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Lightroom Photo Organising Nightmare

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irving.walker

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Apr 29, 2020
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Lightroom Version Number
Lightroom Classic
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  1. Windows 10
Sorry for the dramatic post title, but this has been doing my head in for days!

So my Lightroom is a little bit of a mess due to not understanding fully how it handled files for a few years when first using it. I have a number of collections and these sync with the cloud and that all seems to work ok. However, when I have been 'removing' photos from collections they have not been removed from Lightroom and my 'All Photos' has loads of duplicates and photos that I dont want.

I am trying to clean that up. I have tried a smart collection to show photos not in collections and then when I remove those it actually removes photos from collections.

I just tried a 3rd party software that was recommended on here to find duplicates. Seemed to work well and marked them all as 'rejected' I then filtered rejected photos and removed them. Again, it is removing photos that are in collections and not ones that are the ones I want to remove someone in the thousands of other photos on here. I tried to ctrl+z that action and this time it didnt work, so now a couple of collections in particular have lost a bunch of photos.

I can get them back sort of as I exported them as Jpegs, but dont know how or where to get the versions back that have the edit info.

In some ways I would like to start again with the whole thing, but I dont want to lose all the edited photos and that data.

Am I missing something or is this really tricky to do when it shouldnt be?
 
A collection is just a "bucket" to hold files, It is not where the files reside on the disk. Where the files reside on the disk is like your home. You can only live in one place. Collections are like Clubs. You can belong to many clubs but still live at your street address. To delete an image you need to go to the address where the image lives, the folder in the folder panel. You can resign from the Club membership but you will always live at "home". Collections are like Club memberships.

If you import images and turn on the "Do not inlet Suspected duplicates" Lightroom will not let you import files that have been imported before and NOT deleted from the filesystem.
 
A collection is just a "bucket" to hold files, It is not where the files reside on the disk. Where the files reside on the disk is like your home. You can only live in one place. Collections are like Clubs. You can belong to many clubs but still live at your street address. To delete an image you need to go to the address where the image lives, the folder in the folder panel. You can resign from the Club membership but you will always live at "home". Collections are like Club memberships.

If you import images and turn on the "Do not inlet Suspected duplicates" Lightroom will not let you import files that have been imported before and NOT deleted from the filesystem.

thank you. I do know how the collections work now but I couldn’t find a way to find just one collections photos in the all photos section. The original folder where the photos came from isn’t where many of the photos now are that have been imported of duplicated.
I think maybe lightroom moves the files when importing? I can get the originals back by importing again, but that doesn’t help me find them from within the ‘all photos’ section which is what I want to do.
I don’t want the originals with no edits I want the edited ones that must be somewhere but just are not in a collection anymore. Does that make sense?
 
However, when I have been 'removing' photos from collections they have not been removed from Lightroom and my 'All Photos' has loads of duplicates and photos that I dont want.
That is perfectly normal. Removing a photo from a collection only removes that photo from that collection. It does not remove the photo from the Lightroom catalog, nor from your hard disk. If you want to remove a photo from the catalog and possibly from your hard disk too, then you must do this from within 'All Photographs', or from within their folder in the folder panel.
 
That is perfectly normal. Removing a photo from a collection only removes that photo from that collection. It does not remove the photo from the Lightroom catalog, nor from your hard disk. If you want to remove a photo from the catalog and possibly from your hard disk too, then you must do this from within 'All Photographs', or from within their folder in the folder panel.

Thanks. Yeah I completely get how the collections work within Lightroom now. My current issue is that I have a few copies of the same file. Some in collections and some just sitting in 'All Photos'. I have removed some, but now I dont know how to get the versions back that have the edit data on them, as opposed to re-importing a bunch that have already been edited and saved as jpg
 
I think maybe lightroom moves the files when importing? I can get the originals back by importing again, but that doesn’t help me find them from within the ‘all photos’ section which is what I want to do.
This is, as I see, your biggest mistake. NEVER reimport. On import, you get three options . Copy, ADD, Move. The choice is yours at import Lightroom never changes the location of a cataloged image file after import. You can yourself move files around in the Folder panel yo a different location in the filesystem. But that is you, not Lightroom.

On import, if your source is a camera card ADD is not an option, you need to pick a destination in the destination panel.
If you already have the images on a non removable computer volume, you can choose ADD on import and Lightroom will catalog the Sources location as the Destination location.
If you already have the images on a non removable computer volume, and can choose MOVE, The you need to designate a destination in the Destination panel on import.
I do know how the collections work now but I couldn’t find a way to find just one collections photos in the all photos section.
I'm not sure that you do. Remove is your only option in a Collection and there is a difference between "Remove" and "Delete". Delete is available in the Folder panel and in the "All Photographs" special collection in the Catalog panel. If you select ALL of the images in the Collection, they will all be highlighted. If you then switch the grid view to the "All Photographs" special collection, they will still show up as highlighted.
 
This is, as I see, your biggest mistake. NEVER reimport. On import, you get three options . Copy, ADD, Move. The choice is yours at import Lightroom never changes the location of a cataloged image file after import. You can yourself move files around in the Folder panel yo a different location in the filesystem. But that is you, not Lightroom.

On import, if your source is a camera card ADD is not an option, you need to pick a destination in the destination panel.
If you already have the images on a non removable computer volume, you can choose ADD on import and Lightroom will catalog the Sources location as the Destination location.
If you already have the images on a non removable computer volume, and can choose MOVE, The you need to designate a destination in the Destination panel on import.

I'm not sure that you do. Remove is your only option in a Collection and there is a difference between "Remove" and "Delete". Delete is available in the Folder panel and in the "All Photographs" special collection in the Catalog panel. If you select ALL of the images in the Collection, they will all be highlighted. If you then switch the grid view to the "All Photographs" special collection, they will still show up as highlighted.

Yeah I know.. this mess is of my making completely! Years of not really knowing how it all works and now that I do know I realise its a bit of a mess. I have created a particular mess recently moving between Desktop and Laptop and it hasnt synced properly or something. Again, my fault I am sure, but its a mess!

I sort of would love to start again, but I want the photos that are in there to be ones that have edit data etc on them and not just re-import all the originals without edits OR edited jpgs that have been exported. So where are the photos kept that have the edited data on? Thats the bit that is messing with my brain right now.

I almost got it sorted on the desktop but now I have 370 photos 'syncing' but nothing is syncing at all, so thats a new problem it seems! haha

I do understand the collections and deletion. The collections I have are fine, but there are certatinly duplicate photos in lightroom somewhere now, and I wanted to get rid of them just to keep it tidy, but cant work out a way to find just them. I tried using smart collection searches for photos not in a collection, and then set those to rejected, go to all photos and filter rejected and 'delete' those from lightroom. They deleted, but a whole bunch of photos also got removed from my collections! These photos are supposed to 'not be in a collection'
 
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