Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blogger Image Bug

There is a very frustrating "bug" with Blogger and Picassa. Some images when uploaded get rotated by 90 degrees and cannot be fixed. This only happens with images wider than they are tall. It also only happens with images that contain digital camera metadata. Furthermore it only happens with images that have oval like characteristics. From my previous post the Man o' war and Stone Crab images came in rotated incorrectly. My theory is that Google has a "feature" where it attempts to identify images of a face taken with a digital camera on its side and auto correct the rotation. I am sure that this is a great feature for some users, but it is an absolute hindrance for others. The Picassa Web Album allows users to rotate images once uploaded, and furthermore Blogger images now show up as a hidden album in Picassa, but for whatever reason you can't rotate images in the Blogger album! There is absolutely no way to fix the image once uploaded! When uploading an image from Blogger there is a confirmation screen with a preview of the image, they really need to add some rotate buttons to this screen. For now my workaround is to first open the picture in Paint and then save it as a .png which strips the metadata.

I discovered the source of the problem. My camera is storing camera orientation information in the EXIF data of the jpeg files. Right clicking a jpeg in Windows Vista doesn't show the orientation field, which is why I didn't discover this earlier. Picasa is rotating the image when uploaded based on the stored orientation. This doesn't seem like the correct behavior, especially because the behavior is not consistent across browsers. I am hoping Google fixes this, or at least provides a way to change the rotation once uploaded.

Update #2
I have been involved in a discussion about this issue in the Blogger help groups. A Blogger employee just followed up on that discussion hinting that they are hopefully going resolve this issue!

Peter Noyes,

Thanks a lot for investigating; it looks like you have stumbled into a solution for some of the photo issues that have arisen in the past here. I'll pass your feedback along to the rest of the team and we'll see if we can make this better.

And thanks to Mishka for the heads up!

The Blogger Team


megan said...

any updates on this?

KittyCat said...

Hi Peter - thanks for sharing this! I'm now saving images in PNG format, which solves the problem (though the image size is quite heavy) :)

Paul Williamson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mrpaul said...

Thank you for posting this! A huge help.

John Gross said...

If you don't like the size of the .PNG file (in my case the .PNG is > 14 MB while the equivalent .JPG is < 700KB, a factor of 20!), you can re-open the .PNG file and save it back as a >JPG. the conversion back and forth strips out the metadata that was confusing Blogger, and going back to JPEG format avoids the bloating issue.

Peter said...

Good idea!

Ahila said...

Facing the same problem. Thanks.

CentiMoney said...

I had the same problem but found the following work for me:
Rotate the picture in Windows Explorer to the way you like before uploading. If the picture is already right, rotate it anyway, and then rotate it back, and then upload.
You can see in my blog that some pictures I uploaded in the early days were rotated wrong. But later on they were all correct when I did the above:
Perhaps rotating in Windows changes the auto-rotate information in the file such that Blogger can recognize it.