22 Replies Latest reply on Aug 24, 2016 10:37 AM by MPDAEF

    Proliferating copies

    MPDAEF Level 1

      Using latest LR CC on a Surface Book and keeping photos (equivalent of My Pictures) on an external hard drive, since the Book hard drive is not large enough.

       

      In folders with recent activity, many of the LR photos appear as xxx-2 or -3 or -4); they are not marked "copy" and are not edited versions; they are just duplicates.  Photos have been imported into LR from various sources.  Both the originals and the duplicates are now stored in order on the external drive, but only the latest duplicates appear in LR.  If I delete the duplicates there, then, of course, the photos are "missing" from LR, which seems to recognize only the latest copies.  (I know how to "find missing photos," but it's a lot of work and not a feasible solution.)  The LR catalog is also stored on this external drive, but it is in a separate folder as it would be on a computer's hard drive.

       

      I can't find anything in the Import dialogue that could be doing this--I don't make copies or import duplicates, for instance.  I'm not even sure whether it is LR that is causing this to happen, or although LR does seem to "choose" the copy with the highest (most recent number) without any input from me.  I don't believe I have changed anything in my work flow that would affect this.

       

      I'd really appreciate any thought anyone might have on possible cause and/or cure, since I obviously don't want to be filling up my storage space with duplicates.  Thanks.

       

      Gail

        • 1. Re: Proliferating copies
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Is "Don't import suspected duplicates" checked in the import dialog?

          • 2. Re: Proliferating copies
            MPDAEF Level 1

            Yes.  And if I try to import an original, it tells me that it looks like a

            photo that's already there and it won't import it..you know the message,

            I'm sure.

            • 3. Re: Proliferating copies
              dj_paige Level 9

              But you should NOT be importing photos multiple times, that is the cause of your problem. Import the photos once only. If you want to use it thereafter, go to the Library Module and find it and use it, instead of importing it again.

              • 4. Re: Proliferating copies
                MPDAEF Level 1

                No.  I'm afraid that's not it.  I've been using LR for many, many years,

                and I am careful when I import anything.   I uncheck anything I don't want

                imported and do not import stuff by mistake.  I definitely do not import

                duplicates (which LR should pick up anyway as "looking like something

                already in this folder").  If it won't import the original when there's

                already a copy, why would it import a copy when there's already an

                original? One would have to purposely rename it something entirely

                different.

                 

                I want to delete the "copies" from my photos and keep only the original.

                If I do that, then LR can no longer find the photo, since it lists only the

                copy.  I can then "find all missing photos" and get each one named

                properly, but that is very, very cumbersome.

                • 5. Re: Proliferating copies
                  ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Are the -2, -3, -4 all the same image as far as you can tell or are they different images, visually, or by some other difference such as date/time or pixel-dimensions?

                  • 6. Re: Proliferating copies
                    MPDAEF Level 1

                    They seem identical except for the number tacked onto the end.

                    • 7. Re: Proliferating copies
                      ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      That means they've been imported more than once.

                       

                      Are you relying on your memory that you've not imported them before or relying on LR to suspect them as duplicates or why would they be imported more than once?

                      • 8. Re: Proliferating copies
                        ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        LR will import duplicates if they are duplicates in the source location and all part of the same import, so the same image in different subfolders under Pictures when you first imported all your Pictures, would all be imported without being detected as duplicates. 

                         

                        The duplicates LR is supposed to detect are ones between an image that is being imported and an image that is already in the LR catalog when the photo files are the same.  It checks a few things, not sure what, exactly, but probably filename, date-taken, pixel-dimensions, not sure what else.  If a JPG has been opened in a program and resaved I don't think it'll necessarily be detected as a duplicate, because the pixels will be different and the size of the image data size will likely be different due to differences in JPG compression during the resave. 

                        • 9. Re: Proliferating copies
                          MPDAEF Level 1

                          Too many issues here, I think.  My files and folders are very well

                          organized; I don't have problems with misplaced or lost or misnamed files;

                          I have "don't import suspected duplicates" selected in the Import dialog

                          and have always found this to work as expected.  Where I now have

                          duplicated files, they weren't in different subfolders, they haven't been

                          worked on in different programs, and they are entirely identical in every

                          way that I can check except for the additional "-2" on one of each pair.

                           

                          Rather than trying to track down the origins of this problem, I'd like to

                          find a simple solution if possible.

                           

                          There is some odd behavior here.   However, it doesn't matter to me,

                          really, how (or even when) a duplicate is created--let's just assume I've

                          save the same photo to the same folder in My Pictures, with the same file

                          name, twice at different times.  What I want to be able to do is save the

                          first instance and delete any "-2" one that appears.  BUT, unless it

                          imports both versions, LR seems to save the "2" version by default.

                           

                          Is there any way to change that default?  If so, then the fix would be

                          relatively easy.

                           

                          G

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          On Sun, Aug 21, 2016 at 10:44 PM, ssprengel <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                          • 10. Re: Proliferating copies
                            ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Ok, so you've imported duplicates, either on purpose or by accident, perhaps mistakenly thinking LR wouldn't import a file of the same name, again, which it clearly does because cameras will generate duplicates after shooting 9999 photos:  IMG0001.JPG to IMG9999.JPG wraps around to IMG0001.JPG which won't be the same image as the first IMG0001.JPG because it's 10,000 shots later.  There could also be duplicate names if multiple cameras are used on a shoot and you want all their photos in the same folder, but again, the images won't; be the same so LR won't prevent you from importing the ones with duplicates names, only duplicate contents with the Don't Import Selected Duplicates, to some degree of accuracy.

                             

                            Since you have the option to detect and not import dups to being with, there isn't really a way to find and remove dups in LR.  If you have not made any adjustments to any of the images, then you could delete anything with a -2, -3, -4, etc, in its name and then synchronize the folder and have LR remove them and perhaps import any other images it finds in the folder as well.  This only works if you also have the non-dash-number file in the same folder, and actually want all the images in a folder imported into LR. 

                             

                            Slightly better than that, again if none of the images have adjustments, is to use an OS program that finds duplicate photos, and use it to delete all the duplicates, then do a synchronize folder for every top-level folder you have photos in to remove any missing photos or add any new photos that might have been there, but not imported.

                             

                            If there isn't any foolproof way to remove the dups, then the best thing is to leave them there, perhaps deleting them as you find them.

                            • 11. Re: Proliferating copies
                              MPDAEF Level 1

                              I do appreciate all the effort you have made to figure out answers to my

                              questions.  I'm afraid, though, that none of the above will help me much.

                              None of the .jpg info applies (see below), and I am not having trouble

                              locating duplicates, nor am I dealing with hundreds of instances.  What I

                              mostly want to find is an easy way get rid of, or preferably avoid

                              importing, the -2 in the photo names.

                               

                              Here's the hypothetical in as simple a way as I can make it:  If the same

                              photo is saved a second time to same place in picture files from the same

                              source (say, a text message), computer will generate a  -2 for the second

                              instance. That does mean, in this case, that ALL the info is the same and

                              that it is simply a second instance of the same thing, yes?  If, then, one

                              imports that photo (ONCE), LR apparently will pick up the second iteration

                              and not the first one.

                               

                              Two questions arise:  Is there a way to get LR to pick up the FIRST of the

                              two instead of the second (that is, the one without the -2)?

                              Or, if that is not possible and it insists on picking up the second, is

                              there an easier fix than deleting them all  in LR, deleting the second one

                              in pictures folder, and then re-importing everything?

                               

                              G

                              • 12. Re: Proliferating copies
                                dj_paige Level 9

                                If the same

                                photo is saved a second time to same place in picture files from the same

                                source (say, a text message), computer will generate a  -2 for the second

                                instance. That does mean, in this case, that ALL the info is the same and

                                that it is simply a second instance of the same thing, yes?

                                As a global answer, I would say: Not necessarily. In your specific case, it may or may not be true that ALL the info is the same, I don't know and I doubt I can say with certainty across the internet.

                                 

                                If, then, one imports that photo (ONCE), LR apparently will pick up the second iteration

                                and not the first one.

                                No, Lightroom will import the photo that you tell it to import. If you select the photo with -2 in the file name, that's what gets imported. If you select the photo without -2 in the file name, then that is what gets imported.

                                 

                                Two questions arise:  Is there a way to get LR to pick up the FIRST of the

                                two instead of the second (that is, the one without the -2)?

                                Or, if that is not possible and it insists on picking up the second, is

                                there an easier fix than deleting them all  in LR, deleting the second one

                                in pictures folder, and then re-importing everything?

                                In the import dialog box, select the one without -2 and deselect the one with -2

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Proliferating copies
                                  JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  I have never encountered the problem you are describing. But whenever I import images from a camera card the card is reformatted immediately before I take any more images. Is this something that you do?

                                  • 14. Re: Proliferating copies
                                    MPDAEF Level 1

                                    Yes, thanks.  I apparently haven't paid close enough attention during

                                    import, having discovered the issue only later on.  The last question,

                                    though, is about how to fix AFTER the second iteration is already in

                                    LR--long after the import dialog phase.

                                    • 15. Re: Proliferating copies
                                      MPDAEF Level 1

                                      Yes, thanks.  I generally do, and when I haven't, LR "knows" what has been

                                      imported before.  I think this problem is not related to camera but to

                                      photos from other sources (e.g., email or text or phone).

                                      Gail

                                      • 16. Re: Proliferating copies
                                        dj_paige Level 9

                                        So, let me make sure I understand the question properly. You have already imported many photos with the -2 suffix in the file name, rather than the desired photos without the -2 suffix in the file name. And so you'd like to remove the ones you don't wnat with the -2 suffix and having the ones without the -2 suffix in the name in Lightroom.

                                         

                                        That's how I understand the question. Let me know if I'm not correct.

                                         

                                        So, my first response is: why does it matter? If the -2 files and the ones without the -2 are truly identical, why do the extra work to fix the problem? To me this is not a problem at all. There's nothing that improves by "replacing" the -2 with the files without -2. Anything you could do with the files without -2 can be done with the files with the -2.

                                         

                                        But, to directly answer your question, you'd want to (in Lightroom) delete the -2 files, then import the files without the -2. You will lose your edits and user-supplied metadata by doing this.

                                        • 17. Re: Proliferating copies
                                          MPDAEF Level 1

                                          Yes, you have understood exactly.

                                          The only reason to mess with this is to eliminate the second copy in my

                                          computer picture files to save space.  In order to do that, without

                                          changing the LR ones, I'd have to check every picture in LR and then go to

                                          computer files to eliminate the extra one there, whichever it is.  If ALL

                                          the "double" files were 2's, it would be easy, but they aren't, for

                                          whatever reason.  I think my suggested solution of deleting all the 2's in

                                          both places and then re-importing the originals is easier than that and

                                          maybe the easiest way available.  Fortunately, this problem exists in a

                                          limited number of folders.

                                           

                                          Thanks for your help.

                                          • 18. Re: Proliferating copies
                                            MPDAEF Level 1

                                            Just FYI.

                                            I ran a small experiment.  When importing a photo of which there are two

                                            iterations in the computer picture files (same photo, same location, etc.),

                                            the LR import dialog does not give any choice between them, since it shows

                                            only one (as, I assume, it should).  It shows the file name without any

                                            -2.  Upon import, however,  the one that LR imports is the one WITH the

                                            -2.  Unfortunately, then, the only way to maintain control is to go through

                                            the computer files before using the import function to keep LR up to date.

                                            (Direct from camera imports don't have this problem, since there aren't

                                            normally duplicates in camera that one isn't aware of.  It is a problem

                                            only with photos saved from other sources.)

                                            G

                                            • 19. Re: Proliferating copies
                                              ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              Are you doing an Add import or a Copy import?  If you are doing and Add import then LR should be importing whatever is shown in the grid.

                                               

                                              If you are doing a Copy import, then LR will put a -2 (or -3, -4, etc) on a filename in the destination if there is already the same filename in the folder it is copying to whether or not that existing file has been imported or not. 

                                              • 20. Re: Proliferating copies
                                                MPDAEF Level 1

                                                Thanks for this thought.  It does help.  I do "copy as DNG"--which, of

                                                course, doesn't do much for .jpg's but does create the other problem.

                                                 

                                                For better or worseand you may have meant thisLR will put a -2 on a

                                                filename even if there is NOT one already in the LR destination folder, as

                                                long as it's in the same source folder in the computer's photo files.

                                                There are several ways around this, but they're all rather cumbersome,

                                                unfortunately.

                                                 

                                                The conversion to DNG really is what causes the problem here.  Normally, I

                                                would use the ADD and not the COPY, but then doing the conversion

                                                afterwards creates problems of its own.  Ah, well. . .  Anyway, many thanks

                                                for your help.

                                                 

                                                Gail

                                                 

                                                On Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 11:48 PM, ssprengel <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                                                • 21. Re: Proliferating copies
                                                  ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  Ok, I'd like to understand a concrete example that is simple that demonstrates the problem.

                                                   

                                                  Starting with 3 files in a source folder and either no files or some small number of other-named files in the destination folder, what do those three filenames need to be in the source folder and any small number of files in the destination need to be named to generate at least one -2 in the destination folder when importing using Copy as DNG?  I'm expecting that no files in either the source or the destination have a dash-number in them to start with and that I can start with an empty catalog.

                                                  • 22. Re: Proliferating copies
                                                    MPDAEF Level 1

                                                    I am still not sure how some of these -2's got created, which was my

                                                    original question.  None of the suggestions has seemed applicable, and I no

                                                    longer remember all the experiments I tried.

                                                     

                                                    Generically, I believe all files, both source and destination, would have

                                                    to have had the same name in order to generate a -2--otherwise LR would see

                                                    them as different files.  I always have "don't import suspected duplicates"

                                                    checked.

                                                     

                                                    It was suggested that I imported the same pictures twice.  I can't disprove

                                                    that, but I cannot duplicate that action.  Either I can't save the same

                                                    photo to Photos twice (unless it is given a different name) or I can't

                                                    import the same photo twice with the same name.  If the metadata don't

                                                    change in any way (and I can't find any changes in them, then it shouldn't

                                                    be possible to do so.  If one changes the photo's name, there are two

                                                    photos but no -2.

                                                     

                                                    (Note:  Don't think I've had the problem when importing (and converting)

                                                    RAW files from camera.  It's the emailed and mobile app ones that can get

                                                    out of control.)

                                                     

                                                    The real issue for me less how they get there than how to get rid of them

                                                    once they are there.

                                                     

                                                    If a -2 has been generated, that's the only one that will appear in LR, BUT

                                                    both the original and the -2 are stored in Photo files.  If one deletes the

                                                    -2 from Photos, LR will tell you that the picture is missing or offline--so

                                                    it doesn't recognize the original any more.  It won't delete the -2, then,

                                                    but will only "remove" it.  So, we now have a removed -2 photo (still in LR

                                                    database somewhere?) and an original in Photos.  Importing that original

                                                    into LR will again generate a -2 version in Photos and LR will show only

                                                    that -2 version.  I.e., we are back where we started.

                                                     

                                                    I don't know why, with "don't import duplicates" setting, LR will

                                                    (re)import a photo that is "missing or offline."  It "knows" it is in the

                                                    database, which is why it generates a -2.  It won't import a photo that is

                                                    elsewhere in the catalog, because it sees that as a duplicate, which is not

                                                    a very different situation.  This is really a minor nuisance that most

                                                    people don't run into; perhaps it can be sorted in a future update.

                                                     

                                                    Solutions (all poor):  One can delete the photo from disc in LR, which will

                                                    also delete it from Photos. Of course, that risks losing the photo

                                                    entirely, unless one still has access to the original source (e.g., an

                                                    email).  Then it can be re-imported safely. Obviously, not useful for more

                                                    than a couple of photos.

                                                     

                                                    Another solution is to go through Photos and delete the originals, keeping

                                                    only the -2's--but, of course, one has to be sure that  each -2 is actually

                                                    in LR (usually, but somehow not always), or round we go again.

                                                     

                                                    Finally, if a file can be moved entirely out of LR (by moving it to some

                                                    other folder in Photos or elsewhere on hard drive and deleting--not

                                                    removing--all instances of it from LR), then it can be moved back to proper

                                                    folder in Photos and re-imported without generating a -2.

                                                     

                                                    Sorry I can't answer your question better at this time.  If I can do so

                                                    later on, I will

                                                     

                                                    Gail

                                                     

                                                    On Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 10:04 PM, ssprengel <forums_noreply@adobe.com>