What Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) Means For Lightroom Users?

There’s obviously lots of feedback, buzz, interest, and excitement, from Adobe’s announcement yesterday. If you missed it, in a nutshell, Photoshop as we know it is going totally subscription based. So basically, you can’t buy a stand alone boxed or download copy of it anymore. You have to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud to get Photoshop CC (CC means Creative Cloud). However, for now you’ll still be able to buy Lightroom standalone without subscribing (even though it’s also included in the CC).

By the way, if you hadn’t noticed Photoshop CS is no longer – it’s called Photoshop CC now

Subscription Vs. Owning
I don’t want to get too much into whether the CC is a good deal or not. There’s a ton of blogs and articles doing that today already. Make sure you stop over to Scott’s blog because he’s got a great Q&A writeup on this announcement. I also don’t want to talk subscription vs. ownership of software. I know a lot of people have feelings on this, but to me, the subscription model doesn’t bother me – I just want good software. Adobe delivers, and I’m willing to pay monthly, yearly or however to get it. I will say this… For anyone but photographers, it’s a total no-brainer and the industry is eating it up. But for photographers (hobbyists, enthusiasts, prosumers and those that don’t necessary run a business or make money from photography) it can be a big change, and one that isn’t so easy to swallow if you just use Lightroom and Photoshop.

Here’s one way to make it simple though. If you use Photoshop, Lightroom and just one more Adobe product (InDesign, Illustrator, Premier), then it’s a great deal. Sign up right now because it’s the best deal out there.

If you use Lightroom, and sometimes Photoshop, and no other Adobe products then you have a decision to make and that’s who this post is for. I’d like to help you make that decision on what this means for you as a Lightroom user.

How Lightroom Fits In To The Creative Cloud
First off, Lightroom is the place for photographers. Come to grips with it. If you’re a photographer then you need Lightroom. The solution is not Bridge, it’s not Camera Raw or some combination of the two. Lightroom is it. Stop debating, stop thinking that you’re situation is different and that you actually like using the Bridge and Camera Raw combo more. You don’t :) Trust me. So if you haven’t hopped on the Lightroom wagon yet, do it. You eventually will, so you might as well do it now (again, this applies to photographers, not designers). I know I sound very cut-n-dry here by saying it that way, but this whole “I Like Bridge/ACR” and “I like Lightroom!” crap doesn’t help anyone. If you’re a photographer then use the program that was built for you (end rant) ;)

Next…The most common question I’m getting (as a Lightroom guy) is do I subscribe or not to get Lightroom. See, if you subscribe to the CC, then you get Lightroom (because it’s part of CC), Photoshop and every other Adobe program there is for your subscription price. If you don’t subscribe and you’re a Lightroom user, nothing really changes. Lightroom 4 is still available to purchase outside of the CC and Adobe plans the same for Lightroom 5. So you will indeed be able to upgrade to Lightroom 5 without subscribing to the Creative Cloud.

Knowing that Lightroom is the place for photographers, your decision actually becomes easier. Why? Because you basically have many of the features that are new in Photoshop CC in Lightroom 5 already. Really? Yep, let’s run through the list:
1) Radial Gradient Filter (we got it in Lightroom 5 last month)
2) Upright Lens Correction Adjustments (yep, Lightroom 5 last month)
3) Non-destructive Cloning and Healing Brush (you guessed it, Lightroom 5 last month)

Not to mention, as a Bridge/Camera Raw user, you don’t get Smart Previews where you can work on a smaller “preview” version of your photos while your main photo drive is offline. So if you’re a Bridge user, forget about unplugging your photo hard drive and doing anything with your photos.

NOTE: I know Lightroom 5 isn’t out of beta yet, but right now it’s free to use. It’s perfectly stable and I’ve switched all of my editing and catalogs over to it. So for all intents and purposes, Lightroom 5 is out and for now, it’s free.

Now, what didn’t you get in Lightroom 5 that Photoshop CS6/Elements don’t have (but Photoshop CC does have)?
1) Camera Raw as a filter in Photoshop – I have to admit it, this one is huge to me. I often work on my photos in Photoshop and wish I had access to the raw adjustments that I have in the Develop module. Camera Raw is identical to the Develop module in Lightroom and having it as a filter is a nice thing to have. There’s workarounds with Smart Objects but let’s face it – smart object workflow is clunky at best. So for me, this one is a must-have.

2) Camera Shake Reduction – Another cool feature. I’m usually pretty good about having my camera on a tripod so it’s not one I use a lot, but in those times you need it I’m sure it’ll come in handy.

3) Remember a while back Adobe released a bunch of cloud updates for Photoshop like conditional actions and more support for filters and smart object layers. So if either of those are part of your workflow then the CC is where you’ll need to go to get them.

So do you really need Photoshop? I know we’ve been conditioned to think that Photoshop is the place for photographers, but Adobe has built one totally kick-ass program with Lightroom. So much so, that I think Lightroom has become the place where photographers spend most of their time (and rightly so). Photoshop was built for EVERYONE where Lightroom was built just for photographers. And when you factor that Lightroom 5 just took away the #1 reason most photographers leave Lightroom (cloning and healing), you should be pretty darn happy as a Lightroom user.

Getting Back On Topic
To bring this all around to the topic of this article, what does all of this mean for Lightroom users? If those two features that I mentioned above are absolute must-haves, you do need Photoshop CC. Also, if you don’t already own a version of Photoshop or Elements and you need selections, layers, panoramas, blend modes, filters, actions, professional level retouching (beyond whitening eyes/teeth and smoothing skin because Lightroom does that), then Photoshop CC will be essential.

But if you have a previous version of Photoshop (or Elements), and don’t need the two features I mentioned above, then nothing really changes for you. You still have the same exact software you paid for a year or so ago and nothing was taken away from you. Your workflow doesn’t change, where you store your photos doesn’t change and your Lightroom/Photoshop interaction doesn’t change. You’ll still be able to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Lightroom. So if the features of the Creative Cloud don’t interest you at this point then, as a Lightroom user, skip it for now. I’m willing to bet that Adobe has things in the works and they’ll hope to change your mind. Remember, this stuff is in it’s infancy stages right now. But in the meantime, your photo workflow and the software you use can remain exactly as it was before yesterday. You can still buy Lightroom 4 standalone today, and you’ll still be able to buy Lightroom 5 standalone (or upgrade) when it officially comes out.

One Final Thought
One last thing. Adobe is offering a single app membership program for $9.99/month for one year. That’s cheaper than any other upgrade version of Photoshop you’ve ever paid for before. Consider this. Tom Hogarty (Adobe Group Product Manager) sneaked a Lightroom-like tablet feature on our talk show The Grid, last week. And while he didn’t go into specifics about other “cloud” like features, it stands to reason that Adobe must be working on adding more features that will make the CC more and more compelling for you as a Lightroom/Photoshop user. They’re not just going to leave us out. So, will the price go up from $9.99 after the first year? Maybe. But for $10/month now (Skip a Starbucks trip for a couple days a month and you’ll pay for it), it’s easy to swallow and it gives you 1 year of the newest, latest, greatest features. You can wait and see if the features that do get added to the CC become worth it to you to continue.

And if they don’t, well then cancel your subscription after the first year and spend $59 on Photoshop Elements if you really need Photoshop :-)

Thanks for stopping by today. I’m always interested in your comments so feel free to leave ‘em here. Have a good one!

  • craigl303

    Matt, you’re missing some important points here. First, Photoshop Elements is not a replacement for PS CS or CC because PSE forces you to go from 12-, 14-, or 16-bits to 8-bits. Yes, that has to happen if you’re sending the photo via e-mail or posting it to an online site. However, keeping those additional bits while processing at greater bit depth gives an improved final product, especially if your final product is printed on a printer that can handle 16-bit information.

    Next, there’s the situation with plugins. Yes, many plugins work equally well in PSE, but again, you’ve discarded a third of your data. Finally, and for me, the big killer, is that smart objects are not supported in PSE. I just taught a workshop on plugins for PS where I recommended that people open their images from Lightroom in PS as smart objects and then use their choice of plugins and other PS functions that fit their workflow.

    So, for me, and I think most of those in my workshop, PS, not PSE, will always have a place in the workflow. That’s why I signed up for the $9.99/month subscription.

    Will this new way be more expensive? Yes, I think so, but it’s not possible to tell from here. Besides, I started with PS 3.02 in 1994 or 95 and have upgraded whenever an upgrade is released. During a long support chat this afternoon with Adobe Support, I was assured that as long as I am online at least once a month, my copy of PS CC will continue to work. I was also assured that my main program, Lightroom, will not be required to tie to the Cloud.

    So, while any major change to one’s life can be disconcerting at the very least, since the Adobe folks haven’t yet let me down over nearly 20 years, I think I’ll just have to go with the flow by getting PS CC and upgrading Lightroom whenever it’s available.

    • Bill Guy

      As an educator I can see a number of problems with Adobe’s new plan. One is that Schools will be hesitant to invest in a monthly fee for software. There are many months when they are not in session so paying for it during these months will not fly. Plus if a school is teaching a piece of software that the students will not be able to use at home it will limit their lesson plans and what they are able to teach.

      • David

        You make an excellent point. I agree, per my ‘current’ understanding of how CC will operate, it ‘seems’ that Adobe is removing a huge source of future Adobe users. I wonder what is ‘not’ understood based on this announcement?

      • http://twitter.com/KennethLNOR Kenneth L

        Have you talked to Adobe about this or are you just ranting about things you don’t know just like everyone else today?

        Adobe CC for students/teachers are only $20/month.

        They also have Volume Licensing: http://www.adobe.com/volume-licensing.edu.html?promoid=KAWQQ

  • David Roberts

    Still a little lost in all the hoopla…if I just use LR 4, plan on upgrading to LR5 when it’s out of beta, will I be able to do this without a monthly subscription? I purchased Perfect Photo Suite 7 and have no interest in in photoshop. Tell me I can just upgrade to LR 5 when it’s officially released…thanks.

    • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

      Yes David – you’ll be able to upgrade to LR5 when it comes out without joining and subscribing to the cloud. If Adobe prices similar to last time it’ll be $79.

  • Kenny McLean

    I only use photoshop and was interested in the $9:99 a month option. I am an Aperture user so have no interest in Lightroom.

    I went to the Adobe UK website and was shocked to find that there isn’t a £9:99 option.

    Adobe usually overcharge us UK users by charging the same fee in pounds as the US pays in dollars.

    This time they have gone way beyond that scam.

    they want me to pay £17:58 a month for a single app. this equates to a massive $27:32 a month at today’s exchange rate.

    An absolute ripoff that even adobe haven’t tried to pull before.
    I will be letting them know my feelings in a strongly worded letter before too long.

    • http://twitter.com/thespiralquirk Gill R

      The reduced price option IS there, just somewhat hidden. Go to this page https://creative.adobe.com/plans?plan=individual&store_code=gb – you may need to click on “Pick a plan” on right of the options – and you’ll see the offer at just under £9 pm. However, that’s only for the first year. And while I am no apologist for Adobe, I do know that some, not all but some, of the higher UK cost is due to VAT being included. In the USA prices are quoted without sales tax as that varies from state to state.

      That said, I am bitterly disappointed that Adobe are forcing everyone down this route. It may gain them something in having more regular income but it has lost them a countless amount by alienating millions of their users, self included.

  • crisdarocha

    Kenny, the 9.99 option is if you own already a product since CS3. in this case I’ve found it in pounds for 8.78, which is worse than 10 US$ (in Euros is about 12,-) probably due to taxes and stuff.

    If you don’t own a license for CS3 on, than you go on the 17.58 pounds.

    In my case I use 95% Lightroom and a little bit of PS. If LR5 can still be bought stand-alone, than upgrading to LR5 and getting the single app for Photoshop CC would the viable option.

  • Dennis Zito

    Matt, I’m very concerned about all this. I’m not a full time user of LR anymore since PS CS 6 came out. The import function and library functions of LR are really clunky to me and are a pain when you want to move photos around on your hard drives. Also, I find plug-ins like Nik and OnOne don’t work as smoothly in LR as they do in CS6. I like the integration of ACR and CS 6. I would use Lightroom more if they would change the import function to be more user friendly. Other words, let me move my files around and open them from any folder I decided to put them in. My work flow is pretty much like yours except I skip LR most of the time now, then use PS 6 for layer, blending, effects and etc. and then save the file in a folder that is logical to me. I wish you would come to Denver with your Lightroom Seminar so I could ask you some questions about the import and file handling in person. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue.


    • john181818

      Dennis, hopefully Matt will respond to you but let me share something. Less than one year ago I was in your shoes. I had purchased a Nikon D3200 and wanted to get semi-serious. I had hated PSE7, but had read a lot about LR and wanted to give it a fair shot during a 30-day trial.

      Before I downloaded LR I went to Amazon and bought “Adobe Lightroom 4: Classroom In A Book”. By the tenth day I went ahead and purchased LR because I had learned enough of the Library Module and what the Develop Module would do to know that I would like LR. That was a correct assessment for me. I love LR, but it has a learning curve and I am still learning it, along with the NIK and OnOne I just bought for less than $300.00 on the NIK sale and then a competitive upgrade by OnOne. (They are both compatible with LR and PS.)

      LR has a lot to offer simply in the Library Module, once you understand it. I started out with Keywords, and then later learned that Matt suggested Collections instead, so I basically have both at this point.

      Anyway, I hope that may help you a bit.


      • Dennis Zito

        Thanks John! Appreciate the help and info! What really did me in with Library module was when I had a crash on my PC (Which I’ve switched to iMac) and had to recover all my photos. I was able to do that, but the LR catalog was of no use anymore. I kind of got that fixed, but then in the last two upgrades LR 3 and LR 4 they screwed up my catalog names so I can’t find anything without going through the catalog each time … oh, and I have duplicates also. So, I just hate importing into a catalog. Do you know if you can rename a catalog, and not screw up the photos links? Anyway, thanks for heads up and info!


        • john181818

          Catalog or Collection? I have my stuff in Collections and I do import my folders by date instead of other suggested method. I would think you could rename Collections since that is a right-click option on the PC version of LR. Catalogs I am not sure of, but I do know that some photographers open a fresh LR Catalog every year so that the current Catalog size doesn’t get overwhelmingly large and add time to the backup and verification process..

          • Dennis Zito

            Hi John, I was referring to renaming a catalog. I’ll have to look into collection more. Thanks again!

          • Paul Collingridge

            A catalog on disc is just a single file… you can rename it if it is not open. If you move it elsewhere it will recreate the previews if they are lost, so no worries there.

            I create a new catalog each year & drop a shortcut onto the desktop. HINT: regularly Select-All and SAVE to push all the catalog data into the DGN or sidecar. I also keep a master catalog into which I just synchronise the current year’s folders so it holds all my 200,000+ images & puts them into SmartCollections (this is a slooooow catalog!)

            Fot the best info on moving catalogs search out Julieanne Kost’s Lightroom videos, they are really excellent.

  • Dennis Zito

    Hey Matt, I have another question for you. I just took your advise and signed up for the photoshop cc only for $10.00 a month. Does that mean I can put it on two separate computers … like my iMac desktop and iMac pro Laptop? I could find anything on adobe’s web site about that.



    • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

      Hey Dennis – that’s odd. I can’t find it either on their site. But I do know you get 2 installs. So desktop and laptop will be fine. You actually get Mac/PC too so you don’t have to decide. CC works on either.

    • Alan Hess

      works great on two computers. I have it running on both my desktop and laptop. Just install it on the second one. Will work fine

      • Dennis Zito

        Alan, thanks! Do you have to install the creative cloud on both machines or just one? Thanks again!

        • Alan Hess

          you need to have the adobe installer on both machines, then you use it to install the software. So yes, the creative cloud is going to see both the installations.

  • George Hendrix

    I don’t have any objection to subscription software, if it’s reasonably priced and if there seem to be advantages to renting rather than owning (and I realize that owning is a relative term when it comes to software). But to me, Adobe’s latest move seems like a fairly crass money grab. And as rolled out yesterday, I’m not seeing that CC offers me any particular advantage, despite the company’s rather lofty assurances to the contrary. As a CS6 owner, I concede that Adobe’s $10-a-month one-year price for the new Photoshop version is a good value. But you know, who among us hasn’t experienced the cheap introductory cable TV package morphing into an expensive monster, or watched the bill for the land line go up again and again for no apparent reason. If Adobe is counting on me to trust it to keep my interests at the forefront, or at least balance my interests with those of its financial guys, this latest move didn’t help.

    InDesign got its foot in the door because of Quark’s predatory pricing, poor customer service and corporate arrogance. At the magazine company I worked for, Quark lost more than a thousand users in one day, and the pain to us of making the shift was eased by widespread satisfaction that we were finally getting the chance to stick it to Quark. Adobe isn’t there yet, but it seems to be edging in that direction.

  • Paul Collingridge

    Hi Matt, Thanks for this. I’d love to throw in just one more point about options for photographers… LR5 (with healing & spot-focus) now begins to kick a small hole in the reasons for buying OnOne’s Suite 7 (absolutely love it) which was already the reason some of us just never needed CS6. I have no doubt whatsoever that OnOne will raise their game in Suite 8 when that comes along, but in the meantime LR5 & 7 make an amazing photosolution. Just occasionally I need to drop text onto a photo, for that I use elements, but now I rarely use Elements for anything else, so if OnOne add Text-Overlays to the next upgrade to 7 I will be very, very contented. I think OnOne have done an amazing job at forcing the LR team to keep up… (I wonder if Perfect Resize has forced Adobe to upgrade their upscaling in PS-CC); this is an exciting time to love photography, let the battle commence; we will all be winners!

    • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

      Great points Paul. I love onOne stuff too. I think they’re doing a great job with providing people a place to go after LR. I know what you mean about the text thing. I’ll pass it on to them as a request but I wouldn’t hold your breath :)

      • Paul Collingridge

        Thanks – as a teacher I find the text-on-image thing really important, and I use photos all the time. I tried using the caption overlay in Lightroom, but sometimes the text nneds to be in a different place on each image. Also I sometimes need to use a label and an arrow to point out a feature. If preparing photos for going on-line I need the ability to export that LR does so well… I bet Brian M’s team could knock the text thing on the head with very little effort! Rise to the challenge, guys. I also think that schools & colleges will be tempted by OnOne to move away from PSCC if text was available (it’s a teacher-thing!!).

        Do come to England one day, Matt, and take a tour of our ancient towns and cities; our Cathedrals are as photogenic as anywhere in Europe and our small villages in the countryside, nestling in the hills and with 800 year old churches and cottages… a Landscape photographer’s dream! We do REAL beer, too! Have a good day!

  • Louis Handley

    Hi Matt, Thanks for the write-up. This certainly helps to add some clarity to a somewhat confusing situation. I use CS6 – and because of the coming improvements to be found in PhotoShop CC I have now taken out a 1-year single subscription. Though a bit skeptical about future price development I am willing to give this a try.

    I also use Lightroom 4 in my workflow and look forward to upgrading to version 5. But now I have a question: is it possible to extend my single-product subscription to include LR5 and how much more will that add on to my monthly payment? I looked at the Adobe site and couldn’t find anything that addresses this question. I do not have a need to take on the entire CC collection and I am only interested in LL5 and Photoshop CC.


  • Glenn

    I’m not seeing a big reason to jump to CC. The new features aren’t that impressive, at least for my work flow. If content aware cloning and healing now as good in LR5 as they are in CS6 why bother. Just upgrade to LR5 and wait until CC becomes more attractive to photographers, meanwhile I still have CS6.

    Matt, Big question. I downloaded the LR5 beta but just played with a little. Did You say you’ve moved your catalogs over and are now working in the beta for live production work, are you that confident of the beta version?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.moulton.7 Bob Moulton

    Thanks for the in depth assessment. Like many I may wait and see as I use Lighroom almost fully. I would miss the opportunity to use layers,photo merging in photoshop. I just hope that Adobe does not extend this approach to Lightroom.
    Also the amount of storage seems slim in the era of D800s

  • Bill Weaver

    Question: I have CS5 and had been intending to upgrade to CS6 in the near future. Is that still a possibility or is CS6 only by subscription now?

    • john181818

      Bill, Scott Kelby’s post today found a link to CS6. (He had to search hard for it.) Maybe that will help you.

  • David

    A couple of questions ….
    1. What has Adobe said about the future of PSE? Is the writing on the wall for PSE to ‘also’ eventually become part of the CC?
    2. You mentioned you switched your ‘old’ catalogs in LR5. Do you have a more advanced ‘beta’ version, as my beta version will not read my ‘old’ catalogs?
    Thank you for a very logical explanation of where we are and where Adobe is headed.

  • alg1000

    So basically Adobe decided that it would be better for them to charge $49,99+$49,99+$49,99 etc etc out of the Creative suite owner/users instead!? Make sense for them, but we don’t have thousands a MONTH for this. OMG!

    So, here are my questions:

    1. Who else has access to the Cloud? can any of our works be acquired through 3rd party right grab agreements between Adobe and “X” companies out there looking to not pay for content? (while we get charged monthly fees to be creative!?)

    2. Can we save our work to our computers or now we have to save everything to the cloud too? or is that their next step?

    3. Will Cloud change our file names upon uploading, and turn everything into orphan works like Facebook does by stripping all the metadata? So while we are ripped off monthly we also loose our own rights to our own works? (unless we have ample time to police our own works).

    I guess I will be sticking to CS5.5 forever then, and LR 4, unless they release the LR5 individually. It already does more than I need it too. This is extortion really.

    Is this Adobe’s way to restrict Photoshop use to just those in business? as in medium/large companies? because a sole proprietor cannot afford to keep up at this pace. I use Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Lightroom, Bridge so that would make it: $299.94 A MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!! That is INSANE. What about all the freelancers? cause there are a TON out there!!! This will cost us:

    $24.95 for Kelby training

    $299.94 for the CC programs we use

    Electric bill to keep the computer going

    water bill


    car insurance

    health insurance (for those who can afford it)

    some food maybe

    car maintenance and tolls





    hard drives

    USB drives

    flash brackets

    light sets

    All the above are part of one PICTURE BTW, and i didn’t even add travel fees…

    Did employes had a MASS salary increase or something??? do we not already have enough monthly payments??? who is this oblivious to the cost f all of this??? PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO PAY FOR PHOTOGRAPHY!!!! THEY WANT IT FREE! How are we supposed to keep up with these costs while we are asked to work for FREE??? Can anyone answer this?

    I am beyond aggravated with practice.

    • Alan Hess

      I think you have some wrong information.. for $49.99 you get access to ALL of the Creative Cloud software. You are the person that this works best for… You use Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Lightroom, and Bridge. That would cost you $49.99 a month..

      • John_Skinner

        Either way, instead of his one time price (that was already huge) he’ll now pay at least $24.99 for just Ps & Lr. AND, need the bandwidth to carry it (up his ISP bill), connect every 30 days or loose your activation (so much for extended stays out of country) and be billed like an electrical bill.. For software !

        • Alan Hess

          Again.. that is incorrect. You only need to worry about the bandwidth the first time you download the apps and that would be the same if you subscribed to the Creative Cloud or purchased Photoshop CS6. The software does not need to be connected tot he internet to run. It just needs to check back with adobe once in a while. It can actually go for 3 months without having to be on the internet at all, as long as your subscription is up to date.

        • Bill Araujo

          You know, I felt much the same way as alg1000 at first. As a matter of fact last week, I was about to order the CS6 upgrade using the NAPP discount. Because the discount is only good for one time during the year, I decided to wait until Lightroom 5 was released. That way, I’d save more money by ordering both upgrades at one time. I was pissed when I learned this morning that I could not order the upgrade to CS6 but would have to join the Cloud. Then I did the math. The CS6 upgrade was going to cost me $170 by itself with the NAPP discount. For $10 I can join the Cloud for a year and get CS6 with all the new updates as they happen. Even with the discount, If the Lightroom 5 upgrade is the same as last year, $80. I’m money ahead. ($120 + $80 = $200) The cost of upgrading both Lightroom and CS6 with NAPP’s discount is ($200 + $80 = $280) ($280 x .85 = $238) a savings of $38. Of course, that’s for one year. If you take into account the cost of upgrading the software every 18 to 20 months, it may not be as expensive as you might think. I pulled the trigger and joined. If I don’t like what happens in a year, I’ll simple just use Lightroom 5 and go back to CS5.

          • alg1000

            Yes, but you are now subject to price hikes whenever they feel like it. Just like Verizon’s changing the data plans from unlimited for $29.95 versus 2GBs for $30!!! Makes no sense to us, but a lot for them, its their new cash-cow!

            When you were able to buy the physical product you could keep it forever, it was actually yours, and for those who only use it once every so many months it made great sense. This is now like a lease more than owning it. I like owning things out right.

            My point had nothing to do with pirating like someone posted an article above, my point had to do with the fact that we already have enough bills to pay. That’s it, and the fact that we have to spend more and more to stay current yet clients want to pay less and less. If someone makes $90,000 a year, or more of course $10, $20, and even $50 bucks a month is not going to bother them…however not everyone makes that, let alone in Tampa, or Florida where our wages suck, and because of that we are asked to “lower our prices” non stop to the point where we cannot afford to be in business anymore. And no, that’s not because we are bad photographers, its because we are continually asked to lower our prices, because nobody takes in consideration our cost of doing business, and that not all of us have another job supporting our photography careers!

          • Steve

            So after 18 months you may be even…hey wait you don’t have a functioning piece of software if you end the subscription…that’s why people are upset !!

      • alg1000

        Well when I went to the site, I was under Photoshop 6, and it said that I can have that for $49,99 a month. It didn’t say anything about having the rest of it too. I was looking for the Creative Suite Upgrade, I have the one that has them all, it still retails at the Apple store for $1899, but they don’t sell just the upgrade. I don’t want anymore monthly bills. I am not someone who upgrades versions every year, so I don’t see why I would have to pay over $599 per year now, every year. I don’t want to be forced into that. Ohh yeah, bandwidth indeed…what about those that have issues with that? Brighthouse is a disaster here for those who still have it, and not everyone wants to switch to FIOS, and FIOS=Verizon is another rip of story…i just don’t like that these companies feel entitled to shove their hands in our pockets as deep as they feel like it! its not their money.

  • john181818


    Thank you for that explanation. Personally I had read Scott’s comments but didn’t find them anywhere near as helpful as yours, even if he is the President of NAPP.

    As your blog assumes, I use Lightroon for over 80% of my work, have just purchased the NIK Suite and the OnOne Suite. I bought PS CS6 late last year and do about 5% of my work in PS.

    I was watching The Grid live last week and when the question was asked what would I be willing to spend for LR & PS only in a cloud situation I said $24.99. Maximum. I’d rather see $19.99. As you said, most of the audience for your blog today are photographers, and I would bet most of us are hobbyists or sell an occasional photo or two, but are not in photography to pay for anything more than a lens or something else.

    Thanks again for making sense and being, what I consider to be, honest about this.


  • http://twitter.com/algia10 A.G. Photography

    Honestly, I see no reason to use any Adobe product through a monthly service. It would be too expensive for me, and I can’t pass the cost to my clients either. Its not their fault Adobe wants to dig deeper in our pockets. I have CS5.5, and LR4, and I work between the two non stop; that is how my work flow is set up. The new features can be accomplished in CS5 already. So for me the Adobe train stops here. If I can’t buy a stand alone product, I am not interested. I can justify my Kelby and Lynda memberships to stay current, however there is no way I can justify such a subscription.

  • Alan Hess

    Just a quick note on the Lightroom5 Public beta and stability. I have been using the release since it was released to the public. I am using the public download and it is anything but stable. I can count on it crashing at least 2 to 3 times during a usual import / sort / edit / export cycle. It also has some really crazy behaviors where the previews are of different images.
    The public beta is a still a beta… that means not ready for prime time yet. It is also the reason that you cannot upgrade a Lightroom 4 catalog to Lightroom 5, instead you have to create a new catalog.

    • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

      Really? Hasn’t crashed once on me yet. Hell, I think LR4 has crashed more in the last month than 5 :-)

      • Alan Hess

        Yeah Matt.. It is doing some really weird stuff. I have set up a screen flow to capture it the next tim the editing goes all weird. Not saying Lightroom 4 doesn’t crash, but LR5 is really buggy…

        Now it could be the catalog size. I usually do a new catalog for each event, but since I can’t update my existing catalog, I imported a lot of images… about 100,000 concert shots. Hopefully I can get a video of the behavior and will post it on my site.

      • Alan Hess

        Matt, I posed a video on youtube of Lightroom 5 just not working.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLROYdFXmn8

    • alg1000

      I will reply on this tomorrow if i have time to work on some photos on my desktop mac…so far I used it on my MacBookPro and it worked just fine. That healing brush tho…not working well on water. Even zoomed in at 1:4 I still had to go to PS. LR4 is very slow. 5 seemed to be moving better in my case on the laptop, but I created a whole new catalog for it elsewhere on my drive, not sure if that mattered, but so far I am not impressed.

    • http://twitter.com/WDWPhotoClub WDW Photo Club

      I have not had one crash either and find it perfectly stable. The only issue I have is the brush size moves slow when using my Wacom wheel to increase or decrease its size. Other than that it is working great.

  • John_Skinner

    As many people have commented on this whole debacle by Adobe, none of it makes sense. Except from a business standpoint. Sure Adobe gets a ton more revenue and some of the licensing issues go away on future releases. But what about the masses that have made the product what it is? You can have the best washer in the world…if no one buys it, what does it matter?

    There is a post below here that outlines what some guy/gal has to pay out in a month. Just regular old folk who do this for a hobby and don’t have the advantage of flying about the country entertaining people with wit and skills. Well, those people will not be upgrading to a cloud anything. They won’t buy into Adobe’s practices, and they will remain with what they have. What does that mean for NAPP and other educators of the product. It means shrinking class sizes, and dis-enrollment. Why would people pay to have the latest, greatest updates and news, little tips, on products that will be available to the select few that join this little cloud adventure? They won’t.

    All PSW events will have to have a disclaimer on them (*)Only applies to those that have subscribed to the cloud, all other features are too old for us to bother.

    I know people that have JUST upgrade to CS6 due to cost ! And for Adobe to throw some lame bone to them by offering a deal on a subscription is laughable. Another disclaimer… (*) While quantity’s and supplies last, price subject to change without notice.

    I feel proper buggered by Adobe on this. People are flooding Scott’s blog with really positive things too..

  • alg1000

    What this does is instead of us paying $1+k to buy the whole suite every few years, we’d be now forced to spend $1+k per year to use it. Its just not worth it. I think we came to a halt regarding what “magical options” they can add too, we have to think about what is practical, and how much time we want to be spending sitting down in PS and how much time we want to spend out traveling around. I rather spend my money on hotels to travel around and take fantastic photos, most SOOC, rather than spend time doctoring things in PS.

    BTW There is always Aperture to counter Lightroom for Mac users.

    This makes the most sense for advertising agencies who have graphic/web designers on payroll, and who charge thousand of dollars to their clients to create their advertising materials like brochures, billboards, flyers, websites, etc. For everyone else this makes no sense. Its a rip off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lonnieross.dillon Lonnie Ross Dillon

    For professionals who make a living using these products and likely use more than one, I get it. But for the casual user that opens PS a couple of times a month (I use LR for 95% of my work), $240/year is not cost effective. But my major gripe is that I don’t know what my financial situation is going to be in the future. I may get laid off. I’ll certainly retire someday and go to a fixed income. But for whatever reason, there’s always a chance I’ll have to stop my subscription at which point I’ll have nothing. Consider a magazine subscription…when I cancel that they don’t take my magazines away. You and Scott should convince Adobe to consider an option where when a subscription is cancelled, some version of the software remains yours to keep. It may require a minimum of two years, or may require a buy-off to get the latest, but the casual user has to have some promise of having something permanent.

    As for this article, yes, I use LR for most things. But I use Nik Software and in many cases prefer to use it in smart filter mode (where it can be adjusted later) in PS rather than the LR “burn-in” method.

    As an alternative, Adobe and others are suggesting we keep CS6 if we aren’t cloud-ready. Really? ACR 8 will be added but crippled (no new features). Eventually new camera support will die away, and/or OS upgrades will beak it. CS6 has a limited shelf life; that’s not a long term option. This “good deal” that Adobe is pushing reminds me of Mob “protection”. Once in, there’s no escape. Adobe must consider either a perpetual license or a “buy-off” alternative or they will lose the casual user. But, since we are a small fraction of the customer base, I don’t see Adobe caring much. Once again the little guy is getting left in the dust…

    • Bill Araujo

      I had not thought of the problems associated with future OS upgrades. You are correct. Long term, keeping what we have is not a viable solution. Hopefully, Adobe will consider something more reasonable for those of us already on a fixed income.

    • Tony

      I wonder if they would consider a pay-per-use model. As little as I use PS, that would work well for me.

      I also see our ability to buy LR stand-alone going away. It’s just a matter of time. When the time comes I’ll make my decision on how to proceed. Maybe someone will offer a viable alternative by then. Adobe just has zero competition right now, and a big head-start.

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  • David

    My worry about CC is that many amateurs don’t want to or can’t afford to upgrade every time a new version comes out. What happens in 3 years time when Adobe suddenly releases a version of CC that requires a higher spec mac than the one I have? Not only are we then forced to upgrade the software but the hardware too! Yes, this has sometimes been the case when stepping to new versions in the past but at least then the user could decide the timing and might have quite happily soldiered on with the old version until finances were in place to upgrade. While the CC pricing structure might suit business I hope they keep products like Lightroom and Elements available to buy as a standalone versions for those that want to buy and use until their mac or pc ‘needs’ replacing.

    • http://twitter.com/WDWPhotoClub WDW Photo Club

      David, you won’t be forced to upgrade features which would bog your machine down but you do have to continue the $20 monthly subscription fee to run the old version. There is no discount for sticking with an older version.

      • David

        Thanks for the reply and info – luckily I recently bought CS6 so I’ve no need to upgrade for a while – probably get LR5 though and then hopefully I’ll be set for quite some time.

  • Stephen McCullough

    Hi Matt

    The only thing that really concerns me is that Adobe will be adding features to The CC version of Lightroom that will not be available for the standalone version. That’s a pretty ugly decision, and puts Adobe at odds with any sense of care for photographers. I think this should be mentioned in your post.

    By the way, this is not a rumor: it’s a statement by Adobe in an interview posted on DPR.

  • gerry slater

    Matt– You must be sick of this discussion by now, and I have to think that all of you at Kelby Media Group are more than a little pissed off at Adobe for putting you all in this position. Reading Scott’s blog, the discussion is getting virulent. I am one of those photographers who use LR4 and CS6 exclusively. I will not *lease* future Photoshop improvements, and will be looking more to Nik plug-ins and On One plug-ins to fill in the gaps. When LR5-beta becomes more stable I will upgrade. With that being said, I have two comments–It is disingenuous to push the $9.95/month price as anything but a temporary intro (aka *sucker*) price. This will double or triple and eventually far exceed the price of the usual upgrades. Secondly, I owe my progression in LR and P/S to you and the other guys at Kelby. Without you, I would never have scaled the learning curves in this software. I am very appreciative. I have told anyone who would listen that your book on Compositing is the best P/S book ever written. If I stick with LR5 and CS6, why buy subsequent books? Why continue with Kelby On-line Training? Aren’t you concerned that there will be thousands of NAPP members who will question the need for continuing their membership? Please talk me off the ledge Matt.

    • Peter Nord

      I worry too about Kelby Media. I bought all the stuff. I’m sticking with CS6. My NAPP membership goes to 2014. Will you guys only be discussing CC level software then? Do I drop NAPP? Has to be scary for your business model.

  • D Malencid

    I think the big picture is not seen in this Adobe
    subscription model. First, why is it occurring? Software and computers have been in a linear
    growth phase since the PC came out in 1980.
    Now this growth is leveling off and companies are trying to figure how
    they can retain their huge profit margins.
    Adobe has chosen their model and if successful others, including
    Microsoft will copy it. Adobe is the
    company in the strongest position to attempt to force this model since they
    have little competition and the strongest programs. Imagine renting the
    operating system from Microsoft. Acting
    in concert with a company like Adobe they can make sure that only the newest
    operating system will function with the Adobe CC programs and vice versa. Like a tag team they can increase your
    monthly costs to much more than what we are looking at now. If you don’t pay you lose the use of your
    computer and the programs. Without new
    laws being instituted we can be put into a major trap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AlexGia10 Algia Photos

    Matt: it says here that LR4 comes with ACR??? @ number 9

    I bought Lightroom when it first came out, and kept upgrading online (downloading the new versions as they came out), and none came with ACR…Is that just for the boxed version of LR4?

    • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

      Nope. Lightroom 4 doesn’t come with ACR… ACR comes with Photoshop. Lightroom’s Develop module and ACR are identical though. Same sliders, same code, same everything, just different interface.

  • Terry Babij

    This perfect as long as LR stays buy vs CC. Thanks Matt!

  • http://www.stephendesroches.com/ Stephen DesRoches

    How were you able to upgrade your Lr4 catalogs to Lr5 beta? It’s disabled for me.

  • John_Skinner

    As the director for training at NAPP, I have a very clear and concise question for you Matt. I was not addressed in the “Grid” or anywhere else I can see.

    If NAPP has 70,000 members, and those members come to NAPP for the latest and greatest on how-to’s and features being released. If only 50% decide to climb on this cloud, how is that going to effect the 50%+ NO CLOUD with training, PSW events, new tutorials, and the justification for a NAPP membership alone?

    Why would we want to hear about all the features we have no access to in the cloud?
    Why dump 600(ticket)+400(room)+ whatever extras on a PSW event when we are in a perpetual hold pattern with our CS6 versions?

    And is NAPP going to just full steam ahead with videos and such, and leave us behind?

    The vast majority of people attending PSW, NAPP Membership etc.. Are just working guys with expense and everything that comes along with everyday life. We don’t travel about the country with wit and training, and have access to things like people in the profession.. Just normal guys enjoying a hobby or shooting what we can find.

    So it remains, what, or how, is NAPP going to address these obvious 50% moving on, 50% stuck situation. This will make a huge difference in decision time when renewing a membership. (which is another 99 annually)

    • http://twitter.com/WDWPhotoClub WDW Photo Club

      That is why my NAPP subscription will be allowed to lapse this September. I will also pass up the Kelby Live training when it comes to Hartford Ct this year. I also cancelled my Lynda.com subscription the same day Adobe made the CC annoucment. Part of the issue is that I am so disappointed that I can’t afford the privilege of renting Photoshop that I just don’t want to be reminded of it. I will stick with CS6 for as long as I can and will upgrade to LR5 but after that I am done. It was a very sad day when Adobe made the announcement. I don’t need PS training anymore and lets face it, Lightroom is not that complicated. I guess one could make the argument that with all the money I spend on training, books and online classes I would have the money for the subscription but I just don’t like being tied to paying a toll every month just so it will keep working. I am only one guy and I don’t know how many members NAPP has but if there are enough people like me that feel they were just dumped by their girlfriend I can see where membership, training and book sales would be lower.

  • Tim

    I am so so disappointed with Scott and your and others a NAPP with the “party line” approach to Adobe’s decision, and support of the new pricing model. I would have thought and expected a bit more balance and support for your large group of members and followers, and understanding how a rent forever or else we turn off attitude is not good for many users.

    I share some of the sentiments below that this will also hurt NAPP, why do I want to go to classes for a release of photoshop I likely will never have? Or subscribe to NAPP when they are so clearly in Adobe’s camp. My membership to NAPP and the training site is coming up in June, without a shift in the attitude of yourself, Scott and others, I WILL NOT renew.

    I see many problems with the model Adobe has chosen, and wont restate what others have posted.

    However, I see a number of comments, includes yours Matt, that Lightroom is a good alternative without the subscription fee. I agree. However, given this move by Adobe, any trust that I have that they will not also make Lightroom a subscription software package is gone, they have destroyed my trust, and barring some major changes from Adobe, they will never have my trust again. So the Lightroom solution doesnt feel all that safe anymore. Whats even sadder, after years of resisting, I converted to DNG…. shame on me, and shame on others for suggesting it was a good thing to do…

    • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

      So what you’re saying TIm is you’re disappointed in me because I don’t agree with you? I mean, would you rather me say that I agree just so you feel better? I personally don’t have a problem with subscription software. You do. That doesn’t make me wrong or make you wrong – we disagree. I subscribe to Microsoft Office and I think it’s a GREAT deal. I don’t care if I own it and frankly, I don’t want to own it. My kid needs it for a few months out of the year and it’s the best deal around because now I don’t have to BUY office for hundreds of dollars. I can pay 9.99 and stop paying in the summer when I don’t need it anymore. So, my kid would otherwise have to use another word processing program and deal with his teachers not being able to read the files correctly, or for $10 a month, we can now afford office. For me it’s a great deal and I agree with it. I’m not going to say Adobe is horrible because you disagree. You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to mine.

  • Pam Neuendorf

    I have a question and I think you will have the answer because I’m having a hard time finding an answer. I downloaded LR5 beta and I’m thinking about moving all of my catalogs to the beta (like you did). I know when beta phase is over I’m buying/upgrading to the full version. When I buy the full version will I have to move my catalogs again from beta to the full version? I have never gone from beta to full version with adobe software. thank you for your help.

  • Steve


    You list Elements as an alternative in the Grid #33 but fail to mention its 8 bit only format last time I looked…. perhaps this is ok for avatars and small web phot galleries…nto much else !

    • http://www.mattk.com/ Matt Kloskowski

      I didn’t fail to mention it – I simply don’t feel it’s an issue. Remember, most people are upset over the CC for hobbyist-enthusiasts. If you’re in that category then you don’t need 16-bit. I don’t use 16-bit personally, so I wouldn’t feel the need to mention it.

  • A.G. Photography

    Matt! I tried to subscribe to the offer above, but I have CS 5.5 Master Collection and it tells me I don’t qualify!? Is that because I have the Master Collection? So now I “have” to subscribe to the whole CS and not just PS? Help.