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Monkey patch for PIL, performing automatic rotation of opened JPEG images
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PIL extension performing automatic rotation of opened JPEG images.


The orientation of the photographed object or scene with respect to the digital camera is encoded in the resulting image's Exif [1] data (given that it is saved as a JPEG). When working with such digital camera images, this orientation might lead to problems handling the image and is very often desired to be counteracted.

This module is a small extension to Pillow that monkey patches the method to automatically rotate the image [2] (by lossless methods) and update the Exif tag accordingly, given that image is a JPEG.

The package also features a save method that includes the Exif data by default when saving JPEGs.


pip install imdirect


Demonstration of the monkey patching and how it works:

>>> from PIL import Image
>>> import imdirect
>>> img ='image.jpg')
>>> print("{0}, Orientation: {1}".format(img, img._getexif().get(274)))
<PIL.JpegImagePlugin.JpegImageFile image mode=RGB size=4032x3024 at 0x7F44B5E4FF10>, Orientation: 6
>>> imdirect.monkey_patch()
>>> img_autorotated ='image.jpg')
>>> print("{0}, Orientation: {1}".format(img_autorotated, img_autorotated._getexif().get(274)))
<PIL.JpegImagePlugin.JpegImageFile image mode=RGB size=3024x4032 at 0x7F44B5DF5150>, Orientation: 1

The package can also be used without monkey patching, by applying the imdirect.imdirect_open method directly:

>>> from imdirect import imdirect_open
>>> img = imdirect_open('image.jpg')

or by using the imdirect.autorotate on a PIL.Image.Image object:

>>> from PIL import Image
>>> import imdirect
>>> img ='image.jpg')
>>> img_rotated = imdirect.autorotate(img)

The last method does not return a PIL.JpegImagePlugin.JpegImageFile, but can still be used if the Exif information of the original image is undesired.


Tests can be run with pytest:

Testing started at 13:28 ...
============================= test session starts ==============================
platform linux2 -- Python 2.7.12, pytest-3.0.1, py-1.4.31, pluggy-0.3.1
rootdir: /home/hbldh/Repos/imdirect, inifile:
collected 4 items ... .

=========================== 4 passed in 0.08 seconds ===========================


[1]Exif on Wikipedia (
[2]Exif orientation (
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