6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2016 1:12 PM by dj_paige

    How to Fix my Lightroom catalogs so I can located all my photos?

    davidk34712146

      Hello, before I start ,yes I know I made some big mistakes over the years in setting up lightroom catalogs  and now it become a disaster.

       

      First I have about en catalogs and having missing photos in most.  Although I know the photo exists I can see them in a photo after doing an exhaustive search.  I try and have lightroom locate in finder but doesn't work in 99% of the time. Probably cause it was moved or the name got changed.  Also thew photo may be in several catalogs, don't ask me why and how  because somehow the name have changed I have a big mess.

       

      The photos are spread over three drives one in my imac and two attached drives to my IMac    What I think is the simplest way is to take all my photos and load them on a new Lightroom catalog and load them from the drives, so that everything is new.       But how to do this , I am not sure.  I think I would create a new Catalog and than import each photo from the drive or maybe I can do it by folder or maybe there is a faster way ? This will change the name of the photos and make all the other catalogs obsolete. 

       

      Maybe there is an easier way, HELP!  ANY OTHER SOLUTIONS.  I HAVE ABOUT 20,000 PHOTOS

       

      THANKS DAVE

      I

        • 1. Re: How to Fix my Lightroom catalogs so I can located all my photos?
          dj_paige Level 9

          Yes, it sounds like you want to start over, that is probably the easiest thing to do at this point ... but ... it is likely that you will lose edits and metadata that you have added to the photos. (The alternative is to fix the problems, but this sounds difficult and time consuming given your description above, but certainly possible).

           

          It also sounds like you want to change your workflow. I strongly recommend a workflow where the photos are never moved after they are imported (EXCEPTION: if you need to move the photos to a new hard drive or new computer, then you should move them). And you must do this "cold turkey", never, not even once, will you move the photos (with the one exception I mentioned). I strongly recommend a workflow where you use keywords and other metadata to allow you to organize and search; rather than organizing and searching via folders.

           

          To start over ... you may want to move the photos to whatever location you want them to be in using your operating system. (Remember, I said never move them after you import them, so moving them before you import is okay). Then, in Lightroom, select File->New Catalog, give the catalog a name in the dialog box that appears, and then import the photos using the ADD option to import them from their existing location (or you can use the COPY option and Lightroom can put the photos in a nice neatly arranged set of folders by capture date). And NEVER move them again (remember there is one exception), use keywords and other metadata to organize and search.

           

          From now on, use one catalog only. This will make your life a lot simpler. Don't even consider using multiple catalogs (unless you have completely unrelated and distinct subject matter, such as personal and work photos).

          • 2. Re: How to Fix my Lightroom catalogs so I can located all my photos?
            davidk34712146 Level 1

            I liked you suggestions.   Thank you

             

            I do have a question about my adjustments to the photos, I thought lightroom attaches the adjustment data to the picture so if I copy the picture into a new lightroom catalog wont the adjustments move too? I think most of my adjustments where not made to XMP filrs does this make a difference

             

            Dave

            • 3. Re: How to Fix my Lightroom catalogs so I can located all my photos?
              davidk34712146 Level 1

              I have one more questions , I do have some photos in a few of my catalogs where I used XMP if I copy the photos along with the XMP is it possible the LR will pick that up with the photo

              • 4. Re: How to Fix my Lightroom catalogs so I can located all my photos?
                ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                Since you have edits made to your photos and want to keep them, your best bet might be to consolidate your photos into one new catalog and let LR reorganize your disk as it does so.

                 

                Using Finder, create a new top-most folder to hold all the reorganized photos.

                In LR, create a new catalog, give it an obvious name like "master".

                Select the menu option to "import from catalog", select an old catalog to read from.

                In the Import Catalog dialog, set the file handling to "copy to new location", select the new folder you created.

                This should copy your images to a folder structure organized by capture date.

                 

                Pick a small old catalog to test on before trying a big catalog.

                • 5. Re: How to Fix my Lightroom catalogs so I can located all my photos?
                  ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                  Your edits are stored only in the catalog, the original photo files are never written to, by design.

                  • 6. Re: How to Fix my Lightroom catalogs so I can located all my photos?
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    I do have a question about my adjustments to the photos, I thought lightroom attaches the adjustment data to the picture so if I copy the picture into a new lightroom catalog wont the adjustments move too? I think most of my adjustments where not made to XMP filrs does this make a difference

                    By default, Lightroom does not do this. So, your edits will not transfer. If you turned on the option, then Lightroom does do this, and your edits will transfer.