LR Version Running: v4.1
Catalog Size: 27176 images spreadout over approximately 150 folders
Primary Problem: The image counts represented on folders in LR are not reflecting accurate counts until I run "Synchronize Folder" option. This occurs on a fairly frequent basis and in a number of cases I can reproduce the problem.
History: This missing of images in a folder has been plaguing me since the initial release of LR. During that time I opened a case and Adobe Technical Support who took over my desktop and were also able to reproduce the problem. They had no fix but said that it was a software bug and would be corrected in a subsequent release. I am now on LR 4.1 and it still is present.
1) I will go to a folder looking for an image that I know at one time was visible in LR but now it no longer is there. So, I search for it using LR on such attributes as filename or keywords without success. I then open up Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder and there it is. I can even right-click on the file name and open it up in Adobe Photoshop. I don't like going that route because I lose any adjustments I may have applied in LR. So my solution has been to right-click on the folder of the file that is missing the image(s) and select "synchronize folder". I am then presented with a dialog box that displays the number of missing (that LR calls"new") photos. Next, I click on the "Synchronize" button in which I am then presented with the import screen and shown the missing images. I then click on "Import" button and when the updating process is finished the folder Count is now correct and image shows up in the folder.
2) I can reproduce this behavior every time when I open an image in PS from LR, duplicate it, convert the duplicate to Black & White (Image-->Adjustments-->"Black & White"), apply an action to reduce the file size and change the color space, and then save it as a jpeg in a folder called "web" sitting under the original source folder. After saving it the count on the folder does not change, at least not until I go through the "Synchronize Folder" process. Ironically, if I now go to the original color image that the B&W was duplicated from and convert and save it as a jpeg to the same folder the folder updates immediately.
3) After importing a large number of images from a photo session into LR (via a card reader) I will delete the unwanted images, assign a subject specific naming convention to the remaining ones, attach keywords, and then use the export function to transfer them to their various subject related folders for long-term storage. Since missing images has been a long-standing problem for me, out of paranoia I will go to the folders to verify that the images are present For example, recently I exported 50 images to a folder and then went to it to verify all the images transferred correctly. I was unable to find five of the images. After running "Synchronize Folder" the folder amount was updated in the images appeared in the folder. All of files in this case were Canon RAW (CR2).
The above are just a few of the examples that I am dealing with on a fairly consistent basis. I also have a friend who also is experiencing the same problem but is using a different workflow. I would very much appreciate it, if anybody who has encountered this probably before and found a solution, would be willing to share their fix to it. Thank you in advance for considering my inquiry.
I don't know the answer to all of your examples, but will answer some.
2) In this case the fact that the Photoshop-edited image is not automatically visible in Lr is due to the fact that you do a <Save as>.
When you edit a Raw image in Photoshop by opening it from Lr and at the end you just <Save>, your newly created PSD will automatically be imported and displayed in Lr.
But when you do a <Save as> the link between the file opened from Lr and the newly created file is broken, and the new image has to be imported into Lr - either via the Import Dialog or via <Synchronize folder>.
3) In this example all of your exported images should be present in the export-to folder.
But it seems to me that to do an export of your Raw images after your edits in Lr, is unnecessary and only will fill your hard drive with unnecessary images.
You don't need to export images for long-term storage. You can do long-term storage just as well with a Raw image. If you are concerned about data safety, you would do better to store a copy of your Raw images on an external hard drive - preferably with RAID 1. Raw image files are smaller than TIFFs, and JPGs are not suitable for long-term storage because the lossy compression of Jpgs throws image data away - for good und unretrievable.
For added safety, you would also do a regular backup of your catalog (where all your edits and metadata are stored). In addition you could <Write metadata to file> which writes your Lr edits and metadata into a XMP-file (in case of a Raw file) or in the header of a TIFF, JPG, PSD.
Writing metadata to file would have the added benefit - particularly in your case - that you would not loose your edits when you have to re-import images that have gone "lost". On re-import (via synchronize folder) Lr would also read the XMP file (or file header) and thus display your edits.
Finally a suggestion for your basic problem, the fact that Lr looses images: It happens sometimes that the Preference file becomes corrupt and then causes all sorts of strange and weird behavior of Lr. The remedy is to replace the Preference file with a new one.
See here how to go about replacing the Preference file: http://lightroomers.com/replacing-the-lightroom-preference-file/745/
Thank you for your insightful reply. It got me thinking regarding my example #2 above and spurred me on to do some additional testing. What I did was create a directory called "web" under the source file one. I have about 2000 RAW images waiting for processing so I randomly grabbed one and did my normal CTRL-E to bring it into CS6. Below are the tests I made and their results:
a) Image was not duplicated but my custom action to resize it for the web was applied and then saved in the "web" folder as a jpeg using "Save-As" option. I did this for a number of files and each time the folder count incremented correctly.
b) Image was loaded into CS6 and then immediately duplicated. I then selected the orginal (not the copy) and the same procedure in "a" above was followed and the image count for the folder incremented and the folder count was verified as correct.
c) Image was loaded into CS6 and then immediately duplicated. I then applied my custom action on the copy and followed the identical save steps as in the above examples. The counter FAILED to increment. I then looked in the folder and the image was not showing so I performed the "Synchronilze Folder" and that fixed the missing image and count problem. I repeated this example several times and all with identical results.
Conclusion on my "Specific Example 2": It appears that the "Save-As" is not the issue, The real problem is my forgetting that LR is a database that keeps track of images via an index. So when I duplicate the image in Photoshop it is not realistic to expect LR to even know the existence of the duplicate until it is saved in one of its established folders and the index on that folder is refreshed (I am assuming that is what "Synchronize Folder" function is performing). So as far as I would conclude this is normal database behavior.
Regarding my 3 example, thanks for your inputs on workflow. For the sake of brevity I did not relay the full detail of mine. As a very brief but still inadequate explanation, the RAW files that I bring into LR are kept in the holding folder for 3 reasons. The first is to review all and eliminate ones that I will not be retaining. Secondly, the remaining ones ("keepers") are then renamed and key words are assigned and then exported into their long term storage folders that get backed up each night. Finally, the ones still in the holding folder are now ready for processing the jpegs that will go into separate folders for my web site and iPad portfolio. As I process each CR2 file it is then deleted from the working directory leaving only the ones I still need to process. I suspect there are better ways of doing this but so far it has worked very efficiently for me since LR came out. With regards to the problem of LR randomly losing track of some images across all of my image folders you might be right that the "Preference" file is getting corrupted. From my past discussions with Adobe Tech Support it seems that we did delete the existing one letting a new one get generated but I seem to recall that effort did not provide any remedy.
Thanks again for your reply and thoughts. They were much appreciated.
It appears that the "Save-As" is not the issue, The real problem is my forgetting that LR is a database that keeps track of images via an index. So when I duplicate the image in Photoshop it is not realistic to expect LR to even know the existence of the duplicate until it is saved in one of its established folders and the index on that folder is refreshed (I am assuming that is what "Synchronize Folder" function is performing). So as far as I would conclude this is normal database behavior.
That is basically right as far as the results are concerned, but <Synchronize folder> does more than "refresh an index". It is importing the image - the image is not only indexed but read and displayed with all the changes you made in Photoshop. <Synchronize folder> scans the folder for (a) images that have not been imported into the Lr catalog, and (b) images that are in the catalog but cannot be found in that folder. Lr then imports the new images and removes images from its database that are not in the folder . So in essence <Synchronize folder> does bring the catalog (= data base) in sync with the situation on the hard drive with respect to the folder in question.
And, working with Lr it is important to keep the following two basics in mind:
a) Lr stores / saves everything in its catalog (= data base). The catalog is a separate file different from and in a different location than your images;
b) Lr is not a browser-based program. That means that Lr does not automatically "see" what is on the hard drive - whereas Bridge does that. Whatever image you put into a folder Bridge will "see" it, whereas Lr does not. Lr "sees" only images that have been imported, either via the Import Dialog or via <Synchronize folder>. So, for instance, if you would move images from one folder to another in Bridge, this move would not be "seen" or displayed in Lr - unless you do a <Synchronize folder> for bothfolders. Before the <Synchronize folder> Lr would display the images in the old folder with question marks and would not display them at all in the new folder.
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