7 Replies Latest reply: Aug 16, 2011 6:40 AM by Brian Hart
Brian Hart Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

photos in my iPhoto library have mysteriously gone from one orientation to the other.


maybe related background --- This mystery was preceeded by an error when syncing my iPhone that said "the following image was not copied to your iPhone because it can not be viewed..." (something like that). However this specific error photo has not changed orientation and was not recently edited. This error may not be related at all to the portrait landscape mystery switch - but I just mention it to be complete. I tried editing this image that was not copied - to see if some change/edit and save might right it - but it didn't.



the specific portrait landscape mystery switch ---


I sync my iPhone to my iMac almost every day.


Yesterday I noticed a photo on my iPhone had changed orientation. This morning I noticed a few others.


I tried editing them in iPhoto - and I see that the iPhoto preview shows the photo in the "wrong" orientation. When I double-click on the photo to edit it - it appears in the "right" orientation. (This is strange enough!)


On the iphone these same photos are in the "wrong" orientation.


In one album (for example) with 44 photos - about 6 of them have mysteriously switched orientation. In another album with 11 photos - 4 of them have switched orientation.

iPhoto '11, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: portrait landscape mystery switch
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,770 points)

    As a Test:



    Hold down the option (or alt) key and launch iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Create Library'



    Import a few pics into this new, blank library. Is the Problem repeated there?

  • 2. Re: portrait landscape mystery switch
    Brian Hart Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    no. the problem does not seem to repeat.

    my iphoto library has about 15,000 photos.

    the problem seems random throughout my library....

  • 3. Re: portrait landscape mystery switch
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,770 points)

    Back to your original library:


    Option 1

    Back Up and try rebuild the library: hold down the command and option (or alt) keys while launching iPhoto. Use the resulting dialogue to rebuild. Choose to Rebuild iPhoto Library Database from automatic backup.


    If that fails:


    Option 2

    Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. This will create a new library based on data in the albumdata.xml file. Not everything will be brought over - no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your albums and keywords back.


    Because this process creates an entirely new library and leaves your old one untouched, it is non-destructive, and if you're not happy with the results you can simply return to your old one. .





  • 4. Re: portrait landscape mystery switch
    Brian Hart Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    What is the difference between "Rebuild..." and "Rebuild from automatic backup"?

  • 5. Re: portrait landscape mystery switch
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,770 points)

    Rebuild from Automatic Back up is simply restoring a copy of the db file that iPhoto creates automatically.


    The description of what Rebuilding with Library Manager is above.






  • 6. Re: portrait landscape mystery switch
    Brian Hart Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    So what happened to my 15,000+ iPhoto library?

    Recent activity - I took photos and video on a vacation - 700+ total. While on vacation I moved them around using a macbook pro. When I got home I merged this library with my main iPhoto library on my iMac. Everything was fine for a few weeks - editing, emailing, mobileme, etc.

    The first trouble I noticed was that an error was reported when I would sync my iPhone with my iMac. "photo could not be copied to the iPhone because it can not be viewed" or something like that. It was an old photo that I had edited and it was in the correct orientation.

    The next trouble I noticed was photos on my iPhone had mysteriously "fallen over". Photos in portrait had gone to landscape. This was strange and over then next few days - as I looked thru my albums in iPhoto more - I noticed more and more photos mysteriously changed orientation.

    Another indicator of trouble was when I selected a photo that had fallen over and clicked "edit" in iPhoto the photo could (I recall some did and some didn't) appear in the correct orientation. In other words - it seemed that the thumbnail did not match the file. I saw this with photos that were in albums that were in sync with my iPhone. The photo on the iPhone was "wrong", the thumbnail was "wrong", click edit and the file photo was in the correct (desired) orientation.

    As I was working thru this trouble I had a few photos go missing. The thumbnail would be in iPhoto but clicking on it gave a triangle with the exclaimation point.

    I tried rebuilding the iPhoto database. The process stopped. The Activity Monitor showed a process and cpu activity but nothing happened. No halts were reported in the Activity Monitor. The process ran for over 37 hours. When I Forced Quit - clicking on iPhoto opened a new blank library. I tried holding the alt key and navigating to the correct file - no good. Next I deleted the iPhoto library and restored the file from Time Machine. The file opened as expected with the fallen-over photos and all. (I love Time Machine!)

    I tried again by repairing file permissions system wide. Then, repairing permissions in the iPhoto database. Checking photos all the same troubles. I tried to rebuild the database using the command + option key press at startup and it stopped again at some point many many hours into the process.


    I deleted the iPhoto database and brought forward the backup from Time Machine. I ran iPhoto Library Manager and built a new iPhoto library. As the 15,000+ photos flashed by - I did notice that a few (hard to keep track really) of the photos that had fallen over were duplicates. A dialog presented the photo in the correct orientation as the existing photo and asked if I wanted to import another (the other photo was in the wrong orientation). I selected "do not import" (so as not to import the duplicate photo in the wrong orientation) and the process continued. iPhoto failed to quit at the end of the process - which scared me for a few minutes. When the process finished I opened the iPhoto library. iPhoto Library Manager also presented a long error message that was cryptic - I was tired - so I clicked thru it.

    I ran the iPhoto rebuild database on the file and it completed within a few hours.

    This morning I made a couple albums and ran the sync with my iPhone.

    All the photos in the few selcted albums are standing-up in the correct orientation. These are photos that were previously fallen over - in the wrong orientation.

    Everything looks good right now.


    - Use Time Machine - it's brought me out of the dark - more than once - flawlessly!!!

    - iPhoto Library Manager is a must have

    Hope this benefits the community.

  • 7. Re: portrait landscape mystery switch
    Brian Hart Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    How often should the iPhoto database be rebuilt?