The file is associated with another photo in the catalog

New Here ,
May 30, 2019 May 30, 2019

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Hi everyone - need a helping hand here.

While processing a bunch of digitized negatives (with a D850 so am working with NEF files) using Negative Lab Pro in LR, I discovered a few that weren't behaving well when converting to positives so I went back and re-imported a few images from the camera.  I put them into a separate folder in LR and just finished up the first.  The conversion worked well, so I exported to the separate folder. 

Wanting to get those corrected files moved into my original file structure, I renamed (using Windows Explorer) the "bad" NEF in the file structure, then, inside LR, moved the "good" image in LR from the separate folder to my original folder.  Checking (again, in Windows Explorer) that the "good" NEF file was there (it is), I clicked on the Folder in LR and noticed that I have the ! in the upper right of the image.  Having learned the hard way, clicked on the ! and got the usual "....could not be used because the original file could not be found.  Would you like to locate it?" message.  Clicking Locate and navigating to the original folder, highlighting the flle and clicking Select results in a "The file XXX is associated with another photo in the catalog" message.

I've spent way too much time trying to find a resolution so am putting this SOS out.

Thanks in advance for all responses.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

LEGEND , May 31, 2019 May 31, 2019
You have two copies of this photo in your catalog. That's why when you try to reconnect one of the two cpies, you get the message that it is already associated with another photo in your catalog. So, you have to find both copies (in Lightroom, you can click on "All Photographs" and then search by file name), and then delete from the catalog (but not from the hard disk) the one you no longer want. Then you should be able to reconnect.

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LEGEND ,
May 31, 2019 May 31, 2019

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It’s not a good idea to rename or move files outside of Lightroom. That will break the catalog links. Is there any way you can restore the original names in Windows Explorer? That could save a lot of time searching for missing photos.

I’m not sure about the association. Do you have any virtual copies? Have you re-imported or used synchronize folders?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2019 May 31, 2019

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Lightroom uses more than the file name to recognize an image, that is why it noticed what you did. It knows that the ‘good’ files are already in the catalog. The solution should be simple in this case. First remove the new (good) files from the catalog. Then you should be able to reconnect the old files without getting this error.

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
May 31, 2019 May 31, 2019

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You have two copies of this photo in your catalog. That's why when you try to reconnect one of the two cpies, you get the message that it is already associated with another photo in your catalog. So, you have to find both copies (in Lightroom, you can click on "All Photographs" and then search by file name), and then delete from the catalog (but not from the hard disk) the one you no longer want. Then you should be able to reconnect.

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New Here ,
Jun 04, 2019 Jun 04, 2019

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OK, thank you - I managed to delete the offending file and was able to export the image but now have another issue that is highly frustrating.  I have exported a dozen images and when I open LR and select the folder, I see two images in LR - the NEF and the JPEG.  However, with these re-imported files, I don't see the JPEGs in LR.   I can see them in Windows Explorer but not in LR.

I also have searched for videos on how to move files in LR but everyone I see deals with moving files (in LR) from one drive to another.  All I want to do is move from one folder to another.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2019 Jun 05, 2019

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If you have raw+jpeg pairs and want to see the jpegs next to the raw files, then you have to check that option in the preferences.

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Jun 06, 2019 Jun 06, 2019

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Thanks for the response.  When I finished up my first image in LR, I Exported it and chose the JPEG option in File Settings and adjusted the Image Sizing to create an approximately 6Mb JPEG so I can share the photo wiith others.

I'm shooting pure RAW so the only JPEGs I am referring to are those created in LR.

When open LR and navigate to the folder that contains the RAW files that I previously manipulated in LR, I see the JPEG image next to it in the Grid View.  However, after all the issues I had regarding my "re-dos" as described earlier in this string, I no longer am able to see the JPEG image in LR after the Export of another image.  The original batch of LR-generated JPEGs are there, I just don't get to see the newly created ones.  I've made no changes in preferences so I am lost.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2019 Jun 06, 2019

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To see the exported JPGs in the Lightroom catalog you have some options-

1) When exporting- in the Export dialog- tick the box for [Add to this Catalog] in the 'Export Location' panel.

2) 'Add' the JPGs to the catalog by Importing the folder of JPG photos.

3) If the folder already exists in the Lr folder panel- Right-Click the folder and 'Synchronize Folder...'

Note, if you export photos to the same folder more than once- it is possible to 'Over-write' the first Export and be only left with one version of the Export- but you would normally get a warning message when doing this.

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.3, Photoshop 22.4.2, Lightroom 4.3, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 07, 2019 Jun 07, 2019

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kevinh3063037  wrote

Thanks for the response.  When I finished up my first image in LR, I Exported it and chose the JPEG option in File Settings and adjusted the Image Sizing to create an approximately 6Mb JPEG so I can share the photo wiith others.

I'm shooting pure RAW so the only JPEGs I am referring to are those created in LR.

When open LR and navigate to the folder that contains the RAW files that I previously manipulated in LR, I see the JPEG image next to it in the Grid View.  However, after all the issues I had regarding my "re-dos" as described earlier in this string, I no longer am able to see the JPEG image in LR after the Export of another image.  The original batch of LR-generated JPEGs are there, I just don't get to see the newly created ones.  I've made no changes in preferences so I am lost.

Check the preference setting anyway. If that option isn't checked, check it. Then use 'Synchronize Folder' like Wobert said.

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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I have a slightly different issue: my Explorer view of a folder AND my LR view shows my images properly (no duplications), but my smart collection of the same folder shows a duplicate of EVERY file with the ! mark, which LR says  "... could not be used because the original file could not be found". When I try to use LR's Locate button, LR says it is associated with another file. I tried to correct the problem by deleting the smart collection and re-creating it, but I still get the images with the ! mark. All 62 images have these "duplicates".

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LEGEND ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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You have (accidentally?) imported the photo twice. Do a search in Lightroom Classic, by file name, and you will see that the photo appears twice in your Lightroom Classic.

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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Yes, it DOES appear twice, BUT my regular LR folders only show ONE copy of each image in that folder. It is ONLY the Smart Collection that has dupllicates.  The other Smart Collections in the Set are OK as are all my other Smart Collection sets. I have never re-imported the files (besides, LR would warn me that the files being imported are duplicates, which I know would cause me to lose my captions, etc). These "duplicates" HAVE all my metadata changes. I notice from the metadata didplay, that ONE image comes form a folder called "Galapagos", while the other comes form "2013-06-07-Guayaquil". The ACTUAL folder named "Galapagos" has NO images at all, but is a superset of all folders from that trip.

 

WHOA!! While gathering this info for you, I clicked on the Collection SET label (Galapagos) and it showed all images from all the subfolders WITH the duplicates, but when I went back to the subfolder that "says" there are duplicates, THEY DISAPPEARED! Only the true images are present!! So I am REALLY Mystified as to WHY this happened and HOW it fixed itself!! I closed LRC, backed up the catalog, reloaded LRC and all  is well!!!

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LEGEND ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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Let's ignore folders, collections and smart collections for now. What happens if you click on All Photographs? If you search in All Photographs, with all filters turned off, do you find two photos with the same file name?

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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Yes. And both have the same metadata changes I made.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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Now that you have found 2 versions of what appears to be the same file in the "All Photographs" view, what folder does Lightroom Classic think each of these photos is in?

 

Do you have a preference on which one to keep?

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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one is in "Galapagos", the other is in "2013-06-07-Guayaquil". There is NO real folder called "Galapagos" with images in it, only sub-folders. And the one claiming to be in "Galapagos" is the one that LR says points to anopther image (it's twin in the aforementioned 2013 folder).

PS. "Galapagos" in LR has hundreds of "twins" And some of the images in "Galapagos" do NOT have dupes.

 

I want to keep the ones in 2013-06-08, because they have captions, but no keywords, whereas the ones in "Galapagos" have keywords, but no captions. Here's a clue I just detected: Some of the images are .NEF files with "twinned" .JPG images, but MOST of hte JPG's have copied the captions. CCould be that I added keywords after creating the JPG's in PS. Can I merge the JPG's? Or must I choose?

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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To give you an idea of what I'm seeing, here're 3 screen shots of just ONE image "tripled". The JPG inthe middel DOES exist as a true file, but not the one on the left.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2021 Jun 02, 2021

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So you have indeed imported the photo twice. This is rarely a good idea, as you can see, it causes problems, sometimes major problems. You can copy the desired metadata from one copy to the other, and then decide to keep the one with all the metadata.

 

I do not download attachments, so please include screen captures in your reply by clicking on the "Insert Photos" icon.

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New Here ,
Jun 02, 2021 Jun 02, 2021

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Here are 3 images of a pair of JPG's and the NEF they came from.

 

image.png

 

image.pngimage.png

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New Here ,
Jul 07, 2021 Jul 07, 2021

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Sorry for the very long delay. Medical emergency had me offline for a month. Since the "twins" have different metadata, is there a way to MERGE the info from one file with the info from the other, so nothing gets lost?

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LEGEND ,
Jul 07, 2021 Jul 07, 2021

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The only way I know to do this is to Sync Metadata in the Library Module. This would have to be done for each pair of "twins".

 

It may be (or it may not be, I don't know, I never tried) that the Syncomatic plug-in for John Beardsworth does this in bulk.

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