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problem reassociating photos on Flickr with Jeffery Friedl's export plugin

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New Member
Jan 9, 2020
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version Number
Lightroom Classic version: 9.1 [ 201911291132-64cf80b4 ]
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
For complicated reasons (involving a fritzed Mac and LR catalog corruption issue I and Adobe couldn't fix) I reimported my entire LR Classic photo archive into a new catalog. This got rid of my corruption issue successfully, but it messed up the link between 10,000 or so photos at Flickr and Lightroom. I'd uploaded them with Jeffrey Friedl's Flickr uploader plugin, which previously had them all in its "Flickr photostream" collection section in Lightroom's Publish Services section.

I knew I'd break things with the new import, but there used to be a mechanism in the plugin to "claim" photos on Flickr that were also in your LR catalog, and I thought I could use this to fix the connection. I once used it to link up a bunch of photos that predated Lightroom. Now I can't get it to work.

I think the section I want to use is in File | Plugin Extras | jf Flickr | Flickr Extras. I thought "Associate Images Automatically" would do the trick. (See screenshot.)
Screen Shot 2020-01-08 at 19.27.41.png

Nothing happened when I did this, though. I was hoping it would fill up the Flickr export collection. I think Friedl's plugin uses metadata to track what's been uploaded, and perhaps the metadata already in the photos means it noticed correctly what it uploaded but didn't add the photos to the collection. Clearing the "uploaded to Flickr" flag left the photos in the collection but I don't know if it did anything else. When I manually added a previously uploaded photo to the collection and "republished" it to Flickr, the association was restored. There wasn't a duplicate copy uploaded as I'd feared.

I'm not anxious to figure out which of my 10,000 photos I've already uploaded, so if I can't get this to work, I'll probably just start fresh and not worry about the earlier shots staying in sync. But does anybody have any advice how I can get my published collection back?
Hi Stephen,

Sorry for your difficulties. I don't wish this on anyone but I am going to use this as a cautionary tale. You are unfortunately a poster child for why we all need a robust and active backup system.

If you don't have one I encourage everyone reading this to make a New Year's resolution to enable a backup workflow. For Mac users it is as simple as purchasing an external hard drive and configuring Time Machine. A little more involved for Windows users. But in either case well worth the time.

Also be sure to include regular and frequent Lightroom catalog backups. I have mine configured to happen every time I exit Lightroom. And I frequently quit and restart every time I do major work or when upgrading such as the release of LR9.

I suggest that you contact Jeffery directly. He may or may not have any additional ideas for how to resurrect your published collection.

Happily, I have a full backup of my Mac (two, in fact — Time Machine and Backblaze), and on top of that a long history of LR catalog backups. That's not my problem. If I wanted to go back to my corrupted catalog, I could. Instead, I chose to use my fritzed Mac as an opportunity to start fresh. My problem is that starting fresh to get rid of my corrupted LR catalog caused collateral damage to my Flickr-Lightroom sync.

I did submit a post to Friedl's website a couple days ago, but no response as yet.
If you have a good backup of your catalog I don’t understand what advantage you perceive to get by starting from scratch by reimporting all your images. There is such a lot of valuable information lost including all collections and publish services for a start.

I have a good backup of a corrupted catalog that I have been unable to fix for three years, even with direct assistance from Adobe. I'm really quite tired of the problem. I've tried many different ways of fixing it, and Adobe even wrestled it by hand twice, but the corruption returns. The problem affected me every time I merged to HDR or panorama or imported photos from my phone, and I do those operations fairly frequently. I could half-fix it temporarily with a kludgy process, but it came back after every new mobile import or merge. I can share more details if anyone is interested.

I hardly use collections at all, so that was no great loss. All my edits, captions, ratings, etc., are stored as metadata within the files, so that was preserved fine.

I certainly wouldn't recommend my path in general, but in my case so far the hassle was worth it. I will happily sacrifice my Flickr export sync in exchange for a fixed catalog. But if anybody has advice on how to fix the Flickr sync, I'm all ears.

Ok I better understand your situation and what you describe is quite bad luck. It is also quite unfortunate that none of your catalog backups were usable.

I have never heard of another case where photo merge or import was the cause of catalog corruption. This seems to me to point to some underlying system failures such as disk or RAM. Ultimately your "fritzed Mac" lends support to that conclusion. Were you able to find a definitive cause for your computer failure?

In any case I hope that your repaired or replacement Mac along with the new catalog has resolved the corruption problems.

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