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Archive 2013 · Those darn Adobe bastards
  
 
nolaguy
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p.1 #1 · Those darn Adobe bastards


This forum is now littered with panties-in-wads over Adobe's current plans. I get it. But as a well meaning PSA, here's an alternate point of view. Peace on earth and goodwill toward amazing technology. No flames or counter-views will be taken as offensive. I will turn the other (memory) chip.


Circa 1986 I attended the (apparently now defunct) Gutenberg Festival (at the time, a professional printing trade show Mecca) and saw a vendor demoing the $250,000 equivalent of what you and I now consider trivial in Photoshop as a matter of routine on a sh*tty used $450 PC.

As a part of the demo, they changed the color of a farm silo and everyone watching “oooed and ahhhhed”. The technician was seated at a 15 foot wide console that looked like it came from Nasa Control at Space Center Houston.


Back to the future. I'm no PP expert but as far as I can tell, Adobe has developed (or acquired and integrated) the most comprehensive, powerful mid-to-middle-high range, inter-compatible suite of multi-media software in existence. The seamlessness of the products from one to another isn’t perfect, but it’s functional. Once you have a sense of the Adobe interface and logic (as with Office products) it’s fairly easy to intuit and understand Adobe from app to app.


Are their products “mature”?.. as of today, pretty much (though continued refinements in cross-functional capabilities will no doubt continue – as will new ideas over time we simply can’t imagine today).

Does the ROI decrease within mature businesses with heavy market-saturation?... inevitably.

Does that often lead to a sense of less bang for the buck for end customers/users?... of course.

Do we still need their products and for Adobe to remain financially viable?... you tell me.


Without Adobe's subscription model we’ll see the alternative to that five or ten years from now when other companies achieve a greater parity with Adobe, when Adobe is less a monopoly, when prices are driven down and R&D and customer service is less financially practical for all companies chasing the same piece of the pie with essentially the same products.

Then, at long last, they will look more like the current state of professional photography wherein few can make a good living on a sustainable basis because the perceived difference between vendors (including many amateurs) is so slight, everyone competes on price and on average, the end product/service suffers because no one wants to pay for professionalism and a sustainable business model.

[Or potentially worse for professional photographers, the price of admission to software tools absolutely necessary for our business is so low that any amateur can afford it, further blurring the line between those serious about this business and those sorta playin around charging $800 per wedding.]


Is that an extreme way to put it?... maybe, maybe not. Regardless, I really don’t fret over $50 a month if it means I have the latest and greatest and don’t have to learn a new eco-system in five years because Adobe’s less solvent.



As the little guys, it’s easy for us to rail against the man and resent what appears to be greed. It’s harder (and less natural for humans) to look at it all and try to imagine the pickle we’d be in without their amazing products.

I want Adobe successful. I want them solvent. It’s incredible to me that software that can do so much is so affordable.


Have a look. This is entertaining.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpUNA2nutbk


Best,

Chuck



May 18, 2013 at 07:34 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #2 · Those darn Adobe bastards


On the other hand (or not), this is rich:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Iw9q2X9cU



May 18, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Dave_EP
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p.1 #3 · Those darn Adobe bastards


nolaguy wrote:
I really don’t fret over $50 a month if it means I have the latest and greatest and don’t have to learn a new eco-system in five years because Adobe’s less solvent.


Hmmm....


1) I wouldn't fret over $50 a month if it was $50 everywhere, but as usual it isn't. Adobe has been ripping off non-USA customer for years with higher prices and this continues even with the CC. We buy the software in the same way, using the same sort of servers etc. Why should we pay more?

2) I wouldn't fret over $50 a month if that was all it was ever going to be (reasonably adjusted for inflation going forwards), but I fear this is the thin end of the wedge for many of us. $50 for Adobe. What's next? All the $50 amounts add up, especially when they figure out they have you locked in and introduce above inflation monopolistic price rises, while our own business as suffering potential revenue decreases with continued and increasing market saturation.

3) I wouldn't fret over $50 a month if you could also guarantee that Adobe would in fact still be around and that I won't have locked all my digital assets in to Adobe proprietary formats only for Adobe to cease trading and "rentals" not renewed. You may consider this far fetched, but look what happened to Kodak.

4) I wouldn't fret over $50 if I hadn't already invested in the full suite at > $2,000 only then to be told sorry you can't 'buy' the upgrades like we reasonably expected, you can now only "rent" them. Oh, and BTW, that $2,000 you spent 'buying the perpetual license'? Well hahaha, you wasted your money. Now every one gets access to the same software you had to spend $2000 to get but for the same $50 a month we now want you to pay (the first year discount for existing license holder is an insult). Shame on you for giving us (and our shareholders) your money too soon. Screw you for buying a perpetual license, and screw the bugs in the software you already paid for because we're not going to fix them. You'll have to rent the fixes.

Now, on the other hand, if I hadn't spent the > $2000 on the perpetual license I'd probably be grinning from ear to ear and thinking this was a good deal.

It's all a matter of perspective.



May 19, 2013 at 12:20 PM
borderlight
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p.1 #4 · Those darn Adobe bastards


I want Adobe successful. I want them solvent. It’s incredible to me that software that can do so much is so affordable.

Um, I'm going to have to go ahead and sort of disagree with you there.


Lumbergh



May 19, 2013 at 06:31 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #5 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Lumbergh, I can imagine reasons why you disagree, but I'd be interested in hearing them from you.

Dave, well said and I agree with your points. As I mentioned in my second sentence, "I get it".

I'm not at all impassioned about the "alternate" point of view, actually think the way Adobe handled this is pretty lame (again, +1 Dave) and am not trying to persuade anyone. Just kinda stirring the pot to round out the conversation and listen to replies.

Thanks for taking the time guys - and for not calling me names...

C




May 19, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Paul Gardner
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p.1 #6 · Those darn Adobe bastards


I go back to Version 3 (NOT CS3) which means I've paid a lot more than $2000 USD over the last 20 years. Right now I'm living on SS which makes $50 a month to Adobe when congress gives us a cola of $15 a month which doesn't even cover rent increase, much less basic grocery cost. So I guess I will be out of business in probably two years.
Regards
Paul



May 20, 2013 at 12:02 AM
borderlight
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p.1 #7 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Paul - I feel your pain. Me SS too. The favorite COLA in Congress is Tab, as in you get to pick it up because it's not on the House.


May 20, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #8 · Those darn Adobe bastards


I don't care one hoot about the bloodsuckers at Adobe. I don't care if the company survives, in fact I hope their current greedy money grab opens the door and the competition enters and knocks them out.

But then that's just me. Monopolistic companies are difficult to deal with and the mud brick company seems to be one of the worst. No Photoshop CS or Lightroom for me. I own a PSE version and will seriously look at the competition before upgrading again.



May 20, 2013 at 12:56 AM
borderlight
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p.1 #9 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Lumbergh, I can imagine reasons why you disagree, but I'd be interested in hearing them from you.

I can't because I am a fictional character from the movie "Office Space". See it, then you will get the quote.



May 20, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #10 · Those darn Adobe bastards


borderlight wrote:
I can't because I am a fictional character from the movie "Office Space". See it, then you will get the quote.



As long as I can still create my TPS reports I don;t care....



May 20, 2013 at 01:28 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



borderlight
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p.1 #11 · Those darn Adobe bastards


As long as I can still create my TPS reports I don;t care....

Mmm, yeah. Milton, meet Adobe.



May 20, 2013 at 02:03 AM
nolaguy
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p.1 #12 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Camperjim wrote:
I don't care one hoot about the bloodsuckers at Adobe. I don't care if the company survives, in fact I hope their current greedy money grab opens the door and the competition enters and knocks them out.


(emphasis mine)… THAT, is the ticket.

In my opinion, dead on, Jim. Sort of… (please bear with me). Here’s where it gets more interesting.

I do care about the “bloodsuckers” at Adobe until a company comes along that both provides a better value and delivers all the capability I want (or believe I need)… …and are smarter about it.

At that point, the capitalistic waltz of angels reconciles the universe – and poor business decisions are punished while better ones are rewarded. If no company does, perhaps Adobe got it right.

Camperjim wrote:
…But then that's just me. Monopolistic companies are difficult to deal with and the mud brick company seems to be one of the worst.


In all but the most extraordinary of circumstances, monopolies never last (and when they do, it’s almost always for the greater good). Such is the charm of humanity’s intolerance of nonsense and willingness to call bullsh*t.

One (hopefully soft-spoken) thought is, in the middle of the often-unkind ocean of business, I’d rather be in a sound boat that I currently need than risk the boat to disrepair when the only other options (I currently see) are far less-capable arm floaties… even if the boat manufacturer is not being as reasonable with me as might be nice (or smart).

My preference at present, is the best toolset (and the certainty it will be there tomorrow (no need to comment on that irony)) even at the unpleasantness of a bit of gouging. Unfortunate, but true. And I’ve no doubt if theirs is an approach flawed in the details, there will be market punishment to be exacted, and it will likely come (as Jim suggests) because competition enters and knocks them out. If they don’t bring a bit more common sense to bear this is almost as certain as the laws of physics.

For now, I do wish Adobe well because I believe they have the best tools and I appreciate having access to them. My current perception is I need them more than they need me. But the way they’ve gone about reminding me of that is troubling. If and when the “knock out” comes, I’ll be very comfortable seeing their poor business decisions punished.

Till then, here’s my account number and authorization to draft. As Louis CK infers, even this sh*tty deal is a miracle – at least for now. And what goes around comes around, yada yada.

Thanks all, for being gentle with me here. I expected some slamming but everyone has been polite and restrained about the topic. Very cool.

I’ll note that this is the first time I’ve begun a deliberately controversial thread on FM. I hoped it would turn into an interesting point-counterpoint: “man, Adobe is amazing, we’re lucky to have this software” and “man oh man did they stub their toe with this one – if they don’t right it, it’s gonna catch up with them”.

“Jane, you ignorant slut”
Dan Aykroyd

I hope you all have a lovely week.



May 20, 2013 at 05:48 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #13 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Rather than think "man, Adobe is amazing, we're lucky to have this software" maybe it is time to think about what photography would be like without Photoshop. Maybe it is time to use simpler tools and for photography to return closer to what actually comes out of the camera. Anyway, even without Photoshop there are a lot of post processing tools.

With Photoshop we are able to seriously enhance, alter, and make images virtually from nothing. The result is often not pretty. I look at the FM landscape thread on almost a daily basis. It seems every photographer has to be more spectacular than the next. Landscapes have joined the world of composites with replaced skies. Landscapes have neon skies and mottled light and intense colors with details that did not exist.

Maybe it is a good thing that Photoshop will cost $20/mo. Maybe it should be $20/day and we can place more emphasis on capturing great images and less on post processing. Then again everyone likes bright and gaudy even if it does not reflect reality.



May 20, 2013 at 11:37 AM
borderlight
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p.1 #14 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Camperjim - I think you got it right. I guess if you are doing abstract photography, or use Photoshop like a painter it seems reasonable, but most of us are just enhancing - things that used to be done in the wet darkroom, or with camera filters. Photoshop, if overused, becomes a addicting crutch that masks a photographer's true abilities. There still is software designed just for the photographer, minus the trick stuff. If your focus is off maybe you shouldn't look to a software program to save you. Maybe all you need are a few tools instead of an endless parade of Photoshop goodies that you will never use. It's stupid when you replace your kid's head with a smiling one shot a month ago. It reminds me of all those horrible double exposures shot at weddings in the 70s.

I say use whatever program you have use it sparingly. When you don't you might as well send the first place ribbon to Photoshop as they gave you the ability to make something not intended.




May 20, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #15 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Borderlight, obviously we agree, but we also seem to be in a distrinct minority.

As I said when I view the images on the FM Landscape forum, lots of them are very pumped up and processed. Sometimes I can see that skies have been replaced. Usually I can only really tell this if I go to the photographer's webpage and see the same sky used multiple times. Most of the images have had serious color saturation enhancements. I know there are Topaz and Nik tools that do remarkable things. A few times I can guess which techniques were used, but most often I have no idea what was actually done.

It is not surprising that the general public likes bright and pumped up images. I continue to be surprised at the popularity of these images on a photographer's forum. Many of the viewers don't seem to have a clue. They must see that the same photographers go out shooting and always come back to the forum with a collection of once in a lifetime shots. You think this would be obvious, but instead the typical comment is something like "nice capture". Yeah, right. The comment ought to be nice processing.

I don't have anything against someone who "makes" images or who does compositing or uses special filters and techniques. I do think it is a shame that those approaches have become the norm. I found the same thing when I did camera club competitions. If you want to win, you need something with more shock and awe than the competiton.



May 20, 2013 at 04:38 PM
RichFisher
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p.1 #16 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Adobe missed the boat with PS. Owners of PS with CS6 should get a big discount ($10/month), owners of CS 3-5 ($15 /month) , a modest discount, owners before CS 3 a small discount ($17.50 /month) vs normal PS monthly price of $20 / month.




May 20, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #17 · Those darn Adobe bastards


And the rest of us should tell them....no way


May 20, 2013 at 08:35 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #18 · Those darn Adobe bastards


RichFisher wrote:
Adobe missed the boat with PS. Owners of PS with CS6 should get a big discount ($10/month), owners of CS 3-5 ($15 /month) , a modest discount, owners before CS 3 a small discount ($17.50 /month) vs normal PS monthly price of $20 / month.


This is why I described Adobe's approach to the situation as lame. I don't (for my purposes) inherently object to a subscription approach, but Dave said it first (in this thread) and Rich's example adds to the point.

Surely there was a better way to more equitably reward (or at least not enrage) customers with more recent purchases, and so on.



May 20, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #19 · Those darn Adobe bastards


It seems obvious that Adobe is not interested in a "reward" for recent customers. The Adobe plan seems to mean taking advantage of their monopoly to get as much money as possible.

I would not call their approach "lame", just greedy.



May 21, 2013 at 01:49 AM
mcbane
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p.1 #20 · Those darn Adobe bastards


Adobe shareholders appear to be reaping a reward of sorts.


May 24, 2013 at 02:40 AM
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