They are gone. When I re-open them from my hard drive, there is no record that they were ever worked on and I have to start again from scratch.
However, if I publish right away and do not wait they remain in LR and in the photostream under "Publish..."
If I simply alter photos and do not publish, once again they vanish after a few hours.
I am running LR 5 on Mac 10.11.3 (El Capitan)
After I import photos and make adjustments, I then move the desired photos to Publish Services: Flickr for eventual publishing.
However, if I exit LR for a few hours, when I return my finished photos are nowhere to be found, not even in the Publish photostream.
Can anyone help with this issue?
You most likely have (accidentally?) opened the wrong catalog file. Please go to File->Open Recent and then select each catalog shown there until you find the one that contains your photos.
Excellent advice, thanks. I do have several catalogs but they are nowhere to be found.
Use your operating system's search function to search all disks for all files whose name ends with .LRCAT. Then double-click on each one found to open it in Lightroom to see if it contains the photos you want.
Advice: when you solve this problem, you might want to make your life MUCH simpler by combining all the catalogs into a single catalog. There are dozens of advantages and no significant drawbacks to doing this.
Sounds like a good plan. I believe that I have already done this, but I will try it again once I am back at the machine that has my photos. I had considered consolidating all catalogs into one, especially as I did not create all of those other catalogs, just 2 of them (a few were created as I updated LR over the years and I suspect that one day I opened LR following an unusual path and that has created it's own catalog). I had intended to make life easier by making several catalogs but now I question that reasoning.
"One catalog to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." with apologies to JRR.
Is there a simple way to do this?
Consolidate catalogs: open the "master" catalog, use the menu command File->Import from Another Catalog and then select the other catalog. Repeat as many times as necessary to consolidate all of your catalogs.
Thanks. I will let you know how it goes, either way.
Your time and effort is much appreciated. It's very frustrating when Adobe, or any other company, stops supporting it's own software. There should be a statute of limitations like in the auto industry, where spare parts must be available for at least 11 years. The only reason I can see for it is to force me to upgrade so they can collect even more $$$.
So here's the scoop, it's an OS problem, not a software problem. I consolidated my catalogs and still could not find the adjusted photos. The RAW items were there, but the metadata had not been saved. So I gave up and broke down and purchased CC as this will be the only way I can get upgrades in the future in any case. But, when I went to download the app, it loaded perfectly on my laptop, but it completely toasted my desktop! I mean that files popped up then vanished while other, totally unrelated programs failed to respond; I couldn't even enter my password as the window would drop away as soon as I clicked on it. Of course CC did not actually cause all this mayhem, downloading it merely revealed a hidden flaw in my OS that has been slowly corrupting it's performance over the last few months. CC was simply the final straw. A 200 lb straw that crushed my already overtaxed system.
So I have restored my desktop to factory issue and will only install the apps needed to render it totally devoted to my photography and leave all other work and personal items to my trusty and as yet perfectly operating MacBook Air. I'm still disappointed with how Adobe manages to extract $$ from it's customers, but in this case the software at least was not the issue. Thanks to those who took the time and care to aid me in my dilemma. Hopefully I can do the same for you in the future.