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Missing Images

Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
80
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version
Mac OS 10.15 Catalina
Operating System
macOS 10.15 Catalina
I have been told many times that LightRoom is a non-destructable piece of software. Yet I continue to lose images. So, I need a little clarification. Suppose I have selected 20 images that appear as previews. Can I assume that the originals are still located somewhere on my hard drive? This has happened to me many times over the years. I cannot locate the originals no matter where I look for them. So this question is very important to me. Can anyone help here? Thanks
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,646
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I have been told many times that LightRoom is a non-destructable piece of software. Yet I continue to lose images. So, I need a little clarification. Suppose I have selected 20 images that appear as previews. Can I assume that the originals are still located somewhere on my hard drive? This has happened to me many times over the years. I cannot locate the originals no matter where I look for them. So this question is very important to me. Can anyone help here? Thanks
The term is Non destructive. Meaning the once you import the original Lightroom will not change the data block in the file. That is why there is no “Save” in Lightroom only “Export” (to a new image file).

When you import an image into Lightroom, Lightroom records the path to that file in your catalog. However Lightroom is not the only app that has access to that file. If our use Explorer/Finder to move or delete that file, then the Path recorded in the catalog is no longer the correct path.

If an image file is moved or deleted outside of Lightroom, then Lightroom will flag the image is an (!). If you have an image in Lightroom Classic you can right click on the image and choose Show folder and your Operating system will open an Explorer/Finder window with the image file. If the images is missing because you moved or deleted it outside of LrC, the LrC will pop up a message dialog indicating the path where the now missing image was stored when imported into Lightroom.


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Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,675
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Ctrl-click is the equivalent of right-click.

I know we've had this conversation a lot of times over the years, but let me remind you of the address book illustration... your address book contains information about your friends, maybe a little photo of your friends, but it doesn't contain the people themselves. If they move house, your address book no longer gives you the right address. Same goes for your Lightroom catalog... it contains a note of where the original photos were last seen, and a small preview of them... but if your original photos move or get renamed or deleted, Lightroom will no longer be able to find them.
 
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