Is it possible you imported the photos twice, and then removed them once?
What happens if you search for these photos? You can find them by following ALL of these four steps:
- In the Library Module, on the left under Catalog, click on All Photographs
- Expand all stacks (Photo->Stacking->Expand All Stacks)
- Turn off all filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)
- Search for at least one of these photos by file name using the Lightroom Filter Bar
Thanks for the suggestion. I followed those steps, and searched for several of the images--none were found.
I tried a workaround, which didn't work. Since LR identifies duplicate photos as ones with the same filename, plus some other matching characteristics, I went back to the catalog I exported the images from and renamed them all. Exported them to a different catalog, and attempted to import them again, from this new catalog, and the same problem exists--it doesn't recognize them as new photos, rather, as "existing photos that are missing." So it still doesn't even allow me to update the metadata on the so-called existing photos, as they don't really exist. Ugh.
Exporting does not remove the photos from the existing catalog.
I still think that the photos are in the catalog, and that you should try my four step procedure again, being extremely careful to get it right.
I didn't export the photos in order to delete them from the existing catalog. To do that, I used the "remove" command. The export I just did was from the catalog on my laptop, where I had edited them--I renamed them before exporting again in the hope that LR on my desktop wouldn't think they were duplicate photos, but that didn't work. (In retrospect it shouldn't work, as I think it searches by original filename, not current filename.
So it does suggest the catalog still knows about the original images, but I only imported them once, then I removed them from the catalog. I followed your steps again, to the letter, then searched for some of the photos by filename. Nothing. I also searched by date taken. If they exist in the catalog one or more should have appeared, but none did. I'm stumped.
Okay, then I'm stumped. Sorry.
If you used a File Manager program to Remove the images from your hard drive they are still being registered in LR. You must use LR to Remove these images from the catalog.
Select all these images and Right Click on one of them and select "Remove Photos" from the menu that comes up (it is near the bottom of the list). I dialog box will come up with 3 options, Delete from Disk, Remove and Cancel. You would select Remove. Once you do that you can then import them again from that other catalog
LR is not a File Manager. It is a DATABASE program. Once a entry has been made in the database the only way to remove it is with that same Database program to delete the reference to that entry.
I did use LR to remove the images (rather than the file manager), which is why I can't understand LR identifying the incoming edited images as already existing in the catalog. Later, I did also delete the images from that folder using file manager, just in case LR was still somehow referencing them, but that made no difference. (I know, I was grasping at straws here.)
I described everything I did that led up to the problem here.
My original mistake was using file manager to copy the original negatives to my laptop to edit, rather than exporting as a catalog. I won't make that mistake again. But I'm still stuck for a solution.