iPhoto '09: Still has Image Rotation Bug?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by minty89, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. minty89 macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2008
    Anyone with iPhoto '09: please help! I want to buy iPhoto '09 but want to know if the following bug is fixed.
    iPhoto '08 had a problem with JPGs marked with an image rotation tag (i.e. portrait orientation) where it would automatically create a copy in the "Modified" folder even if no edits were made. This obviously can increase the size of a photo library dramatically.
    Does anyone know if iPhoto '09 fixes this bug? If you import a vertical picture from your camera, does it automatically create a copy in the "Modified" folder?
  2. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    I don't have iPhoto '09, but the current behavior that you described is how I expect iPhoto to work. I'm not sure why it would be considered a bug.
  3. minty89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2008
    Because if you take half of your pictures in portrait mode, the size of your photo library will increase by 50% when you import it into iPhoto. If you have a lot of pictures, thats a lot of space!
    I expect that if I don't make any edits (crop, touch-ups, resize, etc.) that iPhoto will only keep one copy of each photo. It shouldn't treat a picture as modified just because I took it vertically instead of horizontally!
  4. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    I understand how you would like iPhoto to behave, and it does make sense. But rotating a photo is a modification. Regardless of how you held the camera, the original image is landscape. I personally wouldn't consider it a bug, because iPhoto is behaving as intended. Hard drive space is cheap.

    Maybe you could submit it to Apple as a feature request.
  5. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I disagree, Baldimac. I define a modification as something I do to the photo after it is imported. How I hold the camera should not be a modification.

    Thus, all imports should come in as original, and then once I make a modification, then it can start adding copies to the modified folder.

    But yeah disk space is cheap and I won't lose much sleep if this bug isn't fixed...
  6. buxtone17 macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2009
    I wouldn't say this is a bug, but it seems like it would be something that Apple would create a preference for.

    I rarely use iPhoto (iLife 08 version) - just to create Quicktime movies - but when I import my files, they're already rotated. When I looked in iPhoto prefs, I couldn't find anything that would solve your problem.

    It's weird that Apple doesn't have an iLife '09 trial on their website... Try this link: http://mac.softpedia.com/get/Business/Apple-iLife-06.shtml
  7. spooky2k macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2008
    You understand that you just defined the iPhoto behavior right now?

    Regardless of which way you hold the camera, if you import a photo and leave it as it was imported a copy won't be made. However, if you rotate it, you have modified that picture and so a copy is made. As per your example in the post I quoted, it makes perfect sense.
  8. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2007
    I tend to rotate my photos and name them before importing them using the Image Capture utility. And now, I also geotag my pictures ready for iLife 09.
  9. Gregorski macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2009
    I registered specifically to respond to this. The original poster is correct. Some camera's, mine included have an accelerometer in which know which orientation the camera is and tag the .jpg image accordingly. All adobe applications detect this flag correctly and automatically show the image in the correct orientation. I am new to iPhoto as i only just bought my first Mac. However I would expect a portrait image from my camera to be displayed in portrait format with no copy in the modified folder.

    I think you're assuming that the original poster is rotating his image in iPhoto after the import which he isn't.
  10. spooky2k macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2008
    Hey. Firstly, Welcome! Always nice to see new members.

    You're quite right, my bad. I re-read the original post and indeed this does seem like a bug. The behaviour should be that if the photo is altered in any after being imported into iPhoto a copy and modification would be made. I have no idea why this bug is present. Have you tried this in Aperture? I only import images from my SLR into that and it doesn't seem to have the problem (i'm presuming it's not a standard function on cheaper cameras?).
  11. Gregorski macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2009
    Thanks for the welcome. I'm using a Nikon D50. I'm just starting with this stuff, but the features in iPhoto '09 (Faces & Places in particular) look very appealing. What does Aperture give over and above iPhoto? Does it also have a nice way of organising pictures ?
  12. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Just to argue a technicality, but the original image that is imported in the described situation is landscape. It just contains a tag telling iPhoto to rotate the image. So, technically, iPhoto is rotating the image after import.

    :eek: I don't know which behavior makes the most sense. My understanding is that rotating a JPG is a lossy process. Maybe iPhoto needs the modified copy to display the image more efficiently.
  13. Greystorm macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    Rotating in iPhoto is lossy as far as I know. However it doesn't have to be. You can do lossless rotation.

    iPhoto should not auto-rotate the images and make a copy in the modified folder. It does this in 08 and it really bugs me because more than 40% of my photos are portrait. This behaviour wastes a significant amount of disk space.

    iPhoto should keep the original image as is and display it as per the tag saying it's portrait, without making a copy.

    I really hope this is fixed in 09 because it's the main reason I don't like iPhoto.

    Can anyone confirm if it still makes a wasteful copy in 09?
  14. iSquirrel macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2009
    This bug/feature is still present in iPhoto '09. I really hate meta-tagging orientation of pictures, it messes things up when you don't really know how the picture looks, if it acutally IS rotated or not...
  15. BaldiMac macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Can you do lossless rotation with a JPEG? My understanding is that it is lossy because of the fact that pixels are not square.
  16. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    Well, arguably, the image you take is a landscape image that is TAGGED with a portrait orientation flag. iPhoto reads the picture file as it is recorded - a picture file with an orientation tag.

    I would not expect iPhoto to read the file and make changes it sees fit and import that as an 'original'. It reads the tag and makes that a modification, because that is what it is.

    For example, my camera takes 3:2 images. If I make a portrait image, it's a 3:2 with an orientation flag NOT a 2:3 image.

    I think if you were to make a complaint, it should be to the camera manufacturer and have them 'record' their portrait images as 2:3 (which is, of course, a little bit unintuitive when you think about it - the sensor is always oriented one way in the camera, so the camera always sees the file as it is. The tag is incidental information).

    I would say the way iPhoto behaves with portrait tagged images to be inconvenient (if you are tight on space), but not a bug.

    Greystorm: I see what you mean - keep the image, but just 'read' the tag, and DISPLAY the image the correct orientation without actually making ANY modification. That is a good middle ground.
  17. JazzLion macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2009
    no advanced options to alter how iphoto handles photos? Or is that too advanced in their opinion for the target consumers of iLife?
  18. stoked1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2009
    iPhoto Rotation Bug also?

    My Canon EOS tags the photos for which way they should be rotated, and when imported into iPhoto 5 the thumbnails look good, however when opened the portrait shots are all upside down, even though the thumbnails show the opposite. When I manually rotate the photos the thumbnails annoyingly also go upside down.

    Any simple ways around this?

  19. Gregorski macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2009
    The only solution to this that I know is to buy a Nikon :D

    My D50 has none of these issues with iPhoto '09
  20. stevemcmillen macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2009
    I ran into the same issue. Like others, I feel this is a bug. The funny thing is that the files iPhoto is duplicating are from iPhone. And when it does duplicate, it actually increases the size of the files (e.g. 600k -> 1 MB).

    iPhoto should in no way require the image to be rotated. It should just be rendered according to the EXIF info; no need to edit it just yet.

    I managed to find a solution. There is a software called 'jhead' <http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/jhead/> that is available on Mac. A very nice tool to modify image files - I use it normally to rename image files to the date/time the picture was taken.

    If you run it as follows it will modify all images *in-place* in a given dir to rotate per the EXIF info and then reset the EXIF rotation info per the updated rotation. So if you try this, copy the directory of images you are testing on until you've "made your peace" with the program (I have found jhead to be *very* reliable).

    jhead -autorot *.jpg

    This uses jpegtran which claims a lossless rotation process (I would have assumed rotation was lossless anyway but apparently not - go figure).

    As I said, I use it often to rename files so the filename is the date/time taken. The CLI for this is:

    jhead-mac -n"%Y-%m-%d %H.%M.%S" *.jpg

    ** But you can do even fancier things like getting it to write all files to a nested dir tree such as YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS#.jpg

    Anyways, enough of the divergence... To use this program to rotate images, you also need jpegtran (a link to it is in the help for jhead). And there is the rub. I could not find a compiled version of jpegtran on the net; so I downloaded it as source and compiled it. To do that, I needed to download the XCode dev environment from Apple (or get it off your OSX CD). After that, it was a painless effort at the command line as follows:
    <cd to where you downloaded jpegtran>
    tar -zxf jpegsrc.v7.tar.gz
    cd jpeg-7
    make install

    You can get jpegtran here as source (get the Unix package):
    You can get XCode here:

    Good luck!

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