By Sibbs Gambling

2013-10-07 17:24:53 8 Comments

I am running Python 2.7 in Visual Studio 2013. The code previously worked ok when in Spyder, but when I run:

import numpy as np
import scipy as sp
import math as mt
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import Image
import random

# (0, 1) is N
SCALE = 2.2666 # the scale is chosen to be 1 m = 2.266666666 pixels
MIN_LENGTH = 150 # pixels

PROJECT_PATH = 'C:\\cimtrack_v1'
im = + '\\ST.jpg')

I end up with the following errors:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "C:\cimtrack_v1\PythonApplication1\dr\", line 19, in <module>
    im = + '\\ST.jpg')
  File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\PIL\", line 2020, in open
    raise IOError("cannot identify image file")
IOError: cannot identify image file

Why is it so and how may I fix it?

As suggested, I have used the Pillow installer to my Python 2.7. But weirdly, I end up with this:

>>> from PIL import Image
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named PIL

>>> from pil import Image
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named pil

>>> import PIL.Image
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named PIL.Image

>>> import PIL
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named PIL

All fail!


@panofish 2019-02-07 23:27:57

In my case.. I already had "from PIL import Image" in my code.

The error occurred for me because the image file was still in use (locked) by a previous operation in my code. I had to add a small delay or attempt to open the file in append mode in a loop, until that did not fail. Once that did not fail, it meant the file was no longer in use and I could continue and let PIL open the file. Here are the functions I used to check if the file is in use and wait for it to be available.

def is_locked(filepath):
    locked = None
    file_object = None
    if os.path.exists(filepath):
            buffer_size = 8
            # Opening file in append mode and read the first 8 characters.
            file_object = open(filepath, 'a', buffer_size)
            if file_object:
                locked = False
        except IOError as message:
            locked = True
            if file_object:
    return locked

def wait_for_file(filepath):
    wait_time = 1
    while is_locked(filepath):

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:08:09

How did you open the file in append mode in a loop? I believe I might be having the same issue you are referring to.

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:11:05

I am skeptical that you managed to fix it the way you say. The code for .open has a specific check that throws error if mode != r. The doc says: ` :param mode: The mode. If given, this argument must be "r".`

@panofish 2020-07-02 18:35:57

See edit above...

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:46:38

For me it was fixed by downloading the image data set I was using again (in fact I forwarded the copy I had locally using vs-code's SFTP). Here is the jupyter notebook I used (in vscode) with it's output:

from pathlib import Path

import PIL
import PIL.Image as PILI
#from PIL import Image


img_path = Path('PATH_UR_DATASET/miniImagenet/train/n03998194/n0399819400000585.jpg')
img ='RGB')



<PIL.Image.Image image mode=RGB size=158x160 at 0x7F4AD0A1E050>

note that open always opens in r mode and even has a check to throw an error if that mode is changed.

@Jjang 2020-06-01 17:07:50

For whoever reaches here with the error colab PIL UnidentifiedImageError: cannot identify image file in Google Colab, with a new PIL versions, and none of the previous solutions works for him:

Simply restart the environment, your installed PIL version is probably outdated.

@Johan R 2020-03-15 12:26:36

Just a note for people having the same problem as me. I've been using OpenCV/cv2 to export numpy arrays into Tiffs but I had problems with opening these Tiffs with PIL Open Image and had the same error as in the title. The problem turned out to be that PIL Open Image could not open Tiffs which was created by exporting numpy float64 arrays. When I changed it to float32, PIL could open the Tiff again.

@Deil 2019-09-24 13:48:42

For anyone who make it in bigger scale, you might have also check how many file descriptors you have. It will throw this error if you ran out at bad moment.

@pinkie pAI 2019-07-07 19:16:58

In my case, it was because the images I used were stored on a Mac, which generates many hidden files like .image_file.png, so they turned out to not even be the actual images I needed and I could safely ignore the warning or delete the hidden files. It was just an oversight in my case.

@jchmyz 2019-05-08 21:13:49

In my case the image file had just been written to and needed to be flushed before opening, like so:

img =

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:16:13

Are you sure this is correct? .open() always opens on read mode. :param mode: The mode. If given, this argument must be "r".

@DavidCH12345 2019-03-19 17:19:26

In my case there was an empty picture in the folder. After deleting the empty .jpg's it worked normally.

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:17:04

What do you mean by "empty picture"? How did you check if it was empty?

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:48:40

for me re-downloading my image data set fixed the issue.

@Anoop Sharma 2018-12-26 11:59:51

Seems like a Permissions Issue. I was facing the same error. But when I ran it from the root account, it worked. So either give the read permission to the file using chmod (in linux) or run your script after logging in as a root user.

@iamsk 2015-11-13 06:25:40

first, check your pillow version

python -c 'import PIL; print PIL.PILLOW_VERSION'

I use pip install --upgrade pillow upgrade the version from 2.7 to 2.9(or 3.0) fixed this.

@Philip 2019-10-21 13:29:53

I think this helped a lot, but I still get the error FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:05:27

I am using python 3.7. I tried your command but that attribute PILLOW_VERSION does not exist fyi. Python 3 command python -c 'import PIL; print(PIL.PILLOW_VERSION)'

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:17:44

How do you upgrade pillow using conda?

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:19:17

using print(PIL.__version__) I have version 7.0.0. Should that version be throwing errors?

@ThinkFloyd 2017-12-14 10:57:35

If you are using Anaconda on windows then you can open Anaconda Navigator app and go to Environment section and search for pillow in installed libraries and mark it for upgrade to latest version by right clicking on the checkbox.

Screenshot for reference:enter image description here

This has fixed the following error:

PermissionError: [WinError 5] Access is denied: 'e:\\work\\anaconda\\lib\\site-packages\\pil\\_imaging.cp36-win_amd64.pyd'

@musicakc 2014-03-12 11:49:08

So after struggling with this issue for quite some time, this is what could help you:

from PIL import Image

instead of

import Image

Also, if your Image file is not loading and you're getting an error "No file or directory" then you should do this:


and then open the file

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:04:05

I am already doing import PIL.Image as PILI and I still get the same error. File exists when I did Path(path).exists() as that prints true. I am struggling to understand what you are suggesting us to do. Can you clarify?

@naoko 2013-12-31 21:02:15

I had a same issue.

from PIL import Image

instead of

import Image

fixed the issue

@Luke Sapan 2014-01-29 18:57:09

Not sure why this was downvoted, but this worked for me too. I almost didn't try it because it was -1.

@Deep-B 2014-03-07 19:53:58

Didn't work for me... though my issue is intermittent, so not sure that qualifies...

@Evgeni Sergeev 2014-08-06 06:28:42

This worked for me when was suddenly unable to open JPEGs any more. Can anyone explain the reason why this import statement change changes behaviour? I checked, and the only under site-packages is the one in PIL. I thought that from ... import ... should work identically with import ..., other than how it places the resulting object in the global namespace -- in this case, it should be completely identical, no?

@irenemeanspeace 2015-11-13 10:01:12

This worked for me too. But like what Evgeni said, can anyone explain why this works?

@albfan 2016-05-07 13:55:06

On PIL/ImageTk from PIL import Image is used. Using import Image creates two instances of Image module, and collected plugins for treat images Image.ID is duplicated too. One filled with plugins, other empty. Your code uses empty one. More here

@Charlie Parker 2020-07-01 16:02:38

This didn't work for me. I was already doing import PIL.Image as PILI and I still get the same error. File exists when I did Path(path).exists() as that prints true.

@panofish 2020-07-02 18:47:11

This may appear to work, but it is not the correct fix. The file is still being written to or in use by another operation. See the response by me below for correct solution.

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