Digital Camera Resources
Web Site Design for Photographers

Lossless Jpeg Rotation - How Not To Ruin Your Digital Camera Files
You can't do a simple jpeg rotation in Photoshop and save it without loosing quality

You can rotate original "out of camera" jpegs in image viewing programs like ACDSee without loss if you don't crop the image first. ACDSee will trim any jpeg image dimension that isn't divisible by 16. But not to worry, all "out of camera" jpegs are divisible by 16.
Rotating in Photoshop
Open your jpeg in Photoshop and immediately "File>Save As" a PSD (Photoshop file) before doing anything to the image. I can't stress how important this is and how often I've posted it to the forums. Save As a PSD - BEFORE doing any work on the image, including rotation. This will also let you save the EXIF data in the original jpeg.
When you open a jpeg in Photoshop it is actually opening the image in it's native format's working space (as a PSD) and if you rotate and save, it will save that "PSD" as a jpeg at the last quality setting you used under "File>Save As>Jpeg" menu BUT without giving you any Save options. Without realizing it you've probably increased the file size and lowered the image quality. This is why you must Save As a PSD before doing any work on the image. Then after rotating, you will you will have options on how to save the image file back to a jpeg and still have both the original jpeg and the PSD to archive as an uncompressed form of your original image. At the very least, use Save As so you have the option to rename and choose your compression setting. But this is not the recommended work flow.
The recommended work flow
The recommended work flow is to save as an uncompressed format, either PSD or TIF upon first opening the image file in Photoshop. Then do all your image manipulation. Rotate, crop, levels, curves, resize, unsharp mask etc... The last thing you should do is convert to a compressed format, If the image is to be used for a web site or e-mail, use File>Save For Web. Save For Web will give you a side by side comparison of the original image and the compressed image so you can make visual decisions for optimal results in creating the compressed jpeg. Adobe has worked hard to make this the best tool for creating web images.
Additional Resources
A web site designed to compare 20 popular graphics programs and their ability to create compressed jpegs. Any 2 programs images can be compared in side by side frames.
Don't rotate jpegs in Windows XP
A web published list of programs that perform lossless jpeg rotation
Free Programs that can rotate your images losslessly and retain EXIF data
Exifer for Windows
How I work with my images
I copy the folder of jpegs from my camera using a USB card reader to a folder that I've named with the proper subject and date.
I reformat the CompactFlash card in the camera after verifying that the images copied properly.
I view all the images in ACDSee and rotate to keep all images upright.
I create a subfolder called "Work Files" and copy all the jpegs I intend to work on.
Using the thumbnail view of ACDSee, I drag all those images to work on into Photoshop and save them as Photoshop files (File>Save As>PSD) saving them back in the "Work Files" folder.
At this point I have all the original out of camera jpegs to archive and Photoshop files to work on.

Digital Camera Resources

All photos on this site are available for stock or fine art sales
contact Larry Berman for more information

Slide scanning for ZAPP and other digital jury systems

Jury Slide Photography

1970s ABA and NBA Basketball photographs
specializing in Julius Erving (Dr J) photographs

Order prints from any gallery

Support BermanGraphics

Contact Us

Participate in the Art Shows Forum

Web site content Larry Berman

email Larry Berman - larry@bermanart.com