To make sure I understand the situation: you original renamed photos during import and still have a catalog that points to them with that new name, but those photo files have all been deleted and the only copy of the photos are from the backup that was created during Import but those all have the original filename from the camera, not the renamed name, right?
If that is correct, then you are correct that you cannot locate-missing-photo using the original photo-filename, only the current name.
What might work is if you used LR to rename the photos as they were imported, then you may be able to get LR to rename the photos the same way, again.
Make a backup of your current catalog that points to the renamed photos so if anything happens you can start over with that, and you also would want to make a backup copy of your photos if you’re not working with copies, already. These backups or just to be safe in case you need to retry the process over several times.
Create a new, empty catalog.
Import the backup copies of the photos that have their original names into this new catalog and specify the same renaming template you originally used—the hope is that this will rename things in the same way as before.
If the renaming does generate the same names as before then move the renamed copies to where they need to be.
Open the original catalog that pointed to the renamed photos and see if the settings are intact.
The camera files were originally imported and renamed on a now non-existant OS X.
The files were in DateTimeSeq format when originally imported into LR
BUT the XMP:PreservedFileName was set (in the Metadata on the old system) when they were originally renamed.
As ‘ssprengel’ has suggested, backups are being taken (should get finished in the next day or so), and then I will try and replicate using the LR import/rename process.
Thanks, will update once complete
It is amazing when you attempt to redo/rethink things, just how fallible the memory is!
Not that it mattered in the end, but he XMP tags had not been set in the file, as I had stated.
They had been set in the COPY of the originals, which of course no longer existed
Could not find ‘SubSecTime’ in the LR Import/Rename, which is what had been used when the files had been renamed originally,
so the external rename process was once again used, BUT
this meant modifying the original RAW metadata, so ENSURED my backup was backed up.
Using a subset of the original files, copied, and ran through rename script.
The rename script, worked, XMP:PreservedFileName and ObjectName are now both set (as seen by external EXIF/IPTC viewer) to the original file name, and the new filenames look like what LR has.
Imported to a new ‘TEST’ LR. OK,
Moved source location, locate files at new location. OK,
BUT, Alas ….
Although, as it has been said elsewhere in this forum, RENAME saves the original filename to XMP:PreservedFileName, LR does not appear to honor the same (so even tho XMP:PreservedFileName is set within the files metadata, LR does not appear to read it).
If you try a rename at this point (to Original File Name), the name LR gives is the name at time of IMPORT.
LR does not show XMP:PreservedFileName in the Metadata display, but it does show the original filename in the Title.
Unfortunately for me tho, the final step is to rename them back to way the camera named them, so this doesn’t happen again.
Using the LR Title won’t work as Title has been changed within the LR database in many of my files.
Since the LR rename does not provide access to the ‘SubSecTime’ from the camera, I looked for some LR rename tag which originated within the XMP, IPTC tags that LR would honor on import, so i could use in a rename.
Tested most scenarios with embedded metadata and external XMP sidecar.
I tried IPTC:JobID - no luck LR ignored
i tried XMP-crs:RawFileName - no luck again. LR overwrote this tag with the filename existing at time of import?!?
I tried IPTC:CreateJobName - found that this does not appear to be used by the community. It was suggested that XMP-photoshop:AuthorsPosition be used instead.
Using the external metadata manipulation utility, I copied the ‘subsectime’ to the xmp-photoshop:authorsposition. Imported the photos with their original raw name, used LR rename with custom template ‘Date (YYYYMMDD)_HourMinuteSecord_CreatorJobTitle’ to rename the files to the form within the database.
Moved my test files, and re-located. OK
Renamed them back to their original camera name using LR rename custom template ‘Original File Name’.
Now to try on the real (backed up) database & photos
Final disposition to come, but the process as suggested answered my original question, so marking as such.