Lightroom Classic: External Editors and Collections

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  • Updated 5 months ago
  • (Edited)
I'm using Lightroom Classic CC v. 7.1 for Mac. Previously, when I edited an image from a collection in an external editor, the output image from the external editor would be added to the same collection. A stack would be created with the original RAW file and the new tiff. Recently while editing some photos, I opened them from Lr in various external apps (Photoshop, ColorEfex, PortraitPro) and these generated new tiff versions that were stacked with the original files in the collection as expected. However, after importing new images to the same collection, only these new imports and the originals from the previous import are now in the collection. None of the edited files from the previous import are listed (I checked different filters as well as with filters off). If I go to the publish service in the Develop module, I can see the edited tiffs that I published in there. If I navigate to the folder where the originals were imported in Finder, I can see the edited tiffs in there too. However if I go to the collection in the navigation sidebar, only the RAW files are visible and there is no stacking badge.

Is this a change to handling files from external editors and how can I revert it to the previous behaviour?

Here are the steps:


  • I rate my images to filter them for editing. I rate the ones that I want to edit at 4 stars and then set a filter for ≥4 stars. Everything else is rated at 2 or 3 stars and is therefore not visible any more.
  • I do some basic Lr edits on the filtered photos.
  • I open each in an external editor, editing a copy with Lr adjustments. When the image is saved and I am back at Lr, the new copy is in my collection stacked with the original and has inherited the original's 4 star rating.
  • I rate the original at 3 stars to remove it from my filtered view.
  • When I'm finished, most but not all of the images from the collection with 4 stars are the externally edited copies.
  • I import a new set of photos to the same collection. These are unrated and so I do a rating pass on this import as before.
  • I select the collection from the navigation pane and set a filter for ≥4 stars and now, I can only see the most recent import and any of the previous import that were not edited in an external editor. None of the externally edited images are visible.
  • No matter which filter I set (or no filter), I cannot see my externally edited images in this collection.
  • I go to my Smart Collection and see that the externally edited images are visible in there. I select them all and the context menu gives me the option to add them to my target collection (I have previously made my current collection the target collection). This is only possible if the images are not already in that collection. If they were, the context menu would give me the option to remove them from my target collection instead.
I can reproduce this 100% of the time.
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Iain Compton

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Posted 5 months ago

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Carlos Cardona

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I've noticed weirdness with coming back from PS, like a focus stack of 3 should show 4 shots when the TIFF comes into LR, but the badge only shows 2! Then you Unstack them and the 2 missing shots show up! So it's just the badge that's confused, I think!
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Iain Compton

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It's not the badge. Firstly there's no badge at all on the originals when I go back to the full collection after importing new files. Secondly, if I locate the edited files in the Smart Collection or from the Publish service, I can add them to the collection. If they were already in the collection, that option wouldn't be available to me,  I'd only be able to remove them.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"I import a new set of photos to the same collection."

How exactly are you doing this?  By selecting all the photos in Library after import and adding them to the collection, or by using the Add To Collection option in the Import window?
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Iain Compton

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The second one. I work with scanned negatives as well as digital, so I tend to import all the RAWs from my DSLR and work on them while developing and scanning the analogue parts of the shoot. Then I'll import those scanned negatives and add them to the collection as part of the import dialogue.

So, I'll have a bunch of finished files in the collection and then the new imports. Obviously, after importing, the default Lr behaviour is just to show you the new imports, so I select the collection in the navigation list in the left pane to see all the files in that collection. At that point, I can only see the original files, none of the externally edited files are present.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I wasn't able to replicate the behavior, either because I'm not doing the exact same steps or because it's a problem specific to your configuration.  If you post a full-resolution screen recording, upload it to Dropbox or similar, and post the sharing link here, that might help Adobe reproduce the problem. (Youtube reduces the resolution and can blur important details.) Without being able to reproduce the problem, Adobe is very unlikely to take a look at it, unfortunately.
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Iain Compton

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Ok, I made a full-screen recording and have uploaded it here - https://app.box.com/s/8x5f15mtxo51lrbho7wsakvbumx8x9rt

To explain what happens in the recording, in case it's not obvious:
  • I import three images to a new collection called Test Collection.
  • I rate each of them at 4 stars.
  • I open the first two in Ps and draw a big red circle in the middle (this is just to make it easier to see what's going on in the thumbnail strip without having to check filenames).
  • I rerate the originals of those two to 3 stars
  • The third one I make a very obvious edit in Lr (again, just to make it easier to see it in the filmstrip) but I don't open it in an external editor.
  • I import two more images to that same collection and rate them at 4 stars.
  • I click on the Test Collection in the navigation pane and the externally edited files are missing.
  • I go to the Smart Collection and see my externally edited files in there.
  • I set the Test Collection as my target collection and I can see that those externally edited files  can be added to the collection. I check an image from the smart collection that's already in the Test Collection and can see that it only gives me the option to remove it from there. Therefore, the externally edited files are not being placed in the collection when the stack is generated.
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Iain Compton

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The only setting I can find in Preferences that seems to reference the handling of stacked images is the checkbox in the External Editing tab.