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Missing images from Photos on iMac

Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
42
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic version: 10.4
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.14 Mojave
I've been tracking down missing photos in LR. There are about 40 that originate in Photos on my iMac. These were transferred over from Iphoto when I got this new computer. These images show up when I click on the Photos app on the iMac. However, when I try to link a photo from LR to Photos by clicking on the exclamation point and then "locate", the icon for the Photos library as well (as the iPhotos library) is greyed out and can't be accessed. Is there any way to link these images back to the images in Photos? This must have worked on the old computer. Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
638
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Images cataloged by Apple Photos are stored in an Originals folder inside the macOS package
Photos Library.photoslibrary
in the Pictures folder.
Because it is a macOS package and not a folder, it is designed to not be openable by double-clicking, and not accessible from another application’s import/open dialog box. This is because the contents inside are all managed by Apple Photos, which is tracking everything in there with its database.

There is a way to open a macOS package, but it is not recommended to do that to attempt to link to originals from a Lightroom Classic catalog. If a user or any other application accidentally alters what is in the Photos Library package, such as adding, moving, duplicating, or renaming files, the package contents would get out of sync with what the Apple Photos database expects, and Photos may start acting as if the Photos library is corrupted (e.g. you might get errors or crashes).

A possible way to be able to have a single set of photos managed by both Apple Photos and Lightroom Classic is to make Apple Photos work like Lightroom Classic. In other words, set Apple Photos to work with “referenced” files (files referenced using path links to any storage location, not just inside the Photos library). I haven’t actually tried this because I don’t use Photos often, but if you wanted to try it, you would enable the Copy Items to the Photos Library option in Photos preferences. There is a discussion of that workflow here:
How to understand referenced files in Photos library? (Apple Discussions)

If you use that method to store the original photos outside of
Photos Library.photoslibrary

then both Apple Photos and Lightroom Classic should be able to reference the same original file.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2021
Messages
42
Images cataloged by Apple Photos are stored in an Originals folder inside the macOS package
Photos Library.photoslibrary
in the Pictures folder.
Because it is a macOS package and not a folder, it is designed to not be openable by double-clicking, and not accessible from another application’s import/open dialog box. This is because the contents inside are all managed by Apple Photos, which is tracking everything in there with its database.

There is a way to open a macOS package, but it is not recommended to do that to attempt to link to originals from a Lightroom Classic catalog. If a user or any other application accidentally alters what is in the Photos Library package, such as adding, moving, duplicating, or renaming files, the package contents would get out of sync with what the Apple Photos database expects, and Photos may start acting as if the Photos library is corrupted (e.g. you might get errors or crashes).

A possible way to be able to have a single set of photos managed by both Apple Photos and Lightroom Classic is to make Apple Photos work like Lightroom Classic. In other words, set Apple Photos to work with “referenced” files (files referenced using path links to any storage location, not just inside the Photos library). I haven’t actually tried this because I don’t use Photos often, but if you wanted to try it, you would enable the Copy Items to the Photos Library option in Photos preferences. There is a discussion of that workflow here:
How to understand referenced files in Photos library? (Apple Discussions)

If you use that method to store the original photos outside of
Photos Library.photoslibrary

then both Apple Photos and Lightroom Classic should be able to reference the same original file.
Thank you again Conrad for your very clear and helpful explanation. I can now reply to your good message with a better understanding. I feel better knowing that the transfer from my other computer wasn't messed up and that I simply can't access Photos due to restrictions on the iMac. I checked the site you provided and it seems that for now I can't reference the missing images, (although I could set it up for future use). So what to do about the missing links? Since as far as I can tell, the originals or something close to the originals exist in Photos (and I could export them at a later time to work on them if I wished) , is it ok to delete the missing folders from the LR Panel? Or is it better to leave it alone and just put up with LR telling me I have about 40 missing photos? Thank you in advance! --debi
 
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