It Can Always Be Better

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eating Cake After the Adobe Apocalypse

Like a bad dream where I might see myself running off of a cliff, unable to flap my arms enough to fly, I've watched the photo retouching industry in the United States go from a lucrative specialty boutique to a cheap dollar store. Nevertheless, I've made a modest living in this field. However, Adobe's latest money-grab software rental scheme has certainly been a bloody crash into the ground.

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 is only one alternative on the market at this time (which I hope to review soon). 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.


Vivian S. Bedoya said...

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Now that the cloud has turned Adobe into a lemon, I intend to squeeze everything I can out of CS6 for as long as possible!

I found two online CMYK converters - both free - and this one worked very well on a test image I uploaded. Check it out!

Eric Basir said...

Thanks for sharing that Vivian. Gimp has the closest thing to a CMYK converter. But this is much simpler. Regardless, we need to get GIMP up to speed with versatile CMYK and Lab functions. These are amazing color spaces when doing advanced color correction. I encourage all of us to support its development through donating

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