Video Upside-Down

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Today’s Question: I have an iPhone and am using Lightroom Classic. Lately I have noticed that movies and some of the live views are imported either sideways or upside down in Lightroom. Do you know why this is happening and if I can fix in Lightroom? I’m going on a trip soon and don’t want 500 videos to be upside down!

Tim’s Quick Answer: This is (as far as I can tell) a bug in Lightrom. The videos are not actually upside-down, but you can make sure Lightroom doesn’t get confused by always capturing iPhone (or iPad) videos with the “home” button to the right (with the volume buttons pointed down).

More Detail: As you probably already know, digital cameras include a sensor to detect the orientation of the photos you capture, so the photos can be automatically rotated to the correct orientation when viewed on your computer. There is some sort of issue with Lightroom not correctly orienting videos capture with iPhones and iPads.

The actual videos aren’t really the problem. For example, if you right-click on one of the upside-down videos in Lightroom and choose “Show in Finder” (on Macintosh) or “Show in Explorer” (on Windows), you’ll be taken to the actual video file in your operating system. If you open that video with your default video player, you’ll find that it plays correctly. It only appears upside-down in Lightroom.

If you export the video from Lightroom using the “Original, unedited file” option from the Video Format popup in the Export dialog, the copy of your video that is exported will also play normally in applications other than Lightroom. If, however, you export the video with one of the other video formats (DPS or H.264), the video will be rendered by Lightroom and will then play upside-down with other video players.

If you capture video with the iPhone oriented with the “home” button to the right (with the volume buttons pointed downward), the videos will be presented properly in Lightroom. It is only videos that are captured with the “home” button to the left (volume buttons pointed upward) that have this problem in Lightroom.

So, in the short term, you can avoid this issue by always making sure the “home” button is to the right when capturing video on an iPhone or iPad. Of course, that makes it more difficult to use the volume buttons on the device as a shutter release button, which is rather inconvenient. So hopefully Adobe will resolve this issue in Lightroom soon.