Most photographers (and definitely myself) almost always have a love-hate relationship with Adobe and Adobe’s software; in short, “You can barely live with them but you most likely cannot live without them”.
Some of you might might ask :”*Which* Adobe software specifically?”; its what I call the Adobe Holy Trinity++ – Adobe Photoshop for retouching, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for raw conversion & general image enhancements, Adobe Premiere Pro for the occasional video-editing, Adobe InDesign for album layout and maybe Adobe Illustrator too for the occasional minor edits to our logos (yes, *minor* logo editing IS a thing for photogs :P)
Granted, the main reason we use Adobe software for work is that most if not all Adobe software is stable, powerful and gets the work done but there is another reason : Lack of viable competitor(s) or alternative(s).
However, starting from early 2016… viable and sometimes even better alternatives have started to surface for the Photoshop family; starting with maturity of Phase One’s Capture One Pro as well as DXO’s DXO Optics Pro.
My move away from Adobe’s software started with moving to Capture One Pro from Lightroom nearly 6mths ago and ended with my move from my final Adobe product : Adobe Photoshop, the past week.
[exif id=”1937″]Granted, I do miss the time when I could just open Adobe Creative Cloud and have any software I need launch within a click, the seamless integration between its software but I do not miss Adobe’s pricing model and having to deal with the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the creative arts software world as a simple professional photographer.
Adobe however has never been kind in terms of pricing its products, even before adopting the current model. The single-user licenses back then was expensive and it was only for a single version with small discount for an upgrade; and they do a major version change EVERY year, so basically you more or less HAD to pay Adobe yearly if you want the latest version. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Unless you are like most non-retouchers, you barely learn the new features in the previous year’s version before the next version arrives and you had to pay them again if you want that small little upgrade for that single tool you love to use.
The subscription model is actually quite reasonable to most photographers, priced at USD10.00 per mth you get Lightroom and Photoshop; which was like maybe 1/3 of the price you had to pay for the single-user licenses and you get *free* updates. It is great until… like me, I got royally screwed by a mistake of an Adobe rep that cancelled my Creative Photography (i.e. Lightroom + Photoshop “package”).
That would have been fine if I was in the US or another “developed” country, Adobe apparently goes through a 3rd party for subs in Asia Pacific which they had no direct control over, so Adobe themselves couldn’t reinstate my subscription and I had to resubscribe at a higher price bcoz some exchange rate changes from my initial sub to my local currency vs USD.
After going on live chat with them 4 or 5 times over 2 days, Adobe was finally able to come out with an acceptable solution about 9-days later but it was 9-days too late; as a professional, I NEEDED a retouching software for work. So I tested and founded an actual alternative which does what I wanted for far less & without a subscription model, I actually own the software I bought so that this problem won’t occur again.
p.s. all the photos on this post were edited and processed using non-Adobe software :p