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Digital Image Rotation: Why and how.

Digital Image Rotation: Why and how.

The issue of digital image orientation and post-process image rotation is as old as digital photography itself and applies to all digital photo cameras or smartphones in general. The digital image technology advanced tremendously over the past two decades since it became available in the mid-nineties, but we still need to pay attention with respect to the image orientation and there are some ‘gotchas’ to look out for.

Digital image rotation basically breaks down into three issues:

  1. Digital image file aspect ratio
  2. Digital image rotation process and tools
  3. Digital image time and date stamp

 

The following discussion of these topics applies generally to any type of digital photo usage, whether posting it in a blog or using it in a document or viewing on a computer or tablet, but our main focus is to display the photos in a digital photo frame.

Image file aspect ratio

Every digital image consists of ‘pixels’, which are individual dots that compose an image and each has a certain color (simplified explanation – read more about digital images here). The more pixels, the better the resolution. Images are two-dimensional, means there is a certain number of pixels in horizontal and vertical direction. Generally speaking, if there are more pixels in horizontal direction than vertical, we consider the image to be ‘landscape’ oriented; If the vertical direction consists of more pixels than horizontal, we assume to have a portrait-oriented photo.

So far the theory. Reality is slightly different. Based on the assumption above, is this photo in landscape or portrait orientation?

Digital Image Rotation

Looking at the image (as a cognitive human being), we clearly see it is taken in portrait orientation (although it is tipped to the side). Being a computer – or digital photo frame – all we see is more pixels in horizontal direction than vertical, means it clearly is in landscape orientation. No?

Ok, this is exactly where the issue is.

Every digital camera has an image sensor to capture the photo. This sensor has a certain x-y resolution, with normally x (horizontal) being larger than y (vertical). Most cameras are in the 4:3 (x:y) or 5:4 range. All is fine if we actually take a photo in landscape orientation. Once we tip the camera 90 degrees to the left or right (aka portrait orientation), thigs become interesting:

The sensor format did not change. So the image taken is still ‘wider’ than ‘high’, although the image content isn’t. So what we – as cognitive humans – have to do is to look at the image and rotate it on our computer to put it in the right orientation. There are great tools for this, see next chapters. But smart cameras or phones have orientation sensors build in: Although the digital image is still wider than high, there is a piece of information attached to the image file which says if it was taken in portrait orientation (and at what angle). This piece of information is part of the image EXIF data (read more about EXIF – Exchangeable image file format – here). So with this data, non-humans (computers, tablets, digital photo frames, …) can rotate the image in the correct orientation without recognizing the image content. The downside is that not all devices set this orientation flag, and not all digital image formats support it, which makes the rotation process inconsistent.

So let’s get to work and look into digital image rotation tools and options:

Image rotation process and tools

As we have just learned, our safest bet is to keep a (human) eye on the orientation. But for the actual rotation, there are various tools that help us to do the job.

Once we identified photos that show in the wrong orientation, we need to rotate them. Microsoft Windows has a built-in image rotation function… which we discourage you to use. The reason for this ‘warning’ is described in the next chapter. So what to look out for in an image rotation tool?

First, the rotation must be ‘lossless‘ (means, the quality of the image does not suffer in the rotation process). This statement specifically applies to JPEG images, the most commonly used image format for digital photos. JPEG is a compressed image format (to reduce the image data size and optimize storage memory usage). Other formats – especially bitmap based image formats like BMP or PNG – do not have this problem as they are not compressed (but have other drawbacks like not supporting EXIF information).

Second, when rotating an image, you want to maintain the ‘image taken’ timestamp of the file. That is important to keep the images in the chronological order of capturing, not rotation. Unfortunately, this is not always given:

Image time and date stamp

So what about that time stamp? The moment an image is born (aka you take a photo on your camera), the camera creates the image file and also adds two time stamps as image properties: ‘Created’ and ‘Modified’ date and time – which are the same at this point (simply the moment the picture was taken).

Now, fast forward to today, you browse the impressive collection of photos you have taken during that vacation and spot multiple photos that show in the wrong orientation. The solution seems to be easy: A simple right click in your Windows explorer offers you to rotate the image clock- or counter-clockwise. Great. The wakeup call comes once you present the digital image version of your vacation… First, the audience will see all landscape oriented photos (from leaving the house to getting back home), then all portrait oriented photos – from start to end. Why? Unfortunately, Windows decided to change the ‘created’ (picture taken) timestamp to the moment of rotation, overwriting the time the picture was actually taken. Why they have chosen to do this is beyond our knowledge (this behavior started with Windows 7), but at least we know how to get around this:

Use a free tool, which will rotate your photos lossless, using the EXIF orientation information, and maintaining the time stamp. Best of all worlds. Simple as can be.

Here’s our pick:

Conclusion

Our favorite tool is the JPEG Lossless Rotator from Anny Studio. This tool integrates in your Windows Explorer shell context menu – you can simply rotate an image left or right by right-clicking on it or use the auto-rotate option for images with EXIF orientation information. If you right-click folders (instead of individual files), you have the option to automatically batch rotate all images in that folder based on the EXIF tag.

Using this tool, you’re able to rotate your digital images

  • lossless,
  • automatically using the EXIF information while
  • maintaining the original timestamp (select “Keep File Timestamp” in the settings)

 

Another fairly simple tool that gets the job done properly is JPEG Autorotate.

Now go out, take beautiful pictures, take care of the proper orientation in a click, and enjoy them on the most beautiful, real wood digital photo frames of the world, PixelPerfectFrames™.

A Perfect Gift to Present Wedding Photos

Wedding Photography: The Perfect Gift to Present Wedding Photos

A wedding is a special day, and wedding photos deserve a special frame. But gone are the days when a bride and groom need to settle on a single, favorite photograph to frame; now they can easily show all their photos in a single frame! When you give PixelPerfectFrames™ as a wedding gift, you offer the happy couple a unique way to display their treasured memories in an exquisite frame.

Wedding photographers can include one of these high-quality frames with their image packages. Pre-loaded with the couple’s photos, it will be an exclusive selling feature for their services. Couples will be eager to purchase a package with all the photos when they know they have a great-looking, simple way to display and enjoy them. While these unusual frames may not appear on the wedding registry, they also make a wedding gift the couple won’t forget!

Wedding Photography

PixelPerfectFrames™

  • A both personal and valuable gift
  • Displays all great wedding photos, not just one
  • Bundle perfectly with the wedding photo set
  • Well designed to bring lots of joy
  • …and much more.

 

Your Benefit

  • Unique and personal gift
  • ooks great, creates lasting value
  • Make ‘big day’ memories unforgettable
  • Bring wedding photos to life
  • Different frames to match couple’s style
 
 
PixelPerfectFrames™ aren’t just any digital photo frame. They are a revelation. While most digital photo frames look cheap and are difficult to set up, PixelPerfectFrames™ are beautiful picture frames that are simple and intuitive to use. With high-quality, real wood construction available in several styles and colors, these frames are a true work of art.

Not only do these frames look good, they are just as easy to use as a traditional photo frame! Don’t fuss with remotes, tiny buttons or manuals; just slide in an SD memory card and start enjoying your photos! With our smart motion sensing technology, it simply turns on when it senses a person in the area and goes to sleep to conserve energy when nobody is there.

Don’t settle for less in your media display either. Our high-resolution display is bright and lifelike, and it automatically displays your photos in their true orientation. And while most digital photo frames crop your photos or display black bars on the side, this frame’s unique proportions fit your digital photos perfectly. PixelPerfectFrames™ are the best way to display your best photos or slides!

See all frames

Digital Picture Frames for Wedding Photos

Interior Decor meets Technology

Home Decoration: Interior Decor meets Technology

Beautiful homes need beautiful accessories, and this is where the PixelPerfectFrames™ really shine. With all the elegance and substance of traditional wood frames, PixelPerfectFrames™ also conveniently allow you to display any number of photos at a time. No matter what your home’s style, there are several different styles of real wood frames to suit your decor.

When you chose photo frames in the past, you selected ones that fit your personal sense of style and interior decor. Now you can complement your home decoration and also take advantage of technology that lets you enjoy thousands of your photos in a single place. PixelPerfectFrames™ are extremely well-made from high-quality materials, adding a sense of luxury to your space. And with their generous sizing, bright screen and the smart motion-sensing technology that turns them on anytime a person enters the room, these frames are perfect for bringing families together around their favorite photos and memories.

Interior Decor

PixelPerfectFrames™

  • Available in different styles and colors
  • Real wood picture frames, displaying digital photos
  • Show your favorite albums – from (grand)kids to vacations
  • Great in a living room, dining room, family room, bedroom, office, …
  • Smart motion-sensing technology saves energy
  • …and much more.

 

Your Benefit

  • Exclusive look and feel
  • Complement your interior design
  • Simple and intuitive to use
  • Keep your digital memories alive
  • ‘Wow’ your guests and visitors
 
 
PixelPerfectFrames™ aren’t just any digital photo frame. They are a revelation. While most digital photo frames look cheap and are difficult to set up, PixelPerfectFrames™ are beautiful picture frames that are simple and intuitive to use. With high-quality, real wood construction available in several styles and colors, these frames are a true work of art.

Not only do these frames look good, they are just as easy to use as a traditional photo frame! Don’t fuss with remotes, tiny buttons or manuals; just slide in an SD memory card and start enjoying your photos! With our smart motion sensing technology, it simply turns on when it senses a person in the area and goes to sleep to conserve energy when nobody is there.

Don’t settle for less in your media display either. Our high-resolution display is bright and lifelike, and it automatically displays your photos in their true orientation. And while most digital photo frames crop your photos or display black bars on the side, this frame’s unique proportions fit your digital photos perfectly. PixelPerfectFrames™ are the best way to display your best photos or slides!

See all frames

Digital Picture Frames for Interior Decor

Save now: The Season of Giving and Thanking

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PixelPerfectFrames™ featured in Digital Photo Magazine Buyer’s Guide 2016

PixelPerfectFrames™ are featured in the brand new Digital Photo Magazine Buyer’s Guide 2016 available now on newsstands!

DPmag-header “PixelPerfectFrames™ by VISTA-LABS do one thing: display digital photos, without remote controls or complicated menus. The real wood picture frames come in different styles, colors and finishes to complement your style. Each frame is about 12×10 inces, depending on frame style, and has a high-resolution, 9.7-inch display. The frames detect motion in the room and go to sleep if no one is there. Supported image formats include JPEG and PNG, and you can load your favorite images via an SD memory card.”

DPmag-buyers-guide-2016-web

FREE FedEx shipping.
See all frames at PixelPerfectFrames.com

The choice is yours!

PixelPerfectFrames™ are not the dull black plastic digital picture frames we all know (and hate). Most of us received one as a gift at one point – and instead of joy they mostly caused frustration and disappointment.
That all changed now: PixelPerfectFrames™ re-define what digital photo frames can (and should!) be and deliver on the original promise:

• PixelPerfectFrames™ are real wood picture frames – the same technique and quality you would use to frame a piece of art.
• Best available display technology for bright and crystal clear photos.
• Intuitive to use. No menu, buttons or remote control. Just plug it in and enjoy the photos while the PixelPerfectFrames™ do the rest: They go to a power saving sleep mode if no one is present in the room and are bright-awake as soon as someone comes by. They change from landscape to portrait orientation photos by simply turning the frame. New set of photos? Just slide in a different SD memory card with fresh photos. Can this be any easier?

Now it’s up to you to choose from several frame styles and colors…

4th of July special – Get a free 8 GB SD memory card with your PixelPerfectFrames™ order

Let’s celebrate…!

4th of July special – Order your PixelPerfectFrames™ premium real wood digital photo frame today and receive a free 8 GB SD memory card with your order.

Promotion expires 7/7/15.

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4th of July special 2015

4th of July special 2015

PixelPerfectFrames™ Introduction video

PixelPerfectFrames™ are not only beautiful, they are also truly ‘easy to use’.

Plug in power.
Insert a SD memory card.

That’s it.

We eliminated menus, remote controls and buttons. PixelPerfectFrames™ don’t even have an ON/OFF switch. Leave your frame connected to power and the invisible integrated motion sensor takes care of the rest. The frame is always on when someone’s around. Otherwise it goes in a power-saving sleep mode.

We even eliminated the manual. We only include a one-page sheet to basically tell you that you won’t need a manual (ok, and to mention a few extra settings which you can use – but don’t have to).

Check out this short video…

Digital Photo Frames with Italian flair

Besides pizza, outstanding red wine, and exclusive sports cars, Italy is known for excellent design and style.

Our best-selling digital picture frame, the Estate Line, settles for nothing less. It has a straightforward design yet stands out through its simplicity and beauty. The Estate Line of PixelPerfectFrames™ features Italian-made real wood frame.

PixelPerfectFrames™ are real wood picture frames.

PixelPerfectFrames™ are real wood picture frames.

 

PixelPerfectFrames - The Digital Photo Frame can be used in landscape or portrait orientation

The Digital Photo Frame can be used in landscape or portrait orientation

 

The PixelPerfectFrames™ Estate Line of frames features an elegant, timeless design.
The colors of nature expressed in soft, multi-tonal metallic finishes on solid wood make this lovely group perfect when subtlety is a must. The curved profile harmonizes your interior décor with your exterior landscape. There are three tones to choose from:

PixelPerfectFrames™ Estate Line Real Wood Digital Photo Frames Color Comparison

PixelPerfectFrames™ Estate Line Real Wood Digital Photo Frames Color Comparison

 

Like all PixelPerfectFrames™, this frame has a brilliant 9.7″ display for bright colors and smart sensing for orientation and motion detection.

FREE 8 GB SD Card with any PixelPerfectFrames™ order!   No coupon needed. Shop now