Missing Photos in Lightroom 3

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Can someone please walk me through the steps of getting my photos back into Lightroom 3. I realize its been issue before but I can not understand as I am in panic mode...I have too many portrait sessions to get done.
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Sarah Valentine

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  • really FRUSTRATED!!

Posted 4 years ago

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stuartpeckphoto

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This could be one of two things, you have missing images from within a present folder, or you have a missing folder.

In order to re-link a folder, right click on your folder and choose 'update folder location' - See attached image 1

You can then navigate to the correct folder location and relink your missing content

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stuartpeckphoto

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If you have missing images, you should see a '?' in the top right of the image - See attached image A


Click the '?' and you will see the following box appear - Attached image A1


It prompts you to locate the image and relink that particular file. Navigate in your finder/windows to the location of the missing content - see image A2


This should then relink all your media that is missing.

The question is, why is it missing and can you find the image in your finder?
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Sarah Valentine

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I think I moved files around that I did not realize included all of what I had...so I am doing a little restoring first...what I need to know is...where do I go to restore the most recent keywords, photos everything? its crazy! I think thats what I have lost.
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Sarah Valentine

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I went into my Lightroom this morning with nothing! I work with this every day. This is a crazy way to start a day when you have like 25000 pictures somewhere!
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stuartpeckphoto

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You have ALL those images in 1 catalog!?

Time to split the catalogs a bit

The keywords, IPTC should be in the sidecar XMP file, presuming you write XMP data with your images. This file will be in the same folder as the original, so once you pair them together again, your metadata will be as it was.
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john beardsworth

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Don't even think of following that advice about splitting your catalogue, Sarah. 25000 in one catalogue is not a big number, and it is irrelevant to the problem. Follow the earlier advice about the question marks.
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stuartpeckphoto

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Correct, irrelevant to the issue. Did I say it was? Man! John, you need to read the thread before posting irrelevant comments
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stuartpeckphoto

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Personally, I think that's a lot of image to be held in 1 catalog file. OK, LR makes backups but, you're riding a think line if you keep all your sh*t in one bucket. After-all, it's only a single database file.

This has no bearing on missing files or folder, but it is an awful lot of images to have in 1 catalog, and therefore a lot of different folders and locations to manage. The user then forgets and moves a folder from a location, opens up LR and goes apesh*t.. "oh, yeah, i moved that, where did i put it again?"

This is where workflow comes in, again, completely different topic and a topic that may people have many opinions on.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Sorry, but I'll agree with John on this. Splitting the catalog adds complications, it doesn't decrease them. 25000 isn't a big catalog. 1.9 million is a big catalog.

Let's take a step back. Sarah, what do you think happened? What have you done since? And what can you currently see?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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That's why we ask questions Stuart. Things are rarely as they first appear. :-)
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stuartpeckphoto

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Forget LR for a moment. Can you find the actual folder where the images are, presently in your OS?

If you can, then move that folder to your original location (The location where you store all your images)

open LR and the folder should appear

If you can't find the image folder outside of LR, then you may need to search your machine. Or retrieve it from a backup? Or re-injest the media from the CF cards. Forget searching for the catalog, the catalog has missing files and folder, this will not help you.
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stuartpeckphoto

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Victoria - If you're making your LR catalog, and your computer chunk through thousand upon thousand of images then you are making work for yourself and your computer. Even with smart previews it will take you ages to search through catalogs. What is the point of having images in a catlog you never need to view or edit? Non. So offline them. This culls the catalog to a manageable size and keep your older work safe in an archive. Only to be viewed if needed.

I'd even go so far as to create a catlog for each shoot you do. Utterly pointless wasting time searching when you don't need to.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Stuart, we can debate the pros and cons of multiple catalogs, but it wouldn't really help Sarah's stress levels right now, would it.

It's quite possible that Sarah moved her catalog while she was tidying up - that would explain why it opened to 0 photos this morning. Let's get to the bottom of the present issue first.
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stuartpeckphoto

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indeed.

Moving a catalog from one location to another would still have the images in. Presuming you can find and open the catalog.

Her catalog is still looking for her images under, for example, /volumes/sarah/images, so regardless if her catlog is on her desktop or her external SATA drive, LR still looks for images at /volumes/sarah/images

It's not clear, but "as I assume that I started a new catalog" does this imply she has started a new catalog?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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What's your operating system Sarah? Do you know how to search for specific files? You want to search for files ending in .lrcat (that's LRCAT) which would be your catalog. The default location would be in your main Pictures folder, but you could have selected another location.
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Sarah Valentine

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Mac OS X version 10.6.8
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Sarah Valentine

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What I want to know is what do I do now that my catalog has been cleared. Where do I start? I am restoring files and may have to put some somewhere else as I have large files as I do this every single day.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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What we need to clarify Sarah, is whether your catalog has been cleared (in which case restoring a backup catalog would be an excellent plan), or whether you accidentally started a clean catalog, and your old catalog with all of the photos and settings is still on the hard drive somewhere.

What was the sequence of events - do you remember? For example, when did you move the photos around on your hard drive? Yesterday? And when you opened Lightroom this morning, did it just open to 0 photos? Or did it have folders with question marks on it?
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stuartpeckphoto

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Have you looked at the expanding thread above?.

1. Calm down. Your images are on your machine somewhere
2. You might want to get a cup or tea or coffee, it's gonna be a long day.
3. Take a deep breath.. OK lets start.

Do you know what images you are looking for? What are they of. Do they have anything you can search by.

You need to find two things. 1, the catalog that they were in, or the catlog you think they should be in. 2. the actual image files, the RAW or JPG files that you shoot.

Outside of LR, in spotlight, enter some search terms for the images. Or in Mac OS you have a smart search for things modified 'Today'

As Victoria mentioned beforehand, use '.lrcat' as your search term for the catalog you are trying to find. This will bring up all your catalogs in your OS.

Now to find your images. Again, use spotlight or the 'today' filter in the Mac OS and trying to location the portrait files you are missing. Are they RAW? What camera are you using? You can search for the type of RAW file, ie, NEF for Nikon, CRW for Canon for example.
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stuartpeckphoto

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Either you've solved it or given up asking
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Sarah Valentine

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I have taken a step back, to make sure, that my next move is correct. Sometimes, you have to do something else in order for the right answer to come. I also have session uploading, photos from compact flash card uploading that I hope that includes the originals. So that when I do open my Lightroom no matter what happens I will be ok. I will not rush in....so take a break and I will get back to you when I am in the frame of mind to go there.
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Sarah Valentine

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Sarah Valentine

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Here is the list of file with .lrcat but not sure if I can find the one that will work
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Sarah Valentine

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I can find it on the mac but when I go to lightroom and go to search, its not there?
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Sarah Valentine

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I have fortunately found all the original files on compact flash so I am safe! I can breathe. But I am still not sure where to start.
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stuartpeckphoto

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Why are all your catalogs named the same?
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stuartpeckphoto

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The one modified today at 2.54pm is your latest catalog
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stuartpeckphoto

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The one thing that really helps when trying to figure this stuff out over the internet, is to be clear and concise.

Using 'it' and 'they' doesn't really help as we have no idea what you are referring to.

I'd really start to name your catalogs, saving them as something you find useful. 'Sarah Portrait 6th Dec 2013' for example. Also, copy that name into the catalog 'identity plate setup' This way you know what catalog you have open straight away.
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Sarah Valentine

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Do I need to upgrade. I would think Adobe would have figured out a way to enforce this better. I apologize my work is taking me faster than my LR skills. I have been working with the software now for just over 3 yrs maybe 4. Just because I got on the Wedding & Portrait end of the business. For years did not need it for Real Estate, Commercial or Landscape as I started out in Photoshop. I so appreciate your skills in LR and being patient and stepping back. Am I to assume that the previous catalog is not saved because I did not "Name" it?
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stuartpeckphoto

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No, not naming a catalog won't make a difference, it's just useful so you know what you're working on. Updating is also unnecessary.

The list of catalogs you sent in the screen grab are your saved catalogs. Your latest one is the catalog modified at 2.54pm. Open that catalog, what do you see?

Open that latest catalog and screen grab it and post it here so we can have a look