If the backups in Time Machine don't contain your edits, then the edits are gone.
You need to change your entire workflow, as it seems that whatever you are doing contributes to this problem.
So here are some suggestions:
- If you import a photo into Lightroom, don't delete it from Lightroom. Even if you are convinced you are never going to need the photo again, don't delete it from Lightroom. This is cheap insurance that doesn't hurt anything.
- Don't delete photos from the hard disk either
- Use the Lightroom backup facility to make backups of your catalog file at a regular interval. Although Time Machine will do this, the Lightroom backup has several important features, such as optimizing the catalog file and checking the integrity of the catalog file to prevent you from losing data.
Then STOP DELETING images from your Catalog. This is just very foolish. Do you normally throw things in your kitchen garbage can then later retrieve those things and eat them? I don't think so.
Then why are you using the Mac Trash Can as a Repository for images you will want at a later date. The Trash Can is for things you KNOW you will never want again.
So STOP DELETING images from the LR catalog and all your problems will go away.
In MHO the inclusion of the Trash Can, Mac, and Recycle Bin, Windows, was something that should of never happened.
The first thing I do when asked to work on someones computer is to empty the garbage can. Then I hear "Where did my files go". "I put them in the Trash but didn't empty it". Then I ask why on earth would you throw something away that you need. Then I get the glazed look in the eye because they have no real answer.
There is nothing wrong with my workflow - all images were selected when opening Lr and they were deleted by accident when wanting to delete just 1 image. If I have 3 photos of the same subject for sharpness it would be pointless keeping all 3 using disk space. This has been the 3rd time it has happened to me and seems to happen with many other people by accident.
I assumed that the edited version that Lr remembers in the Develop module would have been retained in one of the catalog or previews files.
Can you explain to me where Lr stores edited information please? I can then look to retrieve this information from a Time Machine back up yesterday.
If this is not possible then that is fine!
It was an ACCIDENT no need for capitals.
You are telling me on a shoot you take 500 photos and keep all of them including the ones that aren't sharp? I don't think so. I intended to delete one image but this was not the case!
Lightroom stores the edits in its catalog (which is also called the catalog file, it is a database). As soon as you delete a file from the catalog, your edits are gone. Backups of your catalog only help if there was a backup catalog made WITH the edits. If you edit a photo and mistakenly delete it in the same session, there is no backup, your edits are gone.
If you are taking 3 photos and then deciding to keep the sharpest one, you might still consider a different workflow, so that you can be sure you have backups, or better yet, making sure you are deleting the proper photos. You can assign a pick flag the unwanted photos, and assign a different flag to the wanted photos, which places a flag icon on the photo as seen in the Library grid, to help you confirm that you have selected the proper photos to delete. Then deleting the unwanted ones is a single command or keystroke combination, and it will ask you to confirm the deletion and show you the thumbnails of the photos to be deleted. You could do similar things with stars or color labels. But you need to build into your workflow some sort of method to confirm that you have the right photos selected for deletion. While you make it sound like this is a problem with the software, it is really a problem caused by human error.
Thank you that makes perfect sense! However, I am convinced the deleting of those photos took place today which, would be a different session to yesterday where edits were made. I will have to explore this with Time Machine.
The problem I have found myself in is entirely human error and nothing to do with the software. I selected a batch of images to export, close Lr, open Lr, Lr remembers previous selection, I delete an image I thought was the only selected by click on it - I am the one at fault here.
You can also write the changes to a XMP sidecar file. LR would also delete those that are associated to each image you delete but they would be in the trash just like the image file and restore to the original folder.
But you really need to look at your workflow and how you use every image editing program.
Files only get deleted by accident from User Error. LR is a Dumb program and only does what you tell it to do. You selected all the images then hit the delete key. So LR did exactly what you ask it to do, Delete all the selected images. I'd say the program is working as expected.