Solving A Perplexing Photo Problem

This post is about a perplexing problem that I have noticed.  It all started about a year ago when I was assisting my friend with a post on her site.  We made a batch of fudge, trying out a new recipe for the first time.  We were so excited about how well the recipe turned out that we devoured the fudge before taking any photos.  This was a major oversight.  We used a photo of someone else’s fudge until the following weekend when we whipped up another batch of fudge and took some pictures.  My friend was still struggling to master the basics of WordPress, so she asked me to switch the photos.  I added the photo to the site and used the on-line editor to rotate the fudge picture to the correct position.  Our photo was not the same quality as the previous one, but it was ours.  I was pleased with the result.

A couple of days later, I received a phone call from my friend who told me that the fudge photo was sideways on the website.  I was perplexed.  I was trying to figure out what I had done as I walked across the room to log onto the computer and fix the problem.  When I opened her site, however, I didn’t see a problem with the photo.  The photo on the site was correctly oriented on my computer screen, and I told her so.   The following conversation included some friendly bickering that sounded a lot like this.

“I’m telling your that I’m looking at it right now, and it’s sideways.”

“Well, I’m looking at it right now, and it’s straight.”

This went on for several minutes before we agreed to meet at a neutral location with free internet so we could figure out what was going on.  Honestly, both of us thought that the other person was crazy.    When we met, this is what we each saw.

The fudge picture on my computer looked like this.photos may look right on a windows operating system, but not on apple

On her computer, the fudge picture looked like this.  OSX may not respond to online editing like what is in wordpress media

We didn’t know what the problem was, but obviously, any editing would have to be done on her computer so that we could get the photo correctly oriented.    After several minutes we had downloaded the photo onto her computer, rotated it, saved it, and uploaded it to the site again.  Finally, we re-inserted into her blog post, and voila, we both saw the same photo with the same orientation.

There is one piece of information that I didn’t share with you.   My friend is an Apple person, and I am a Windows person.  For most things, this doesn’t have much of an impact, but when it comes to using the online editing software that is part of WordPress and other blogging software, everyone needs to be aware that when they rotate a photo for the correct orientation, it may not appear correctly oriented to Apple iPhone and iPad users.  A couple of months ago, I tried to explain this to another blogging friend of mine who was adamant that all of her photos looked fine on her iPhone.  A couple of weeks ago, she commented that she didn’t know why her photos were sideways on her blog.  She was viewing her page from her  iPhone.  I explained to her that it was because of the use of online photo editing.  This time, she heard what I was saying.

If you want to see a real life example, go to my post on Retro Dining–Chop Suey.  Half way down you will find the image of a can of chop suey vegetables.  It will look correct on a newer mac, an Android device, or any computer running windows, but will be lying on its side if viewed with an iPhone.  I left it like this on purpose just in case there are any non-believers viewing my site.

When I got home, I did some research.  I found several sites that discussed the problem.  Instructables had a discussion about this problem a few years ago.  A year ago, there was a discussion on WordPress.org about this problem.  My friend has a new Apple computer which shows all of my photos correctly oriented regardless of how I rotate them, but she also has an iPad and an iPhone. The iPhone consistently shows images in a sideways position if they are rotated using the WordPress photo editing.  The iPad does it some of the time, and I can’t figure out what makes the difference.

The bottom line here is that if you want your  iPhone carrying friends to stop calling you and telling you that your photos are sideways on your blog, you have two choices.  Stop hanging around with them, or edit your photo in Photoshop on the computer, and save it in the correct position,  before uploading it to your web site.  I recommend the latter.  Good friends are hard to find.

If you’re an iPhone user and are visiting my page and notice that some of my photos are sideways, I’m sorry.  I’m trying, but like the example above, I can’t fix what looks right from my perspective.  It’s actually rather frustrating.  I hope you find this information useful.  There’s a post at Mandolin Cafe that discusses this same problem if you’re looking for more information.

As always, thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

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