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Fix iPhone EXIF rotation from the command line

My iPhone is the camera that i use more than any other, but there's one thing that has consistently annoyed me about it. Apple uses an EXIF tag to rotate images. This can be a problem when you share images with others. Safari will rotate the image correctly, but no other browser will.

Adding to the trouble is that Mail.app and the Finder will also "auto-correct" the rotation, so it can be hard to tell which images need to be "fixed" and which don't.

You could use the '/usr/bin/sips' program (sips --rotate 90 picture.jpg) if you knew which pictures need to be corrected, and which direction they need to be rotated (clockwise or counter-clockwise). But I wanted something that would, as they say, "just work."

(I also wanted something I could use on my webserver, which runs Linux, but that's really a side issue.)

My attempts to find a solution on Google were fruitless, so I asked on Twitter. Michael Baltaks pointed me to jhead, which describes itself as a "Exif Jpeg header manipulation tool" which includes the source code as well as pre-built binaries for OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and even Windows.

To fix a picture named "image.jpg" just type "jhead -autorot image.jpg" and you will see "Modified: image.jpg". You can fix all JPGs in the current folder using "jhead -autorot *.jpg" and it will only change the images which have the EXIF tag.

Note: You might be tempted to use the "-norot" argument, which will "zero out" the rotation tag, but it will not have the desired effect, and (even worse) once you have used the "-norot" you can't use "-autorot" -- trust me, I learned that one the hard way.

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UNIX / BSD iPhone

My iPhone is the camera that i use more than any other, but there's one thing that has consistently annoyed me about it. Apple uses an EXIF...