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When I take a portrait photo, it shows up correctly on the phone. But when I transfer it to certain software, it shows up flipped sideways. Why is this? Is it the fault of the phone or the software that's reading the image? Is there a way to fix a batch of these images so that all software shows them correctly?

The phone is an LG G3, but it's happened to me on multiple phones, and many people have reported this problem, e.g.: https://androidforums.com/threads/vertical-photos-rotating-to-horizontal-orientation.588960/

The same thing happens if I use a different camera app, OpenCamera, instead of the stock Android app.

  • Depends on – and we need some more info to decide: 1) does this only happen with some software (but not with other)? 2) does the same software show it correctly for photos taken with some other phone? – Izzy Nov 27 '18 at 14:52
  • 2 examples of software for which it happens are uploading an image to www.kijiji.ca, and opening an image in gImageReader. I don't have another phone to test unfortunately, but I know it was at least happening with the Kijiji website on my previous phone, also Android. – user2596667 Nov 27 '18 at 15:09
  • Which means it only happens with that specific software – but the same photo opened with a different software is shown correctly? Then it's most likely an issue with the software, which for some reason ignores (or cannot read) the photos' Exif data (which is where the image orientation is stored). – Izzy Nov 27 '18 at 15:34
  • That doesn't necessarily follow - maybe phones save photos in some kind of non-standard way, which a lot of software doesn't handle. We have to know the details to decide. – user2596667 Nov 27 '18 at 17:00
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I found the answer to my own question. It seems cameras take the picture and then store an flag, the Exif orientation, rather than just storing the rotated data, because the latter would be too time-consuming or it would be too expensive to give the camera custom hardware. (https://www.impulseadventure.com/photo/exif-orientation.html)

But not all software supports these image rotation flags, so it's best to process images when importing them to convert them to an image with no rotation flag. Some tools for doing this are here:

http://how-to.wikia.com/wiki/How_to_auto-rotate_digital_photos_to_their_proper_orientation

The exifautotran script seems to work for me, e.g.:

exifautotran *.jpg

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