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How Do I Open A Previously Imported Photo

flathead

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I have been able to successfully import photos into lightroom, work with them and print. Once I close the program I am unable to again open the photo in lightroom (states the photo is a suspected duplicate). Only way I have been successful is to rename the file and import again. There must be something simple that I am overlooking.

Thanks, Flathead
 

RogerB

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I have been able to successfully import photos into lightroom, work with them and print. Once I close the program I am unable to again open the photo in lightroom (states the photo is a suspected duplicate). Only way I have been successful is to rename the file and import again. There must be something simple that I am overlooking.

Thanks, Flathead
You haven't grasped how LR works with images. You don't need to "open" them every time you want to work with them in the way that you do in, for example, Photoshop. When you import an image LR creates a record in its catalogue that contains everything LR knows about the image, including all your develop steps and so on.

Rather than me trying to explain it here, take a look at this article and then come back if you've further questions.

http://laurashoe.com/2009/04/06/about-your-images-and-the-lightroom-catalog-the-library-analogy/
 

Tony Jay

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Hi Flathead, welcome to Lightroom Forums.

In order to understand how Lightroom works a few fundamentals are required.
Lightroom has a few components that one needs to know about and also how they interact with each other.

Firstly Lightroom is an application which does things like raw conversions, printing etc.
Secondly Lightroom has a catalog which is also known as a database.
Thirdly Lightroom needs to access image files that are stored separately from both the application and the catalog.

The interactions between these three components will now be described.
The images files obviously exist independently of both the application and the database, however, unless they have been imported then Lightroom cannot work with them.
What does it mean to import an image?
Basically the following steps occur:

Lightroom records the address of that images and stores that information in the catalog (database).
Lightroom will also record a lot of metadata from that image and also store it in the catalog referenced to that image address.
All image files have small previews as part of their data and this is also recorded and stored.
Previews are stored separately to the catalog but are referenced by the catalog.
Usually Lightroom will generate several previews of different sizes that allow one to move from thumbnails to 1:1 previews.
It is the previews that one actually view within Lightroom never the actual image irrespective of whether it is a raw image or something else.
Once an image is imported then it should never need to be reimported since Lightroom has a memory of where that image is located and all the metadata that is relevant to that image.
This relationship can fail if the original image is deleted or the image file accidentally relocated on the hard drive by the OS or another application.
In addition, an imported image, cannot be re-imported - although it is possible to fool Lightroom into doing this it is not recommended. You are describing re-importing by renaming an image - not a good idea.

An imported image can be edited.
Lightroom is described as a parametric image editor.
What this means is that all the alterations or edits made to an image are recorded as instructions in the catalog referenced to the relevant image while the original image data remains untouched.
There are never any exceptions to this principle - the original file is NEVER altered.
When editing you will notice real-time changes taking place to that image. Lightroom has the ability to make real-time alterations to the previews that is being viewed that facilitate the editing process. No changes are being made to the original image.
Other forms of metadata can be added to imported images (usually IPTC metadata) such as keywords, copyright information etc. Unless this metadata is specifically written back to the original file any added metadata remains in the catalog.

When Lightroom is closed it can be reopened and will load the last catalog that was open unless that catalog is located on a hard drive that is inaccessible at the time of reopening. All images imported into that catalog will available just as before.

When the time comes for an image to be printed the data sent to the printer is a combination of the pixel data from the original image plus any edits that alter either tonal or colour data.
A similar process takes when exporting an image however in this case a new image file is generated, typically a JPEG or TIFF file but it can also be a DNG or any other file format that Lightroom supports.

This is just a summary of how Lightroom works and there is plenty more in the detail however this should be enough for a broad oversight.
We can offer plenty more detail as needed.

Tony Jay
 
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flathead

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I understand the structure part, I import an image and bring it up in the window everything is fine. My problem is that once i close that window or move to another image I am unable to bring that particular image up or edit it again. I can find it in the files but Lightroom will no longer open that image so that I can work on or print it.

Flathead
 

Conrad Chavez

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I understand the structure part, I import an image and bring it up in the window everything is fine. My problem is that once i close that window or move to another image I am unable to bring that particular image up or edit it again.
When you're done editing an image, you shouldn't be closing any windows. There's only one window in Lightroom and it's the catalog window, so if you close that window you have actually closed the entire catalog. When you're done editing an image, just go to another image if it's in the same catalog.

After you have imported an image into a catalog, it's always going to be in that catalog until you delete it. If you can find an image in your files on the desktop, in Lightroom you should always be able to expand the Folders panel in the Library view, expand the same folder, and find your image there. Or you can choose Library > Find, enter part of the filename, and Lightroom should take you right to it in the catalog.

Another thing that trips up some new users is that right after you import an image, Lightroom doesn't show it to you in its folder. It shows it to you in a temporary collection called "Previous Import." When you're viewing an image you can always choose Photo > Go to Folder in Library to see where Lightroom is really storing it.
 

Tony Jay

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I understand the structure part, I import an image and bring it up in the window everything is fine. My problem is that once i close that window or move to another image I am unable to bring that particular image up or edit it again. I can find it in the files but Lightroom will no longer open that image so that I can work on or print it.

Flathead
You are missing the point I think.
What you need to do is open Lightroom first and then look for the image in the Library module.

I also think that you need to describe in detail exactly what you are doing when importing, exactly where those images are being located etc.
To me it seems as if you are trying to use Lightroom like one would use Bridge and ACR.
 

flathead

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Ok, let me see if I understand this: The import process is merely linking Lightroom to an image file wherever it may reside. For example I have in the past stored my downloaded image files on a separate hard drive. Lightroom does not actually bring the file into the program but rather makes a link with a recipe for any modifications that I do to it (in NIK Software for example). In one image as an example I have modified the image 10 times changing changing contrast etc. In looking at the library (I am guessing you are referring to that strip of images along the bottom) how will I determine which image I have decided to be the best and how will I indicate that so I can choose the correct one next time I work with it? Can't do a file/save as.
Also Lightroom is making back up copies of my files...I guess. Are these actual files or just reference indicators to the original files?

Thanks, Steve
 

Jim Wilde

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Yes, you are beginning to understand it, but I think you'll find downloading and reading Victoria's free Quick Start Guide will answer many of your questions, and put you on a firm footing going forward.

Specifically answering your questions:

1. The strip at the bottom is called the Filmstrip. The Library module is the main module for organising images. In there are a lot of different tools to help you determine which is your best image out of a series, such as the Survey View and Compare View. Once you've decided which is the best you can use many methods to indicate it, such as applying a colour label, or a star rating, or a pick flag, or a keyword, etc.
2. No, Lightroom does not make backup copies of your files (other than the "Make Second Copy" option during import), if you are referring to the backup which can be run when you exit the program that it only backing up the catalog (the database which contains all the information about the imported images, which makes it vital to backup). Your image files need to be backed up by you separately. Lots of utilities available to help you do this.

Download Victoria's book and a lot of this will become clear.
 

Conrad Chavez

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Lightroom does not actually bring the file into the program but rather makes a link with a recipe for any modifications that I do to it (in NIK Software for example). In one image as an example I have modified the image 10 times changing changing contrast etc. In looking at the library (I am guessing you are referring to that strip of images along the bottom) how will I determine which image I have decided to be the best and how will I indicate that so I can choose the correct one next time I work with it? Can't do a file/save as.
In your example, if you have made 10 changes to an image, you will see just one image in the Library/Filmstrip showing the most recent version. That's why you don't have to Save or Save As, because Lightroom always displays an image with its current edit. If you want to see your image at any of your 10 edits, you can go to the Develop module and open the History panel. That a list of your edits that never goes away, and you can click any of the edits in the list to return to any earlier state.

If you wanted to see if one of your past edits is better than your current edit, you could click a History state, right-click it and choose "Copy History State Settings to Before". That sets the history step as the "Before" view when you switch into the Before/After comparison mode.

There are a lot more ways to store alternate versions of one image, like Snapshots and Virtual Copies. I second the recommendation to read Victoria's QuickStart guide, or buy her book.
 

flathead

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I created a folder inside my lightroom folder, dropped 3 new images inside of that folder. I next imported them into lightroom and was able to view them in the main window as well as in the filmstrip. I next pulled up several other images then tried to go back to the others that I had imported. They are no where to be found, not on the filmstrip either. This is the crux of my problem with lightroom.

flathead
 

flathead

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I created a folder inside my lightroom folder, dropped 3 new images inside of that folder. I next imported them into lightroom and was able to view them in the main window as well as in the filmstrip. I next pulled up several other images then tried to go back to the others that I had imported. They are no where to be found, not on the filmstrip either. This is the crux of my problem with lightroom.<br><br>flathead
 

flathead

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Shouldn't everything that I have imported into lightroom be showing up in the filmstrip? It is not, I am unable to navigate to previously imported images...
 

flathead

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ok, maybe I have stumbled onto something.....If I had failed to set the destination folder would that cause the file to become lost?

Now seem to have everything up on the film strip...switched something

Flathead
 
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Jim Wilde

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What you see in the Filmstrip will be the contents of whatever "selection" you have made. This could be "All Photographs", or a just a single folder, or a collection. These selections are made in the left hand panel in the Library Module where there are 3 main panels (Catalog, Folders, Collections....you'll get to Publish Services later)....so make sure they are open and expanded so that you can see what's there. Then click on the various items in those panels and observe how the contents of the filmstrip changes. In particular, click on All Photographs in the Catalog Panel and you should have all your pictures in the filmstrip. Then try with a just the last folder that you imported.

Learning to quickly and easily navigate through your library is very important, but it's not difficult. Read that Quick Start Guide!
 

Conrad Chavez

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ok, maybe I have stumbled onto something.....If I had failed to set the destination folder would that cause the file to become lost?
If you have ever been able to edit the photo in Lightroom, it isn't lost, because Lightroom can't edit a photo it has lost track of.

If you think you have lost a photo but you know where it is on the desktop, that's all the info you need to find it in Lightroom. In the Library module, go specifically to the Folders panel, expand it, and look for the name of the folder that contains the image. Any image imported into Lightroom must be listed somewhere in the Folders panel. Those are the same folders that are on your desktop.

If you didn't set a Destination folder when importing, the Import dialog box would have put the image in whatever folder is set as the Import default, and you would be now be able to find the file there, both in Lightroom and on the desktop. That would be true whether you imported using the Copy as DNG, Copy, or Move options.

If you imported with the Add option, edited the image, and then unmounted the card or other volume that you imported from, I guess you could make Lightroom lose track of the image that way. Is there any chance you imported and edited in that exact way?
 
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flathead

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I seem to be finding my images ok, just need to pay careful attention where I am placing them. I will keep you posted on how I am making out with that.
Another question: Am I able to resize a photo in Lightroom or do I need to do that in another application such as Paintshop Pro etc.? Any retouching would also need to be done in another application correct?

Thanks, Steve
 

Jim Wilde

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What do you mean by "resizing"? Cropping or reducing the pixel dimensions while keeping the image unchanged?

Cropping is easily done in the Develop Module, but reducing the pixel dimensions but keeping the same picture is done by exporting the image to produce the lower-resolution derivative (usually jpeg, but other derivative types are possible). Lightroom is a "non-destructive" editor, which means that the original image is never physically changed, so to get a changed version of the file you need to export it. All changes are stored in the catalog, and the preview file (which is what you actually see) is also updated to show you the results of your changes.....but the original file remains unchanged. Hence the need to export should you want to see the changed file outside Lightroom.

Retouching? Check out the Develop module!! A very powerful set of tools are available there, meaning the need to use an external application(e.g. Photoshop) is mostly unnecessary for many users. I do most of my post-processing in Lightroom (99%).
 
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Steve,
You need to slow down, listen carefully to the advise already provided. You can get yourself overwhelmed and confused to the point of total frustration and want to just give up on a great program. However once you understand how LR is designed to work, it's really very simple. The following link is to Adobe's Tutorials on Lightroom 5. I've watched them all, and they're certainly worth it.
ADOBE TV FOR LIGHTROOM 5

That's just one of numerous resources to learn how to use this program. It is really a very powerful product. (I never thought I would say that about any Adobe product). Aside from Adobe TV, B&H photo video has several "Event Space" videos on Youtube, where the masters do presentations, and Kelbyone.com has courses, however you must pay for those, or at least a paid subscription to Kelbyone.com.

Jim, Tony, Conrad and others on this forum are also "masters" of LR, I'm not, but have been hanging around here long enough, reading and following advise they provide. 90% of the time I don't need to post a question, as they have already provided answers to them. :)
 

flathead

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Thanks Guys, Your information has been a great help and I am slowly getting a work flow figured out.
By resize I mean going from say a full size 8*10 to 13*19. I always try to crop in the viewfinder not while processing the images. Usually working in tiff format and print most images in B&W. To date I have been using Elements-13 or Paint Shop Pro to resize and retouch my images.
Not really interested in paying Adobe a monthly subscription fee for Photoshop. As a former technology coordinator I have dealt with Adobe for years PIA being outdone only by Quark. Was enough to make me consider returning to the darkroom.

Flathead
 

Jim Wilde

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By resize I mean going from say a full size 8*10 to 13*19. I always try to crop in the viewfinder not while processing the images. Usually working in tiff format and print most images in B&W. To date I have been using Elements-13 or Paint Shop Pro to resize and retouch my images.
You can't change the aspect ratio like that in Lightroom without cropping. So in your example, if you have an image which already has a 4x5 aspect ratio, you'd need to create a custom crop ratio of 13x19, then apply the crop before printing (or exporting if printing at an outside lab).
 

Scottsrock3000

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I have been able to successfully import photos into lightroom, work with them and print. Once I close the program I am unable to again open the photo in lightroom (states the photo is a suspected duplicate). Only way I have been successful is to rename the file and import again. There must be something simple that I am overlooking.

Thanks, Flathead
you asked a very simple question and got loads of complicated replies, well here is your simple answer: click on "file handling in the top right of the import screen, now un-tick "don't import suspected duplicates". I'm sorry you had to go through lots of unnecessary stuff reccommended y people and hope this is the answer you were looking for
 

I-See-Light

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Hi Scottsrock3000,
A couple of points-
You are replying to a very old thread (2015),
And your answer is basically wrong advice. The correct answer is in Post#2.
You do NOT want duplicates of your files imported into Lightroom- it just complicates the catalog.
 
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