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Unable to re-edit image without deleting catalog

Participant ,
Jan 25, 2023 Jan 25, 2023

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New amateur photographer here. I've been using LR for almost a year on a PC as part of Adobe's software suite.
I have the version that manages the catalog for you. Hate the idea of software managing something I didn't ask for.

Every time I want to re-edit an image that I've already edited, I have to delete the catalog file so that Her Highness will allow me to re-edit.
To the Adobe programmers, I hope your coffee machine doesn't behave with the same twisted logic
and your car don't take you to work on your day off, because that's how it decided.
The question for LR users:
Is there a simple way to re-edit an image RAW or JPEG -without deleting the catalog file?
(the edit / DEV option is grayed out and there are no functional menus)
LR Classic 12.1  -updated.
Win10 -updated.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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Can you post screenshots of what you see? Obviously you do not have to delete the catalog to make further edits. You should simply be able to continue making edits. Embed the screenshot(s) using this button 5C7990C3-0BB4-44DC-9434-B2446BB407AB.jpeg . Do not attach them, please.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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Hate the idea of software managing something I didn't ask for.

 

Maybe you are using some other software than Lightroom or Lightroom Classic, because everything you said does not sound like Lightroom or Lightroom Classic. Could you confirm what software you are using?

 

Neither of those programs do things to your photos that you didn't ask for (although there are default operations, maybe you don't like those; defaults are easy to change).

 

Every time I want to re-edit an image that I've already edited, I have to delete the catalog file so that Her Highness will allow me to re-edit.

 

Of course this is not true. The photos are in the Lightroom Classic catalog, you find it in the catalog and then you can re-edit as much as you want. Please take the time to learn how the software works; a good resource is the free e-book for Lightroom Classic beginners.

 

But with the attitude you are expressing, maybe you would be better off finding some other software to use. This has caused you a lot of grief, and prevented you from learning how it works in a whole year, definitely consider switching to some other software that you would like better.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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Every time I want to re-edit an image that I've already edited, I have to delete the catalog file so that Her Highness will allow me to re-edit.

 

Ask yourself a quick question: how often do you see other people complaining about this?

 

Answer: you don't. You can edit and re-edit any file in Lr as often as you want, and Lr won't have a single thing to say about it.

 

So that means there's something about your local set-up, or how you're using Lr, that's the problem.

 

It would help if you told us what actually happens when you try and re-edit a file - your complaint is pretty light on actual useful detail...

 

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Advocate ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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Do you mean that you cannot re-edit an exported image file? That is true, but nothing is final and fixed until export. The edit instructions in the catalog are just that, no more than provisional instructions, easily changed. Recently, motivated by LR's latest technical advances, I have been using some spare time to redo old photos that were originally imported into LR 15 years ago and have patiently been waiting to be renewed. The only problem is that once you have accumulated a backlog of about a hundred thou, the vision of all the wonderful updates you could do becomes a remote dream.

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Participant ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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"Do you mean that you cannot re-edit an exported image file?"
exactly. After the file has been exported I cannot edit it again.

 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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After the file has been exported I cannot edit it again.

 

Well you can, but you'd have to reimport it, as it's a new file to LightRoom's catalogue.

 

But why would you even want to do that?

 

All of the editing decisions applied to the original export are saved to the database, and will be there for you to build on if you re-edit the original RAW. You can even choose to overwrite the earlier export with the subsequent one, if you only want one "live" copy of the output file.

 

That's kinda the point of LightRoom, and non-destructive RAW processing in general.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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Every time I want to re-edit an image that I've already edited, I have to delete the catalog file so that Her Highness will allow me to re-edit.

By @Takeone.Digital

 

The way it's intended to be used is that you don’t have to delete anything, instead you open the same catalog, select the same original, switch into the Develop module, and simply continue on with more edits and export the edited copy again.

 

Are you using a different workflow, like importing, editing, exporting, and (this would be unusual and not recommended) deleting the original from the catalog, leaving you with only the exported copy?

 

Deleting the catalog is a very unusual step that just about no one else does, so that suggests the application is not being used in the way it was designed.

 

If used as intended in a nondestructive workflow, editing and re-editing in Lightroom Classic is extremely flexible and productive. For example, in the Develop module, all your previous edits for a specific photo are available in the History panel so that even if you close the application and then re-open it a week later, you can always add to the same image’s earlier edits, or roll back/reset to any previous edit state including before you started editing.

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Participant ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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it's greyed out in DEV mode if the image has been exported.
Or- you can't swich to DEV if to be precise. 
if there is a way -it's a prove that Adobe interfaces in Priemere Photoshop and LR is the lauzest large scale UI ever build. Nothing for the user ease of use - NEVER intuitive or clear like it can and should be. 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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it's greyed out in DEV mode if the image has been exported.
Or- you can't swich to DEV if to be precise.

By @Takeone.Digital

 

If there is a problem switching to the Develop module or the original is not available, that is something we might help troubleshoot. But in general, that is not something that normally happens to most people.

 

What normally happens, with thousands of Lightroom Classic users including working professionals, is that we can freely switch back between modules and it doesn’t depend on whether the image has been exported. If it’s happening to you, we need to figure out what is different about how you are using it.

 

For example, one possible cause of Develop not being available is that the file you want to edit is no longer at the same folder location or filename as it was when you last edited it. Lightroom Classic works very similarly to a video editor or page layout application (Adobe or non-Adobe) in that it references the original file’s filename and location. We can check that.

 

When viewing the image thumbnail in the Grid or Filmstrip, do you see an exclamation point icon [!] on the image’s thumbnail? If so, then the original image is not found. Click that icon to show Lightroom Classic where it is now, and Develop should become available. Does that help?

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Participant ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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Obviously the original images are in the same directory. I never move originals. 
I export to a directories with different names and keep a uniform folder/directory hierarchy.
At noon I deleted the catalog file (again) from the PC so I can't upload a screenshot to prove that it's just greyed out. its was greyed out in the previuos versions as well. The point is - I DON'T WANT Adobe to manage a catalog for me or to delete image files from the hard disk (yes, there is such an option and it is not hidden in the interface like image re-editing). A support representative said that a simple version of LR, which saves files in Adobe's cloud, does not manage a catalog.
Did you understand the logic?
You will pay more for the hosting space becasue that version don't do the management for you...
corporate worldview.

Usability can be described as the capacity of a system to provide a condition for its users to perform the tasks safely, effectively, and efficiently while enjoying the experience"

 

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LEGEND ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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Clearly sounds like you need some classes or view tutorials. Following is a great source:

 

https://jkost.com/blog/lightroom-training-videos

 

 

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Participant ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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you convinced that interface of photo editing software needs preliminary study which proves that Adobe Corporation did a good job. You will be surprised, but there are editing programs that users don't need to learn an interface. Why would anyone even think to block my ability to edit a photo again?

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LEGEND ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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Please reply with a step by step workflow of what is occurring, of what you are trying. Including screen captures will help. What you are stinting seems so very very out of step with other members experience and workflow that we cannot help but scratch our heads wondering what the heck.

 

Are you getting an error message

Is something simply not occurring.

Did someone give you some bad info

Is their a complete lack of knowledge on the software. 

 

 

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Participant ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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I open the LR by clicking on a RAW file in folder of images that have undergone initial filtering. From there I reach the LR gallery screen. I mark the images/thumbnails I want to import> import and from there I go to the LR DEV screen. I edit each image separately and export to different directories. At noon I (again) deleted the catalog file, so I can't upload a screenshot of a greyed out image from a gallery screen in LR.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 26, 2023 Jan 26, 2023

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"I open the LR by clicking on a RAW file in folder of images that have undergone initial filtering."

 

That suggests a desire to run LrC, to run your workflow for LrC from a viewpoint of starting with images on a desktop, selecting those/it as images desired to work on, and so forth. A very Apple MAC centric approach..

Now, yes, you can do that, it is not the norm, but it can work.

 

Most of us just double click on the LrC shortcut.

 

This also brings up another observation:

 

"I have the version that manages the catalog for you. Hate the idea of software managing something I didn't ask for."

 

Ok, Lightroom Classic is a data asset management (DAM) program, it is a database manager, the catalog is a SQLite database, The program is meant to manage where the photos are (the catalog keeps records on that) and what you want done to them.

 

Oh, and perhaps a clue:

 

"of a greyed out image from a gallery screen in LR."

 

Is that in the import screen? Are you trying to import a photo into an existing, not deleated, catalog that you previously imported that photo into? 

 

Basicaly, and simplified, LrC workflow is:

 

  • Start LrC
  • Library module comes up, normally by default
  • Place SD card in card reader (keeping this simple)
  • Select Import
  • Select the photos you want to import
  • Select the destination for the import
  • Import
  • In library module, edit metadata if desired, add flags if desired, labels if desired, etc.
  • Select Develop module, select image,
  • Modify as you see fit
  • When happy, you can export, the export is a new photo
  • Close LrC if you are done for now
  • Come back, restart LrC, rethink those edits. You can add more edits, you can eliminate those edits, you can create virtual copy's and accomplish separate edits, whatever you desire.

 

Some things you do not or should not do:

 

  • Re-import photos already in the catalog
  • Delete a perfectly good catalog
  • Move/rename/delete folders or photos outside of LrC. Oh you can, but you create unnessacary work in repair.
  • Fail to backup the catalog to a seperate hard drive
  • Fail to backup the photos to a seperate hard drive
  • Fail to understand backing up the catalog does not backup the photos
  • Misunderstand that the photos are not in the catalog, Remember the catalog is just a database.
  •  

 

 

 

I suspect we need to understand what you are attempting after you export, what you tried next, what failed.

 

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Participant ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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Golding, I really appreciate the patience and detailed answers.
The problem looks like this: on the gallery screen, all images appear from the library from which I have already edited and exported photos. The photos I have already edited and exported are grayed out. They cannot be clicked on or marked for import. The images that have not been exported appear "as usual". I can edit in DEV the clickble "usuall" images only.  I'll come back to this thread or start a new one with screenshots when the problem resurfaces. I trust Adobe that it will indeed appear.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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Golding, I really appreciate the patience and detailed answers.
The problem looks like this: on the gallery screen, all images appear from the library from which I have already edited and exported photos. The photos I have already edited and exported are grayed out. They cannot be clicked on or marked for import. The images that have not been exported appear "as usual". I can edit in DEV the clickble "usuall" images only.  I'll come back to this thread or start a new one with screenshots when the problem resurfaces. I trust Adobe that it will indeed appear.


By @Takeone.Digital


Sounds like you are trying to import photos again that are already in the catalog. That is not how Lightroom works and so Lightroom does not allow that. If you are unwilling to learn how a professional grade application like Lightroom works, then don't blame Adobe for writing such an application but find some simple image editor that you understand right from the start. Or accept that Lightroom Classic does indeed have a learning curve. And maybe get the free eBook at https://www.lightroomqueen.com to start learning.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Participant ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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It's a bit like blaming the messenger...
Now imagine you are renting a car abroad but instead of a steering wheel you have a driving mechanism based on head movements and eye blinks. They have a great manual that is only 4593 pages long.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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It's a bit like blaming the messenger...

 

It really isn't. You're complaining about Lr not doing what you expect it to do - which it isn't doing because it's not designed to do that.

 

In other words - user error.

 

Now - it might not be that, but you've written nothing that rules it out: and the first step in doing that is you demonstrating that you understand how Lr is supposed to work.

 

As you like car analogies - you're complaining that you've rented a car abroad and it flatly refuses to take off and fly you to your destination of choice.

 

In the one you use, you'd get the same reply you've been given here several times: doesn't matter that it's not how you expect, that's how it's designed to work, and you need to learn how to use it.

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Participant ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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According to your approach, one have to read manuals and spend hours in front of YouTube to understand how a software works. Sometimes it's true- but not in this case. If you have to learn software that all it does is edit photos "and manage a catalog" it indicates that its design is scandalous. Think about the fact that few of the billions of Android Windows or iPhone users have taken courses and read articles to understand how to operate their mobile phone. YES - an operating system or cyber security system or network servers have much more complex tasks than an image processing application. 
You are welcome to read a bit about interfaces and usability to understand why I am making these claims otherwise, we just argue in vain. 
and you know what's funny? That my photo edits is not bad at all -for someone who never tried to learn the "working processes" in LR.
or LR CC
or LR Classic
or LR CC classic convertble 

or whatever duplicate name/ version the smart guys of this corporate thought of...

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LEGEND ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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Fine - so you really just want to boast about your ignorance, and don't actually want any help from the forum members, you just want them to waste their time on you, when they could be doing something productive with it.

 

So figure it out for yourself, smart guy - your "edit problem" is you.

 


@Takeone.Digital wrote: and you know what's funny? That my photo edits is not bad at all -for someone who never tried to learn the "working processes" in LR.


In your opinion - yet you're still here asking why the software does what it's supposed to instead of what you think it should do...

 

A little bit of humility would probably serve you well. The fact remains that unless you learn how to use Lr properly, it's going to be too much for you - which it clearly is.

 

 

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Participant ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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You are as sensitive as beliver who defends the crimes of a religious priests. It's a software interface that created the problem. I'm trying to point to the direction that will fix the problem for everyone and for the future. You say - let's perpetuate the problem and just study it instead of talking about problems. Think about it for a moment without anger and ego. Usability has a test that measures how and what the user was able to do. does LR is marketed and presented as digital archive software for photographs or as photo editing software?- and this is the case as far as I understand as most of the market perceives LR, then the editing interface does not have to come with operational explanations. There are programs that do not need to be learned by reeading in any way and you are probably using one of these right now. By the way, the human operating system is the most complex and advanced of them all and I am still learning it's interface of me and others. I hope next time I will be more understandable. Peace.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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@Takeone.Digital 

As you are new here, I would ask you to review the Using the Community  link at the bottom of the page.

Generally new users, find better success asking questions of the experts and listening to what they say, rather than arguing with them. You have at least 5 Community Experts/Community Legends on your thread. I think it makes good sense to listen to what they are telling you. 

Ultimately, it is your choice how you wish to conduct yourself here but please keep it within the guidelines. 

Rikk Flohr - Customer Advocacy: Adobe Photography Products

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Participant ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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The members here want to help and I thanked them more than once if you bothered to read the thread. Just remember, that tags and ranks including your forums are not the reason I bought your software package nor half of the software I pay for.
So far some have recommended studying (which I do anyway, reluctantly) and some did not believe the description of the problem I provided or blame me for doing someting "very wrong". I did not reject the recommendation- just explained the failure within this approach.
Does my complaint about Adobe's poor interface and detailing why I think so violate Adobe's Community Guidelines? maybe.
If not, it's a bit hard for me to understand why you appeared here. I guess to explain my ranking in front of people who are important to Adobe's forums. Feel free to block me if you want but as long as I deal with the problem concretely and don't tease people, no amount of "disciplinary" reprimand will make me shut up about your interface problems.
I respect and have shown that I respected the forum member who responded concretely to the problem.

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