I noticed that the size of my iPhoto directory seemed to be growing a lot faster than I expected. It turns out that when a photo is rotated on the camera, iPhoto creates a backup and then rotates it on import. I also think it might be compressing too much. A 2.3 MB file is rotated and becomes 1.4 MB. I don’t see where the JPEG quality settings for initial rotation can be adjusted.
I don’t want 2 copies when a photo is rotated. I’d prefer lossless (or near lossless) rotation.
I tried various combinations of rotate settings on my camera (Nikon D50) without any luck. Nikon RAW NEF images appear to work in iPhoto, but they’re larger 5.1 MB and I don’t know much about them. I’m pretty happy with JPEGs for now.
$ jhead -autorot picture.jpg
jhead preserves all the EXIF info except it swaps the resolution (3008 x 2000 to 2000 x 3008) and removes the orientation property. iPhoto will happily import the rotated file.
I suppose I’ll be able to duct tape together some solution using jhead, Image Capture, and Automator to preprocess the images before importing into iPhoto.
It seems like there should be a better way to do this. Preview knows how to display the original images, so iPhoto should handle this automatically.