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Image Processing and Workflow RAW, DNG , TIFF and JPG. From Capture to Ready for Publish/Display. All software and techniques used within an image workflow, (except extensive retouching and repair or DAM).

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Old February 19th, 2011, 01:53 PM
Michael Seltzer Michael Seltzer is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 88
Default Lightroom catalog, convert to DNG problem...?


Something's gone flooey with my Lightroom catalog, and I don't know why, how, or what piece of software caused it, so I'm posting this on a couple of forums.

I recently decided to convert my RAW files to DNGs. After checking to see that LR would keep the metadata, including edits, and would link virtual copies up correctly, I started having LR delete the old RAW files after successful conversion to DNG, instead of doing that manually (I have also been converting to DNG on import as I add new photos from the CF card; btw, I have the old RAW files on DVDs). I've been doing this folder by folder for several days, and after each session I would backup my primary drive to my backup drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. I try to keep the backup as an exact copy of the primary, so I have CCC set to delete files from the target that don't exist anymore on the source. I have tasks set up in CCC, and I'm careful to never copy to the primary drive. Anyway, my understanding is that nothing should ever be changed on the source drive (my primary drive) by CCC. Additionally, I have been doing some reorganizing of my folder structure, so I've moved some of the DNGs, using LR.

Everything seemed to be working fine, all the DNGs showing up where I expected, until today (last night actually). I opened Lightroom and noticed that there were a lot files LR tagged as missing (several thousand). When I checked, I noticed that most of these where files I had converted to DNG, and now LR was showing them still as RAW files, and in some cases not where they were suppose to be. The DNG versions where not in the catalog (though are on the drive). I don't know how this happened, It's as if an old version of the catalog somehow got copied back over the new version. But it would have to have been quite an old version, and I kept backing up the catalog, so I don't even know where it would have gotten such an old version. Moreover, there seems to be no good way to relink the files to the DNGs. The only thing I can think to do is copy the old RAW files back onto the primary drive, so LR can find them, and reconvert to DNG. A lengthy process. Another problem is that there are a number of other files, edited tiffs and psds, that are also now missing, and they no longer even seem to be on the primary drive.

So my questions are, has anybody run into anything like this? Any ideas what happened? I don't want to do it again. Also, anybody know of an easier, quicker way to get the files in the catalog linked up with the correct DNGs and save the metadata and virtual copy links?

Btw, I'm using a Intel-based, Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro, and the latest versions of LR, CCC OS X. Oh! One more thing to throw in the mix, I just upgraded to Snow Leopard. and this happened after that (though neither my primary or backup drives were connected at the time--and my primary LR cat file is on the primary external drive).

Any help appreciated,
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Old February 20th, 2011, 10:16 AM
Murray Foote Murray Foote is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 394

Hello Michael

You could right-click in Folders in the left Library panel and select "Synchronize Folder ..." to get the DNGs back then filter in Metadata for File Type = RAW to select and delete all the RAW files.

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Old February 20th, 2011, 12:09 PM
Michael Seltzer Michael Seltzer is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 88

Hi Murray,

Thanks. I hadn't thought of synchronizing folders. I never use that for some reason. Getting the DNGs back isn't a problem anyway (is synchronizing faster than importing?), and I am assuming that the DNGs would have all the metadata and develop settings imbedded, so I wouldn't have to reapply them, correct?

The problem is the virtual copies. They are all associated with the RAW files right now, and because the RAW files are missing, LR won't allow me to sync the settings with a new VC. Odd, as the settings seem to be in the catalog, not in a missing file, and LR knows what they are, as it shows them to me, grayed, yet won't let my sync. So I can't easily get the VCs associated with the new DNG.

The only thing I can think of is to restore the RAW file in each case so LR can find it (will I also have to extract the metadata from the DNG into an xmp, or is that also in the catalog?). At that point it is probably easier to then reconvert to DNG, as LR will then associate the VCs with the correct DNG file. But maybe I only have to do this for files with associated VCs. Hunt and peck.

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