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Photoshop in the Cloud? Or Lightroom?
Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 11:31 AM on 01.23.14
->> My very old copy of Photoshop now crashes more than it works ...

So looking for thoughts from people that have bitten the bullet and gone with the subscriber - based Photoshop verses buying Lightroom.

I do not process a lot of images (as event or wedding photographers would) but unsure whether the monthly cost of the PS subscription is worth it.

Thoughts from PS (cloud) and LR would be appreciated!
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John Todd, Photographer
Palo Alto | CA | usa | Posted: 11:45 AM on 01.23.14
->> Robert,

After several attempts to use Aperture, a combo of lightroom and CS 4, Capture NX, and the phase one software, I gave up recently and went to the cloud.

I hate a monthly subscription, but my processing life is so much easier and faster now.

10.00/mo is probably what upgrades would have cost, so in the long run, it's worth it to avoid the hassle of upgrading your software every time you buy a new camera.

So, I'm hating the thought of a subscription, but loving the software.
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Michael Augustin, Photographer
Bensalem | PA | USA | Posted: 12:00 PM on 01.23.14
->> I do 95% of my PP in LR. The new features in LR5 really get me over the goal line in so far as most editing needs. For PP that involves layers and stuff I will go to CS6 and lately, OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 8.

I have not found the need to go to the Cloud for Photoshop.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 12:21 PM on 01.23.14
->> It really depends on the person. I have my landscape workshop students who all are now using Lightroom. I used to offer Photoshop instruction and before the change (CC) and people were enthusiastic. Since the change I've noticed everyone uses Lightroom now and don't care about learning Photoshop. For my sports workflow I am:

DxO9 as my raw converter for color balance, sharpening, noise reduction, cropping, i.e. all global adjustments

Photoshop for saving from TIF to JPG and for moving players and the ball around in my shots to make them better. (JUST KIDDING!!!)

Photo Mech 9 for captions.

I use PS less and less, but...

I have found that although I was incensed at the new deal, I have to admit I love it. And it pisses me off that I love it. I recently decided to do an eBook, so I simply downloaded InDesign and off I go. You have to examine what your workflow requirements are now and go from there. But I have to begrudgingly admit that Adobe had the right idea, they just screwed up implementation and rollout. They did not sell it well at all.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 1:04 PM on 01.23.14
->> Are they (PS CC and LR) still available at the $10 a month rate? If so I would jump all over it...been on the cloud since the day it came out and it rocks.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 5:28 PM on 01.23.14
->> I still use aperture and love it. Hate adobe for what they did . I use aperture with nik tools a very nice combination.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Bangkok | Bangkok | Thailand | Posted: 8:20 PM on 01.23.14
->> Adobe is still offering the $9.99 per month deal for PS in the Cloud. That deal does include Lightroom.

I don't like the idea of renting my software. I am not using CC or Photoshop. 100% of my workflow is based on Lightroom, (which I own rather than rent). I occasionally use a Photo Mechanic / Pixelmator (Pixelmator replaces Photoshop) workflow when I shoot JPEGs. But I very rarely shoot JPEG.

Pixelmator gets better all the time but there are still a couple of big or semi big things that prevent it from being a 100% replacement for Photoshop.

1) No CMYK conversions. If you need CMYK this is obviously a problem.
2) It doesn't support IPTC captioning. This is why I bought Photo Mechanic.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 11:20 PM on 01.23.14
->> I use Photoshop CC at work because we need the CMYK conversion. If you don't need CMYK conversion, the latest version of Photoshop Elements may be an economic way to go, plus you can open Raw images using it providing your camera is supported.
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Keith Lucas, Photographer
Verona | VA | USA | Posted: 11:57 AM on 01.24.14
->> I just switched to the cloud...been a good experience on my end. I still use several other tools but when I need Photoshop, it is fast, responsive, and there...While not a fan of cloud subscriptions, I must admit this hasn't been a painful switch!
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Victor Biro, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 5:53 PM on 02.02.14
->> I think describing the Creative Cloud subscription as "running in the cloud" gives the impression that you are using it over the Internet.

I subscribed to the $9.95 deal and moved from LR 4.4 to 5 and have seen little functional difference between the two versions. It works regardless of whether I am connected to the Internet.

It downloads a copy of the applications (LR and PS) to my laptop and I am in business. I think there is a requirement that it checks in periodically with the Adobe licensing servers, but I would be connecting to file and check email anyway.

The big plus is that for $120/year - less than the purchase price for LR - I get both LR and PS. It gives me the opportunity to work with PhotoShop for my non-editorial work, since LR does everything I can ethically do to editorial stuff.

There is no way that I would have purchased PhotoShop just to experiment, so the deal has been great in this regard.

For those that are doing editorial work with version 4.x I wouldn't expect any incremental value in upgrading to CC.
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Paul W Gillespie, Photographer
Annapolis | MD | USA | Posted: 7:51 PM on 02.02.14
->> I am seriously thinking about upgrading from CS5 to the combo LR CS6 deal. The price is decent for both programs and I would love to learn LR and hopefully speed up my workflow when it comes to batching raw images. I mostly shoot jpegs for editorial, but raw for commercial/non editorial clients. I just can't get used to the new camera raw in CS6. I have it at my paper and I am too used to the old sliders.

I also want to be sure that if I upgrade, go for the new deal, if I don't like it,I can go back to CS5 for now. I wonder if I can run the LR/CS6 CC and CS5 on the same machine?
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Baron Sekiya, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hilo | HI | USA | Posted: 1:58 AM on 02.03.14
->> I stopped buying Photoshop upgrades after CS3. I couldn't stand Adobe refusing to update the import plugin for newer RAW camera formats. I bought Apple's Aperture and use that for most processing, they always update the RAW import plugins for free.

I bought Pixelmator but I find it not intuitive after using Photoshop for such a long time. So I use the open source software GIMP which is now at v2.8.10 and imported keyboard shotcuts to make it match Photoshop. So all the muscle memory in my keystrokes match what I was doing in Photoshop. And GIMP imports RAW natively on the Mac.

I'm trying to use open source as much as possible, here's a bunch of links I put together with commercial replacements with open source projects.

The link for the keyboard shortcuts to emulate PS in GIMP is called ps-menurc.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 2:12 AM on 02.03.14
->> Although I'd really like to try Lightroom or Aperture it seems as though both of them require an elaborate "import" process in order to use them.

Is it possible to use either of them to open just one or two RAW files and then process those images? I'd like to be able to designate LR or Aperture as my go-to edit program in Photo Mechanic (replacing Photoshop).
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Otto Kitsinger, Photographer
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 5:19 AM on 02.03.14
->> Jim - I can't speak to Aperture but I'm a heavy Lightroom user. The import process doesn't have to be too elaborate. I think of it like this: the program applies edits to your image not as destructive pixel edits, but as math, an edit decision list, which is part of how you can so easily do presets, and cut and paste settings and what you've done to one image to others - until you output, it's just a set of instructions.

So the import can be seen as the program saying "What photos shall I keep track of in this particular database that I shall refer to as a catalog?" - like an XMP sidecar, but not only for a single image, but however many you like, be it one or ten or 50,000.

When I'm working on deadline, I have an empty catalog set up for just that game, and I just drag the one or two or five images I want to edit right then directly from PM's thumbnails window to the LR icon on the dock, and it imports just those few images. Quick edit, mostly from a preset, and then output with a preset, and those outputs are in another folder which is also open in PM, and I finish captions and send from there.

I don't know if you can set LR (or Aperture) as the "edit in" from PM, since LR doesn't edit your originals, and I'd think PM would be looking for you to round trip that single file and wouldn't expect a new file. Maybe you can; I haven't tried. For me, while that drag to LR and then the output adds a step, I am very happy knowing the original file is untouched and there is no chance of me overwriting it.

When I'm all done, that catalog will have all the edits done from that game/event, still editable; I can go into my master catalog of work and "Import from catalog" and pull those edits and images into the master catalog, keeping a year's work (or whatever group you want in a catalog) and their still-changable edits together.

A caveat: the bulk of my work won't need the fully finished captions on my end after they're sent off, and so while I do keep those images, the fact that I finish those captions on the output files after leaving LR means the LR copies don't have the finished captions. I may consider a workflow change to get that done in LR itself, or in PM before I do the import step. Alternatively, one could import those finished output files that you captioned later in PM into the master catalog you're keeping. Or, if you use PM as your master thing to sort images with, then the finished files are just fine.

(If you're a Photoshelter user, I believe you can get it to sync metadata and pull those captions back into LR.)
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 6:27 AM on 02.03.14
->> As Victor points out, "the cloud" really has little to do with it...this is really just software by subscription. I switched over a year ago, and it works for me. I use PhotoShop just about every day, and enough of the other apps to make it worthwhile.
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David G. McIntyre, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hong Kong | . | CHINA | Posted: 8:34 AM on 02.03.14
->> I do the subscription, and you get all their programs, including Photoshop and Lightroom. You can use on 2 computers. I love it, and the updates are worth it.
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Dirk Dewachter, Photographer
Playa Del Rey | CA | USA | Posted: 11:54 AM on 02.03.14
->> I been using the Creative Cloud subscription as an upgrade from a previous CS version and pay shy of $30 per month for ALL ADOBE TITLES, which you can then install on two computers. Along with the subscription you receive 20GB of cloud storage. If you own a previous CS version you qualify for that cost, otherwise it costs $50.00 per month. You receive automatic updates and in the long run it saves you money $360 for the annual subscription, or over $500 for the Adobe Creative Suite upgrade, plus it allows me to use all of their titles.
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Fred Brooks, Photographer
Millington | TN | USA | Posted: 1:46 PM on 02.03.14
->> I went with the subscription model when I purchased a new laptop. I can't tell any difference in the functionality of the programs. Just have connect to the internet every 30days to renew the subscription.

Looks like they still running the $9.99 per month special.
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Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 2:45 PM on 02.03.14
->> I signed up in December. It all worked fine until I was on location a month ago. It wanted to phone home and check if I was legitimate. I was in a place where I could not get an internet connection. I had to log in as a guest. Totally ridiculous. It o took less than 7 minutes to get up and running again, but it was a pain.

Having said that, I do like the new Photoshop. I was on CS5. I usually only updated every 2 versions or so.
I tried to use Lightroom, but I do not process that many images and I do not want it to make a library for me so I do not use it.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 3:17 PM on 02.03.14
->> Maybe somebody can straighten me out, but what is the big draw to Lightroom? I have it many of the controls are so small I can't view them on a laptop screen (15.6). I began shooting all RAW now, so I bring my stuff in first viewing in Photo Mechanic, then editing in Adobe Camera RAW. So what would be the point of using Lightroom? I find it easy enough to glide through my work in PM, and I save folders via the date and title. Any thoughts?
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Victor Biro, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 6:16 PM on 02.03.14
->> Jeff,

The real strengths of LightRoom is the image management, and non-destructive editing.

Initially I found the idea of managing my inventory of images in LR unappealing, but after I created the catalogue it was much easier to manage images using keywords and other metadata, The effort up front was worthwhile in the long-term.

Editing in LR does not impact the RAW file, or JPEG if that's what you're working with. It makes the changes in a sidecar, XMP, file that can be read and applied in LR, PS, and in some cases PM.

Editing of IPTC captions and other stuff was a PITA in LR. I still use PhotoMechanic for the initial ingest of the card, captioning and keywording. Although it seems counter-intuitive, I found that when I added PM in front of the LR process that things moved much faster.

A great video tutorial on a workflow with PM and LR is Dan Carr's:
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Frank Niemeir, Photographer
Woodstock | GA | usa | Posted: 6:48 PM on 02.03.14
->> A couple of other must watch videos and

Also to add to Baron's list are and

I've used Irfanview to open some old proprietary Kodak CD's that had images on them that Photoshop could not open.

I think the $9.99 deal is for this year only and will go up next year.
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Daniel Malmberg, Photographer, Photo Editor
Huskvarna | Sweden | Sweden | Posted: 7:17 PM on 02.03.14
->> I do just as Victor.

Ingesting and metadata in Photo Mechanic.
And the remaining work in LightRoom.

For me, i find this faster than PM + PS.

Since i sometimes do video.
I do find Adobe Creative Cloud to be great.
It allows me to all the tools i need (besides PM).
Lightroom, Photoshop and Premiere Pro in the same package, with possibilities to use even more software like Acrobat X, illustrator and so on if i need/like to.

Overall i find Creative Cloud to be great.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 8:30 PM on 02.03.14
->> We don't have LR at work, just PM and PS CC. So that's what I have to stick with, but I do have LR on my personal Laptop and it has always seemed very slow when I worked on images, then exported them to work on in PS. It seems counter intuitive a lot of times, plus I have an older version of LR, V3. I guess I'm just not sold on its advantages.
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Frank Niemeir, Photographer
Woodstock | GA | usa | Posted: 7:31 AM on 02.04.14
->> Probably should have started a separate thread, but this is worth noting "Adobe Photoshop Veteran John Nack Moves To Google To Work On Digital Photo Team"

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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 9:35 AM on 02.04.14
->> Subscription software model

I have these issues with subscription models:
- It irrevocably ties your work product to the success of the software company forever eliminating the possibility of reliable archiving
Accessing your edited files in the future is completely dependent on the ability of Adobe to stay in business. If they have an issue or simply decide to not support a certain package in the future you will not be able to edit your files. Boxed software does not have this problem. You can archive a working computer and boxed software along with your files and in ten years you'll be able to access your files even if Adobe is long gone.

- If you can't pay you can't work
$99/month doesn't seem like much, but everyone can go through a period where money is tight and you might not be working as much as you could/should (injury/disability come to mind). If you are bedridden due to injury and money is tight, you can't work on your files unless you continue to pay Adobe. If you think this is silly and live in a world where you will always have $100/month to give a software company good on ya. Not everyone is as fortunate as you.

- It's expensive if you only use software occasionally
I use a five year old copy of After Effects to do some basic motion blur and video retouch for timelapse videos I shoot with my GoPro. I'm not a professional animator and I don't use the software more than once a month, but it's really nice when I do and I have upwards of 50 AE projects saved along with my footage. It makes no sense financially for me to pay $50/month extra for what I do with AE...much less pay that fee until the end of time just for the privilege of opening and rendering something five years from now.

I don't mind paying for software and there is no question Adobe software is the best. But I do not like the idea that access to my work product will become dependent on my desire and ability to pay Adobe from now until the end of time.

A good way to look at this is a musician "licensing" his/her keyboard synthesizer. If you pay $99/month the synthesizer keeps working and hey - you'll get every new effect or plug-in FREE (whether you want it or not). But if you stop paying the only thing you can do is play songs you've already created on the synthesizer. No new notes. No new songs.

Sounds silly when you put in those terms but it's exactly the same thing. Why on earth would you be comfortable with that model?
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James Broome, Photographer
Tampa | FL | US | Posted: 9:50 AM on 02.04.14
->> David has expressed my feelings on a subscription model perfectly. It is for those reasons that I purchased the boxed version of CS6 Production Premium and will hold onto it as long as I need to.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 12:02 PM on 02.04.14
->> Actually, the keyboard synthesizer is NOT a good comparison. It's exactly the opposite.

Software is intellectual property - BINGO - just like our photos. And even when you've "bought" a boxed copy, you haven't bought it - you've licensed it.

Buying a boxed copy of software is just like buying a print. You didn't "buy" it - you licensed it.

Of course, just because, to you, it is a "tool" (like a keyboard synthesizer) doesn't make it so.

Advertising agencies, after all, regard our photos as mere "tools" that they use to produce...whatever they produce. (Ads, or magazine publishers produce magazines, or whatever.)

And wanting to have control over Adobe's intellectual property that you've licensed is EXACTLY like a client wanting to have control over the images that they have licensed from you.

For this reason - and because it happens to be a better business proposition for me - I subscribe to Creative Cloud.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 12:09 PM on 02.04.14
->> Most synthesizers run on what? Software!
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Frank Niemeir, Photographer
Woodstock | GA | usa | Posted: 2:10 PM on 02.04.14
->> Also for the Mac
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 3:12 PM on 02.04.14
->> And wanting to have control over Adobe's intellectual property that you've licensed is EXACTLY like a client wanting to have control over the images that they have licensed from you.

Kinda not. I mean I see what you're saying and it's a common argument albeit over simplistic. There are ways of handling the IP issues that are not so user/creative unfriendly.

Anything with a processor in it has intellectual property that is technically licensed. In the synthesizer example the codecs and the various processor ASICs are all licensed IP. Your car has a ton of IP in every single component. Your television, anything with a processor all have proprietary software that is licensed IP.

Any device could quite easily be set up to implement the same type of draconian licensing scheme that Adobe has chosen to do and they would be completely within their IP rights to do so. But nobody would buy a synthesizer or television that would stop working if you didn't keep paying fees. It's a user-hostile approach to doing business, which is why I won't be supporting Adobe's efforts in this regard.
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Victor Biro, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 7:18 PM on 02.04.14
->> David,

Just so that we're all on the same page, the LR + PS deal is $9.99, not $99.

Your point is taken: Inability to pay, means inability to work. However, that difference in price significantly impacts the likelihood of that money not being available. If you're struggling to pay the $9.99, then you are also struggling to pay for other necessities, like gas, and this is probably impacting your ability to do your job.
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Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 8:31 PM on 02.04.14
->> David, I am 100% with you. Not to mention that if you are working in a foreign country for a length of time where internet access is spotty or non-existent, you could be in a heap of trouble if you wanted to work and Adobe required you to go online for some or other reason. Nevermind trying to call them from a foreign country to try sort things out. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, not fun... I am so not comfortable with the Cloud concept. It is as you say, we are totally depending on whether the company holding the 'cloud' storage stays in business or not; on whether Adobe stays solvent or not.
I have CS5, and touch wood, my computer still works fine, and I will not need anything new soon. But what will happen when I get a new camera body that Adobe Camera Raw will not support, except via a new version of Photoshop? I guess one would have to use the camera software for raw conversion, and then feed it into CS5, slowing everything down, but it is workable.
This is also a pet peeve I have with Adobe, that we have to upgrade Photoshop every time we buy a new camera. If I can find a reliable way to move away from Photoshop I will.
My 11 piastres...
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Alan Herzberg, Photographer
Elm Grove | WI | USA | Posted: 11:40 PM on 02.04.14
->> David: You're not irrevocably tied to Adobe. Edit the images, export as tiff, jpg, whatever. Adobe goes under or charges $99/month instead of $9.99, start using a different program. Your files are on your computer or external hard drive, or wherever you choose to put them, not necessarily on "the cloud." When you stop using Adobe, your files are still there for you, just like when you bought Photoshop on a DVD.
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Victor Biro, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 11:43 PM on 02.04.14
->> Wally,

You make a great point.

BTW, your images are not saved "in the cloud". They are saved locally, unless you save them to the cloud storage that is available. Lightroom functions identically to the non-CC version, allowing you to save on your local computer, network drive, or any other cloud storage service that mimics a local or mapped network drive.

Concerns about the stability or availability of the 'cloud' storage services are unwarranted, unless you elect to make use of the service. However, I would worry about how often it needs to check in with the licensing server.

Adobe does provide 20GB as a teaser, but I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, for all the reasons outlined. Additionally, I am reluctant to use services that are mission critical to me, but are not a company's core business. Adobe is a software company primarily, and if they decide that there isn't enough business in their cloud storage service they could dump it without interfering with their core business.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 12:25 AM on 02.05.14
->> Alan,

Sorry about the amount...I was referring to what I added up to duplicate what I currently have with Master Collection - which I invested in a few years ago.

I don't know how much work you've done in After Effects but the project files in AE are not usable in any other software package. Same goes for smart objects in Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, etc. If you use the full features of the programs all you can do is export finished work product...which is very limited (and with something like AE - almost completely useless).

Software companies do go under. They also decide to goodnight software they no longer feel like supporting. They obsolete old/previous versions, retire plug-ins, you name it. Adobe has obsoleted features, filters, etc. multiple times throughout their entire catalog. If you are on subscription you have no choice but to keep upgrading.

Another issue that I deal with in another part of my life has to do with corporate-level issues with this type of model. Software that costs over a certain amount can be treated as a capital expense - which has certain tax and investment benefits and can be paid off over time similar to a car loan. When it comes to big ticket software this is beneficial - you can plan your upgrades for once every few years after the purchase is depreciated.

Subscription payments come straight off the top line just like a water bill. A 50 person team using the complete plan will cost as much as as one salary. That's significant.

There are also issues involving compliance and disaster recovery that are too long and tedious to get into here but the long and short of it is if you can't box up a computer with a set of software and stash it away it's not something you can call "archive-able" and that is problematic.

On a related topic - this model will also force you to upgrade hardware over time. It's already happened with the 32-to-64 bit leap - you simply can't use some creative cloud apps without being 64-bit. If you have your old copy of CS3 around and for whatever reason can't go to 64-bit yet you can still work. Can't do that going forward in CC. Again you can hand wave and make idealistic proclamations about how "you should be keeping up with hardware anyway if you're a 'professional'", but think about how many people are still using older hardware to get things done. This type of model will force you into upgrading or you simply won't be able to access your work (other than simple exports). Now you're not just talking about $9.99/month, you're talking about being forced into a $1,500 or more computer upgrade. Again just not user friendly.
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Timothy Andrews, Photographer
Pearl Harbor | Hi | USA | Posted: 1:44 AM on 02.05.14
->> Just for the record, you're required to "check in" online to maintain your subscription every 90 days. I know, because submarines underwater don't have internet...
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 11:46 AM on 02.05.14
->> Looking back at some of the responses...
...people keep trying to be smart for others and explain cloud resources as if that's what everyone is stressed about. I completely understand the cloud concept and it has nothing to do with my reservations about Adobe's approach. The subscription model and using cloud resources are two completely separate issues.

It was a very clever marketing move for Adobe to distort this issue with the "cloud" terminology because I think a lot of people see them as one thing. They wrapped the software subscription model together with the "cloud" features to pass it off like you're signing up for Dropbox or something...even though the real evil part of this "upgrade" is the automatic kill switch they installed in the software that lives on your own computer. Think about how much protest there would be if they launched the subscription model standalone without any "cloud" features.
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Colin Lenton, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | United States | Posted: 3:59 PM on 02.05.14
->> To answer your original question Robert, I don't think that you would find LR alone to have enough features to work 100% of the time. As is already stated, the price for both @10/ month is reasonable, and I would recommend that.

I've been using CC since it was first introduced as an option a couple years ago, and I've been loving it. I've got the full suite.
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Thread Title: Photoshop in the Cloud? Or Lightroom?
Thread Started By: Robert Hanashiro
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