The grayed-out photos have already been imported in the past. Perhaps you’ve moved them on the hard-drive since importing but moving them on the HD without doing in LR will make LR think they’re still in the old location. You should search for the photos in LR using the Text Filter option in Library (activate filters using the \ key in Library or the switch at the right of the thumbnail bar) and see where LR thinks they are, then use right-click Locate Missing Photo (or Folder depending on what you’re right-clicking on) to re-bind the LR location with the actual location on the HD.
ssprengl - yes you're probably right. When I started with LR (4 or so mths ago), I let it do the importing to the hd from the camera. But, after using it for a while, I decided to go back to NikonView2. I also did not fully grasp LR's need for control! (lol) So, the original files are in 2 folders that I must have just 'added' to the collection. And I consolidated the files into another directory that is in the structure I'd like. So, can I make it forget about these photos all together and just start over? Because I cant seem to connect to either folder. Hmmm. I am learning that LR needs to be in charge!
You need to find the two versions of the file. You can use the Filter Bar, or other method.
You will probably find that one of the two files is the edited version, and the other is an unedited version. You probably want to delete the unedited version from Lightroom (but not from the hard disk) and then you should be able to move the file to the desired folder.
Lightroom is not in control. You, the user, have complete control over where you store your photos. However, Lightroom is rather intolerant of certain mistakes, so it will not allow you to copy of file into a folder where the exact same named file exists. This is for your protection. This is a good thing.
The whole idea of having a folder structure and then moving photos into it is something that beginners in Lightroom struggle with because Lightroom is not a file browser. It does not work the same as Windows Explorer or Mac Finder. You would be better off leaving the photos in their existing folders and using Lightroom tools — keywords and other metadata like captions and titles — to organize and search; and then you never run into the problem of a photo being in the wrong folder.
You can right-click on the folder that you know contains the missing images, and choose the option to synchronize the folder. That will add the missing images to your Lightroom structure. However, any adjustments you have made will be lost and you will have to start over. Personally, I believe it's much more efficient to Lightroom do the importing. If you learn how to use the import function properly, you can import your images exactly where you want them to be, and they will be part of your Lightroom folder structure. It's a much simpler process than trying to use the Nikon software, in my opinion.
Thanks for the responses guys.
Here's what I have figured out. It would not let me sync to anything - either the original location, or the new copied location (folders identical). I tried removing the folder from the catalog, renaming the directory, re-linking etc.. Would not work because it thought there was always duplicates. When I was trying once again to Import, Add to this catalog folder, I opened File Handling and found the "Don't Import suspected duplicates" check box. unchecked it, and they all added right away. Turned it back on after and that should protect it. Everything seems good!
The way I bring files in is to import them to the same directory each time and then move them from there. NV2 was just set up to do that, so that's why I went back. With all else that LR was making me learn, I could put this to the back for a bit. But, now that I've looked at it again, I can make it work. I'm not sure how I start mid-card.
I have learned, though, LR can be a good file manager as well, as it will create folders and move files. It just takes discipline to always use it. You have to agree to be organized! lol
Slowing getting the hang of it!