"Photos" keeps losing my recent photos.

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My 2020 iMac has around 50,000 photos in my "photos" library. They are on a $TB Western Digital drive and also a backup 4TB WD drive. I have uploaded around 1000 photos in the last 3 weeks, usually 200 or 300 at a time. 3 times now it has lost all my new photos. I was able to reload them from the SD card twice, but today my card was almost full so after uploading , I formatted the card in my camera. A couple hours later I shut down the iMac. Now on startup all my photos from the last 3 weeks are gone. These are all jpegs and videos. Fortunately I have RAW's stored in my Lightroom library and these were unaffected. What could be causing this to happen?
 
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I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I will come along, but what app are you using for the "photos" library you asked about? Is it Photos itself? And, if so, how are you importing these images to Photos? Are you copying the image files into the Photos library database, or are these image files stored on the drives and the option to copy to the Photos library left un-checked? And, what version of macOS is on the 2020 iMac? What version of Photos, if you are using it?

In Photos, for me the new images show up in the Library and in Recents. If you are using Photos, can you tell us how you know they are being lost?

Photos is, for me, very reliable. I don't have 50,000 images, just 19,000 but it doesn't "lose" images for me.
 

IWT


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I'm no expert, but I do use the Photos app a great deal and have about 21K pics/vids.

May I set out my questions to you? You may think that you've covered these in your Post, but I'm confused about your exact setup. So bear with me please.

1. Are you using the Macintosh Photos app to input your newest pics?

2. If so; where is the PhotosLibrary? On your Mac?; On the $TB Western External Hard Drive (EHD)?; and where does the backup 4TB WD come in to this?

What I'm trying to establish is where your Mac's PhotoLibrary resides - and whether you input "new" pics/vids directly in to that Library. It is possible to move the PhotosLibrary to an EHD, but if you do that you have to a link between your Mac and the EHD and you can become unstuck if you input your "new" pics/vids in to the Mac rather than directly in to the Library.

The fact is that we are not sitting next to you and haven't benefitted from watching you set up your separate EHDs etc.

I can easily see how you could be "losing" photos that you have - in your own words - "uploaded" depending where they were "uploaded" to.

Give us the whole works from scratch and we can help.

PS Are you backing up your PhotosLibrary to iCloud?

Ian
 
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Hello Ian, My Canon R6 and R7 both hold 2 SD cards, so I shoot RAW on card 1 and jpeg and video on card 2. They all go to the EHD and the backup drive because don't want to overload the 1TB Mac drive with photos. The RAW files go to Lightroom and are still there. The jpegs go to Photos. I've been doing that for years and never had a problem. Now Photos has lost my recent photos from my last 3 shoots after I had edited some of them. They aren't on either of those EHD's, though they were before I shut the computer down. Looking back, the same thing happened the last time I shut it down, just the last shoots in Photos, doesn't affect Lightroom at all.
 

IWT


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Thank you for posting back. Much appreciated.

One critical question remains: where is your PhotosLibrary kept? On your Mac, on either of the EHDs?

For the moment, I see your potential problem might be that the "new" photos aren't getting in to that Library.

You are wise to put your RAW files elsewhere as the Apple Photos App can't deal with them properly. Your "jpeg pics go to Photos", which is fine, but are they actually in the PhotosLibrary?

Here's something you can do to assist both of us:

Open the Photos App. Click on the Apple icon  top left on Menu bar and Select "Settings". Then Select "General".

The very first thing you see is "Library Location". It will tell you (and me) where it is located. We need to know that.

While you are there, Click on "iCloud" and tell us what is ticked and unticked, please.

Ian
 
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Photos Library and Lightroom are both kept on both EHDs, nothing on Mac hard drive except 3 or 4 small desktop albums where I send downsized photos for sharing on a some forums. There are only 50 or 60 photos there. My RAW files are in Lightroom and are all intact. Library location is my EHD entitled "my photos volume 2". It is also in "my photos backup volume 2" They go there automatically. In iCloud, iCloud mail,iCloud drive, and passwords and keychain are all "on". Photos are "off". I don't want my cloud storage cluttered up with 50,000 photos.

Screenshot 2024-04-29 at 7.18.16 AM.png
 
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I also export some of my best photos to SmugMug, but it usually takes me a few weeks before I get around to culling and editing them all. Looks like I'll have to do that right away in the future.
 
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When you put 1000 photos in the Photo Library did you give them time to upload before removing the SD card, or were just the thumbnails uploaded.
 
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When you put 1000 photos in the Photo Library did you give them time to upload before removing the SD card, or were just the thumbnails uploaded.
Well, I edited a couple of them an hour later and everything was fine. After I had shut the Mac down started it a couple hours later they were gone, along with the other photos from both of my cameras dating back to April 14th. That's the third time this has happened but always before, the photos were still on my sd cards so I just re imported them. This time I reformatted the card and it's history. I still have the RAW files from the other card in Lightroom, so losing the jpegs is not too serious, but there were some really nice short videos that are completely gone.
 

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