How to fix iPhone photos upside down in iPhoto
September 7, 2013 5:56 AM   Subscribe

I took a bunch of photos with my iPhone held horizontally, which when imported into iPhoto are now upside down. Last time I did this, and I rotated the photos in iPhoto, the photos then appear upside down when viewing them on the iPhone. Is there any way to get the iPhone to agree with iPhoto on which way is up? Or do I have to create duplicate photos and rotate one so that at least one version is properly viewable on each device? (Also, does anyone have a good trick for remembering what the right position is for the camera eye when holding the iPhone sideways so I don't do this again?)
posted by oh yeah! to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In landscape mode, the home button should be to the right (and then you can hit the shutter (volume button) with your left thumb).

You need to find an app (either on the phone or on your computer) to edit the EXIF data which is where the iphone specifies the orientation of the photo.
posted by nightwood at 7:20 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

On the iPhones I've had, both lefties and righties are accommodated. Shooting either with the home button on the left or right results in a correctly oriented picture. If the controls for the flash, HDR, and front camera are at the top as you look at the "viewfinder", then the orientation metadata should be correct.
I am unsure if the problem you are experiencing is due to an obscure software setting, or perhaps a broken accelerometer.
posted by roofus at 7:30 AM on September 7, 2013

In the iPhone, you can change the orientation of the photo. Click the Photos app, choose the picture, and hit Edit. Four icons should show at the bottom. The bottom left icon looks like a turn arrow, (pointing at 11 o'clock). That will rotate the photo. To save button space, the programmers only let you go counterclockwise. Click Save.

I think it'd be better if you make the necessary changes in your phone before sending them into iPhoto. Afterwards, things should match up.
posted by Cog at 10:25 AM on September 7, 2013

Response by poster: I don't think it's a problem with my iPhone's accelerometer - the photos look fine in the phone, and re-orient themselves the right way up no matter how the camera turns. I wonder if it's because I'm importing over 400 photos and overwhelming iPhoto? I may try manually deleting each photo from the phone that transferred successfully until I get to the first glitchy one and re-import starting from there.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:06 PM on September 8, 2013

Best answer: I found this thread when trying to find a solution for this problem on my own phone. It appears to be a result of a change in how iOS 5 saves orientation vs. prior versions of iOS, and is also related to using the volume button to snap photos when the volume button is facing up (inside of facing down). More info here and elsewhere on the Googles.
posted by scottso17 at 3:01 PM on September 11, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. I created a duplicate of each upside-down photo in the Camera Roll album of iPhoto & rotated the duplicate while the phone was still hooked up to the computer. When I re-synched, the same ones were showing as upside-down in both machines, so I deleted those from both and was left with just the right-side-up duplicates in both. (I haven't tried it on the handful from 2009 though, since those are no longer in the iPhone camera roll I'm not sure it will work as well.)
posted by oh yeah! at 4:58 AM on September 12, 2013

As Nightwood suggested, don't think of the buttons as your typical camera buttons. The volume buttons should not be on top of the phone when you take your photos, they should be on the bottom. This is completely counterintuitive, but you'll save yourself a LOT of hassle because there are many, many applications that can't handle the metadata that instructs them to orient the photo properly.

Take all of your photos with the volume buttons on the bottom (and the home button on the right).

I don't think this problem affects video, but it can't hurt to run a test to find out, and I personally still make sure the volume buttons are on the bottom "just in case."

If you're using the volume buttons because you want to reduce the amount of camera jitter/blur from pressing on your touchscreen, may I suggest this little trick - hold down the 'take photo' icon, and release when you're ready to take the picture - the photo will be taken when you release your finger, not when you press your finger down, which helps to reduce jitter.
posted by Yowser at 11:11 AM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, and one more thing. I highly doubt this is the problem in your case, but sometimes the accelerometer does get confused about orientation.

I found this out one time when a photo ended upside down. It also had some severe rolling shutter artifacts (I'm guessing Apple does some post-processing to reduce the effect of the rolling shutter, and that post-processing merely exasperates the problem when the accelerometer is confused), which meant the photo had to be trashed. This was one out of thousands of photos, so it's a very rare issue that shouldn't bother the casual photographer (like me!).
posted by Yowser at 11:16 AM on September 16, 2013

« Older iOS Fashion and Beauty Apps for the Woman Who Has...   |   Need guy advice Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.