The Way Through Every Problem

by | Mar 31, 2023 | Perspective, Tips & Tricks | 0 comments

Workflows increase efficiency. They help me get a lot done in a shorter amount of time. So when a workflow breaks, either things don’t get done efficiently, or things just don’t get done at all.

And recently, two Lightroom problems interrupted various of my workflow; and you should have seen the lack of efficiency! My workflows were broken. And that meant it was time to figure out some solutions.

So, in case you run into these problems in the future yourself, I figured I’d share what helped me to get them solved.

1. Lightroom Sync Got Stuck

My workflow for sharing photos via social media uses Lightroom’s Sync feature. I edit photos on my laptop. I throw them into a Sync folder. They sync up to Adobe Cloud. When I want to share to Instagram, I pop open the Lightroom mobile app, and bang. It’s an efficient workflow. I’ve tried other methods. This one is hands down the best way to do it.


That is, unless Lightroom Sync stops working. Then regular Instagram posts stop going up. Or, at least, they go up more sporadically.

So, to solve my problem, I tried stopping and starting sync. I tried restarting Lightroom. I tried rebooting my laptop. I tried diagnosing problems in the “Sync Activity” preferences (this usually solved this kind of problem). I tried removing all synced photos, and adding them back in again. I even found out about and tried doing: Edit > Preferences > Lightroom Sync, hold the Alt key, and click the “Rebuild Sync Data” button that magically appears.


But nothing worked. And in the meantime, weeks go by.

Then one day I finally decided I would get to the bottom of it. After running across this article, I did the “If All Else Fails (Level 3)” step. Basically, I closed Lightroom, removing the Sync.lrdata file and then starting Lightroom back up again to let it rebuild a new one.


And it worked!

The problem feels simple now, on this side of the solution. But in the middle of it, I had no idea what to do! It sure felt like a big problem when I was in the middle of it.

2. Lightroom Wouldn’t Launch

Well, then came this week. Tuesday was the webinar. A special guest was joining for it, so I needed to talk over the flow of things with him on Monday. Then, I needed to finish the bulk of the preparations Tuesday morning. No problem. Workflows are in place. This is how it’s done every month.

Unless Lightroom doesn’t launch!

Monday afternoon, I go to open the Student Photos Lightroom catalog. This is where all the student’s submissions have been compiled. And instead of opening, the only thing that happens is this black, opening “title bar” pops up and sits there. Forever. The catalog doesn’t launch!


“Maybe it’s because the program needs a restart.”

So I do the regular rigmarole. I restart Lightroom. I reboot my laptop. No change.

“Maybe it’s a problem with the catalog.”

So instead of trying to open the Student Photos catalog again, I tried opening my regular Lenspiration catalog. The one that stores all my photos. The really important one that I use, like, every day.

And it didn’t launch either. “WHAT?!” I couldn’t believe it!

I immediately concluded this wasn’t a little, Student-Photos-catalog-only problem. This was a big problem, with Lightroom itself. I made sure Lightroom was up to date. I made sure my computer was up to date. I tried launching other catalogs. Nothing.

“Oh boy. Well, I guess it was time to start praying. And to reinstall Lightroom too.

But reinstalling didn’t do a thing. Researching online, I found this. Sometimes this problem happens due to a “corrupt Preferences file”. So, I clicked Alt+Shift when launching Lightroom and sure enough, I could reset Preferences.


I was warned, all presets would go away: file naming, exporting, etc. This was a serious fix. But I needed a serious fix. And what do you know! My regular catalog launched. Whew. I sighed with relief. Finally, now that it was like 7pm, I could get to work! Or so I thought. I closed the regular catalog and opened the Student catalog. And it didn’t launch. “WHAT?!” I tried opening my regular Lenspiration catalog again. Fail. I was back to square one!

At that point, I remember telling Julianna, “Darling, I have no idea what to do. There’s nothing I can do to get the Student catalog opened. We’re going to have to think up a Plan B for the webinar tomorrow.”

Now it was really time to pray! More for my own sanity than for anything else. It wasn’t like getting Lightroom to work was an option any more.

Starting down the path of Plan B began with downloading Lightroom onto a different computer. And that’s when something wonderful happened! I know it sounds odd, but it was a wonderful discovery when all the exact same problems began happening on the second computer. It revealed the fact that it wasn’t a giant Lightroom problem after all. It was a regular ol’ Student-Photos-catalog-only problem. When it opened, the Student catalog would corrupt the Preferences folder. Once corrupted, no other catalogs would launch, causing all the other catalogs to appear that they too were corrupt. But they weren’t! After clearing the Preferences folder, everything would start working fine again….until I tried opening the Student catalog again.

So, all I needed to do was trash the Student catalog. And that’s exactly what I did! After verifying, of course, that a backup had been made before the catalog had corrupted. And it had! And that was a huge blessing! After restoring the backup, I…well, I didn’t get back to work since it was after 10:30pm. But I did work on it the next day and had a fantastic webinar! No need for a Plan B, this time.

On this side of the solution, looking back, the problem and solution feel simple now. But in the middle of it, I had no idea what to do! It sure felt like a big, insurmountable problem when I was in the middle of it. If you don’t know the way through something, then that something sure feels impenetrable.

210605_James Staddon_1172 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 30 mm, 1-100 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

Which makes me wonder, would I have thought these problems to be so huge if, in the middle of them, there had been someone sitting right next to me who knew the precise answer to each specific problem I was encountering? Of course not! I would have just asked them how to fix the problem and been on my merry way in 5 minutes!

So then, that makes me think of a whole lot of questions: does God know the precise answer to each specific problem in my life? Well, yes, He does. And is God sitting right next to me? Yeah, He is. So, then, why doesn’t He just tell me the solutions to all of my problems?! It would be so much easier that way! Especially when I’m in the middle of them, when they feel so big! If God knew exactly what buttons I needed to push to get my Lightroom problems solved, why didn’t He just tell me? And the reason why not is because God is SO much more interested in how we respond to a problem than He is about getting that problem fixed! I’m always so focused on efficiency. I’m always so focused on getting problems solved. But God cares so much more about relationship! How I go about going through the problems is more important to Him. He wants to know if I’m trusting Him. If I’m really in neutral. If I will resort to sin, anger, clamming up. Will I push Him away and blame Him for all my problems, or will I come running to Him, releasing everything to Him in genuine prayer? Sure, he’ll reveal answers sometimes. Sure, he won’t reveal answers sometimes. But that’s not what matters so much. He’ll do what He wants to do. And whatever He does, He has our best interest in mind. We don’t have to worry about that! He knows exactly what we need. And a quick fix isn’t always what we need. Trust Him! Let problems draw us closer to our Savior. He is the Way through every problem.

“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:12-13).

PS: I must note that if the second Lightroom problem ever does happen to you, and you do reinstall Lightroom without keeping your preferences, or you do remove the Preferences folder (C:\Users\James\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Preferences) to let Lightroom rebuild it when it launches, then do make sure you have a backup of that Preferences folder beforehand. When I realized that all the Export presets in my Lenspiration catalog were clean gone the day after the webinar, I sure was grateful I had a backup.

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