It doesn’t take long perusing through the various photography blog comment sections to determine that Adobe’s cloud photography plan is not popular among many pros and enthusiasts. Lightroom has been the de-facto standard for photography cataloguing and editing for many years. Much of that time it has been a standalone desktop program with a one-time payment for its use.
Adobe officially ended that option on October 18.
The outcry of Photoshop being only a Creative Cloud option does not appear to have been met with the same disdain.
For $10/month and 20GB of storage a photographer subscribes to a photography plan that includes Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. Lightroom CC is a mobile photography version which allows a photograph to be shared across multiple mobile platforms very easily. Lightroom Classic is the same desktop program that has been available for years, just renamed.
Many photographers dislike the subscription plan, instead preferring to buy a program outright. Fair enough but how many times will they upgrade that purchase? Software developers always want you to upgrade when they release a new version. Getting it for free is just not likely.
As long as I stay subscribed to the photography plan I get the updates and new versions. For $120/year I get the use of two professional level programs. Like it or not they are the industry standard.
Now, apparently Capture One is a favorite for those giving up Lightroom. It’s $300. I suppose you could buy it once and never upgrade again. In less than two years it will have paid for itself over the Adobe subscription model. That’s definitely an option. ON1 provides a very capable editor for $120. I’ve used it and didn’t like it better than Lightroom but it is another great option for the subscription averse.
I’ve spent about 3 years learning Lightroom and Photoshop. There is a learning curve. It seems that Adobe has me hooked. There are tons of free tutorials covering the products that frankly give me added value and subscription justification.
Adobe appears to be going after the mobile photography group pretty hard. Lightroom CC may not be a pros favorite tool but thousands of people taking photos with their phone will love it. Many photographers have no interest in desktop editing but will happily pay for a nice suite of photography tools. Especially if those tools are readily accessible online and are easy to use on their mobile devices.
Of course people disagree with my assessment that social media and mobile photography are where Adobe sees their profits, at least in photography. There is little interest in the cloud and subscriptions from pros and enthusiasts, at least on the forums and comment sections I’ve visited. So I take the group at their word in moving off LR and believe Adobe has accounted for that and really doesn’t care.
Take a look at the Photoshop upgrade. They are making a huge effort to get beginners using the tool with the videos and gifs for help.
I think Adobe’s (profitable) photography future is in mobile and that is where they are focused despite management claims that they are all in for development support for Classic for years to come. That is surely going to bug the photgraphy elite.