Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Q&A: Photoshop CC - Yes, Or Kick It To The Curb

Today’s image is another that’s just eye candy.  I might offer a paragraph at the end, but the news out there about Adobe Photoshop CC is far more important.  So, Adobe’s going subscription for either the whole shebang (all [almost all] Adobe applications) for $49.95 per month or $19.95 on a per application basis.  I use Adobe Photoshop CS6 and (at the moment) Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Beta.  I’ve kept up with all the updates since Adobe Photoshop 7.  I don’t use any of the other Adobe applications.  No In Design, no Illustrator, no Premier, Muse, etc.  I understand that LR will continue to be a consumer product, not subscription (at this time).  It’s come down to being available for $79.00 at most outlets in the USA.  Version updates (CS3 to CS4, CS4 to CS5, etc) have been about every 18 to 24 months and have cost $199.00 for each version.  That works out to somewhere between $8.00 and $11.00 per month.  Adobe has a one year “special offer” for those who are up to date (using CS6) for $10.00.  That works out right in the ballpark of what we’ve been paying for the past ten years or so.  If they make that a permanent subscription price for plain old PS (not an Extended Version), I’d sign up today and happily pay by the month.  I’ve never used 3D, I don’t believe I need 3D.  If I had it available to me I might find it to be a wonderful thing, but I don’t think so.  Hopefully Adobe will figure out a slightly more tiered pricing structure during this first year.  I do have a couple thoughts on what I “might” do if I would have to go up to $19.95 a month for PS CC only.  Hit the “Read more” to find out what my thoughts are.

1.        It seems like Photoshop like features migrate to Adobe Photoshop Elements a couple versions later.  PS had Layers, PSE got Layers.  PS had Layer Masks, PSE got Layer Masks.  If using PSE is like using an earlier version of Photoshop, it might be justifiable to wait it out and go with the PSE versions updates.

2.      Adobe Lightroom gets more capable with each version.  Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Beta (LR5B) adds a better Healing/Cloning Brush and the Radial Filter is the bomb.  (It was used on about ten different places on today’s image.)  The Upright utility in the Lens Correction Panel looks like it’ll be useful.  If LR continues to add features, PSCC may not be necessary for photographers.

3.      If you absolutely have to have Layers (and I do to do things like today’s image) you might want to look at (and follow) OnOne’s development of their Perfect layers.  It adds layering capabilities to LR.  It bears watching.  They may be able to be the disruptive technology that deals a blow to Adobe’s thought process.

4.      There’s been a cottage industry built up around offering Photoshop features to PSE users.  It will probably expand and become a “we’ll keep up with PSCC new features using pull-ins if you have CS6” industry.  Once Adobe opens the door (i.e. shows that camera shake based sharpening can be done) it won’t be long before some smart coder duplicates “the new best thing” in his/her basement. 

Adobe appears to be at a SIP (Strategic Infliction Point) as described by Clayton Christensen and championed by Intel’s Andy Grove.  At a SIP, a company makes a decision that determines the course of the company’s future.  Guess right and the company goes to new heights.  Guess wrong and it could be the beginning of the end for that company.  Which way it goes for Adobe will be played out over the next product cycle or two.  It’ll be interesting to see how the react.