Everyone is pissed at Adobe. Here’s what happened this week and alternatives to Adobe!

Adobe Cloud was a trap from day one, even if it is a great deal compared to the alternatives. But there are issues with having one big dog and this week they got worse. Today we talk about how that affects us as photographers.

You decide. If you use my presets and decide to switch, all current packs include LR6 and Capture One files. Have Street’ist or Power Workflow for example. Just go access your downloads here and get the latest files.

Preset packs like Filmist and Natural HDR also include LUTS and those can be used in many apps like Affinity, DaVinci Resolve etc. In fact I edit nearly all my videos with FIlmist LUTS.

Also, all my Action packs, even the new Pictorialist work in CC and CS6 as well. So if you want to go subscription you can still get the iconic looks you’ve been getting for years.

Lots of people are dancing Adobe. But it’s not like the other options are all roses. Phase One scrwed over long-term perpetual license holders last year and Capture One cost more than LR and PS combined. Luminar is woefully lacking in processing quality and Affinity is not the best workflow system.

You don’t have to switch or cancel just because people are mad. Negativity is now always a good response. But it’s good Adobe is feeling the heat. This makes more room for competition and improvement and they should no that their actions are not OK!

As I talk about in the video this goes way beyond Adobe. There’s a trend of large companies who have us locked in switching up the rules and taking us to the cleaners. Netflix, Amazon, Adobe, the list is long.

My theory on this is depending on where you are, one service or another may be worth canceling. When companies abuse customers like Adobe is trying to do, then gaslight them, acting like nothing is wrong and they are crazy for being upset it’s right for people to respond.

But it’s not worth stressing about either. Don’t throw your summer wedding season into chaos just because everyone says we need to cancel. You decide!

I go more into the video. Adobe is indeed the most complete suite of tools for creatives.

But as I mentioned above, I work hard to make sure you have options and we are not totally locked in and I’m sure other developers are doing the same.

An established workshop is hard to charge. While Adobe is king, I am always trying to make sure we are not stuck. So for example I could switch to C1 as my main editor and all my tools still work. Even my Elegance Speed masks now work in Capture One.

I long ago switched to Resolve for video editing. There are Capture One, DXO, and others that may be possibilities for you. And for many older versions of Adobe tools works just fine.

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  1. I'm an amateur photographer with 50 years experience. I still love film but, for convenience and speed, I now use digital most regularly. I like the fun of trying to make digital files look like film but my livelihood doesn't depend on it. When I saw Adobe's announcement (as a notice when I was accessing LrC) I took a screenshot and clicked "accept and continue" as, at that point I was all-in with Adobe CC. I don't hate the advantages that AI brings in the way of noise reduction and sharpening but I really have no interest in the "generative / replacement fakery which reduces photography to digital art. I also strongly object to any company claiming automatic rights to view and do ANYTHING with MY content. I bought the gear, paid the transport and holiday accommodation costs, had the creative idea, took the photo, bought software and spent MY time processing the work and posted it where I wanted it posted. If they want to have access to MY work, they should have to ask and offer me something in return (discounts, additional apps in their suite, etc) AND the option to opt in or opt out – UP FRONT. I did find (and use) the opt out option buried in their T&C but what little trust I had for Adobe is gone. They're no better nor worse than many other corporations in that respect but that's what happens when organisations grow and become oligopolies or monopolies. Professionals usually have to sign NDAs with their clients. I did wonder if professionals who agreed to Adobe's demands (despite their later, feeble "assurances" have, in some way, breached those NDAs by agreeing to Adobe being able to access, view (etc) their work and use it as part of machine learning / AI programs. If AI is so powerful and clever, let the developers produce the work (and/or pay for access to the stock image libraries) required to enable it to function – and then charge the AI users for access. Adobe should not, IMO, be allowed to change users' T&C unilaterally and scrape the accounts of loyal customers with absolute impunity to obtain billions of images to benefit their latest "King's New Clothes" technology. Although I currently only use Adobe CC photography tools, I do own Affinity's latest suite and I have a recent, owned, copy of Capture One. Adobe CC was convenient and industry standard but maybe it's time to learn some different software.

  2. I have never understood why anyone would store anything on a cloud server – and pay money to do it. I can only think of two instances where you would want to do this, collaborative work or if your work requires you to travel and access your content from anywhere. And even then, do you really need to access ALL of your content?

    When cloud storage came out I thought this is a really dumb idea. Why would anyone pay a subscription fee to put their content on some company's server, which could get hacked, when you can go out and buy as many hard drives as you need for one fixed price, and your content resides exclusively with you. Yet, people get sucked in by the initial free space, which quickly fills up and then, I presume, they are too lazy to move their files so they just keep paying more and more to buy more space.

    As far as Adobe goes, I was dismayed when they bought up Macromedia – doing a Microsoft where you just shut down the competition by buying it. In the past their Suites were enormously expensive (like $1,200 expensive) compared with other software, and then after 2 or 3 years they would do a major update that you couldn't upgrade so you had to buy the entire Suite again. This put their products out of reach of the average person which is why there were so many pirated copies online, which forced them eventually to go to a subscription model.

    You could probably substitute other products for most of the Adobe ones with the exception of Photoshop. Nothing really comes close to it. But as you say, if you don't use the cloud to store your files, at this point, it doesn't seem possible for Adobe to scan content on your local machine – but all that is coming. Once AI really gets rolling there will no longer be such a thing as privacy.

    Finally, thanks Gav for putting me on to Davinci Resolve. I think it's superior to Premiere, although it's got quite a steep learning curve, and some of it, like the system of nodes, is complicated to understand and not at all intuitive.

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About the Author

Glad you're here.

I'm from WA State USA and started studying photography in 97. I started work as a pro (using that word loosely because I sucked) using film at age 16. I learned fast but was not as easy to find training then. Sometimes I beat my head against the wall until I figured stuff out.

As digital dawned I went all in and got to study with masters like Ken Whitmire. In 09 I founded the Pro Photo Show podcast. I started promoting tone-focused editing. When Lightroom arrived, I started developing tools to make editing and workflow better.

20 years of study and photography around the country earned me a Master of Photography (M.Photog) from PPA. I got to see my workshops and tools featured in publications across the industry. Once I even won the prestigious HotOne award for my "EXposed" light and tone workshop.

Wanting something calmer, I moved to Mexico in 2017. It's a land of magical light. I'm here now exploring light and trying to master my weak areas. I make videos of that for my Youtube channel, sharing what I learn. I hope you'll stick around and be part of Light Hunters Tribe... Gavin

Gavin Seim