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Thread: lost changes to only some images

  1. #1
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    lost changes to only some images

    I recently went back to some images I had worked on extensively several months ago and found that all I had was the original RAW negative.

    I went back through my backups and found the one containing the modified images.

    But, if I just use that backup db file, I'll lose all the work I've done in develop since the date of that backup database file.

    I'm looking for ideas on various ways I might recover the modifications only for those specific images. I have some ideas, but I"d just be experimenting and I was hoping I might hear from someone who has done this type of recovery.

    Thanks!
    Michael
    Michael
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  2. #2
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    Michael,

    If you can identify the images in question, you can do as follows:

    • Open your backup catalog in LR and select the images in question
    • export selected images as a catalog ("Export as Catalog")
      • don't include negative files

    • Open your "Main" catalog in LR, and import the exported catalog ("Import from Catalog")
      • You will be able to specify that images present in both catalogs should be preserved as virtual copies in the main catalog. This enables you to compare between the two, and later delete the virtual copies provided.



    Two notes about the procedure:
    • When opening a backup catalog, do not open the backup catalog from within the backup folder. Copy the *.lrcat file to your "main" catalog folder (after renaming the "main" catalog file to something like *.lrcat.actual) and open it from there.
    • Before trying my suggested procedure, make sure you have a current backup of your "main" catalog.


    Beat
    Beat Gossweiler

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  3. #3
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    Beat,
    Thanks for the clear step-by-step. I had some of this in mind, but this really helps me avoid making things worse rather than better.
    Michael
    Michael
    Nikon D300; Nikkor 18-200 VR; Tamron 90mm macro; CS5 and LR4 - on HP e9280 with i7 and 9GB RAM

  4. #4
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    OK, here's a related but harder question....

    Is there a way to determine if there are other images that had modifications that were lost? ...without having to manually search.
    I have no reason to believe that the specific images I mentioned in the start of this thread were the only ones to have lost their modifications.
    I'd rather find them and fix them (using the method outlined by Beat) than discover problems later, when I've cleared out some of my older backups.
    Thanks.
    Michael
    Nikon D300; Nikkor 18-200 VR; Tamron 90mm macro; CS5 and LR4 - on HP e9280 with i7 and 9GB RAM

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    Michael,

    If the images you're looking for have no adjustments at all, you can create a smart collection filtering on Has Adjustments is False.

    Hal

  6. #6
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    Was away.... back to trying to fix things.
    The problem is that I went into my current catalog and found a series of shots of a hawk taking off that I had worked on extensively - but my current catalog (which contains all of my work) showed no adjustments at all.
    So, Beat told me how I could go to a backed up catalog file (I save them regularly and keep them for quite a while) and push/pull them into my current catalog.
    But, when I realized that I had no idea why this had happened (losing adjustments for these shots) it was obvious that there might be more (maybe many more) images with adjustments that are now missing from the current catalog.
    The manual method which, with over 15,000 images, isn't practical.
    I've got some (probably crazy) ideas of how I might ID every image in my current catalog that has had adjustments that were lost, but I'd sure like to know if there's a proven method before I start.
    !Hoping!
    Michael
    Nikon D300; Nikkor 18-200 VR; Tamron 90mm macro; CS5 and LR4 - on HP e9280 with i7 and 9GB RAM

  7. #7
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    Tell us about your crazy ideas ...

    Beat
    Beat Gossweiler

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  8. #8
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    Beat,
    Actually, only one idea...

    And, having a "Guru" ask me about my crazy idea does make me a bit uncomfortable.
    But, here goes:

    Take a block of images (probably based on date of capture), select only those where changes have been made. Export them.
    Do the same with the backup file
    Run a utility I have that compares file size and CRC32 checksum. If they are the same, I haven't lost anything. If they are different, maybe that image is a candidate for recovery.

    Only thing I don't know (and can easily test at some point) is if there might be a small difference between the export of identical files that would fool my utility and generate a lot of false positives each of which will require work.
    Michael
    Nikon D300; Nikkor 18-200 VR; Tamron 90mm macro; CS5 and LR4 - on HP e9280 with i7 and 9GB RAM

  9. #9
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    This will work, but you need to be sure not to include metadata in your comparison which is guaranteed to vary (e.g. timestamps). Best to extract the image data only from each file and compare that. You can do that with a tool like exiftool, either as a post-processing action on export (to create the image-only datafile and throw away the exported file) or as part of your comparison script. This will obviously slow things down a bit too...

  10. #10
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    Michael,

    I get your idea. The challanges I can see are these:
    • It might be hard to select the same images in your current catalog and your backup by selecting images which have had changes. Some might have changes in the backup, but not in the current catalog.
      So I would take the a route of just selecting by creation date.
    • Comparing JPEGs/TIFFs and get an precise yes/no might be difficult


    Since all your images in question are raw images, I would export them as "Originals", which will create Raw files along with XMP sidecars. Then I would compage the XMP sidecars, ignoring differences in "xmp:ModifyDate=" and "xmp:MetadataDate=".

    Beat
    Beat Gossweiler

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  11. #11
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    New idea: is there any way to output a listing of selected metadata from LR? Because ALL the changes for these images were lost, the metadata should now be different from that of the copy, with changes, in the backup file.
    Michael
    Nikon D300; Nikkor 18-200 VR; Tamron 90mm macro; CS5 and LR4 - on HP e9280 with i7 and 9GB RAM

  12. #12
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    You can export a file containing metadata using the LR/Transporter plug-in, which even would allow you marking the images contained in the exported file in another catalog (provided the file names are unique).

    Beat
    Beat Gossweiler

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