your programs trusted site are really sketchy. Like malware or trojans. Noobs beware.

    1 reply
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    AZ_Makermichaelg672

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thanks for noting that, the software disappeared and the site does look sketchy now. I replaced the link with different software.

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    Bartboy

    8 years ago on Introduction

    What an excellent instructable for a problem that nobody should have...
    Really well written though!