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EXIF Issues

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April 12, 2005 12:18:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I've run into some problems with EXIF data that don't seem to have a
solution. Specifically...

When you rotate an image in-camera, the image isn't actually rotated (at
least in some cameras). Instead, the EXIF "orientation" tag is set to
indicate that the image should be rotated whenever it is displayed.

So here are the issues:

1. Some graphics editing programs recognize the orientation tag, and others
do not. So you have the bizarre situation where some programs will display
your images in the correct orientation, and some won't.

2. Some programs let you copy across the EXIF data when you edit an image
and save the changes. At least some of them don't change the orientation
tag, even if they rotated the image automatically when it was opened, and
saved the edited image in its correct orientation. So now you have images
where the EXIF tag says they should be rotated for display, but in reality
they should NOT.

3. When an image displays in the correct orientation, you have no idea
whether this is due to the EXIF tag being recognized, or to the image
really having the correct orientation.

4. Likewise, when an image displays INcorrectly, you don't know whether
it's due to your software not recognizing the EXIF tag, or the image really
is in the incorrect orientation, or --- gasp! --- the EXIF tag IS being
recognized but the image has already been rotated.

4. Lastly, when your image editor displays an image correctly, you assume
that it will display correctly when you send it to someone else, perhaps as
an email attachment or web page image. But how many email clients and web
browsers recognize the EXIF orientation tag?

Bottom line: Looks like the EXIF orientation tag was a BAD idea that
creates nothing but chaos. And the best advice would be to NEVER rotate
images in-camera.

Am I missing something, or is this really as messy as it looks?

Pete

More about : exif issues

April 12, 2005 12:43:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Pete wrote:
>
> Am I missing something, or is this really as messy as it looks?


It is that messy.

I haven't had the problem of rotating an image manually and have it
improperly re-rotated, so I figure sometimes it helps, sometimes I gotta
rotate manually.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 1:44:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Pete <nobody@nowhere.com> wrote:

> I've run into some problems with EXIF data that don't seem to have a
> solution. Specifically...
[..]
> Bottom line: Looks like the EXIF orientation tag was a BAD idea that
> creates nothing but chaos. And the best advice would be to NEVER rotate
> images in-camera.
>
> Am I missing something, or is this really as messy as it looks?

The orientation tag is a good idea, but a bad implementation, since EXIF
is relatively new while JPEG is as old as dirt (in internet years,
anyway).

I use a piece of software called exifiron which can do lossless rotation
of jpeg images and also change the EXIF orientation tag (independent of
the rotation). There's other similar software out there to do this, and
it shouldn't be hard to find.

Then you can just 'hard' rotate all your images that need it, and never
worry about the tag again.
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Anonymous
April 12, 2005 8:10:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Pete wrote:
> I've run into some problems with EXIF data that don't seem to have a
> solution. Specifically...
>
> When you rotate an image in-camera, the image isn't actually rotated (at
> least in some cameras). Instead, the EXIF "orientation" tag is set to
> indicate that the image should be rotated whenever it is displayed.
>
> So here are the issues:
>
> 1. Some graphics editing programs recognize the orientation tag, and others
> do not. So you have the bizarre situation where some programs will display
> your images in the correct orientation, and some won't.
>
> 2. Some programs let you copy across the EXIF data when you edit an image
> and save the changes. At least some of them don't change the orientation
> tag, even if they rotated the image automatically when it was opened, and
> saved the edited image in its correct orientation. So now you have images
> where the EXIF tag says they should be rotated for display, but in reality
> they should NOT.
>
> 3. When an image displays in the correct orientation, you have no idea
> whether this is due to the EXIF tag being recognized, or to the image
> really having the correct orientation.
>
> 4. Likewise, when an image displays INcorrectly, you don't know whether
> it's due to your software not recognizing the EXIF tag, or the image really
> is in the incorrect orientation, or --- gasp! --- the EXIF tag IS being
> recognized but the image has already been rotated.
>
> 4. Lastly, when your image editor displays an image correctly, you assume
> that it will display correctly when you send it to someone else, perhaps as
> an email attachment or web page image. But how many email clients and web
> browsers recognize the EXIF orientation tag?
>
> Bottom line: Looks like the EXIF orientation tag was a BAD idea that
> creates nothing but chaos. And the best advice would be to NEVER rotate
> images in-camera.
>
> Am I missing something, or is this really as messy as it looks?
>
> Pete

This isn't really an EXIF issue, but rather the implementation of it by
the various image editing programs.

My image editor (PSP 9) doesn't auto-rotate, which it shouldn't, as the
EXIF tag only contains information about the original shot conditions. I
do, however, use IrfanView to batch-process pictures and rotate them
based on the EXIF data, if I need to rotate a lot of shots. PSP 9 and
Irfanview both respect the EXIF data when saving files, if I tell it to.
So, if you're having problems, get some better software. What
programs auto-rotate the images for viewing when you open them?

--
Whatevah / Jerry Horn
Jerry {at} Whatevah.com (working address)
Freelance Photography and Web services.
spambait: spam@uce.gov
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 11:38:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Pete <nobody@nowhere.com> writes:

>I've run into some problems with EXIF data that don't seem to have a
>solution. Specifically...

There are really two sane ways of dealing with this.

You can leave all your images in their original orientation, and either
use EXIF-rotation-aware applications to display them, or accept that
some will be rotated when displayed.

Or, you can rotate all your images to the correct orientation, and change
the rotation data in the EXIF for all of the images that were rotated.
Then all programs will display them in the correct orientation.

>1. Some graphics editing programs recognize the orientation tag, and others
>do not. So you have the bizarre situation where some programs will display
>your images in the correct orientation, and some won't.

Well, life is imperfect. You can choose to avoid programs that don't
recognize the tag, or rotate the images - your choice.

>2. Some programs let you copy across the EXIF data when you edit an image
>and save the changes. At least some of them don't change the orientation
>tag, even if they rotated the image automatically when it was opened, and
>saved the edited image in its correct orientation. So now you have images
>where the EXIF tag says they should be rotated for display, but in reality
>they should NOT.

If you *can't* get the program to change the tag when the image is
rotated, the program is broken. Try writing to the company that sells
the software and tell them that.

>3. When an image displays in the correct orientation, you have no idea
>whether this is due to the EXIF tag being recognized, or to the image
>really having the correct orientation.

Most of the time, if it displays in the correct orientation, you should
be happy. If you really want to know orientation, turn off the
auto-rotate feature, or read the image into an editor that doesn't do
auto-rotation.

>4. Likewise, when an image displays INcorrectly, you don't know whether
>it's due to your software not recognizing the EXIF tag, or the image really
>is in the incorrect orientation, or --- gasp! --- the EXIF tag IS being
>recognized but the image has already been rotated.

If you pick one of the two conventions above, and select suitable
software to go with them, then you should know what's at fault when an
image is oriented wrong.

>4. Lastly, when your image editor displays an image correctly, you assume
>that it will display correctly when you send it to someone else, perhaps as
>an email attachment or web page image. But how many email clients and web
>browsers recognize the EXIF orientation tag?

You've got to resize it before mailing it or placing it on a web page.
Just don't save it with the EXIF data. And make sure it's right way up
before you save.

>Bottom line: Looks like the EXIF orientation tag was a BAD idea that
>creates nothing but chaos. And the best advice would be to NEVER rotate
>images in-camera.

Some cameras automatically tag images with rotational position as they
are shot. This is convenient, because it lets the camera display them
right side up on its own display in play mode, and also lets a software
package running on the host display things right side up. But it sounds
like you'd be best off if you immediately rotated all images upright as
soon as they are transferred from the camera. If you always do that,
there's no confusion later.

>Am I missing something, or is this really as messy as it looks?

It could be, without establishing some conventions.

Dave
April 12, 2005 5:18:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Pete" <nobody@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:p sk87olmr2xi.k76ko8kxgcfj.dlg@40tude.net...
>
> I've run into some problems with EXIF data that don't seem to have a
> solution. Specifically...
>
> When you rotate an image in-camera, the image isn't actually rotated (at
> least in some cameras). Instead, the EXIF "orientation" tag is set to
> indicate that the image should be rotated whenever it is displayed.
>
> So here are the issues:
>
> 1. Some graphics editing programs recognize the orientation tag, and
> others
> do not. So you have the bizarre situation where some programs will display
> your images in the correct orientation, and some won't.
>
> 2. Some programs let you copy across the EXIF data when you edit an image
> and save the changes. At least some of them don't change the orientation
> tag, even if they rotated the image automatically when it was opened, and
> saved the edited image in its correct orientation. So now you have images
> where the EXIF tag says they should be rotated for display, but in reality
> they should NOT.
>
> 3. When an image displays in the correct orientation, you have no idea
> whether this is due to the EXIF tag being recognized, or to the image
> really having the correct orientation.
>
> 4. Likewise, when an image displays INcorrectly, you don't know whether
> it's due to your software not recognizing the EXIF tag, or the image
> really
> is in the incorrect orientation, or --- gasp! --- the EXIF tag IS being
> recognized but the image has already been rotated.
>
> 4. Lastly, when your image editor displays an image correctly, you assume
> that it will display correctly when you send it to someone else, perhaps
> as
> an email attachment or web page image. But how many email clients and web
> browsers recognize the EXIF orientation tag?
>
> Bottom line: Looks like the EXIF orientation tag was a BAD idea that
> creates nothing but chaos. And the best advice would be to NEVER rotate
> images in-camera.
>
> Am I missing something, or is this really as messy as it looks?
>
> Pete

Does it matter all that much ?

If it initially appears on the screen in the wrong orientation, then it can
be rotated. Unless of course it is a very artistic photo, without an obvious
orientation.

If it is being published on a web page, then the page will be reviewed
before it is actually published. In any case the Exif would be removed
first, in order to reduce File Size.

It is a bit like putting a Portrait Format Photo into an envelope and
searching for an envelope with the opening at the narrow end, rather than
just using the one you have to hand, which happens to have the opening along
the long edge.

Roy G
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 6:55:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Pete <nobody@nowhere.com> writes:

> I've run into some problems with EXIF data that don't seem to have a
> solution. Specifically...
>
> When you rotate an image in-camera, the image isn't actually rotated (at
> least in some cameras). Instead, the EXIF "orientation" tag is set to
> indicate that the image should be rotated whenever it is displayed.
>
> So here are the issues:
>
> 1. Some graphics editing programs recognize the orientation tag, and others
> do not. So you have the bizarre situation where some programs will display
> your images in the correct orientation, and some won't.
>
> 2. Some programs let you copy across the EXIF data when you edit an image
> and save the changes. At least some of them don't change the orientation
> tag, even if they rotated the image automatically when it was opened, and
> saved the edited image in its correct orientation. So now you have images
> where the EXIF tag says they should be rotated for display, but in reality
> they should NOT.
>
> 3. When an image displays in the correct orientation, you have no idea
> whether this is due to the EXIF tag being recognized, or to the image
> really having the correct orientation.
>
> 4. Likewise, when an image displays INcorrectly, you don't know whether
> it's due to your software not recognizing the EXIF tag, or the image really
> is in the incorrect orientation, or --- gasp! --- the EXIF tag IS being
> recognized but the image has already been rotated.
>
> 4. Lastly, when your image editor displays an image correctly, you assume
> that it will display correctly when you send it to someone else, perhaps as
> an email attachment or web page image. But how many email clients and web
> browsers recognize the EXIF orientation tag?
>
> Bottom line: Looks like the EXIF orientation tag was a BAD idea that
> creates nothing but chaos. And the best advice would be to NEVER rotate
> images in-camera.

I dunno, I find rotating images in camera makes my post processing go much
faster. What I do is have a tool that I wrote that if it sees the tag, rotates
the image, and clears the field before it ever gets to any other image editor.
That way I get images rotated correctly before processing, and I don't have to
worry about whether the tool I'm using knows about the field or not. I wrote
the download tool that does the rotation (and uses exiftool to do the
processing), but there are other similar tools out there. For example, jhead
does this if you have jpegtran also installed on your system:
http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/jhead/

In terms of processing, I always maintain an original file straight from the
camera with absolutely no processing done on it (including auto rotation), so
that I can always start over from scratch if need be.

--
Michael Meissner
email: mrmnews@the-meissners.org
http://www.the-meissners.org
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 3:18:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 17:10:59 GMT, in rec.photo.digital , Bart Bailey
<me2@privacy.net> in <42610019.5409374@bart.spawar.mil> wrote:

>In Message-ID:<PUP6e.22092$kr.13009@newsfe1-gui.ntli.net> posted on Tue,
>12 Apr 2005 13:18:39 GMT, Roy wrote: Begin
>
>>It is a bit like putting a Portrait Format Photo into an envelope and
>>searching for an envelope with the opening at the narrow end, rather than
>>just using the one you have to hand, which happens to have the opening along
>>the long edge.
>
>What if the stamp and address are placed longitudinally,
>would the recipient then assume a correct orientation? ;-)

Orientation might change at a longitude of -122.4, latitude of 37.7.


>BTW: I use exifer to replace and/or modify EXIF data.
>http://tinyurl.com/ixso

--
Matt Silberstein

All in all, if I could be any animal, I would want to be
a duck or a goose. They can fly, walk, and swim. Plus,
there there is a certain satisfaction knowing that at the
end of your life you will taste good with an orange sauce
or, in the case of a goose, a chestnut stuffing.
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 5:40:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 23:18:26 GMT, Matt Silberstein
<RemoveThisPrefixmatts2nospam@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 17:10:59 GMT, in rec.photo.digital , Bart Bailey
><me2@privacy.net> in <42610019.5409374@bart.spawar.mil> wrote:
>
>>In Message-ID:<PUP6e.22092$kr.13009@newsfe1-gui.ntli.net> posted on Tue,
>>12 Apr 2005 13:18:39 GMT, Roy wrote: Begin
>>
>>>It is a bit like putting a Portrait Format Photo into an envelope and
>>>searching for an envelope with the opening at the narrow end, rather than
>>>just using the one you have to hand, which happens to have the opening along
>>>the long edge.
>>
>>What if the stamp and address are placed longitudinally,
>>would the recipient then assume a correct orientation? ;-)
>
>Orientation might change at a longitude of -122.4, latitude of 37.7.

Snide little bitch, aren't you.

>
>
>>BTW: I use exifer to replace and/or modify EXIF data.
>>http://tinyurl.com/ixso
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 6:12:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 01:40:11 GMT, in rec.photo.digital ,
kashe@sonic.net in <teir515gughgkk7mhpm51ucj0f5e6oavth@4ax.com>
wrote:

>On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 23:18:26 GMT, Matt Silberstein
><RemoveThisPrefixmatts2nospam@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 17:10:59 GMT, in rec.photo.digital , Bart Bailey
>><me2@privacy.net> in <42610019.5409374@bart.spawar.mil> wrote:
>>
>>>In Message-ID:<PUP6e.22092$kr.13009@newsfe1-gui.ntli.net> posted on Tue,
>>>12 Apr 2005 13:18:39 GMT, Roy wrote: Begin
>>>
>>>>It is a bit like putting a Portrait Format Photo into an envelope and
>>>>searching for an envelope with the opening at the narrow end, rather than
>>>>just using the one you have to hand, which happens to have the opening along
>>>>the long edge.
>>>
>>>What if the stamp and address are placed longitudinally,
>>>would the recipient then assume a correct orientation? ;-)
>>
>>Orientation might change at a longitude of -122.4, latitude of 37.7.
>
> Snide little bitch, aren't you.

I've been bad.


--
Matt Silberstein

All in all, if I could be any animal, I would want to be
a duck or a goose. They can fly, walk, and swim. Plus,
there there is a certain satisfaction knowing that at the
end of your life you will taste good with an orange sauce
or, in the case of a goose, a chestnut stuffing.
Anonymous
April 14, 2005 2:42:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 02:12:51 GMT, Matt Silberstein
<RemoveThisPrefixmatts2nospam@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>I've been bad.

Are you asking to be spanked? :-)

--
Bill Funk
Change "g" to "a"
!