Lost my RAW edits - Help

marb67

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#1
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I tried to move one folder in LR to somewhere else. This then threw LR into a confused state and it wouldn't recognise my folder trees I had set up. I hadn't backed up for some time since jan (as my pc takes far too long now) but I tried to load my last saved catalogues and I got the error "there was a problem loading" and it wouldn't restore. I I have since learned that it is better to save the data to each file as a sidecar file in the same folder but it's too late for me.

Is there any way I can get my earlier RAW edits back since LR does remember your last settings after shutting down and not saving the catalogue. It seems though that saving the Catalogue is not reliable. One hope is I have rendered Jpegs with the metadata in the file but I suppose it's a long shot to expect to pull the RAW edit data too.
 
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JohanElzenga

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#2
Is there any way I can get my earlier RAW edits back since LR does remember your last settings after shutting down and not saving the catalogue.
I'm not sure what you mean with the last part of this sentence. Lightroom does not 'remember' the edits, it writes them into the catalog. So if you can't open your catalog and you don't have a backup, your edits are gone. Maybe an Adobe expert can restore the catalog. Victoria has some contacts.

It seems though that saving the Catalogue is not reliable.
It's actually very reliable, but like with any computer file, things can go wrong. That's why you should always make backups, even if it takes a long time on a slow computer.

One hope is I have rendered Jpegs with the metadata in the file but I suppose it's a long shot to expect to pull the RAW edit data too.
I'm sorry, but you don't have rendered jpegs with the metadata in the file. Lightroom does not do that. It saves the jpegs in a separate 'catalogname previews.lrdata' folder, but it's an almost impossible task to find the matching jpeg if you can't access the catalog.
 

Victoria Bampton

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#3
Hi marb67, welcome to the forum!

Lightroom always saves the catalog when shutting down, unless there's some kind of computer/permissions issue preventing it from doing so (rare!!!)

So tell us a bit more about the problem you're having? Moving a single folder wouldn't create havoc, beyond that particular folder and its subfolders, so what are you seeing?
 

marb67

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#4
Hi, thanks for the welcome and responses. Basically the last time I saved the catalogue was January. I have since made many important edits to my Raw files post Jan that are not showing since I restored my last catalogue. And yet these edits were still remembered by Lightroom everytime I shut down without saving the catalogue. The question is, where will they be stored on my computer so I can at least try to find them to get back everything I did this last month.

I have also opted to save all Raw images with a sidecar xmp file in the actual folders they are stored in. Because I have checked the box to save, will this only apply to future edits or will every Raw file in my collection automatically have one added ?

Thanks
 

JohanElzenga

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#5
Lightroom automatically saves edits in the catalog and saves the catalog to disk. You never have to do that. That is why it seems to 'remember' the edits, but that is simply the current state of the catalog. What you mean is that you last made a backup of the catalog in January.
 

marb67

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#6
Correct but I need to get the edits back I made post January that LR saves to the disk.
 

JohanElzenga

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Correct but I need to get the edits back I made post January that LR saves to the disk.
I know you do, but the only place where these edits are stored is in the current catalog, period. If you can't open that catalog because it was corrupted (you still have not confirmed that is indeed the problem), your only hope is that somebody can recover it for you. If Lightroom does start normally with your current catalog, then you may have done something else (like deleting the images from the catalog) that caused this problem. That would be unrecoverable without a backup, I'm afraid.
 

marb67

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#8
I need to know where to look for that catalogue as I have no idea. Also LR will not see all my images in folders post jan that I moved in LR to my named genre folders. Even though the edits will not be there, the RAW files still should have picked up unless I have to refresh or something ?
 
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JohanElzenga

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#9
Just start Lightroom. It will open the current catalog. As Lightroom can't run without a catalog, it means your catalog is fine if Lightroom runs without giving an error about this catalog.

From what you say I conclude that indeed your catalog is fine. If you do not see the images you moved, that means that you probably deleted the images from the catalog by mistake. And that means there is no way to get your edits back, because you don't have a recent enough catalog backup. You will have to import the images again and do the edits again.
 
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#10
By default, LR put the catalog in the "Pictures\Lightroom" folder. The catalog is a file with the .LRCAT extension (it's default name is "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat). Of course, this is diferrent if you instructed LR to do otherwise.
The catalog contains reference to your RAW files. These reference are created when you "import" your files. Your saved catalog doesn't contain reference to RAW files imported after you created it. Therefore all RAW files imported after jan are not shown in LR, however these RAW files are still there on disk. You just need to import them again and redo the edit on them.
 

marb67

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#11
Ok, thanks. I have synchronised my entire catalogue and the lost images have showed BUT without the edits I had done post Jan. I need to get those edits back.
 

JohanElzenga

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#12
Ok, thanks. I have synchronised my entire catalogue and the lost images have showed BUT without the edits I had done post Jan. I need to get those edits back.
Sorry, you can't. You will have to do them again.
 

marb67

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#13
Ok but if you say Lightroom saves these edits to the hard drive (not backed up catalogue) surely they must be somewhere ?
 
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#14
These edits were saved in the catalog. Since you restored the the catalog saved in january, you've lost all edits done since then. Unless you can restore the latest catalog, all these edits are definitely lost.
 

Jim Wilde

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#15
No, they're lost. Lightroom "saves" you edit information in the catalog (which is a real-time database system). You can optionally also write the edit information into the XMP section of the image file (or an associated XMP sidecar file if the image is a proprietary raw file). If edited images are removed from the catalog, all associated data about those images is also removed from that catalog. Importing those images back into the catalog (as you appear to have done by synchronising the folder) will not bring back the edit information unless it was previously stored in XMP (which it appears that it wasn't).

So in this case, with images apparently removed then reimported, and with no XMP data stored in the files, your only recourse would be to a suitable catalog backup, which you also haven't got.

So sadly, with the information we have, as Johan has already explained there does not appear to be any recovery option here.
 

marb67

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#16
But I spent a couple of days on one particular image, I can't comprehend the fact that LR canot still have this data stored somewhere. Not just that image, others too. It's a nightmare and I would have backed up if LR wasn't so slow and laborious in the process (as it is in everything these days) The only hope is I have data when I exported these files as Jpegs. Surely something can be rescued from these ?
 

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#17
I can't comprehend the fact that LR canot still have this data stored somewhere.
Your problem began when you "Sync'd" the images to the catalog file. This was an import operation. That brought the same images into the catalog as NEW. Unless, you still have references in the catalog to the original import at the original location, you have shot yourself in the foot.
 

marb67

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#18
Surely something can be gleaned from the exported Jpegs when I originally edited and exported ?
 

JohanElzenga

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#19
Surely something can be gleaned from the exported Jpegs when I originally edited and exported ?
Basic settings like exposure and highlights can be read from the metadata, but if you've spent a couple of days on one particular image, you must have done much more than just setting a few basic sliders and that cannot be recovered. You can say 'surely' as many times as you like, but unfortunately the answer remains negative.
 

MickM

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Basic settings like exposure and highlights can be read from the metadata, but if you've spent a couple of days on one particular image, you must have done much more than just setting a few basic sliders and that cannot be recovered. You can say 'surely' as many times as you like, but unfortunately the answer remains negative.
Hi. New here too more or less but I have a look in here every now and then as it is a great source of information.


Now Marb asked these same exact questions yesterday on the Alamy (Stock Photography) Forum and I gave him pretty much the same answers as you guys are giving - his edits are gone and not recoverable. He clearly doesn't take no for an answer too easily and I disclaim all responsiblity for that as I don't know him at all :)

But The one thing I wondered about when telling him all was lost is if it is possible to extract the metadata from a JPEG if it has been included in the export, copy this into a text file from say the File Info - Raw Data tab in Photoshop and save it as a text file with subscript xmp with the same name as the raw file. I though it might be feasible to do this with a small number of files or that there might even be an app that could do this automatically. I suggested that he might try asking about this here but he obviously didn't understand exactly what to ask which is why I''m posting this.

Now I tried this myself this morning and for some reason I can't get it to work even though the data in the newly created text file appears to be identical at face value to what is in the sidecar xmp. That is either using ACR or importing into Lightroom, the xmp created in this way is not recognised. Just wondering if anybody knows if there is some tweak required in the file to make it work (Mac, High Sierra).
 

JohanElzenga

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#21
I don't know of an app that can do this. You can read the metadata of the exported JPEG so you can at least manually set some basic sliders again without having to do any guesswork, but I've never heard of a method to save this as a sidecar and let Lightroom successfully read that again.
 

MickM

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Oh well. I thought there might be a way to do it manually just by copying the text in the File Info - Raw Data tab and saving it into an xmp file with the same filename as the NEF but it is not recognised as a sidecar file by ACR or Lightroom.The text is different in the original xmp to the content of the File Info raw data although all the conversion settings seem to be in there. I do wonder if it is possible to do this manually if one knew a bit about the detail of what needs to be in the sidecar xmp given that the xmp files are plain text but I haven't time to check this out any further now. One for the future I think.
 

MickM

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#24
I see an opportunity for a (plugin) developer
I think it might be possible to do this by scripting as the File Info in Photoshop is scriptable. Grab the raw data settings, the file name and paste it into a text file would be fairly straightforward I think for an expert scripter. I used to play around with scripting many years ago in Photoshop CS1 but gave it up as it was too time consuming. First of all it would be good to know how to do it manually (or if it is indeed possible to do it manually). I guess this would be a question for a Photoshop forum.
 

Victoria Bampton

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#25
There was one that created presets from JPEGs if they included the Develop metadata Preset Ripper – Capture Monkey I've never tested it myself, but for an odd few photos, it could be worth a try.
 
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