• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom Classic questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. And better still, the eBooks are updated for every release, so it's always up to date.

Restoring lost photos from SmugMug

neil.mcdonnell

New Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
2
Lightroom Version
LR Classic 10.1.1
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
I have had a complete hard-disk failure on the drive I use for editing, but before long-term archiving. I have versions of the better/selected photos on SmugMug and I am trying to figure out how to use those to partially restore the lost part of my catalog. My workflow will be relevant here:

Catalog lives in dropbox folder on C.
Photograph Library lives alone on D.
Archive is all on NAS (duplicated)

1. Import photos to Library with Smart Previews on (keep on card until step 4).
2. Rank photos 1* is discard, 2* is keep, 3* is selected, 4* for socials, 5* is top-rated photo.
3. Edit 3* and above.
4. Publish 3* and above to SmugMug.
5. (Periodically) Shift recent Library work to NAS in LR. (<< not immediate as it helps me avoid duplication and organisational problems)

My D drive with Library has failed with a small number (~100) fairly valuable-to-me photos that had got to stage 4 (SmugMug) but not 5 (NAS). So, I have the published SmugMug JPEGs that LR knows as being linked to the now (and permenantly) missing originals in the Library. I want to bring those external files back into the LR fold.

Brute Force option: Download the JPEGs from SmugMug and re-import them as new shots. Remove the lost files from library (and lose keywording, starring), Re-publish from LR to SmugMug, deleting the previous backup on SmugMug.

This is a poor option for a couple of obvious reasons and I am trying to improve on it. I feel like there should be some way of using the two-way sync on SmugMug to bring images back into LR from SM in such a way as LR recognises them as the old shots (with starring, keywords). I am not sure how to do this and I am worried about the syncing going wrong and deleting the SM files or something. I would also need to persuade LR to 'move' or 'locate' the missing folders to either C or the NAS so that the SM shots have somewhere to sync to.

Any suggestions about how I avoid the brute force option would be gratefully received!

Cheers,

Neil
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
629
Location
Tacoma, WA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
As long as the photos are in the catalog, I don't think that using SM's two-way sync will result in the files being deleted from SM. But, if you are nervous about that and want to be cautious (good idea!), I would suggest making some new galleries on SM and copying (not moving) the SM photos you are concerned about losing to those new galleries, thus making a backup. Then, if something goes wrong, you still have a copy on SM.

May I suggest that you consider changing your workflow? At a minimum, change step 1 to Import photos to Library with Smart Previews on (keep on card until step 5). Better yet, add a step between your current step 1 and step 2: Make a local backup and an off-site backup (and this step should be taken as soon as possible after step 1 is complete.

"You don't have to backup ALL of your files...just the ones you don't want to lose..."
 

neil.mcdonnell

New Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
2
Thanks, Camner. I know you are right about the workflow, of course, but the cost (and time) of that additional backing up has been off-putting so far.

In this case the shots were never actually on a card as they were pro scans of my hasselblad shots - just a download link. That seemed an unnecessary complication in the above story, but it speaks in favour of your second 'Better yet' suggestion over the proliferation of SD cards.

Re SM: I realise no that I don't think I can 'move' the photos that were on the failed disk within the catalog! I fear this ruins my chances.
 

johnwilly1233248

New Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
1
Yes, friend, I understand you very well. It's just the most unfortunate situation. A year ago my hard drive completely stopped working. I had about 2000+ pictures on my D drive. There were both personal and professional photos. And just one day I lost them all. I tried to figure it out on my own. Even took the hard drive to a repair shop. I couldn't get anything back at all. I now store all my photos in the cloud, where I used to store photos from a website where I can enhance images. It was a lesson for me that physical media is unreliable, I hope everything will be fine now.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
629
Location
Tacoma, WA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Re SM: I realise no that I don't think I can 'move' the photos that were on the failed disk within the catalog! I fear this ruins my chances.
I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. True, you can't move a photo that the catalog can't see, because the original was on the failed disk. But I think that you can sync the photos down from SM.

Why don’t you open a support ticket at SM, describe what happened, and ask how to sync photos on SM down to LR under these circumstances?

If I were doing it, I would try this:
  1. Make a backup of your LrC catalog, just in case
  2. Make a backup of all your photos stored locally, just in case
  3. Create a new gallery on SM and COPY, not MOVE, the affected photos into that new gallery
  4. Go into the SM Publish Service, check the “sync photos and galleries” box and click “Sync now”
Now, I do think you won’t preserve the ability to go back to the original, unedited versions of your photos this way. But, the chances are the versions on SM aren’t originals anyway, but the derivative files generated when you uploaded them from LrC in the first place. But, better to have only the derivative files than none at all.

If this doesn’t work and you don’t like what your catalog looks like after doing this, you can always open the backup of the catalog you made in step 1.

I haven’t actually tried this myself, so YMMV
 
Top