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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Your Tech Puzzle of the Week

Here's one for the computer wizards out there. On this post, we vainly display a photo that originally was taken with the camera inverted, i.e., upside down. We rotated the photo and saved it using Photoshop, and it's right-side up on our various browsers -- but the pic is still upside-down on our iPhone:

And an alert reader is getting the same thing on his iPad. What's up with that? (In a thousand words or less, if possible.)

Comments (12)

The photo is contained in the chache on the phone, and needs to be refreshed from the original web site before becoming normal.


Rich that sounds right on Jacks phone, but my understanding is a reader got the inverted image from the web site.

You must upgrade to Max iPad.

Photos can be rotated in a couple different ways. They can have the actual bits in the image flipped/reversed, or they can simply have a piece of metadata which tells the displaying software what the proper orientation is. This image likely was originally taken with the camera on its side, and the camera set the orientation in the metadata.

It's also upside down in Photoshop CS5. Whatever you used to flip it either flipped the actual image but not also the attached metadata, or the other way around.

And when I saw the picture first, I thought you'd just switched on your gravity inverter.

You must upgrade to Max iPad

Why would I "upgrade" to something that only works on light rail?

The short answer is EXIF data which is metadata stored in the photo when you take it (see stared *** portion for image orientation):

Filename - wildwoodtrail.jpg
Orientation - Bottom right***
XResolution - 72
YResolution - 72
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - 4.2.1
DateTime - 2011:07:31 16:11:09
YCbCrPositioning - Centered
ExifOffset - 204
FNumber - 2.80
ComponentsConfiguration - YCbCr
ApertureValue - F 2.80
FlashPixVersion - 0100
ColorSpace - sRGB
ExifImageWidth - 1600
ExifImageHeight - 1200
SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
ExposureMode - Auto
SceneCaptureType - Standard

GPS information: -
GPSLatitudeRef - N
GPSLatitude - 45 31.11 0 (45.518500)
GPSLongitudeRef - W
GPSLongitude - 122 42.94 0 (122.715667)
GPSAltitudeRef - Sea level
GPSAltitude - 37.27 m
GPSTimeStamp - 23 11 7.96

Thumbnail: -
Compression - 6 (JPG)
XResolution - 72
YResolution - 72
ResolutionUnit - Inch
JpegIFOffset - 734
JpegIFByteCount - 12611

The iPhone shows your rough coordinates at the time you took the picture:

It's still fascinating to me that the display depends on what hardware one is using. Doesn't the iStuff use Safari, just like PCs do?

And does anybody know how to fix the problem?

The sad but short answer is that there is no fix. Some browsers (and other applications that display photos) just don't rotate photos correctly for you based on the EXIF data. My wife's Lotus Notes e-mail has the same problem, so any iPhone photos taken with the phone in any position other than vertical show up the wrong way.

Bah, it is simple. Alter image in photo editing software of your choice. Window 7 built in photo viewer will do it. Then strip the exif data and save altered image.

Solution here.

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