Category Archives Lightroom

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 Behance.com 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! :)

http://youtu.be/sTfbaJOUzbM

(1) My Lightroom 5 Book is in-stock
Most folks who pre-ordered have already received their copies, but now the online bookstores (and brick and mortars) also have it in-stock, and I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s the link to it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Get your copy today and be one of the “cool kids” (that alone won’t actually do it, but it certainly won’t hurt). ;-)

(2) My Jesus Book is Sold Out Again
It’s sold out again at Amazon, but more copies are already on their way. Now, if you just said to yourself, “Scott wrote a Jesus book?” Here’s a link to the video where I announced it, which explains it all (and who the book is for). It is still available as an ebook for the iPad or iPhone from Apple’s iBooks store, and we’re working on a Kindle version (have been for a while, but we are finally getting close. It’s a long story). Anyway, more print copies are on the way.

http://youtu.be/fTnku5i7X6c

(3) Today is the cutoff for the $100 Early Bird Photoshop World Conference discount
I know Brad mentioned that it was today yesterday, but today’s today. Here’s the link if you want to join us in Vegas next month for a career-changing, earth-shaking, technique-learning, fun-loving’ Photoshop love-fest, here’s the link. Sign up today and snag that $100 discount (and get a full 12-months of the full Adobe Creative Cloud for free).

Plus, you’ve always been dying to go — now’s your chance. Airfares to Vegas are cheap, we’ve got a great deal on the hotel (stay where the instructors stay, the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, the home to Photoshop World Vegas), and today you save another $100. Say it with me, “This is the year. I’m going!”

http://youtu.be/Cu_h7Fj6Qnc

(4) If you missed Brian Smith on “The Grid” you missed a lot!
Brian totally rocked the Grid this week and we’ve gotten a flood of comments on how useful, informative, and just plain great that episode was. The topic was “The secrets of great portraits” and some are calling it one of our best episode ever. You can watch it all right above.

(5) SmugMug gets the “Big Buzz” award of the week
Everybody was raving about SmugMug’s new relaunch this week, and their debut of some seriously beautiful new portfolio layouts, a much-improved back-end, and an all new…well…everything. They totally nailed it, and if you haven’t checked them out this week, jump over there right now and see what all the fuss is about. Congrats to the crew at SmugMug on the hugely successful big launch!

(6) Speedlights vs. Battery Powered Strobes
Really great article in photographer Michael Clark’s latest newsletter on Speedlights vs. Battery Powered Strobes. I always enjoy Michael’s newsletter and he often covers topics you don’t see covered that frequently, which I think is great. This one is an excerpt from his book, and he makes some really great points. Plus, lots of great photos as always. Here’s the PDF edition: http://bit.ly/15gY770

(7) You can now view “Cool Photography Stuff” (my Flipboard magazine) on The Web
I just learned that you don’t have to have a tablet to read the Flipboard 2.0 magazine I curate anymore — you can now read it right in your web browser (and the layouts transfer very well, as seen above). I curate my “Cool Photography Stuff” magazine every day, and it’s free, free, free to subscribe! Here’s the “view on  the web” link: http://flip.it/ErwfT (of course, it’s still available within the free Flipboard App itself as always). So, if you want to stay up on what’s going on daily, check it out.

Well, that’s my seven quick things for this Friday.
I’ve got a really cool review planned that I think will help a lot of folks. Hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. Cheers, -Scott

The awesome folks at B&H Photo have just posted four videos covering the ENTIRE full-day Lightroom Digital Photography Summit (the one held in New York City last month to celebrate the launch of Lightroom 5).

This was the all-day event featuring Julieanne Kost, Katrin Eismann, and me, showing the coolest new features in Lightroom 5; lots of Lightroom tips and hidden tricks; and in one session we did a live shoot on stage and I handed the retouching and effects over to Julieanne and Katrin (who did a remarkable job). The day was fun, informative, and it’s all brought to you FREE by our friends at B&H Photo, and the Summit’s official sponsors Adobe Systems and Canon.

Here’s the link to check out the videos from the event.

Thanks to David Brommer and everyone at B&H who worked so hard to make this very cool event happen (and to their video crew for bringing you the rebroadcast), and to everyone who came to the live event itself. Stuff like this only happens at B&H. You guys rock! 

Hope everybody has a great Monday
I’m out in Colorado Springs today for my “Shoot like a Pro” tour — next stop: San Antonio August 16th, and Indianapolis on August 21st. Hey, if you’re at my seminar today, make sure you come up and say “hi.” Cheers, -Scott

Matt Klosklowski and I put this together a while back, but it’s maybe even more relevant today then we launched it. We got the inspiration from talking with photographers on our live tours in response to hearing the question, "Why should I switch to Lightroom? I already have the Bridge & Camera Raw?" or "I thought Lightroom was just the same as the Bridge and Camera Raw."Uggh!

It's particularly frustrating because Lightroom has so many advantages over the Bridge & Camera Raw, that you can't just explain it in few sentences so we created this page where we could point folks to it to really illustrate the reasons why, as a photographer, they should be using Lightroom. The next thing you know, we decided not only to make a list, but to create 100 videos that would really showcase the advantages.

Why 100 videos?
We intentionally did 100 very short (30 to 60 seconds each) videos rather than one long 60-minute plus video, so people could go directly to the topics that interested them most (since I doubt anyone would watch all 100, or would be willing to sit through 100 when they only needed a few to change their mind). NOTE: There is a little forward button at the top right corner of each video, which you can click to take you to the next video, in case you want to watch all 100.

If you're one of those photographers still using the Bridge & Camera Raw, take a few minutes and swing over to the site and check a few of the reasons out (and at the very least, watch the short intro that Matt and I put together to get you started).

Here's the link.

I hope it helps you at least want to download the free 30-day full-working trial version from Adobe, and give it a whirl (download link for Mac & Windows).

Cheers,

-Scott and Matt

P.S. We actually came up with around 121 reasons, but 121 reasons sounded kind of weenie, so we whittled it down to just 100.

What an amazing day!!!! Over 1,500 photographers (capacity) at the B&H Photo event in person — literally thousands more watching the live stream from literally all over the world — Adobe was there, including the new Lightroom Product manager Sharad Mangalick, who was answering questions all day, one-on-one from attendees at the event — and I’m training alongside Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost and The Photoshop Diva herself, Katrin Eismann. What a blast! :)

Lots of learning. Lots of laughs. Lots of Lighting. Lots of Lightroom. Canon was there. Sony was there. Elinchrom, Square Space and Westcott, too (among others). That’s (L to R above): Yours truly, Katrin, and Julieanne during the opening session showing off some cool Lightroom 5 stuff.

I’ll tell the rest in the captions, but all morning we shared Lightroom tips, new features, news techniques, and so on. Then after lunch I did a live shoot, and then passed the images off to Katrin & Julieanne to do some retouching and finishing effects (they wound up doing a Twilight effect).

Above: We had a team put together to work with our model for the shoot. Here’s a shot from backstage with makeup artist Cassi Renee and hair stylist Eric Williams. The shoot was styled by Sophia Batson (not shown here, and darn if I could even find a shot with Sophia in the frame, but she is truly awesome! Fourth time I’ve worked with Sophia — she is wonderful to work with it and very talented).

Above: Our staging area was a small empty meeting room right next to the ballroom where the class was taking place, and at lunch time we did a quick test shoot to test the lighting, and go over with the model what we’d be doing on stage in about 30 minutes from then. That’s photographer David Teng helping us out as 2nd assistant and behind me is photographer Jason Joseph who was our third assistant on the shoot. By the way: I did have breakfast available for the entire crew (anyone that watched last week’s episode of “The Grid” will know why).

I’m shooting a Canon 5D Mark III here (Canon was the major sponsor of the event, so they gave me the Mark III to use for the live shoot. Sweet camera!)

Above: Here’s an over-the-shoulder view of our model Caroline, who did a really terrific job! After a few test shots, we broke everything down; moved it out to the stage for the live shoot in front of the class.

Above: Ya know what’s stressful? Doing a live shoot in front of 1,500 New York photographers. Oh yeah, want to take it up a notch? Standing in the back of the room — Joe McNally. Cue the sweat!

Above: Here’s a Lightroom grid of some of the shot from the live shoot in front of the class.

Above: Lightroom 5 has a feature (which I showed earlier in the day) that lets you visualize any type of cover design, brochure cover, photo book cover , etc., as an overlay right within Lightroom, so I took one of the images; did the retouching myself (more of a straight-up fashion retouch), and did the cover mock-up you see here.

Above: Here’s the un-cropped shot used on the cover, just so you can see it without all the text.

Above: Here’s the view from backstage (behind the seamless, Julieanne and Katrin wait patiently for the shoot part to conclude and then I hand them a hard drive with the images on it for them to “do their thing”). Just one light — an Elinchrom BRX 500 strobe with an Elinchrom Rotalux 53″ Midi Octa Softbox, and David is holding a 5-in-1 Westcott reflector to kick a little light back into her eyes. We’re shooting tethered directly into Lightroom 5, and my live shooting rig uses a utility bar from Manfrotto mounted on a tripod, and then the platform itself and orange USB cable are from Tethertools.com

Above: I’m including another backstage shot so you can see the shooting rig, and lighting set-up a little clearer.

It was a Lightroom love-fest!
Everybody I talked with was over-the-top in love with Lightroom, and there was a great vibe going all day. If you missed the live event, B&H Photo will be posting the entire summit online for free so you can go and watch it any time (as soon as its posted, I’ll post a link here, and over on my Facebook and Twitter accounts).

A big thanks to David Brommer from B&H Photo who put this entire event together (you rocked it, dude!). Plus, thanks to all the wonderful crew at B&H Photo, including our dear friend Manny Steigman (best guy ever!). They did an awesome job!

Also, it was a honor to share the stage with both Katrin and Julieanne who not only put up with my lame jokes, but who both taught me some new Lightroom tricks as well, which is always sweet! Thanks to all our fantastic sponsors, and to everybody who came down to the Javits Center yesterday, and who watched the streamed live event at home. We’re all lucky to be using and learning Lightroom together, and we’re very fortunate to have a partner like B&H Photo who values education like they do, and who makes live events like this possible.

Cheers, and hope to see you all again soon!

-Scott

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the late post, but I was up REALLY late prepping for my sessions today at the B&H Photo Lightroom 5 Digital Photography Summit at the Javtis Center (it kicks off at 10:00 am this morning). I took the shot above (the view from my hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn on 8th) with my iPhone last night when I got in, and I processed it in Camera+ on my phone (Oppa Kalebra Style). 

I did get to meet up with my buddy, NYC-based photographer Jason Joseph (shown above) at one of my favorite New York restaurants, the incredible Keen’s Steakhouse. Mmmmm. Keen’s. We were hoping this photo makes it into the grainy, noisy hall-of-fame, and I think we have a decent chance at it.

After dinner my brother Jeff (who is here with us in NYC for the B&H Summit too), and I walked down to Times Square and did the tourist thing (sat in the bleachers and marveled at all the giant high-def screens), and I took this iPhone pano of it all.

Look forward to meeting many of you today at the Javits center (if you’re there and you read the blog, make sure you come up and say “hi”). Cheers and have a great Monday!

-Scott

P.S. If you’re not in NYC, you can still watch the event – Here's the link to sign up for the free live streaming.

 

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