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Something weird and scary with Lightroom just happened

Discussion in 'Adobe Processing Products' started by dossy, May 12, 2019.

  1. I have my lightroom folders organized in categories alphabetically such as Animals, Holidays, Nature Preserves etc. Each category folder is then divided by respective years such as Animals 2016, 2017, etc. I have one Folder for my kung fu school that goes back to 2013. Each respective year has multiple subfolders, so we're talking a lot of pictures.

    I just went to work on a picture taken at a kung fu event within the last couple of weeks. When I went to export it to Tif, I got a message that "no file could be found," even though the picture was on my screen.

    I went to my last Lightroom backup and tried to restore the files; but now, besides the message I quoted above, I can no longer even see the picture on the screen. I just get blanks. This applies to all Kung Fu subfolders from 2013 to present. Every other picture from every other category is alive and well.

    Please, does anyone have an idea what happened????
     
  2. Did you try to look for missing files?
     
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  3. I hit "find missing photos" and the pictures remained blank. I also got a message "3828 missing photos."
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  4. Ann_JS

    Ann_JS

    954
    Feb 18, 2015
    New York State
    Use Bridge or Finder to locate the missing image on your HD (which hopefully you did not delete?!) then re-import it back into Lr.

    (Personally, I don't do much in Lr but prefer to use Bridge and not have to be bothered with Lr's catalogues.)
     
  5. Dossy,

    First, where are the files stored? On an internal hd or an external hd? If external - is it still connected or did it come loose by accident?

    Then, you should verify that you did not accidentally drag or move the folder to another location. I don't know if you are on a computer or a mac, but use a file explorer to verify that the folder is still in it's proper location on your hard drive and that the sub-folders and images are still there. It is possible that you accidentally dragged your kung fu folder into another folder.

    In LR, while in library mode, look at the listing for your folders on the left side of the screen. Is there a red x next to the kung fu folder? That usually indicates that the files have been moved outside of LR, and LR doesn't know where to find them.
     
  6. What do you mean by you can't see them? If you click on a folder in the library and it grid mode are there file names and just grey boxes instead of images? Or nothing?
     
  7. I actually have older photos on Bridge, but I felt more comfortable with the filing system in Lr. This is the first time I've had an issue.
    At first I could see the image, but when I tried to export to Tif it said the was no file. When I made an attempt to restore the kung fu folders from the last Lr backup, now I don't even see the image, just the grey boxes.
    I see the grey box with a shadow number of the respective missing photo. Evidently I'm missing 3828 images. Again, every other catagory of pictures is still intact.
     
  8. This is a snap from my phone of part of the Lr catalogue. You can see everything lit through "Isolated 2019." It still lists everything under "JWKFA (John Wai Kung Fu Academy)," but nothing is lit up. You can see the grey boxes to the right. I could see if I screwed up a folder by mistake, but not 6 1/2 years of folders!!! :eek: 

    i-hFsPChf-XL.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken

    270
    Jan 12, 2018
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I do not recommend re-importing the files. Find their locations on your drives and then "point" LR to them so it can update their location. Re-importing them will cause you a headache later as you will now have the images in your catalog twice and you will not have any of the edits or work done on the originals in the re-imported files.

    --Ken
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken

    270
    Jan 12, 2018
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    The question marks are telling you that LR cannot find the images in the location where they were when they were imported. A number of things can cause this to happen. You may have moved the folder(s) or your drive may have changed letters int he OS to name just a few. Look for the images with Finder or Explorer and see if they are not corrupted and where they are located. Compare that to where LR thinks they are. Once resolved, you can either correct the error manually if you know what you are doing or you can point LR to their new location.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Ken, I just hit "import" and was able to reclaim them from Lightroom. I think I just took 10 years off my life (and I don't have so many left to fool around with!). I have no idea what happened, but all of you guys here who responded to me helped me keep my sanity enough to keep looking!

    Thank you all!!!!!
     
  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken

    270
    Jan 12, 2018
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I am assuming that you found the photos on a drive of yours, and that is a good thing. but, re-importing all of those images did not necessarily do you a favor. Now LR thinks that you have the images at the old location that they resided when they were originally imported, and it also has a record of the images at the new location from your recent re-importing. This new import will not have any of the edits or metadata that your original files contained. If those images had no edits or metadata added, then you could delete them from LR and just work with the newly re-imported images (at the new location).

    It is important to remember that LR is a database and that the act of importing does not actually bring a file into the program, but rather LR records the files location in its database. So, I could import a file, move it to another location and import it again, and then move it to another location and import it again. LR would believe that there are three distinct files that have been imported as it only records what it captures on import. This is why re-importing is not recommended. The general recommendation is to point LR to the new location of the files. Then all of your work is saved and there are no duplicate entries in the catalog.

    I would recommend spending a bit of time at the forum at The Lightroom Queen website (formerly lightroomforums.net). It is a very friendly and helpful place for LR users who might need a hand with the program from time to time. Victoria runs a great site and the folks for the most part are kind and friendly like here. Here is a link if you are interested - Lightroom Queen Forums .

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  13. Ken, I truly appreciate the time you are taking with this! I imported from Lightroom, not an external drive. It created a duplicate set of the folders and subfolders. The original set (as the picture posted above), remained blank and I deleted it completely. I now have what looks like what I started with. I'm not that technical, so I went into panic mode!

    I will definitely look into The Lightroom Queen. Some years ago Alex, a member here, told me to check out The Nikon Cafe and that worked out pretty well! Thanks again for your assistance.

    Dossy
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    Dossy, just to clarify. Your files do not "reside" in Lightroom. Think of Lightroom as simply a card catalog in the old fashioned library! (Remember those? LOL!) The book is on a shelf. The card catalog simply told you where to find the book. If someone didn't put the book back in the same place, then the card catalog could not find it.

    Similarly, your photos are generally on a hard disk that may or may not be connected to the computer. LR simply "points" to the location from which the images were originally imported.

    As Ken says above "It is important to remember that LR is a database and that the act of importing does not actually bring a file into the program, but rather LR records the files location in its database. So, I could import a file, move it to another location and import it again, and then move it to another location and import it again. LR would believe that there are three distinct files that have been imported as it only records what it captures on import. This is why re-importing is not recommended. The general recommendation is to point LR to the new location of the files. Then all of your work is saved and there are no duplicate entries in the catalog." And this is important!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Now I'm totally confused! I didn't import from an external drive. I tried "find missing photos," and it couldn't find anything. Then for some reason I hit import, and I saw all of my pics, not just the missing ones, under Lightroom or Lightroom 5 (it was late, I can't remember!). So I got back the JWKFA pics and deleted the original 6 1/2 years worth of folders I had created including the blank grey squares. What else would I delete?
     
  16. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    Sorry. I was trying to make the concept of Lightroom's database simpler....not confuse you.

    You deleted the folders that were showing up in Lightroom, correct. NOT folders off hard drives where you files are?

    Use finder (not LR) and look at your hard drives. Make sure your folders and images are on the hard drive(s).
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    Here is a good article. Tim Grey also has a lot of tutorials on YouTube and he is extremely good at explaining things so they are easy to under.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Replytoken

    Replytoken

    270
    Jan 12, 2018
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Did you have any edits or metadata in what was deleted from your LR catalog that you needed? If so, then I would advise not doing anything more until you get everything fully corrected with help from folks who can guide you through step by step. If not, you can proceed ahead, but if your drives get relabeled by your OS or your folders get moved by accident in the future you will most likely have this issue again as you have not really understood the issue and how to properly solve it. LR is really not a casual program (and Adobe did nobody a favor with much of its UI), and if you do not have the basics mastered, like file management and importing, it is easy to find yourself with problems.

    --Ken
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    Lightroom encourages users to import their photos and let Lightroom look after everything, including where on the hard disk they are put. So users may not even know where their photos are, they just think they are "in Lightroom".

    Adobe did a reckless thing when they created a program which you have to understand before you can safely use it. I am worried that Dossy, by deleting the folders in Lightroom, may have lost all the edits ever made to the 3828 photos. Of course it is far worse if the folders were deleted that contain the actual photos, I do hope that is not the case. Karen's suggestion of learning about how Lightroom works is extremely sensible.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    Hopefully in Preferences, Dossy has checked the "Automatically write changes to XMP" box!!!!!!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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