Recently got LR4 and whas trying to add Keywords and Collections. Had a folder, Germany (500 images) on a hard drive and cataloged in the Catalog. I added the keyword, Germany to 10 images. and created a Collection of same.
When I looked back at the Catalog, there were only 10 images in the folder Germany ... and only those 10 images out of 500 in the Catalog.
Thinking it must be related to the Keyword or Collection assignments, I went into each and removed them from the images. Still nothing in the Catalog.
Looked in Windows Explorer at the folder Germany. Only the same 10 images were there. They are not in the Recycle Bin!
Where did they go??
First thing I would do is make sure I'm not working in a collection but in the folder.
Second thing i weould do: make sure that no filter is <On>. In the Library Module press "\" (backslash) to make the Filter Bar visible - if it is not already. Then make sure that <None> is selected - see screen shot.
During import from the card, I backup the original RAW files (.nef, in my case using a Nikon camera) to a second drive on my computer using the "Make a Second Copy to.." check box in the Lightroom Import dialog. I then make a backup of the .nef files to a DVD which I store in a safe in a shed away from my house. I then backup the .nef and converted DNG files to my online cloud backup system. I also backup my entire computer every day using Microsoft Sync Toy (it is free and works well) to a 1 TB hard drive that I carry in my pocket. Further, before any serious upgrade of Lightroom, I back up all of my photos. This really paid off when the upgrade to LR 4 messed up all of my point curve adjustments. I simply returned to my backup. I also check Edit > Catalog Settings > Metadata > Automatically Write Changes to XMP so that LR adjustments are stored with each photo along with the Catalog. It is also important to keep several backups of your LR Catalog. I was able to recover my catalog from my 4th backup after I found my Catalog and 3 of my backups were corrupt. Usually people do not resort to backing up until they lose their data, and any data that is not backed up will be lost eventually. I have had many hard drives crash over the years, but I haven't lost any data thanks to my backups.
I do not know what happened to your photos. I guess that you accidentally moved the photos, and you will find them by searching your hard disk.
Yes, thanks. I was looking for all of pictures from Germany over many years. Instead of being in the Germany folder where the should have been, they were in sub-folders under Travel. A good example of the importance of an online key worded catalog!.
It is ironic that I am having difficulty with an online catalogue. While at the National Library of Medicine, way back when, I was responsible for development of the first complete, mini-computer based library automation system, ILS (Integrated Library System) with a very extensive Catalog subsystem. Tempus fugit!