Please show us a screen shot.
What you describe is not possible. No collection, smart or otherwise, can have images boxes in them without LR having a record of those images being imported into the catalog file.
Blank image boxes means LR has a record of the file but LR can't find that file on your drive and has no preview for it.
you have to log in to the forum website to post a screen shot in a reply. you can't do it from an email reply.
Pres Command + a to Selected all then right click and select Remove photos from the pop up menu, like you have in your screen shot.
But that will just remove them from the collection.
You need to find what folder those images are supposed to be in. So right click on one of them, NO Select All, and select "Show Folder in Library" from that pop up menu.
They might be in many different folders, I don't know I am not at your computer.
These are image files you have imported into LR then either you deleted them outside of LR or they were on an external drive that is not now connected to your Mac.
It would also help to have the file names and the folder/s they are supposed to be stored in showing with in the thumbnail boxes. You can do that by going to the View Options entry in that same pop up menu and checking the boxes to show that.
Hi - thanks again for the fast reply.
I can't right click and select Remove photos from the pop up menu, like in the screen shot - it just tells me "You can’t delete photos directly from a smart collection"
When I right click on one of them and select "Go to Folder in Library" from that pop up menu, nothing happens.
I didn't include it in the screenshot (sorry - attached another version with the righthand part of the screen now attached), but the metadata info is blank so I have no clue what filenames and/or folders Lightroom thinks the blank photos refer to.
My "Thumbnail badges" in Library View / Grid options has been checked all the time.
It's so weird that I'm beginning to think my whole catalogue is corrupted, but I want to do what I can to avoid trashing it and starting again as that would be quite a bit of work.
Thanks again for having a look at this.
Go to the "All Photographs" entry in the Catalog section of the left hand panel. Then go to the Library menu and select "Find all Missing Photos".
But it seems you have NO photos in the LR catalog because looking at your screen shot the All Photographs entry says 0 ( ZERO ) images are in the LR catalog.
Something is wrong.
You need to answer a question or 2.
Do you have your images store on an external drive and is that drive currently connected to your computer?
Have you used Finder, the Mac File Manager program, to delete files off any drive connected to your computer?
If you want to proceed with removing the blank image boxes do as listed below
That will search the catalog file for any missing image file and you should get a screen similar to what your screen shot shows but outside of the Smart Collections sections.
Once that is shown you can Select All and then right click and select "Remove Photos".
But doing that doesn't solve the problem of why are these images are missing from where LR thinks they should be.
Or why the All Photographs entry shows ZERO images in the catalog.
Hi, thanks again.
It's correct that Lightroom is showing zero photos. This is because I removed all my photos from Lightroom before I started this thread, as I thought it might solve my problem. I was planning on re-importing them once I'd got rid of the phantom ones that we're trying to figure out here. I haven't used Finder to delete the photos - they are still safely sitting there on my main SSD and also on a secondary internal HDD inside the laptop, ready for me to re-import once I've got rid of these phantoms.
Since I have no photos in the Lightroom catalogue the option to "Find all missing photos" doesn't show up. But I did try that before I removed them all and there weren't any missing ones.
It's very strange, perhaps I have entered a parallel universe or am a victim of a bad joke by whatever super-entity is running the simulation I am in.
Try deleting the Picks entry under the top level Picks smart collection.
You do realize that by removing all the photos from the LR catalog you have lost all the edits you might of done on all of them.
Just Right Click on the Picks entry that has 912 to the right of it and select Delete.
Collections, any type/kind, are just Lists of images. Collections, any type/kind, are not folders stored anywhere on your hard drive.
Like writing a list of your record albums or CDs. Its not like those albums or CDs are IN that piece of pager you are writing the list on.
Same goes for the LR catalog file. It is just a Database file that References your images from where they are stored on your hard drive.
Hopefully when you removed all your images from the LR catalog you did not select "Delete From Disk" in the Remove Photos dialog box that comes up.
If you did I hate to tell you all your images have been deleted. But if you haven't emptied the trash yet they should still be in there and can be restored.
Hi, thanks for the reply again.
I deleted the Picks smart collection but when I create another with the same filter then exactly the same thing happens i.e. I get 912 ghost photos.
Thanks for your concern but don't worry, all the photos themselves are still on my SSD and HDD, and the edits are in the .xmp sidecar files so I think I'll be OK when I re-import them - let's hope so, I'll find out if I'm not! I had some virtual copies too but I exported those to real files so hopefully the .xmp sidecars will still make those edits usable.
I really appreciate your help but I think the most likely thing is that something somewhere in the Lightroom catalogue has got corrupted and I should delete the Lightroom application and reinstall from scratch. That will be a pain but I'd prefer to do that than carry on with this strangeness going on.
Since you no longer have any images in the present LR catalog that LR is opening I suggest you start a New Catalog file and afte you do that delete the older one using the File Manager program for your OS.
In LR select File > New Catalog.
A dialog windows will come up asking you to Name the new catalog and give you the option where to store it on your hard drive.
So give it a name and store it someplace you know your username has both Read & Write permissions to.
I Usually create a folder called LR Cat (Then the version number of LR version I am using) and then for the actual catalog file name I do the same. So right now since I am using LR Classic CC the folder name my current catalog is in is called LR C CC Cat and the catalog name is LR C CC Catalog.
Your virtual copies and any edit for those VC's are gone. VC and the edits for them are only stored in the catalog file not in any XMP. Only edits to the actual RAW files are stored in both the cat file and the XMP sidecar if you have that option turned on.
As pointed out above. No need to uninstall and reinstall LR. Just start a new catalog and get rid of the older one.
If you do choose to uninstall and reinstall LR I suggest you use the Adobe CC Cleaner Tool before the reinstall.
Oh and something else.
You do not need to create a Smart Collection to show all images that you have used the Pick Flag on.
If you go to the Filter Bar, Attribute option at the top you can select Flagged Photos Only, Unflagged Photos Only and Reject flag only.
If the Filter Bar isn't showing pres the \ (Backslash) key to show or hide it.
Thanks hugely, that's really helpful. I've created a new catalogue as you suggested and have already re-imported the first tranche of my photos and it's all looking good. Much easier than reinstalling Lightroom, so you've saved me a lot of time.
My virtual copies have gone but I exported them as real files with corresponding .xmps before I removed my photos from LR. I've checked a few and they look fine in their newly-found embodied form.
I don't use LR's Pick flag since as far as I could tell that's only stored in the catalogue (i.e. it's not possible to store it in the jpg or the .xmp sidecar for RAWs), so I use the keyword "_Pick" which I store in the actual file rather than LR. No offence to Adobe or LR, but I want my photos to be useable in another programme if a better one comes along (nothing in sight for now though...). I like to keep control for myself as far as possible :-)
Thanks again, and I imagine my original problem will remain a mystery. You are very kind to spend this amount of time and effort on me, I really appreciate it.
I'm sorry but if you don't use the PICK Flag then why on earth do you have, why are you naming, a smart collection PICKS?
If you are using a Color Label or Star Rating as a Pick option then you can still access those from that same Filter Bar I posted.
What is your settings for that Picks smart collection?
I'm just duplicating the functionality of LR's ratings functionality using a keyword, that's all. My 'Picks' smart collection is simply "Keywords contains '_Pick'". It works nicely for me and means that all I need are the photos and I don't have to rely on LR's catalogue. I try to use non-proprietary solutions for my work wherever I can...