Are you talking about Photos the Apple Mac App?
You'll need to supply more info.
Are you in the Import dialog window?
yes, I'm talking about the photos I have on my macbook. when I use photoshop I can upload/import them easily and work on them. but for some reason not with lightroom. Sorry I'm not very techy!
On newer Mac's there is a built in App called "Photos". It took over for the older iPhoto app. Is that "Photos" app what you were referring to in your original post?
Photos on your Mac is something completely different from the Apple Mac OS X "Photos" App.
If this "Photos" app is not what you are talking about then please give a better description of the problem you are having. Including the PATH to where you store your image files on your Mac hard drive.
Better yet post a screen shot of a Finder window showing the folder your image files are stored in and set the Finder preferences to show the PATH at the bottom of the Finder window. And yes include that part of the Finder window in your screen shot.
That Photos Library entry is actually a Package folder (Looks like a File in Finder) that contains many other folders. In that Package folder is another folder called Masters. That is where the Apple Mac Photos app has stored all your images. To access that you have to Right Click on it and select "Show Package Contents". It will expand into many other sub folders.
But LR can not access those other folders stored inside that package folder so you will need to Copy the Masters folder and place it someplace on your hard drive that LR can access.
I'm sorry but I don't really get what you are saying. The first shot is what happens when I click on 'pictures' in the left hand column. The second shot is what happens when I click on 'other sources' In that screen I am only able to click on the 'lightroom' folder; the other two are inactive ie photo library and photo booth library. If I go to 'finder' and click on the photos library icon all it does is open the appilication. I can't seem to right click on mac, which is a macbook air. I've checked system preferences and this doesn't make a difference. The strange thing is that this all works fine with photo shop.
I'm not technically savvy, so sorry if I appear a bit dim!! :-)
Right clicking on a Mac is the same as right clicking on a Windows PC. You use the Right Mouse button or Mac notebook specific the bottom right of the track pad or hold down the Control key and click the left mouse button or just about anywhere on the track pad.
The screen shot above is of a folder someplace on your hard drive with the name of 20161230-073422 which really means 2016, Year, 12, Month, 30, Day At 07, Hours (7 AM your time, 34, Minutes, 22, Seconds.
What exactly are you trying to do? Import images into LR? You need to find where your images are stored. You need the Full Path to those images to point LR to the folder that they are stored in.
You mention Photoshop, is this the REAL Photoshop or the consumer version Photoshop Elements (2 totally different programs).
When you are in Photoshop how do you access those images. Please give exact steps and include the whole path. The path would be Hard drive name, if internal it is more than likely Macintosh HD, then a slash / then the names of folders.