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The mystery of the missing photos

Explorer ,
Mar 30, 2022 Mar 30, 2022

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One of the folders that I have imported in LR has disappeared. The folder is there, the previews are there, the original photos are there, but something strange has happened. The photos cannot be opened, I can see them in the finder (mac) and in the LR but I cannot open them only some (10 of 350). Mysteriously the LR previews look fine except for the edited ones which look very blurry.

It is as if all the photographs of that collection except 10 had been corrupted, they are there but it is as if they were not. the 10 that it lets me open weigh 25mb and the ones that it doesn't let me weigh much less, (10mb, 4mb some weigh 1kb)
I don't know what could have happened, maybe I changed the name of the folder in the finder and LR went crazy and broke everything. I do not know.

this is the strangest thing that has happened to me on a computer

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Community Expert ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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Changing the name of a folder does not make Lightroom go crazy. It will report the folder and thus all the images inside it as 'missing', but nothing should happen with their reported size. This sounds like something went wrong when the photos were imported or copied later. An image that only takes 1KB disk space is obviously not realistic. What does Lightroom report when you try to open such images?

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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Are there exclamation point icons on the photos (see Figure 2) or question mark icons on the folders (see Figure 3), as shown in this document?

 

It is entirely possible that some of the photos are now corrupted (which would account for the big changes in the file size), if that's what happened you will need to restore the photos from your backups. If that's what happened, then your hard disk is malfunctioning and you need to run diagnostics on it (and likely will have to replace it).

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Community Expert ,
Mar 31, 2022 Mar 31, 2022

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Never change the name of folders (or images, delete them, rename them, move them) OUTSIDE of Lightroom Classic. It has no idea what you just did. And then you get the warning (use the Update Folder Location command to re-connect that folder for LR). All these finder tasks can and should be done in Lightroom Classic so it 'knows' what you want to do. Outside of it, you've just gone behind its back and confused it, but there are again ways to update the changes you made:

Command Click for contextual menu aboveCommand Click for contextual menu above

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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LEGEND ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Clarification:

 

  • If the folder has a question mark icon, you use "Find Missing Folder" (you can use this to point LrC to a new folder if you have COPIED not MOVED) a folder
  • If the folder does not have a question mark icon, you use "Update Folder Location" (you can use this if you have MOVED or RENAMED a folder)

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