[Digikam-users] About the exif orientation tag and how digikam handles it

Pedro Venda pjvenda at pjvenda.org
Sun Sep 10 22:42:18 BST 2006

Hi everyone,

I've looked around the archives and googled a fair bit about this 
subject/issue but couldn't find any solid answer. So I decided to ask the 
guys who know, at the cost of potentially being publicly humiliated with a 
bold RTFM :) - hope not.

I've recently bought a digital SLR camera and already I've got about 3GB of 
photo albums. I use digikam and picasa to handle my photo albums, but digikam 
is a better, more robust and more complete product. 

All of my photos have the following exif orientation tags:
* top, left - for landscape shots
* left, bottom - for portrait shots (right hand up)

In digikam 0.9.0-beta1 [1], by checking the Settings -> Configure Digikam -> 
Metadata -> "Show images/thumbs rotated according to orientation tag" [2] 
box, I hoped to get a thumbnail preview screen similar to picasa's, 
with "left, bottom" pictures vertically oriented (that's what the exif 
orientation tag is there for). However, it doesn't happen; All pictures show 
up as landscape shots [3]. I believe this is a bug, but I may be missing 
Even though it wasn't really a solution but more a workaround, I solved this 
once by checking the "rotate/flip image" box in the camera import dialog [4], 
but now I can't even reproduce it - all imported pictures show up as 
landscape shots even with different exif orientation tag.
Another way to solve this was the 'jhead -autorot *.JPG', but that's just like 
eliminating the exif orientation tag...

The way I think it should work is by rendering the pictures and thumbnails 
oriented according to the exif orientation tag, independently from scanning 
or importing the files - like picasa does. (sorry for the comparison)
What do you think about this? Is this a bug or am I interpreting the exif 
orientation tag wrongly?

[1]: http://mega.ist.utl.pt/~pjlv/sshot-01-version.jpg
[2]: http://mega.ist.utl.pt/~pjlv/sshot-02-configure.jpg
[3]: http://mega.ist.utl.pt/~pjlv/sshot-03-nonrotated.jpg
[4]: http://mega.ist.utl.pt/~pjlv/sshot-04-rotated.jpg

Congratulations for a great software and keep up the excelent work!
Best regards,

Pedro João Lopes Venda
email: pjvenda at pjvenda org
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