If you weren’t watching the Photoshop World Keynote Live Stream yesterday, or paying attention to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, then you might possibly have missed one of the biggest announcements of the year as it relates to the world of photography. As you might already know, a while back Adobe changed their business model for software purchases and distribution. Their new product was called Creative Cloud and it caused quite a dust up in the community for several reasons. The concept is that you pay a monthly fee and you receive access to the entire Adobe Creative suite of products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, InDesign, etc., etc. All of this for about $50 a month, which is an incredible bargain if you use those products. The cloud also comes with the benefit of users getting access to new software features as they are developed and released, not after a year or so after purchasing the next version. With the Creative Cloud, there is no “next version”. The version you have is always up to date with all of the new technology. Of course there is a downside to all of this as well.
Getting access to all of Adobe’s tools if fantastic if you happen to need them, but if you only ever needed Photoshop and Lightroom, it was really hard to justify the price. Sure, you had access to all of those goodies but if you never use them, it’s like paying for a first class seat when you would have been perfectly happy back in coach. This sentiment was expressed to Adobe loud and clear from many outlets and, to their credit, Adobe has responded with what I believe is a fantastic deal for photographers. Starting in a couple of weeks, you will be able to subscribe to the Creative Cloud for Photographers, which will include Photoshop Extended, Lightroom, 20GB of online storage, and membership to the Behance Prosite online portfolio site all for the very low price of $9.99 US a month. If you do the math, most photographers using Photoshop and Lightroom were spending about $650 every three years for Photoshop and Lightroom upgrades. The Creative Cloud for Photographers cost will be less than half of that for the same time period. Best of all, Adobe has stated that this will be a forever price, as long as you are registered prior to December 31, 2013.
There is a caveat that goes with this great price and that is that you have to have a licensed copy of at least CS3 to be qualified for this program. Just having a copy of Lightroom won’t do it for you. If you want to sign up for this deal and you don’t have Photohshop CS3 or above, my recommendation is that you start looking for a copy on eBay so that you are qualified. It may run you about $100 but it is still well worth it in the long run. And for those of you still grousing about the whole software lease business model, ask yourself a question, do you own your cable TV, your Netflix, your Internet service? This is the business model of the future for big software and it is probably here to stay. Apple has already moved to this model and I’m sure you will see other large companies like Microsoft move to it as well. It’s cheaper, cuts down on losses from piracy, and also helps the consumer by ensuring that their software is always current and contains the latest and greatest features. The new Creative Cloud for Photographers offer will be available in a couple of weeks, around the time of the Lightroom 5.2 release and will run until December 31
Sometimes progress can be a bitter pill to swallow but I think that Adobe has made it easier for me by coating it with a sweet $9.99 price tag. Here’s the link to more information on Adobe’s blog page