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Photographers, Why Are You Hating on Adobe?

Over the last few years, it seems like it’s become really cool to hate Adobe; kind of like how it’s cool to hate Coldplay. Except the main difference is that Coldplay really does suck.

Note: I do not have any kind of relationship with Adobe.

Photoshop Is Still King

Photoshop is probably the most famous editing software in the world. It’s become part of society and has been adopted into our language. Chances are, that it’s more common to say “is that picture Photoshopped” as opposed to asking if it was edited.

If you’re a photographer, then you probably use or have an understanding of how to use Photoshop. It’s pretty much the industry standard now. There aren’t many if any other software’s available which can compete in terms of functionality and features. It’s the most famous photo editor for good reason. Even many of the people who have moved over to Capture One from Lightroom, still use Photoshop; because it’s a difficult piece of software to replace.

At this stage, I doubt I’ll ever change over to any other editing software. This is true even if the alternative is noticeably better. The main reason is that Photoshop is now part of my workflow.

For most people including myself, once you’ve learned one piece of software, it’s extremely unlikely to change over to another. It just isn’t cost-effective to move to another editor because of the time required to make yourself familiar. The learning curve costs time and money. Honestly, Photoshop serves most if not all requirements that photographers tend to have. For that reason, there’s very little need to consider any other option.

Why Lightroom Is Brilliant

My relationship with Lightroom is similar to the one I have with junk food; it’s easy and readily available. I know, that that Capture One is the more professional option and does a better job at developing raw files, but then, I did just eat a whole share bag of crisps.

In all seriousness though, Lightroom is brilliant. It’s still in my view the best software for bulk operations and quick editing. Add the Loupedeck to it and honestly, it’s difficult to compete against when it comes to how easy and straightforward it is to use.

Personally, I’ve spent more time with Capture One, but, even after years of experience with it, I still feel more comfortable with Lightroom. The main reason for this is because Capture One is trying to do a lot more with each update while Lightroom remains exactly what it is. This by no means a point against Capture One, because I prefer it in any logical discussion. What I’m trying to say is that Lightroom does a great job of being easy to edit with.

Being easy to use is an extremely valuable and highly underrated feature.

There are some genuine complaints about Lightroom that need to be addressed by Adobe, but for the most part I still recommend it.

The Best Suite Overall

The main advantage Adobe has is the fact that it’s a suite. As you grow and develop new skills, you have the tools available to you to continue using Adobe software. For example, I started my career as a photographer and now I also produce video content for my YouTube channel and for many of my clients. Video production is something that generates a great deal of income for me and using Adobe just made the whole process that much easier.

If I need to edit any audio clips, I can quickly take it into Audition and make some meaningful adjustments. I find After Effects to be super useful for timelapses and for making complex adjustments to video clips.

Adobe covers so many requirements for so many creatives that it really is the best suite overall.

The Subscription Model

I don’t understand how any reasonable individual could consider this to be a problem. The subscription model is fantastic. I currently have access to all of Adobe’s software for what is, in my view, an incredibly reasonable price. I mean seriously, what’s the argument against it; you don’t own the software? As customers, we probably don’t own any software we currently use, we merely have a license for it.

The subscription model is a far cheaper option. Previously, you’d have had to buy each individual software at a price that’s more than what the subscription costs over several years. Photoshop alone was priced at around $ 1,000, which is a lot more than I’d ever want to spend in one go on it.

I understand that some of you may want to argue that, needing to pay regularly, overtime ends up costing more. This isn’t true, at all.

Currently, the photography subscription, which includes Lightroom and Photoshop, costs $ 9.99 per month. You would need to have the subscription for about 10 years before it ended up costing you more. This also does not include the cost of upgrading to any new versions you may want in those 10 years.

Any argument that is around the price of the subscription model is wholly ridiculous. The subscription has made Adobe software available to far more people than ever before. Students who may have never been able to afford Photoshop now have access to the whole suite. The profits that Adobe is currently generating also prove that this is far more popular than the pricing method they had previously.

This subscription model has also pretty much eradicated the need to pirate the software. The price is so reasonable that people would have stolen the software are willing to pay for it.

Customer Support

Twice a year, Adobe will do something incredibly stupid and ruin everything. For some reason, this always seems to happen exactly when I’m in the middle of working on a big project. Just when I need everything to run smoothly, Adobe will haphazardly release an “update.”

Personally, I think it’s these incidents that really seem to frustrate many photographers. Adobe seems to think it’s a good idea to change how fundamental features should work.

Seriously, Adobe, get over yourselves and stop tampering with tried and true features. We all hate you for doing it.

Fortunately, the customer support that Adobe offers seems to more than make up for the common blunders inflicted upon its customer base.

I really can’t fault the technical support Adobe offers. They temporarily take control over my computer, fix the fault, and then I carry on. While I’m making a cup of coffee, the support team sorts out any problems — I really can’t complain about that.

There isn’t a company on the market that hasn’t had technical issues with the service they offer. There are, however, many companies that offer worse customer support than Adobe by a significant margin.

Final Thoughts

Adobe now has the largest customer base. More people use Photoshop and Lightroom than any other photo editor on the market. When you have a huge customer base, a small percentage equates to a significant number of individuals. My guess is that most people are happy using the software and it’s simply a vocal minority that dislikes or hates Adobe.

I appreciate that there are lots of things that Adobe still needs to improve, but I’m optimistic about it. There’s more competition in the market now than ever before and if Adobe doesn’t keep up the pace, then customers can simply move. We’ve already seen plenty of people moving away from using Lightroom.

I’m certain that some of you will claim this is a sponsored or affiliated post, but it’s not. I’m just baffled whenever I see people being so aggressively against Adobe for such minor issues.

Ultimately, Adobe offers some of the best software on the market and the new subscription model is simply wonderful.


About the author: Usman Dawood is the lead photographer of Sonder Creative, an architectural and interior photography company. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and YouTube.

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