Category Archives Adobe

On Wednesday Adobe announced a special “Black Friday Deal” where for a VERY limited time, they’re letting pretty much everybody in on the photographer’s $9.99 a month Photoshop/Lightroom bundle deal that was originally only for folks who owned some previous version of Photoshop (from CS3 on up), but now everybody can get in on the deal for the next few days (only until Dec 2, 2013).

When I posted this on my Facebook page, it was seen by over 140,000 people, and of course there were a ton of comments — lots of happy people taking advantage of the deal, the usual amount of mis-information, and of course we heard from the same people who aren’t happy no matter what Adobe does. I thought I’d address as many of those comments as I could here in a short Q&A. Here we go:

Q. I had the full Creative Suite, and I wasn’t able to take advantage of the $9.99 deal, but now I can?
A. Absolutely.

Q. But I called Adobe Customer service and they said I couldn’t.
A. They’re wrong. Try calling again.

Q. But what if I already subscribed to Photoshop alone? Can I downgrade to this and save the money?
A. Yup!

Q. But I called Adobe customer service and they said I’d have to pay a cancellation fee?
A. You don’t. Try calling again.

Q. But what if I never ever owned Photoshop. Can I get in on this deal?
A. Yup.

Q. Really?
A. Really!

Q. I didn’t see that one coming.
A. Me either. 

Q. What if I already have a Creative Cloud subscription that costs more?
A. They’ll let you switch to this cheaper plan as long as you do it by the cut-off date.

Q. No way!
A. Way!

Q. But I called Adobe Customer Service and they said I can’t downgrade
A. Call back until you get someone that has actually read the memo.

Q. “They must be hurting for revenue.” (direct quote from Facebook)
A. Adobe had hoped to have one million subscribers by the end of year. They hit their goal nearly four months early, and now Adobe’s stock is at an all-time high. Yeah, they’re hurting’ ;-)

Q. Should I form my opinions of how Adobe is doing financially based on a hunch or what I read from strangers in online forums, or should I actually read the official business reports?
A. Ummmmm.

Q. I heard I have to run Photoshop in a Web Browser. Is that true?
A. For the love of God, please let this one go. No. No, no, no for the millionth time no. You do NOT run Photoshop or Lightroom in a Web browser. They work just like they always did.Ugh!

Q. Yeah, but then I lose access to all my images, right?
A. You do NOT have to store your images in the cloud. Please let this one go, too!

Q. You sound like you’re frustrated.
A. For a year or so I’ve been reading the same “You have to run it in a browser”⦔You have to stay connected to the internet all the time” and “you lose access to all your images”  and all this same old misinformation is just starting to wear me down. Sorry.

Q. It’s OK. I know you’ve taken a lot of heat, and we appreciate you helping to cut through the clutter [obviously not a real Facebook comment].
A. Thanks for understanding.

Q. I know Adobe says they’re going to try to keep the monthly price at this level, but they don’t guarantee it. What if it goes up?
A. My understanding is they are not planning to raise the monthly subscription rate. I imagine it’s because if they did after a year or so, they would lose a lot of customers, right? But nobody is “locked into” this thing — if they raise the price at some point down the road, you can always just not renew and go back to whatever the last version of Photoshop you owned is. That being said, just for fun let’s  pretend that they decided to raise the monthly subscription by 10% at some point. That would mean you’d have to pay (wait for itâ¦.wait for itâ¦) $12 more a year.

I seriously doubt even that will happen, but I would pose this: find me something whose price just never goes up: Gasoline? Milk? Bread? Electricity? Coffee? College Tuition? Eggs? Anything? 

Q. Why does it cost more in the UK and in Europe?
A. I ask myself this exact same question every time I visit the UK or Europe. Why does my hotel room cost twice as much there? Why does a can of Coca Cola cost twice as much there? Why does the exact same microphone that I rent here in the US cost triple when I rent it in London? It’s the exact same mic! In fact, pretty much everything over there costs at least double of what it does here or more, even if it’s the exact same product? Why is that?

As for Adobe, they have offices in the UK and all over Europe, and staff in all those locations, and I imagine their offices cost at least double what they do here. So does their electricity, gasoline, staff salaries, insurance and of course their taxes have to be dramatically higher, and their overall cost of doing business has to be through the roof over there as well. Yet, their customers expect them to eat all those extra costs and charge the same amount that they do here. Unfortunately, that’s not generally how business works. Extra operating costs are passed on to the customers to offset the cost of doing business in that country. Just’ sayin’.

Q. What was your favorite comment over on your Facebook page?
A. This one from Robert Court

“10 bucks a month for professional software. I upgrade every 18-24 months both LR and PS. Hummmmm. So if I am doing the math correctly. $190 PS and $80 LR = $270 divided by 18 months = $15 per month. $270 divided by 24 months = 11.25 per month. So where exactly is ANYBODY being ripped off. Now they are letting everyone in on the deal even if you never owned PS. I still do not get what people are B!!ching about. I for one am all in on this deal and no I did not drink the Adobe cool-aid. This is professional software for $120 per year. Even if you are a hobbyist you should consider selling your gear if you if you can’t somehow come up with two Starbucks coffees per month. Really if someone cannot afford this PROFESSIONAL software they have bigger problems in life than Adobe. Thank you Adobe.”

It had 17 likes. :)

Q. What was your least favorite?
A. I deleted it.

Q. But that’s limiting freedom of speech!
A. It’s my Facebook page — not The Washington Post. I’m not the government. I don’t owe anybody the right to attack me, or other people who comment, or use foul language, or just plain hate on my personal Facebook page. If you want freedom of speech, you can go start your own Facebook page at this address: (sign up today!).

Q. Should people who aren’t going to take Adobe up on this offer take their time to tell you that in the comments?
A. Sure. It’s fun. They are dying to tell me, yet again for the millionth time, that no matter what deal Adobe comes up with they’re not going to get on board. They think I somehow have control over the pricing policies of a multi-billion dollar global software company. It’s kinda entertaining at this point. 

Q. So, is Adobe going to switch back to selling the latest version of Photoshop?
A. No.

Q. Are you sure?
A. I’m more sure about that than anything else I’ve written on this page.

Q. Any other comments from your Facebook page that stand out?
A. How about this one from Armando Almada responding to Robert’s comment above:

…totally agree….a glass of wine in NYC is $12, and that’s no include the tips….

I also like this one telling “The other side of the story” from Karl Mathias Moberg who wrote:

Totally agree with this. As a part-time photographer, with not a very high income… I can’t afford the upfront cost for both photoshop and lightroom. This, and the normal CC deals are perfect for me. I have no problems what so ever with the subsciption models.

A lot of folks want to pretend that people like Karl just don’t exist. The fact is, there are a ton of people who can now use Photoshop and Lightroom that were locked out because they didn’t have $849 (the cost of Photoshop and Lightroom last year, and the only way to use it was to buy it at that price).

Q. So, what if I don’t sign up for this by December 2nd, 2013? Then what?
A. You don’t get the deal. That’s it. It’s a limited time offer (it’s a Black Friday Deal running before and after black Friday but not by much).

Q. Where can I learn more?
A. You can get the official details direct from Adobe’s deal page. Here’s the link. They also have an FAQ here.

Q. OK, if I don’t like this deal, or I live in Europe, or I live in Russia where this deal isn’t even valid, or I had a fight with my spouse, or I’m just generally angry, can I blame  any part of Adobe’s Black Friday Deal that I don’t agree with on you?
A. What the heck  —- sure. Why not? :)

OK, that’s the scoop as best as I know it, and of course as always I reserve the right to be totally wrong about any or all of this. Here’s wishing you a day where all your pixels move right where you want ’em to.



P.S. No football this weekend but I am shooting a wedding tomorrow in Orlando and hopefully I’ll have some shots to share here early next week.

This past week at the Photo Plus Expo in New York, I heard from my team at the NAPP booth on the expo floor that there’s still a lot of confusion among folks who are interested in upgrading to the Creative Cloud, so I thought I’d do a real quick, simple post with what your options are all the way around, along with hopefully clearing up some other misinformation.

NOTE: Here I’m just focusing on the question at hand: how to upgrade to the latest version of Photoshop, not all the plans for the full Creative Cloud and all the other applications that come with it.

1: You have never owned Photoshop:
You can get Photoshop CC (the latest version) for $19.95 a month

2: You owned a previous version of Photoshop (any version from Photoshop CS3 to CS6)
For you, Photoshop CC is $9.99 a month PLUS you get Lightroom 5 as well and 20GB of cloud storage and a Behance Prosite (custom web portfolio) as well. Sweet!

NOTE: This deal is only available until Dec 31st of this year. If you wait until after the first of the year and miss locking in this insanely low price, whining is strictly forbidden (well, at least here anyway). 

3. You owned Photoshop as part of the old Creative Suite (any version from Photoshop CS3 to CS6).

OK, at this point, you’re kind of hosed, because there is no good “downgrade path” from the full Creative Suite to just one single product like Photoshop. So, you have three options:

Option 1: You can pretend you never owned the Creative Suite and pay the $19.95 a month for Photoshop alone.

Option 2: You can get the upgraded version of your entire Creative Suite, (the full Creative Cloud with Photoshop CC all the Adobe CC Apps like InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver, and a bunch more) for $29.95 a month, which is a savings of around $20 a month over what someone who didn’t own the Creative Suite would pay. This is probably the best option, since you wind up with a totally upgraded Creative Suite called “The Creative Cloud”

Option 3: Wait and see if Adobe comes up with a “downgrade deal” so you can go from all the Creative Suite applications you currently own down to just Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.95 a month. The problem with Choice 3 is; that deal doesn’t exist yet, and there’s no guarantee that it ever will.

Do I think Adobe might come up with a downgrade deal for CS users? I hope so, and I actually think so. I’ve talked directly with Adobe about how photographers stuck in this Creative Suite Purgatory feel and while Adobe hasn’t made some of these decisions as fast as many of us would probably like, they are listening. This is all new territory for them (and the biggest business decision probably in their history), and I imagine they want to hear from everybody on all sides, really analyze all this stuff, and make sure they make the right decision.


1. You don’t EVER run Photoshop in a browser. It works just like it always did. You just use your browser to download Photoshop CC onto your computer, just like you would from an App store.

2. Do you NOT have to be constantly connected to the internet to run Photoshop CC. You can run it offline just like you always did.

3. You don’t have to store your photos in the cloud. Ever. You store them on your computer just like you always did.

4. Photoshop CC is the latest version of Photoshop. When you upgrade to Photoshop CC, you get every Photoshop upgrade as soon as they’re released, as long as you stay a CC subscriber.

5. Photoshop works the same way it always did, so don’t let the word “Cloud” freak you out. The biggest difference from a usability standpoint is that instead of buying a “Box” of Photoshop at the store (like we used to do), instead now you download it (so you don’t get a box, but you still get Photoshop).

6. If you don’t want to upgrade to Photoshop CC, you can buy the last non-subscription version of Photoshop, which is Photoshop CS6. It’s $699. You still have to download it, but you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee.

I hope that helps clear the fog on a few of these issue for people who are interested in upgrading to Photoshop CC. If you’re not interested, I’m sure we’re going to hear from you anyway, right? ;-)

By the way: here’s the link with more info on Photoshop CC, including a download link.

I’m up in Boston today, teaching my “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar, so I won’t be able to respond to any of your comments here, but hopefully some of my crew back home might jump in and help if they can. I hope to meet some of you here today in Boston so make sure you come up and say “hi.” By the way, if you’re coming to my seminar, I would dress warm. Brrrrrrr — it’s cold up here!

This is pretty sweet deal, but it’s only good until November 3rd — you get Lightroom 5 and the PRINT version of my Lightroom 5 book for Digital Photographers (which normally sells for $38 even with the Amazon discount)  for FREE (whoo hoo!).

I wish I could take credit for this deal, but this is Amazon’s doin’, but I’m psyched they did it.

Here’s the link (click here), to take advantage of Amazon’s free Lightroom 5 book deal.

(1) Fascinating interview with the man who wrote Photoshop, Thomas Knoll
A really great look at Photoshop’s history, evolution and much more. Very frank, revealing, and refreshing. Great stuff  (click the video above to jump over to Vimeo to watch the interview — Vimeo wouldn’t let me embed it here, but you can watch it there).

(2) Adobe’s photographers bundle deal is now available
I know a lot of folks have been waiting for the $9.99 per month bundle deal for the latest versions of both Photoshop & Lightroom (for previous owners of Photoshop, all the way back to CS3), to become available, and now it’s here. Here’s the link for more details. I did a post with more info shortly after Adobe’s announcement during the Photoshop World keynote — here’s that link.

(3) Adobe announces 1-million Creative Cloud paid user mark (hit way ahead of schedule)
Remember when I said Adobe wasn’t going to abandon the subscription-only plan. This is yet another reason why. This report was before they released the $9.99 Photographer’s bundle, so I imagine this number is now going to skyrocket. I’ve been talking to more and more photographers out on the road who are totally on board with this new deal, citing how hair the price is (and I agree). More about this below.

(4) Talking about Adobe’s $9.99 Photographer’s Bundle Deal on “The Grid”
If you missed the episode above of our weekly show for photographers, “The Grid,” in this episode we started the show with some important discussions about Adobe’s $9.99 photographers bundle. You can watch it right above.

(5) New versions of Photoshop and Lightroom released
Adobe has recently released new versions of both Photoshop and Lightroom 5 with new features and bug fixes. If you’re a Creative Cloud user, you can download the update from the Creative Cloud widget thingy. If you’re a Lightroom 5 user stand-alone user, you can download the Lightroom 5.2 free update  here (for Mac) or here (for Windows).

OK, that’s all the Photoshop news for this Tuesday, but….
I’ve got one more semi-related, yet totally not-related news: Tomorrow on “The Grid” it’s our popular “Blind Photo Critique” show, so If you’d like to have your work considered for tomorrow’s photo blind critiques (we show your images but don’t mention your name on the air), just leave us a link to 3 to 5 images that show off your work AT THIS LINK:

From those, we’ll pick 15 to 20 photographer’s work to go over on Wednesday’s show (not based on who posted first — we choose based on showing variety and images we think can help our viewers), and the live show is broadcast TOMORROW at 4:00 pm ET at  — join me and Matt LIVE tomorrow — See you then. :-)

Since Adobe announced their Creative Cloud subscription-only business model, I’ve been saying the same thing again and again — “… the deal just isn't there for photographers yet.”

Well, that all changed during the opening keynote at Photoshop World last week in Vegas when Winston Hendrickson (Adobe’s Vice President of Engineering for Digital Imaging, and a serious sports photographer himself), announced a better deal than I was ever expecting: if you have any previous version of Photoshop (all the way back to CS3), you can get the combo of both Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for just $9.99 a month (as long as you take them up on the offer by Dec 31, 2013).

Much better than I was expecting
I had been talking with Adobe about a deal like this for photographers since they first announced the subscription-only plan, and the number I had been hearing was $19.99 for the two. I had been pulling for (and hoping) they would offer it at just $14.99 instead which I thought was a very fair price. $9.99 wasn’t even on my radar at all. When I heard, just a few days before the keynote, that they were going to offer both at $9.99 a month, I was pretty stunned. I never saw a price that low coming. That’s about 33¢ a day for Photoshop. And Lightroom. The latest versions. I know we waited a while for this deal, but at least it was worth the wait.

Doing The Math
To upgrade Photoshop to the latest version was usually $199. Lightroom’s yearly upgrade is around $79. That’s around $280 every 18th months to stay up to date. Now it’s just $180 over 18 months and you’re always on the latest version of both with all the latest features. Plus, you get 20GB of online storage (if you want it), and a ProSite membership as well. The math works.

I’ve talked to a lot of photographers since the deal was announced last Wednesday, and they all really felt Adobe stepped up on this one, and that this was a more than fair deal. I totally agree.

So, how long does that price hold?
Forever! (OK, Adobe didn’t use the word “Forever” because there’s no way their lawyers would ever let them do that, so this is just me talking, but my understanding is they will hold that $9.99 rate for anyone who gets in on the program before that cutoff date, as long as they stay as subscribers. If they drop off at some point, and they want to come back into the program, they’ll have to come back at the regular price of $19.99. Again, that’s not Adobe talking, that’s just my understanding, but that is my understanding. That being said, I can’t image that in the year 2525, if man is still alive, that it won’t shoot up to $11.00 or $12.00 a month, but I believe they plan on holding it there for the foreseeable future).

I don’t have all the answers about specifics like “What if I’m already subscribed to Photoshop CC by itself?” or any of the myriad of questions existing subscribers might have, but Adobe published an FAQ with lots more details and specifics right here.

However, Here are five things I think you should know about this deal:

(1) Don’t let the word “Cloud” throw you off
You don’t run Photoshop or Lightroom in a browser (huge total myth). In fact, just forget the word “Cloud” altogether — think ” App store” instead, because the only time you’ll use your browser is to download Photoshop and Lightroom onto your computer, where they work and run just like always (unless you choose to use their online storage option).

(2) You don’t have to stay connected to the Internet
Another myth. It just checks once a month. One time. Just a few seconds.

(3) There is a difference between “Limited Time Offer” and an “Introductory Price.”
Adobe is making this deal available until the end of the year. That’s a “limited time offer” not to be confused with an “Introductory Price” which is a price that goes up at some point, like after a year (this deal doesn’t do that, but I’ve seen a lot of folks confusing the two). Also, a lot of folks didn’t realize that Adobe added Lightroom to to the CC offering a while ago, but you can still buy it outright if you want to own it for $149. But then when Lightroom 6 comes out, it’ll cost ya another $79 to upgrade. You’d be better off to take Adobe up on this $9.99 deal.

(4) Adobe heard you
Adobe’s own Photoshop Senior Product Manager Bryan Hughes did a great job of explaining how Adobe is listening to its customers at the closing ceremony at Photoshop World. They are totally tuned-in to what’s happening with their 5-million+ Facebook followers; what’s being said in the Adobe forums, out in the field one-on-one and in blogs and social media throughout the industry. What you’re seeing here is Adobe doing something really meaningful, really significant, and really affordable for photographers. $10 a month. Two cups of coffee to use software programs designed for professionals. That’s incredibly fair.

(5) But Adobe isn’t going back
I know no matter what Adobe does, no matter how good an offer, there will still be some people who are going to post angry comments here, yet again, about how they don’t like the subscription model and that they’re not buying into it and so on. I have news for you. Adobe is NOT going back to selling Photoshop as a stand-alone product.

These folks think if they keep relentlessly complaining that Adobe will change their mind and go back to the old plan. I can tell you this — that is simply not going to happen. They also think everybody is mad about this subscription plan. That’s because they’re not actually reading business news about Adobe. They’re basing this on what they’re reading, and posting, at the same sites where other angry users hang out — and not on what what’s actually happening business wise at Adobe, or they would know that a year ago Adobe’s stock was in the low $30s. Today they’re near their yearly high and approaching $50 a share.

Back in June Adobe announced they had over 720,000 paid CC subscribers. This month when they announce their quarterly earnings where do you think those numbers will be now? I wouldn’t be surprised to see them at nearly a million paid subscribers. That’s an insane number.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud business plan is working big time for Adobe and for nearly a million of their customers, and now they have a killer deal for photographers (the one group that had been left behind). This is Adobe’s business plan going forward, and they’re not looking back.

The deal we’ve been waiting for…
Photographers have been waiting a while for a CC deal that makes dollars and sense and now it’s finally here. You jump up to Photoshop CC (so you get all the new Upright Lens features, and the ability to apply Camera Raw as a filter [my personal favorite], and the Shake Reduction filter and more, plus whatever else Adobe dreams up as soon as its ready — not 18 months from now). Plus you get Lightroom 5 and whatever’s next for it, automatically, all for $10 a month. A ton of photographers will take advantage of this,  and I can’t wait for the opportunity to teach them all the cool new stuff in CC.

Then there are “the other guys.” To them, the only thing Adobe could do to make them happy is go back to the old way, which isn’t going to happen for the reasons outlined here, and for other reasons we have yet to discuss (but we’ll be talking about on “The Grid” this Wednesday at 4:00 pm).

So that’s my take on it
Adobe just invited the rest of us (photographers using some previous version of Photoshop) to the party with an incredibly fair deal. A better deal than I ever dreamed they’d offer. 33¢ a day. Amazing! They also showed the roadmap of  products and services they’re developing for photographers, and we’ll have access to in the coming months. Sadly, a few folks will still keep posting angry comments and complaining on and on (and I’m certain we’ll hear from them here today), but with this deal, a lot of new folks will now join CC to take their place. I hope you choose the other route and start using the coolest software Adobe’s ever made, and at the best price in their history. It’s a day to celebrate, and I’m doing just that.

Cheers everybody, and here’s wishing you your best Monday yet! :)

Anytime Adobe takes the keynote stage at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, it’s always full of surprises, fun, inspirational moments and usually they give the folks in the crowd a sneak peek at upcoming Photoshop technology, and we’re expecting today’s keynote to packed with all that and more!

You can watch the entire Photoshop World keynote stream LIVE as it happens from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center right on the Vegas Strip. Here’s the link to experience it for yourself.

See you on stage today at 9:00 am Vegas time (12:00 noon East Coast time) and you can probably figure out the rest of the time zones in between. :)

UPDATE: I just got word that Adobe will be making an important announcement for photographers during their keynote this morning (no, it’s not a new version of Lightroom or Photoshop), so if you’re a photographer out there, you are definitely going to want to hear this news first-hand, live as it streams. See you then!