Lost photos and organizing them once found

Community Beginner ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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I resisted getting a new computer for years because I knew that the migration would be a nightmare. And I was right. Finally, everything seems to have migrated but it's a mess. (I should add that I'm not at all sure that what I've done so far is correct.)

 

I'm using Lightroom 11.1 on a Mac running Monterey 12.2.1

 

When I look at the current organization, the absolute top line is Macintosh HD—Data. Below that are all of my folders and subfolders. The subfolders are in the right place. Their is no My Lightroom Photos folder.

 

All of the pictures are lost. I'm staring down the barrel of going through everything, folder by folder, and locating one picture in each. Not fun.

 

Is there a better/easier way to do this? I seem to remember that I once found one photo and the whole catalog fell into place. But if that happened, I have no idea how recreate it. Never mind that. I'll try anything.

 

Note that when I do find a folder, the folder remins but of the pictures disappear. The photo count is reduced to zero. But a new folder is created with the same name that contains all of the pictures. Maybe that's not a problem. I'm just saying.

 

Of course, photos in subfolders are not found. Another chore.

 

Next, if I can find everything, I'll have to organize it. I know that my topline should be "My Lightoom Photos" and everything should be in that. But I can't create anything at the top level, I can only create subfolders. I can only move to the right and, sometimes, I have to go left.

 

My first born has his bags packed and is ready to be shipped to anyone who can help. It's that bad.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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This covers it in detail:

 

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/moving-lightroom-free-ebook-2021/

Sean McCormack. Author. Magazine Writer. Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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I must have looked at ten "How to migrate" guides before I actually did it. I'm past that at this point. I have the advantage of reading ahead in these replies but this is the first in a chain of second guessers that apparently don't have anything better to do than take shots at me for what a tech idiot I am. (A point I would have happily conceded before any of this started.) 

 

You're hardly as bad as some of what is to come but, if you can't help, it would have been better to stay silent than to say "told you so" and plug a book.

 

But you're a pro, right? You must know how to make a larger folder that I can put others into. You must know how to move left. I'd love any help you could give me on the subject. Be a great chance to plug another book.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 15, 2022 Mar 15, 2022

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If the Folders panel (in the Library module, not in Import) shows the folders you expect, then that means photos were imported. If photos were imported, all of them will be listed under the All Photographs collection. And if they are there, any of them can be located using the Go To Folder in Library command (to reveal its location in the catalog) or the Show in Finder command (to reveal the original file on the Mac desktop).

 

All of those details are shown below: You can always have Lightroom Classic show you where it thinks any photo is stored. After you locate any photo, it can be reorganized. The demo below starts with no photos visible, then clicks on the All Photographs collection to show every cataloged photo, then selects a photo and determines its folder location by choosing Photo > Go to Folder in Library. Lightroom Classic then reveals the folder where that photo is stored. Does this help?

 

Lightroom Classic locate any photo in Library v01.gif

 


@paul6001 wrote:

Their is no My Lightroom Photos folder.


 

Were you storing everything in a folder called My Lightroom Photos before? Because it dosn’t have to be that name, the top level name is not the same for everyone. The top level name shown in the Folders panel should be the name of the volume storing the photos (internal or external).

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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I was storing everything in a "My Lightroom Photos" folder at the top level. I suppose that it's not critical that everyone use the same name, but when I first got Lightroom, I got the most popular guidebook and the need for one folder to hold all the others was a point made early in the book with uncommon urgency. I've always considered that the first of the commandments when it came to Lightroom.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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"The top level name shown in the Folders panel should be the name of the volume storing the photos." 

 

Maybe it should be. But it's not. The question is how to create such a folder. I can create smaller and smaller folders but can't go the other way and create a bigger folder into which everything else will fit. Thoughts.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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Conrad, I very much appreciate your post even if it hasn't always helped. Unlike many others here, you seem to be on the side of the angels. 

 

Turning to your first and primary point—Yes, I realize that everything has been moved and the pictures are in the new computer. The question, as you know, is finding them. I haven't yet tried your "All Photographs" suggestion because it appears that it will only help me locate individual files. I'm looking for a technique (that may not exist) that will allow me to locate every individual file with just one move.

 

Am I misreading you? Is that what your technique will accomplish?

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Guide ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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Just look at the options available when you right-click a folder in the Library and all should become clear...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 17, 2022 Mar 17, 2022

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LATEST

paul6001, to really figure this out we should back up and verify our assumptions. What we know for sure are two things:

1. You got a new Mac.

2. You copied files from your old Mac to your new Mac.

 

What would help is to know how the photo folders were moved from the old to new Mac. Which of the following were done?

A. The old Mac’s files were transferred to the new Mac using Migration Assistant.

B. The old Mac’s files were manually copied to the new Mac.

C. The old Mac’s files were on an external volume, and they are still there, but plugged into the new Mac.

 

To view your Lightroom Classic photos, are you:

A. Opening the same Lightroom Classic catalog you were using on the old Mac.

B. Opening a new Lightroom Classic catalog you created on the new Mac.

C. Opening an upgraded Lightroom Classic catalog because you upgraded Lightroom Classic at the same time you got a new Mac.

 

Your answers to those questions might help give us a better starting point for figuring things out.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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There's no reason moving catalog and photos to a new computer has to be a nightmare. It was been incredibly simple for me, I have never had a problem moving to a new computer in the 12+ years of using Lightroom. Just a few weeks ago, I got a new Windows 11 computer and the transfer of Lightroom catalog and photos could not have been simpler or smoother.

 

Copy everything, leaving the folder hierarchy of folders unchanged, put the copied folders in the exact same locations as they were in on the old computer. Then no re-connecting needed. Two steps: 1. copy catalog; 2.copy photos to exact same locations as they were in on the old computer; that's it, if you do it right.

 

The reason some people find it to be a nightmare is that they don't understand how catalogs work, they don't follow instructions (there are several instruction out there on the internet that you can find), and instead they perform unnecessary tasks that often make the situation worse.

 

Follow the instructions. Do not add in extra steps. Do not think that the instructions mean a different thing than they actually say. Do not try to do it "your" way.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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Thanks for the "told you so." Can't imagine why I chose to make up my own methods instead of following the book.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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Note that when I do find a folder, the folder remins but of the pictures disappear. The photo count is reduced to zero. But a new folder is created with the same name that contains all of the pictures. Maybe that's not a problem. I'm just saying.

 

Expected behavior.

 

Of course, photos in subfolders are not found. Another chore.

 

You can connect entire "trees" of folder just by connecting the parent folder rather than subfolder by subfolder.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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Sounds like a good idea. How does one connect trees or connect the parent folder with the subfolders??

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Guide ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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Perhaps you should have asked for assistance before attempting the migration?

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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A second "told you so." Although this one sort of adds, "Told you so, moron." I didn't ask for assistance because, as my friend dj_paige put it so eloquently above, it all seemed so easy. Just follow the instructions and all would be well.

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