I've watched countless photo retouchers—who were more skilled than myself—survive sundry rounds of layoffs at large companies and studios. Eventually they all got sacked. I've watched them struggle to make it on there own (it ain't easy). I've watched them change careers at 40, 50 and 60+ years of age. It's been hell. So when I say I've made a modest living, I am being...well, modest!
We live on a very tight budget. Vacations are impossible. Debt accumulation is out of the picture. Eating out? If you mean eating in the front yard or patio, then yes. Cable television? Nope. Car? What's that? If you mean a bike, I own two! The gas mileage and insurance just can't be beat with a bicycle and a bus pass! We just don't believe in monthly payments for anything but utilities. We pay everything when the bill comes in. Software and hardware are not rented here. So when Adobe said I will no longer be able to upgrade their products without renting their software, I blew a gasket.
I have thus accepted it as fact and that I have hit the ground. So I will adapt—as many other users of Adobe Photoshop and other programs that have chosen to be rental-only.
There are many wonderful alternatives to Adobe Photoshop. Believe me, I'm going to spend much more time working with them when it comes to teaching photo restoration to me students. However, when it comes to working in CMYK, Lab and more obscure functions such as plate blending between RGB and CMYK color spaces, there are no alternatives on the market at this time. Adobe has it locked! They are the boss. They are god (little gee). They think they are god...for now. History is full of examples of might empires falling. Their time will come. Sooner than later, I hope.
Meanwhile, I've been pondering the future of Photo Grafix even deeper. I will not compromise and give in to Adobe. So that means I'm stuck with obsolete versions of their software. I predict those of us who keep the same obsolete software and hardware will have at least 5 years of running it into the ground. That should give me plenty of time to make a necessary transition teaching only—or working exclusively with clients who use an RGB digital camera workflow.
I may not be able to have my cake and eat it too. However that goes just as much for Adobe.