Help: Cannot find images: I didn't import via Lightroom and now all my converted images are 'lost'

Community Beginner ,
Aug 28, 2022 Aug 28, 2022

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Hi. I think I may have really buggered up at least a years worth of image collation in Lightroom. I have tried to work out how to fix this issue but I'm getting into a bigger hole. Its not an easy "find images" fix. I need a Lightroom guru for some guidance.  

 

Me: Sony A7III / Lightroom Classic CC (up to date) /Windows 

 

My import routine is:

1. Using file explorer (not Lightroom) create a new folder naming image topic. Create a subfolder called "Raw" and copy the images directly into this folder. 

2. Import images into a collection using Lightroom (converting imported images to DNG)

3. Some of my folder names have been changed (via windows explorer). 

 

Problem:

All my images have been 'lost' as the catalogue is seeking DNG images, but becasue I did not do the process through Lightroom, the link has been lost and they will not recognise the original file as it is a "AWR" file. If I try to link the corect file, the program asks me to confirm that the file link is correct as the extension is wrong. It therefore does not then link all the other images in the folder. 

 

I'm not sure where to start, but things are a bit of a mess. 

 

Appreciate any assistance. 

 

thanks 🙂 Lee

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Community Expert ,
Aug 28, 2022 Aug 28, 2022

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Some clarification please, you stated.

1. Using file explorer (not Lightroom) create a new folder naming image topic. Create a subfolder called "Raw" and copy the images directly into this folder.

 

Ok, so the original images, raw files from your camera .AWR are now in a folder called "RAW", is this correct?

2. Import images into a collection using Lightroom (converting imported images to DNG)

 

Which import option are you using, Copy, Copy as DNG, Move, Add?  Do you convert to DNG after the import using the option available within Lightroom?

3. Some of my folder names have been changed (via windows explorer)

 

Please post a screen capture so other users can have an idea of what you are experiencing.

 

On another note images named MarkWedding.awr, MarkWedding.DNG, MarkWedding.tiff and MarkWedding.jpeg will all be recognized as individual files. To wit .AWR and .DNG are different files.

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.7.; LrC 11.5, Lr 5.5, Ps 23.5.1, ACR 14.5,; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 29, 2022 Aug 29, 2022

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Thank you for your quick reponse. 

1. Yes - the original files are the original RAW (AWR) files and they are stored in the appropriate "RAW" folder. 

2. I used Copy as DNG. 

3. Re - Do you convert to DNG after the import using the option available within Lightroom? I did not do anything else after import - I didnt think I needed to do additional steps. All my files in LR are DNG. 

4. I will organise a screen shot

 

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LEGEND ,
Aug 28, 2022 Aug 28, 2022

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All my images have been 'lost' as the catalogue is seeking DNG images, but becasue I did not do the process through Lightroom, the link has been lost and they will not recognise the original file as it is a "AWR" file.

 

This seems to contradict the earlier statement you made "Import images into a collection using Lightroom (converting imported images to DNG)".

 

What happened to the DNG images? How did they get lost? Please explain in detail.

 

You can always convert the AWR files to DNG again (using the DNG Converter, not Lightroom Classic) and then place them in the desired folders, then Lightroom Classic will use them.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 29, 2022 Aug 29, 2022

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Hi dj_page. Thanks for the reply. 

My understanding when importing images to LR is that (1) the original files remains unaltered in the place from which they were imported and (2) the files that are imported link to the original files and any alterations are not saved until the file is exported. 

For me, this definition means when my RAW files were imported and converted to DNG, the original source file that Lightroom needs is a RAW, AWR file, but LR is seeking DNG files which only exists in LR and are not stored anywhere (as I never exported them).  

 

Best to clarify that I am on the right track before moving foward. 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 29, 2022 Aug 29, 2022

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" LR is seeking DNG files which only exists in LR and are not stored anywhere (as I never exported them). "

 

That's an incorrect assumption. They are recorded in LR, but they exist in a regular Explorer folder. That's what Copy as DNG means - copy the file. LR itself is a catalogue, and contains no photos - it records where they are.

 

So, the next step is to find where they are, and why they are now missing.

 

For example, you may have done Copy as DNG, LR will have created the DNGs somewhere, and in Explorer you may have deleted that somewhere.

 

In LR's folders panel, see where they are supposed to be. Let's see a screenshot showing Folders panel and the grid.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 28, 2022 Aug 28, 2022

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You are trying to solve this problem the wrong way. Because you converted the raw files to DNG on import, Lightroom only knows the DNG files. Then you made a mistake (like moving or renaming the folder with those DNG files) so now Lightroom says the DNG files are missing. You cannot solve that by trying to reconnect the missing DNG files to their original raw files, unless you would do this one by one. Find the folder with the DNG files and reconnect it.

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-photos-missing-fix/

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 29, 2022 Aug 29, 2022

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Hi Johan. Thanks for helping. 

Yes - you are correct. Only issue is that I dont believe I have any DNG files -  I assumed that converting during import process means they are just modifications within the lightroom program and therefore only exist in the 'cloud' and will not be stored anywhere until I download the LR files. Is this correct?

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Community Expert ,
Aug 29, 2022 Aug 29, 2022

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@-Lee wrote:

Hi Johan. Thanks for helping. 

Yes - you are correct. Only issue is that I dont believe I have any DNG files -  I assumed that converting during import process means they are just modifications within the lightroom program and therefore only exist in the 'cloud' and will not be stored anywhere until I download the LR files. Is this correct?



No, that is not correct. If you convert raw files to DNG on import, then Lightroom creates a DNG copy and that copy will be the original that Lightroom uses as the original photo. The original raw file will play no part in Lightroom (Lightroom will not manage it and will not even record that it exists) and neither does the cloud. Lightroom Classic does not use the cloud for imports!

 

The only time that Lightroom Classic does use the cloud is for synchronising selected images as smart previews if you want that. Because smart previews are a special kind of small DNG files, that is probably what caused your confusion. 

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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