Adobe has responded to concerns from the photography community over its policy of moving to Cloud-based applications and licencing these in suites or expensive single apps. For most photographers a suite of professional Adobe apps would lie unused; what we need is some combination of Lightroom and Photoshop. Well, Adobe’s response is the Photography Program.
Since I already have a licence for Photoshop I can migrate to this Cloud offering for £7.14 per month plus VAT. That’s £8.57 at 20% tax.
What will I get? I’ll have Photoshop and Lightroom installed on my PC and continually upgraded with the latest features and bug-fixes. I can use them stand-alone but I’ll need to connect to the Internet at least once a month to renew the licence (shouldn’t be a problem). I’ll also get some Cloud storage (could be useful) and a Behance Pro subscription. Behance is a template-based Web site builder and publisher, which has the potential to replace my existing Web site host using my existing URL.
What I don’t know is whether the Photography Program licence will cover both my desktop and laptop computers or whether I’ll need 2 licences, but let’s assume 1 licence will cover me, so what are the costs?
At the moment I pay £5.80 /month for Web hosting. Upgrading Photoshop and Lightroom costs me about £8 /month (that’s £200 every couple of years), i.e. a total of £13.80 /month. I should be able to replace these costs with a Photography Program subscription of £8.57. Sounds good economically!
But what happens if I decide to stop my subscription? In a month my licence will expire and I won’t be able to use the applications. I can always revert back to my stand-alone licences, but in a few years time they will be out of date and unsupported. My files will be on my local computer so I won’t lose them but I will lose the synced versions in the Cloud. I know from my use of other Cloud services such as Google Drive that having Internet access to some files is very useful at times, so I might find myself coming to rely on this service.
Alternatives: my use of Photoshop has diminished due to the functionality in Lightroom but I still use it for individual images where masking and layering is needed, so could I find an alternative? There are several candidates but could I cope with the evaluation and learning-curve process? Preferably not! There is an excellent alternative to Lightroom: Capture One Pro, but I have to either keep Lightroom for my past catalogue of work or find a way of migrating every image to C1 – not an inviting prospect without mature migration tools. And I’d rather be doing photography than fussing with the technology.
Another unknown is whether I can get enough functionality from Behance to replace my existing site, or will I need to continue to run a stand-alone site? If so I will need another URL at additional cost so why bother with Behance? Maintaining my existing site makes the economics unfavorable and I’d quite like an easier-to-maintain site anyway. I will only know the answer to this one by trying it.
So Adobe’s Photography Program is looking enticing. I shall investigate further by taking out a subscription when it becomes available and report on progress, warts an’ all, on this blog over the next few months. (Deep breath…)