Lightroom: don't re-import deleted photos with "New photos"

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Hi,

The incremental import using "New photos" is a great concept, however I find that it doesn't work as well as it could for me. After an import my first work is to delete the photos that really are not worth keeping. However, on the next import from the same memory card the "New photos" feature happily selects the delete photos again for import.

My workaround is to flag my bad photos as Rejected but keep them on disk (and in the catalog). However, I really do not want to keep these photos. I don't want them to take up disk space. They even get backed up. Alternatively, I have to selectively deselect the deleted photos from the import list every time I import incrementally from the same memory card.

I realize that there should be a way to re-import deleted photos, in case you deleted one by accident. One can always show "All photos" and recover a deleted photo from there. The "New photos" feature should only import new photos, not old ones.

Lightroom could easily keep track of the fact that I deleted a photo (maybe it already does), and assume, if I'm using the "New photos" import feature, that I don't want to re-import photos that I once imported and subsequently deleted.

Frank
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Frank

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Posted 7 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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You should be deleting the photos off the memory card so they are not there, again, to import.
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Frank

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Steve,

Maybe I have a non-typical workflow but I import my photos first, put the memory card back in my camera so that it's ready for a next occasion, and either immediately or later go through the photos and delete the ones that are not worth keeping. It would really be unproductive if I had to go back and track down the corresponding files on the memory card to delete them.

Frank
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Chris Cox

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Ok, I'm curious - after copying the images to your hard disk, why are you not deleting all of them from the card?
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Frank

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Because I'd like to keep a copy of the images as long as possible (next to the copy on my hard disk after importing and the backup on another disk). When a card is full I put it away and I take one of my other cards, more or less the least recently used, and format it (by that time I should have a copy of the to-be-erased images on two disks).

This way I can keep an extra copy of my images on my cards as long as possible.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Adobe is unlikely to change how LR works just so someone can use their memory card as tertiary (3rd level) backup, despite how much sense it makes to you to do this.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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The obvious question is "How many times have you gone back to a card to retrieve an otherwise irretrievable image?"

Taking advantage of Lightroom's ability to make a second copy of a file on import should eliminate this need to use your cards as your failsafe.
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Rob Cole

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Two Ideas:

1. A tertiary backup option upon import.

2. Prompt user to delete all photos, or just those imported, from card after thorough import & backup validation.

Note: I've lost photos by deleting them from card without having imported them, but I've never lost photos due to deleting them from card after successful import/backup.
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Mark Sirota

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A simple workaround is to continue what you're doing, but don't put the card back in the camera -- each time you import, put the least-recently-used card into the camera and reformat. You'll be reformatting a little more often than you do today, but if you have enough cards you can still ensure that you're not reformatting until you've got a proper backup. (This is what I do.)

To make this slightly more complete, you might develop a system to ensure that you've got a backup before you format a card. It's hard for me to suggest anything without understanding your workflow and backup system.
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luc Renambot

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I agree with the original post. It's annoying to me too. Not so much when doing full day shoot or vacations. But if you take a few pictures everyday, it's a pain.
LR knows I deleted the images, so show them in a different way (or not marked them as new).

luc
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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What is wrong with removing photos from the card after they are imported?

LR does not "know" you've deleted the images if you remove them from LR.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> LR knows I deleted the images, so show them in a different way (or not marked them as new).

That's the problem - once you've deleted them within LR, you've told LR to forget that they ever existed.

May I suggest a tweak to the workflow which may do the trick, at least until Adobe comes round to your way of thinking?

I can understand you not wanting to just reject them and keep them on the hard drive, as that'll take up hard drive space. But what if you marked them as rejected, dragged all of the rejected ones to a 'delete me' folder once you've finished culling, and then switch to Explorer/Finder to delete the photos out of that folder.

The references would remain in the catalog in that 'delete me' folder until you choose to wipe the card and remove those references, but the fact that LR still has those records would solve the import problem.
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David Burns

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I agree with this request. The problem is that when I choose to import New Photos, Lightroom finds ALL photos that it knows nothing about. One way to solve this is to add another option "Newer than the most recent one Lightroom knows about" (better name required :-) ).

With this new idea, if you import picture 1, 2, and 3, then delete #2, then try to import picture 4 from the original card, it would only import 4 because it's newer than #3.
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Frank

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I like this as it sounds like something that's quite easy to implement.

Relying on capture date does have its weaknesses, though. It won't work very well when you're importing from different cameras whose date/time settings are not in sync, although I can imagine that this could be solved. It also won't work if you change the camera time when you move to a different time zone for example.

Having said that, it would definitely work for me :-)
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Frank

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Hi folks,

Thanks for thinking about the problem constructively and suggesting possible solutions/workarounds.

One thing I forgot to mention is that I am not always able to make a backup, especially when I'm abroad with just my laptop. In that case the card doesn't hold the third copy, it has the second copy. If my laptop's hard disk would fail, at least I still have the copies on my card. Did I ever encounter a problem with the disk I store my images on? Yes, it happened to me once and I can tell you I was happy that I still had my photos on a memory card. This is why I would never delete photos right after importing them.

Mark, your suggestion is indeed something I could do while I am able to make backups. It's not that different from what I do now and it solves the import problem for the cases where I can make backups not too long after the import. However, with just the laptop this would leave me with just one copy of most of my photos, or at least I would require many more memory cards to "survive" a long period with just my laptop, is that correct?

Victoria, that's an interesting suggestion! Just tried out your suggestion and it works nicely. It's a bit more work than pressing Ctrl-backspace :-) to get rid of the rejects but at least the imports are less of a hassle. It seems to be a reasonable trade-off. Thanks for the tip.

Frank
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Mark Sirota

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I don't know that you'd need "many" more memory cards, but you might well need at least one more. It depends on the frequency that you upload and the frequency of your backups.

When I am back home and have backed up to a second disk, I move the cards from the "needs backup" stack to the bottom of the "available" stack.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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For my part, I travel with a 160GB passport drive and make a second copy on import. It simplifies life greatly. The second drive is never hooked to power except at copy time and travels in a different bag than my laptop. Fingers crossed so far so good.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I use USB hard-drive(s) on trips for my redundant backups, putting them in different luggage or vehicles than the computer, just in case. A 500GB hard-drive costs $50, although my next purchase will probably be a 2TB USB3-speed drive. You'd want to put your catalog and your images on this drive.

If you have enough cards to use them as your trip backup, then a very simple thing to keep old images invisible to LR would be to rename the images on the card to have a non-image extension. On my computer, the steps to do this would be:

Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt

Then within the Command Prompt:

C:\Users\username> E:
E:\> dir \DCIM
E:\> cd \DCIM\100CANON (or whatever folder(s) are listed)
E:\DCIM\100CANON> ren *.jpg *.jjj
E:\DCIM\100CANON> exit

For something besides JPGs, instead of *.JJJ use something that makes sense for the type of files you are renaming so you can rename them back in case you need to view them, again
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Edward

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I have just started importing images to Lr direct from my built in card reader, and noticed the following problem:

If I have say 10 images on the card, 5 of which were imported earlier BUT deleted (from the library & catalogue) then even though I have ticked the box that reads "Don't import suspected duplicates" Lr will try to import ALL ten images.

Isn't there a way that Lr can recognize previously imported & deleted images, so as not to re-import them again?

If not, then the issue is that we'd need to delete all images off the card after an import, so as not to be forever re-importing previously discarded images?!

I don't think I ever had this type of issue when I imported from my cameras using their import utilities, and then imported them "in situ" into Lr, so it looks like Lr handles things differently direct from cards, or am I mistaken?

Thanks in advance

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Importing duplicate images direct from a card reader into Lr (that were previously deleted from Lr).
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Edward

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Some interesting suggestions on work-arounds, but wouldn't it just be great if instead of requiring users to make quite complex routines to address this issue, Adobe took ownership of the issue and ensured that Lr kept a log of the images imported (whether subsequently deleted or not) so the problem was eradicated in the simplest, most user friendly way.

Shouldn't great software always be evolving to make life that little bit simpler, and in this case allowing us to focus on whats important rather than fiddling about with home grown work-arounds?
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Rob Cole

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Edward, I think most people do delete all images off the card after importing, and that's the main reason this idea has not had more traction.

Personally, I think Adobe should build auto-delete after successful import/backup into Lightroom (maybe after a prompt for approval). That would at least solve the part of this problem due to forgetting to delete imported photos after importing. It obviously does not address the problem people have who want to use the card itself as a continuing backup even after import.

I confess, it seems like a simple thing to remember previous imports and not re-import. Granted there would be complications for a 100% foolproof solution, since filenumbers can rollover or be reset..., but I guess that problem already exists in determining import duplicates (probably the reason Adobe qualifies by using the term "suspected").
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David Naylor

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Here's another vote from someone who on principle doesn't delete images off the card when importing. I want to know everything is fine and dandy before deleting anything. (And I'm surprised so many here seem to advocate the "delete 'em right away" tactic.)

If Lightroom could keep track of deleted files it would be a great help when importing new photos. To limit the overhead caused in the catalogue it could be limited to the N number of latest files.
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Teena

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I agree to this concept.  I do not want my images deleted off the card until I have finished with them in LR and/or PS AND I have made several backups of that shoot.

What I do when I import images from a card that I have used before is click on "uncheck all"; then, go to the end of the pictures, pick the last one, hold down shift and pick the first picture of the new shoot.  Then I put a check mark in one of the pics and all the pics from the new shoot are selected.  I rename my photos on import which includes the date, time, & custom text (where I type the event or shoot name).  This is easier than finding all the previously rejected pics and unchecking them.

I agree that if Adobe had the option to not import previously rejected pics, many would use that.  However, since I rename my photos, I don't think this would work for me, as Adobe wouldn't recognize the renamed photos from the card and would want to re-import them anyway.

I like the idea of alternating between card A and card B if you feel safe enough to format card A before it gets re-iserted for import.

Victoria - The "Delete Me" folder is another idea that I may consider.
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HermannWeissVista

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Also voting for orig. post.
I am really frightened about such "ideas" to let LR delete images off the card after importing!!!  The risk is too high loosing images in case of a disk crash before the next backup starts (automatically or in worst case manually which takes place too late in most cases ...).
Yes I know, LR can store a second copy when importing. But thats not a secure solution regarding viruses, ransomware etc. because this location is online.
Hence, the best way is too keep the images on the SD card for some time.
My workflow is to switch to another card-B after importing from card-A.
But sometimes I have to reuse card-A at the same day and don't want to format it yet.
If I already have deleted some images in LR they will be re-imported again - and thats ugly.

The solution is very simple and could be implemented by Adobe with a small effort I think because they can re-use the program code of an already implemented feature:
- There is still a logic/algorithm behind the "Do not import duplicates" feature, that works well. It's based on the images metadata only.
- When images are deleted from disk in LR, it should keep that metadata (or at least those which are important for the "duplicate" feature) in the DB or a extra file (call it "stub" entries). From time to time LR can purge older  stub entries in this file (e. g. older than 1 year).
- in the import dialog LR has to check for deleted images by using the stub entries metadata in the same way as for "duplicates".
There should be a checkbox beside the "duplicate" option to activate the that "don't import deleted images". Also a setting in the preferences to set the purge period.

I'm sure the overhead (stub entries) for this feature is low in comparison to the space needed for all of our images we are still keeping on disk but are not worth ....... ;-)
Hope I could help - and Adobe will answer!
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Debra Rade

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I'm with Frank. SD cards are carrying much more data than they used to, so I might use the same card for a month. While I usually delete some photos before importing from the card, there are definitely many more to delete after I see them on the screen. We should not find these deleted images over and over and over again, each time we reload the card and then have to go through the laborious process of deleting them all over again.  And, many of us do not reuse our cards, especially if you enter competitions and have to provide the originals. Wish Adobe would address this issue soon.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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> especially if you enter competitions and have to provide the originals

How do competitions come into this? You realize that the originals are stored on your hard drive, so you don't need to keep them on the cards?