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« {Texture Tuesday} Black & White ... Perhaps a Touch of Colour | Main | Finding Clarity...... »

The Creative Cloud - My Humble Opinion


Hello lovelies,

There's been tons of buzz about Adobe's latest announcement…. Have you heard?

In a nutshell….. If you want the latest version of Photoshop CS you will have to become a creative cloud subscriber.

So far this does not include Lightroom and Elements. They will be available as stand alone purchases. Note: Lightroom is included in the Creative Cloud bundle.

A lot of people are unhappy about this change…… my oh my....there's some strong opinions.

Personally I think getting really upset about the changes is a waste of valuable creative energy. Change happens…. 

I've had several emails asking me about the changes ……

So I thought I'd share my thoughts…..

Please note that there is tons of information out there… I am so far from an expert on this subject….. I can only tell you what I've read and what I've decided to do.

Here's how I understand it….. 

Adobe is switching gears…if you want the latest and greatest version of photoshop you will have to become a cloud subscriber……

At first glance it seems really expensive….. 

Let's take a deep breath and break it down.

1. You do not have to subscribe to the entire creative cloud offer. You can subscribe to the Photoshop CC option only. Good news, if you already own a legitimate copy of CS3 to CS6 you only have to pay $10/month for the first year. Woo hoo.

2. If you wish to subscribe to the entire creative cloud program, at first glance it is $50/month. But, if you own photoshop CS6 there is a special one year rate available for just $20/month. And if you own CS3-CS5 you can subscribe for $30/month. You can access the special offers here. The Creative Cloud gives you access to pretty much all the Adobe software, including the latest version of Lightroom. 

3. There is also a fab rate available for students/teachers. Adobe CC is $20/month. This offer expires June 25th.

4. If  you do not wish to subscribe to cloud in order to have access to the newer versions of photoshop.....consider switching to Elements and team it up with Lightroom….both of these programs are available as stand alone purchase software (so far). (clarification: At this time, you can purchase any of adobe's cs6 products, but the new versions will only be available to cloud subscribers.)

5. If you already own Photoshop CS6, Adobe will continue to add any fixes/updates as they are available. However, you will not have access to the updated features unless you become a cloud member.  

Okay friends… that's what I know.....

Here's what I decided to do.

I own CS6 and Lightroom 4…. 

I will always have the most up to date version …  first because it's part of my business, and second because i'm a tech lover…..

Anyhow, for me, the $20/month option is the best deal. This will keep me in with the latest and greatest version of Photoshop and LR. I will also have access to many other programs, including Premier Pro, which I'm excited to dive into...... 

So dear friends…. that's it in a nutshell…… 

Take a deep breath and choose what works for you…….. don't let it stress you….. life is short, and full of blessings…… 

Click HERE to check out the special creative cloud offers.

I did not write this post to stir up a debate.... if you wish to debate Adobe's decision there are plenty of threads out there, with tons of participants... This is simply my understanding of the options available.

much love…..and so much gratitude.


Reader Comments (17)

Thank you for this, Kim. Very clear and succinct ... I was beginning to stress a little from the overload of information out there, especially on the forums where folks were debating and giving all sorts of opinions.

Like you, I have CS6 and LR4 and have always tried to keep up to date with each new version. However, as I am now 70 I think I may stop now and just stay as I am. I have a feeling that the subscriptions will be higher here in the UK.

Unless, of course, Adobe come out with something I just can't resist .......
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui Jay
I think I will stick with what I've got and maybe consider moving back to Elements as they have new features that I didn't have when I was a PSE user. I don't have a business and can't justify a monthly payment when there are so many wonderful online classes out there to sign up for !!!!
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterViv
Thank you Kim for sharing your thoughts on this. I always respect your opinion on techie matters. It sort of scares me to dive into more techie stuff since I feel that I am just starting to grasp what I have. But...I will continue to take your classes so I want to have the latest version so that I can follow along, and like you say change is inevitable so we might as well learn to embrace it. So I will probably do the $20 a month plan as well since I have LR and CS6.
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Thanks Kim. When I first read about Adobe's change, I thought of you and what you might think of it and now I know.
Personally, I'm not in a position right now to even afford the extra $20/month ($240/year). That amounts to alot with a retired husband and I'm not currently working outside the home. Economically, things are still tough in our neck of the woods.
BUT I do have PSCS6 and LR4, and PSE11, so I'll just stick with what I have for now and start implementing PSE11 with LR.
I wonder how long it'll be before they include PSE in that cloud of theirs as well. LOL
No need to get upset about it, there's nothing we can do about it, so I'll just ride along the wave and see how it all ends up.
Thanks so much for posting your thoughts. Always appreciated!
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl M
So glad you addressed this subject, Kim! I have CS4 and LR4 and when I signed up for Picture Pro-cess, I decided it might be time to upgrade to CS6. When I found out that was going to cost me $699 I signed up for the Creative Cloud. Then I had second thoughts. Was it going to be worth $300/year to always have the latest versions of PS and LR? So I called within the first 30 days to cancel and Adobe talked me into giving it two more months after which I would still have the right to cancel. That's where I am right now. With all the many programs Adobe offers with CC and me only using two, it seemed silly to spend that much but after reading what you have to say here, I will have to decide between living with CS4 forever (I'm a techie too, so that's not really an option) and paying for CC. Glad to know my choices are that limited! Makes it easier to decide.
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTerri. Porter
I'm with Sarah. My husband and I are on the verge of retiring and having a major drop in income. I recently splashed out and upgraded from .my CS3 to the CS6 and intend to use that for most of my graphic projects, well into the future. I won't be signing up for any relentless, ongoing, monthly charge program, I much prefer paying a fixed price for a program up front .rather than signing on for endless and ( in my cynical mind). probably increasing charges

Is this change worth stressing about? Probably not but, is it something I am happy about ? Definitely not..
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
Well, it's crossing the line for me. First of all, I don't like being strong-armed into what amounts to a kind of cyber extortion. Adobe already has a whole community of artists who cut their teeth on the Creative Suites. I use two, CS3 and CS5. There are features in CS3 that I really like that disappeared from later versions. so I continue to use CS3. I can see some improvements in CS5, but it also looks and feels less intuitive to me, which is saying a lot since it took me about 5 years to get comfortable with CS3!

Because of Lightroom, I upgraded to CS5. I tried to upgrade to CS6, but I didn't have the secret password for the CS3 version that I'm using, so I couldn't upgrade to CS6! I wanted to, and gawd knows I tried, but thanks to Adobe's crazy-making security procedures, I couldn't upgrade to the latest version because I did not have the secret code. Fine. My husband runs CS5 on his computer, so I installed it on my computer and that's what I use when I'm in LR.

I get it that Adobe is in it to make money, and putting everyone in the cloud locks in a constant and relatively dependable stream of subscribers. That's good for Adobe's business model. But, for subscribers who are not just subscribers but artists as well, it makes all of us dependent on Adobe for software that, until the cloud came along, was literally at our fingertips and always available. Running software that we own gives us more choice over which CS we want to use and the decision-making power to decide when we feel the need to upgrade, or not. Once you become dependent on cloud technology, it's then up to Adobe to make changes on a whim, and subscribers have to go along with those changes whether they like it or not.

I'm not going to the cloud. I'll start hunting for new software to supplement the CS packages that I'm already using, and I have faith in developers to design good software alternatives to Adobe's attempt to put everyone in creative servitude. Not gonna do it, I say! :) PSCS has always been expensive software, but despite the cost, professional photographers, animators, and designers have embraced the creative suites because of the limitless artistic possibilities. Adobe isn't saying that they're taking it away. But, they're saying that if you want to keep up with their innovative technology, you have to become a subscriber, and that I resent because it means that at some point, I'll be running antiquated Adobe software if I don't become a subscriber.

I can see why Adobe is making this move. It's good for Adobe. It seems like Titanic thinking to assume that everyone will buy a ticket and sail around with the Adobe crew just because it's the biggest and prettiest thing out there. If nothing else comes along, I may have to get on board, but for the time being, I'm going to work with what I have.

I just got back from the Photoshop World conference in Orlando last month, and there is a lot of buzz about anti-blur technology that Adobe has on the launch pad. It'll do wonders for retouchers and hand-held shooters. Who am I kidding? This is ground-breaking technology! And, it'll probably only be available to cloud subscribers. I'd rather work on becoming a better photographer and wait for someone else to develop similar software than be forced into using a technology that I don't want to use.
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertimtam frendz
Hi Kim, could I just comment your point no 4) All CS6 products are still available as stand-alone products. Should anyone want to purchase or upgrade to CS6 that option will always be available (it's pretty well hidden in Adobe's site, I guess they don't really want anyone to go there).

Another critical point is that if you subscribe, (subscriptions are considerably higher for single-product users v perpetual license upgrades - once the special offers expire) and several years down the line you cancel, you have nothing.

CC is in it's most basic form, a rental programme. You are merely renting the product for the period of time of your subscription. If your circumstances change and you find you have to cancel, you will have nothing except the purchased software version that you have on your computer today.

I respect your comment above about not starting a debate, but I just felt that these are additional points that everyone needs to be aware of.
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
hello catherine

first I didn't say you can not buy cs6. I meant you won't be able to purchase the next version.

as for the math... i think people will have to do the math and figure out what works best for them.....
this is not a detailed report of every aspect/angle of the cloud.... with a potential cost breakdown.....

all the details are available on the adobe site....and each person will have to decide what is best for them.

My main purpose of the post was to answer the emails I rec'd asking what I was going to do....and also make sure people know there are savings available for cs owners.

thanks.... Kim
May 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterKim Klassen
Thank you for these details Kim! I was just reading this morning on the Adobe sight and on another blog about the changes and what it really means. I'm a PSE-11 and LR4 user and so far am completely happy with what I know how to do in these programs, and honestly can't think of a reason to move to CS6, although I do think about it, but not for $700.00. Being in the nearly retired age, and not even making any art to sell doesn't seem like good business to me. I do love both of the programs I have, thanks to you for all the instructions and learning I've gotten from your classes!! You will definitely need the new plan for your classes, which makes good sense! Thanks again for sharing! Have a really lovely weeked. I'll be shooting oldest granson's first prom pictures. :-)
May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly C
This was a good discussion. At first I got very confused thinking I had to subscribe to use the products I have right now. So thanks Catherine for clearing that up. My first reaction to all of this was a big of anger. But after reading this I understand a bit better. I have not plans to subscribe. But then this is a hobby for me, a serious hobby, but a hobby none the less. Thanks for clearing all this up Kim. You are the best!
May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercathy
Thanks for the heads up Kim. I use both Photoshop and Illustrator extensively and was considering both Lightroom and InDesign. Looks like the option you choose will be the best for me. I'm not a big fan of the cloud, but I also resisted getting a cell phone (don't know what I'd do without one now). Technology marches on, we will all be assimilated eventually.
May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlice
Completely aside from the discussion: the quote you used was exactly what I am needing to meditate on (as well as act on) these days. Thank you so much for all you do!
May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMicki
Kim, if unread the info correctly, if u join CC a person can put PS on 2 computers. One can be a Mac and one can be a PC.
May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeg Rogers
I feel like those of us who just use just Lightroom and Photoshop (in other words- PHOTOGRAPHERS) are getting shortchanged somehow. I am passionate about using both of these programs and can't see giving them up or settling for no updates, so I imagine that I will go for the CC- but not till the last minute (is that July 31?). I am excited about Lightroom 5 and have the impression that eventually the version in the cloud will get even more updates as time goes on- and that the standalone product will not. I'm not going to moan and groan too much about this- but I think there should be more pricing options. And hey- I'm over 65- I deserve a senior discount!!! :-)
Kim- I started with CS5 and have not updated to CS6. Do you think you might post a video tutorial showing how to update and keep all your actions in CS and presets in LR. I'm a little afraid of messing things up!
May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda
It seems that the whole cloud thing is aimed at companies and businesses, making it terribly expensive for the hobbyist. I work for a govt education dept in Australia and was able to purchase cs6 (which is also on all the computers at school)for $85 and lightroom for $110. I wonder what deals they will come up with to ensure that our school kids and teachers who teach them will also have access at reasonable rates to this software. I fear if they don't that they may have well and truly priced themselves out of the market for the education sector.
May 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjodie aka Mummaducka
Great quote, and even greater blog, Kim!

Thanks for sharing these gems,

regards from Germany, Uwe.
May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterUwe

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