Imported photos OK but no photos in catalog

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I'm new. I have a MacBook Pro with an attached Drobo to hold my single big catalog. Works fine. I went to Canada with the MacBook Pro and created a catalog on the internal drive to import and edit a hundred or so photos. No problems with creating a new catalog, I think--it seemed to work fine.

I returned home, attached the McBook Pro to the Drobo, opened the single big catalog, and imported the 100 photos from the little catalog on the laptop using the "Import from another catalog" command. The photos came across perfectly--all the edits were there, and the metadata all seems right.

But the folders (year month day) in my single big catalog were empty. There was a folder for every day that I had taken one or more photos--but the folders are empty.

When I click "last import" -- the photos are there. When I click on "show folder in library" -- I'm brought back to the laptop catalog.

OK. What happened? Second, how should I use my laptop in the field to import and edit and then transfer photos into my single big catalog?
 
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One thing that can be odd is that the path names for imports from other catalogs are often brought along. I did some where I had them as \vacation\date, but because they were (windows) in c:\users\ferguson\pictures\vacation\date or something like that, when I imported the catalog the much too long catalog names came over also.

My GUESS is they are there and somehow the way they are displayed you are just not seeing them in the folders. When you go "go to folder in library" do you see anything highlight on the left? Might the drive letter be hiding it (expand the drives shown)?

Do you have a Show in Finder (or whatever Mac says) that you can see where they really are on disk? Start there, and see where that is in the display on the folder panel?
 
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When I go to 'show in folder in library', the display is of the photos on the laptop. In other words, when I copy the catalog from the laptop into the main catalog in the Drobo, the photos themselves still reside on the laptop and are not in the Drobo. So, I'm seeing them in the grid view when I have the main catalog open (in 'last import'), but when I look to the left-hand menu, there are the days the photos were taken--but those folders are grayed out and the number of photos in each folder is "0". Yes, I've imported them says Lightroom, but the photos shown are residing in the laptop and the main catalog doesn't have them.

When I'm in my main catalog, how do I reach out and bring in photos that are in another Lightroom catalog? I guess that is my fundamental question.
 
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They're not IN the other catalog (catalogs don't contain photos, they reference them), and if they're still on the internal hard drive of the laptop that likely means that when you "imported from another catalog" you had this option selected in the File Handling section of the dialog:

snap1.png

Or you did use this option:

snap2.png

......but didn't change the destination folder to be the Drobo? Not sure where the dated folders came from, if they were created by that import it sounds like a bug. I haven't tested the scenario of importing from a catalog that had images in the same dated folder system as the main catalog, I assume things would slot into place but can't be 100% certain. Others on here would know though.

Using your main catalog, you should be able to see the folders containing the images listed under the internal drive. If so you can use drag and drop to move them from the internal drive to the corresponding folder on the Drobo.
 
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Thank you. I now see one of my errors. Thanks for the two screen shots!

I'm concerned that I created a problem with my multiple attempts to solve the problem. I followed your screenshot and had four pictures that came across along with their edit information. But, I still had grayed out folders and missing photos.

So, I deleted all the photo information from the main catalog on Drobo. I then imported all the photos off my camera card into the main catalog and then deleted everything from the laptop catalog/pictures folder.

Next, I'll do a test picture, import to the laptop, and then do a "copy catalog" from the laptop catalog to the main catalog. Once I get it right, I'll document and do it a couple of more times.

Comments?
 
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If you have greyed out folders and missing photos, do not delete and reimport them! That will delete all the work you've done. Depending on why they are missing (in your case because they are probably still on the hard disk of the laptop), the right method is to let Lightroom know where the images are. That is easy to do and we can help you doing it in a specific case.
 
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Johan, Thank you. What is the best way to connect catalog data and the picture?

That depends a bit on why an image or folder is missing. If you used 'Import from Another Catalog' and you did not move the images to a new location, then the images will still be in a folder on the original disk. If it's possible to connect that original disk, then the images are automatically reconnected again. You can then move them in Lightroom (using drag and drop) to the new location on your main computer.

If you copied the image folder manually to the new location already, then you just want to tell Lightroom what that new location is. In that case you right-click on the missing folder, choose 'Find Missing Folder' from the contextual menu and navigate to the new folder location in the dialog that follows. You select the folder and you're done.

Finally, let's assume you used 'Import from Another Catalog', but you moved the images manually to an existing folder on your main computer. Perhaps that is a folder that is also already used by Lightroom, but Lightroom doesn't know you moved the new images into that folder, so they are still shown as missing. In that case you can click on the exclamation mark shown on one of the images. Lightroom then asks you to locate it. You locate it in the dialog that follows, and you check the option to also do this on 'nearby' images.
 
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Thanks! Very clear explanation. I went to work on your suggestion this morning, but Lightroom crashed on boot.

My main catalog has has six "Temporary Import Data" files in the catalog folder. When I try and start Lightroom, Lightroom crashes. OK. I understand. I go to delete the "Temporary Import Data" files, and the machine give the message "The operation can’t be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50)".

I had this problem once before, and I was able to delete those files. However, I can't remember, and I didn't write a note to myself about that particular issue. Can you help?
 
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Thanks! Very clear explanation. I went to work on your suggestion this morning, but Lightroom crashed on boot.

My main catalog has has six "Temporary Import Data" files in the catalog folder. When I try and start Lightroom, Lightroom crashes. OK. I understand. I go to delete the "Temporary Import Data" files, and the machine give the message "The operation can’t be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50)".

I had this problem once before, and I was able to delete those files. However, I can't remember, and I didn't write a note to myself about that particular issue. Can you help?

If I understand it correctly, those temporary files are used by Lightroom to write to when writing directly to the catalog would take too much time. That means that a crash during that stage can indeed corrupt the catalog. The best option by far is to remove those files, and to replace the catalog file by a backup.
 
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