Tuesday
May
2013
07

My Take on Adobe’s Announcements Yesterday at the MAX Conference

by Scott Kelby  |  675 Comments

I saw loads of questions and comments all over the Web yesterday about Adobe’s announcements. The new features part got lots of love. Adobe’s new subscription-only plan for their Creative Cloud software, not so much (and that’s being kind), so I thought I’d do a quick Q&A giving my take on it all.

Q. Scott, should I be freaking out?
A. Absolutely not. I saw a lot of nasty comments yesterday (I’m sure you did, too), but a lot of what I read was based on mis-information or was just plain wrong. 

Q. Can you give me an example?
A. Sure. I read a bunch of people in forums claiming that Adobe isn’t going to release any bug fixes for Photoshop CS6. Actually, Adobe said just the opposite. They said they would be updating CS6 with bug fixes as necessary — they’re just not adding any new features (well, technically they did go back to CS6 and add a major new feature —- they added the HiDPI support for computers with high dpi displays, like the Retina display on the MacBook Pro, but you know what I mean).

Q. So, Adobe isn’t going to add any new features to Photoshop CS6?
A. Um…no, but that’s not new. I don’t remember Adobe ever going back and adding new features to a previous version of Photoshop once a new version has been announced. 

Q. So they announced a new version of Photoshop?
A. Yup. It’s called Photoshop CC (for Creative Cloud), and it’s got a bunch of new features, and it’s the 2nd feature update they’ve issued for the Creative Cloud. 

Q. I heard we have to subscribe to get these new features. Is that true?
A. Yup. The new features aren’t being added to the old version of Photoshop (CS6), so to get the new features you’ll need to subscribe. 

Q. So I have to pay $50 a month to get these new features!!!!
A. Nope. For some reason, everyone is acting like you have to subscribe to the complete Creative Cloud program to get the new features in Photoshop. Actually you subscribe to just Photoshop by itself for $19.95 a month (Adobe calls this a “Single App subscription”). By the way, this $19.95 Photoshop-only subscription thing isn’t new (it just seems like nobody really knows about it, so everybody’s all focused on the $50-a-month thing). 

Q. But Photoshop CS6 came out just over a year ago. Now I have to shell out $20 a month?
A. Nope — they have a discount for folks who already bought CS6 (or CS5, CS4 even back to CS3) — they get a one-year intro-deal on a Photoshop CC subscription for just $10 a month and they get all the new features (along with any new ones that are released, for as long as they’re subscribed). 

Q. So then I don’t actually have to pay $50 a month for Photoshop?
A. That’s right — the $49.95 monthly subscription is only if you want the full Creative Cloud, which gives you all the Creative Suite Master Collection Applications as well, like InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Muse, and on and on, plus a bunch of new Cloud-based services.

Q. Yeah, but if I bought CS6 and now I want to move to the full-blown Cloud, I’m hosed right? 
A. I
f you bought CS6 and want to move up to the complete Creative Cloud, there’s a deal where you can get the whole shebang for just $19.95 a month (same price as just Photoshop alone, but you have to already be a  CS6 user to qualify). Here’s a link to the page where I found it.

Q. But I’m a photographer and I only use Photoshop. This doesn’t sound like a very good deal.
A. If all you use is Photoshop, I agree, and I wouldn’t get the complete $49.95 monthly Creative Cloud subscription — I’d just go with the $20 Photoshop-only monthly subscription instead. 

Q. What if I use Photoshop and Lightroom. Is it a good deal then?
A. I think it will be before too long (Adobe sneak peeked some cool stuff for photographers on “The Grid” last week), but honestly right now there’s not a really strong case for photographers with the complete Creative Cloud. For example, you could buy the Lightroom 5 upgrade for $79 (I’m assuming it’ll be $79 ’cause that’s what it cost last tim), and then if you’re already a Photoshop user using anything from Photoshop CS3 to CS6, just spend the $10 a month on Photoshop.

So, take the $79 plus $120 for the Photoshop CC  Single App subscription, and you’re around $200. If you went with the complete Creative Cloud subscription you’d be paying $600, so by just getting those two programs (upgrading to Lightroom 5 and subscribing just to Photoshop CC), you’re saving $400 by going this way, and you still have the latest versions of the best image-editing duo on the planet. 

Q. So when does the complete Creative Cloud subscription math work out?
A. As soon as you find yourself using two or more programs (not including Lightroom). So, if you use Photoshop and InDesign, or Photoshop and Premiere Pro, or Photoshop and Muse or any other couple of Adobe programs, the deal goes from “Meh” to “Hey!!!” For example, our in-house video team thinks the complete Creative Cloud is the best thing since sliced bread because they use lots of Adobe applications. For our graphic designers, it rocks for them too because none of them uses just Photoshop. The more programs you use, the more sense it makes. This is why, right now, I don’t think it makes that much sense for photographers, who are going to use just one or two programs (if you count Lightroom, which is included in the complete Creative Cloud) but I think that will change in the future as Adobe adds more photographer-centric features. 

Q. But what if Adobe raises the price on me?
A. I doubt I’ll be in my 60s and the price for the Creative Cloud will still be the same. At some point, it’ll probably go up, but any company can raise the price of any of their products at any time, just like the US Post Office does with the price of a stamp (and most companies do pretty regularly, which is why everything costs us more today  from milk to gas to coffee). Also, just like any product, you don’t have to buy it if they do raise the price. 

Q. So what happens if I can’t pay my subscription one month?
A. The same thing that happens if you can’t make your car payment. Two big burly guys come to your house in the middle of the night and take back your copy of Photoshop.

Q. Really?!
A. Well, they don’t come to your house per se (they do it digitally), but why chance it?

Q. I read that the Creative Cloud apps run in a Browser. Is that true?
A. I can’t believe I keep reading this, but no. No, no, no. They don’t run in your browser. All the Adobe desktop apps in the Creative Cloud  (like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc.) run like they always did — on your desktop. But instead of getting a box shipped to you, you just download the software from “The Cloud.”

Q. I also read you always have to be online because it checks every day to see if your subscription is current. What if I’m not online when they check each day?
A. It’s my understanding that if you’re an annual subscriber, it only checks once-a-month to confirm your registration — not every day, all day, and annual subscribers can actually be off-line for up to 99 days straight and it still keep their subscription active (but I can’t remember ever meeting anyone who was offline for 99 days. I did hear stories of a Grandmother in Wyoming once though). For monthly subscribers, I think you can be offline for around 37 days, but still — I don’t know where this whole “check every day” thing came from either, but my advice would be; when they come to check, quickly turn out the lights and hide behind the couch.

Q. Will that work?
A. I’m not certain, but again, why chance it?

Q. Why is Adobe the only one doing this?
A. Actually, they’re not (look at AutoDesk, Audible, Microsoft, iTunes Match, Amazon Prime, etc.), and I imagine within just a couple of years (or less), this subscription model will become the norm. Don’t shoot the messenger. Shoot Brad instead.

Q. Hey, I bought CS6 last year. Aren’t I entitled to these feature updates for free?
A. Well, every time Adobe releases a new version of their software, only people that buy the new software get the new features. If you look in your copy of CS5, you won’t find any of the CS6 features in there — only the people that bought CS6 get them. When you bought CS6, you bought it based on the features that were in there at the time, and that’s exactly what you got. There was no promise that if Adobe came out with new features that you’d get them — new features always go in the next version of the software.

Q. Well, that’s not exactly true. Creative Cloud subscribers got those features free!
A. That’s true, because subscribers get new features free, as soon as they’re ready, so they’re always on the latest version of the software.

Q. So basically, Adobe is using that as a marketing thing to get people to subscribe to the Creative Cloud?
A. Well…yeah. Cloud subscribers get the new features free as soon as they’re ready. It made me want to subscribe.

Q. That’s not fair!
A. You seriously need to find the person who, at some point in your life, mistakenly told you that life was fair and clonk them with that round cardboard tube that comes inside Christmas wrapping paper.

Q. What if I don’t want to subscribe? What if I don’t want to “rent” my software?
A. You don’t have to. You can still buy the retail version of Photoshop CS6 just like always, and you’ll own it and there’s no monthly fee. 

Q. Well, how much does Photoshop CS6 cost?
A. I believe it’s $700 (ish).

Q. Wow. Renting doesn’t sound so bad now. 
A. I know, right?

Q. I know you said we can still buy Photoshop CS6, but I just scoured Adobe’s Website and I can’t find any link to it at all.
A. Me either. I searched all over, even got friends to help search with me, and I couldn’t find it for a long time (apparently buying CS6 includes a game of “needle in the haystack” first) but eventually I uncovered it. Here’s the link.

Q. So Scott, what do you think is a fair price for a bundle of both Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5?
A. A bunch of folks watching our live broadcast with Adobe’s Tom Hogarty thought the sweet spot for a bundle of the two of them would be $20, and I agree — that would be ideal. Probably isn’t going to happen, cause that would be both at about $10 a month, and one costs $700 and one costs $149. If you’re thinking, “Hey, $15 sounds great” I wouldn’t hold my breath for that either. I think $24.95 would still be really reasonable, but of course it’s not up to me. 

Q. So have you talked to Adobe about all this new pricing stuff?
A. Absolutely. I’ve been out there for meetings, I’ve had numerous conference calls, I’m on an Adobe advisory board, and I’ve been in close contact with Adobe over all of this and I’ve given my opinion to the point that I can’t believe they would actually continue to take my calls. But at the end of the day, I can only offer advice and give them the perspective of the 70,000 NAPP members I represent, but I’m not the Adobe CEO, and product pricing is not my call to make.

This is the product direction Adobe chose going forward, made by people with a much higher pay grade than me. I’m glad they asked at all. Most companies wouldn’t have. I also think they really listened (not just to me, but a wide range of industry influencers and longtime customers and I think that’s why some of the pricing deals and discounts are as low as they are. $10 a month for the latest Photoshop? That’s a pretty unbelievable price honestly — lower than I thought they’d ever go). But the software market has changed tremendously in the past few years and they have to do what they feel is best course for their products and their company going forward. By the way, this subscription model isn’t just where the future of software in general is going. It’s already here (as I mentioned earlier).  

Q. Do you think Adobe will change their mind about this?
A. No. This isn’t a decision they made two weeks ago, and Adobe knows there are a ton of people who already subscribe to the Creative Cloud (the last figure I heard was over 500,000 subscribers and growing, which is pretty staggering) and there are a ton of people who absolutely love the Creative Cloud, the tools it brings and the opportunities and doors it opens. I run into people while I’m out on tour who wouldn’t go back to the old way if you paid them, so while it may not be perfect for everyone just yet, this is pretty much just “Creative Cloud 1.0.” I’m honestly surprised at what Adobe has added in just one year, and I’ve seen some things that are coming, and I imagine before too long everybody will want to be in on this because Adobe is working on some truly groundbreaking stuff. 

Q. I know, I know, but I’m just so mad about all this!
A. Change freaks a lot of people out, and all the misinformation out there hasn’t helped either. But just know that you still have lots of options, so don’t feel like you’re being forced down one particular road. You can subscribe to just Photoshop. You can buy and own Photoshop CS6. You can join the whole Creative Cloud, or not. You can keep the software you already have and keep using it for years. You can sit on the sidelines and just see how this whole thing plays out, but regardless, you still have options. 

Q. So what are you going to do?
A. I subscribed to the Creative Cloud about two weeks after Adobe announced it, and I love it. I do use more than just Lightroom and Photoshop (I’ve been using InDesign all day today), and for me, and for my company, it not only makes sense, it saves me money. I’ve spent my entire career waiting 18 to 20 months for Adobe to release new Photoshop features. Now, I get them as soon as they’re ready. The waiting is over, and the decision was an easy one, but again, I had options. You do, too. 

I hope that helped to clear some things up.

Best,

-Scott

Monday
May
2013
06

Here’s Why We Always Bring a Flash. Or Two.

by Scott Kelby  |  46 Comments

I love natural light
Love it! I don’t talk about it a bunch here on the blog, because it seems like I’m always lighting something, but you might be surprised that I don’t always walk into every situation thinking I’m going to light it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we always bring a flash or two, but in most cases I’d prefer to use natural light. Why? Three reasons:

(1) It’s easy
(2) It’s free. (Well, mostly)
(3) It’s fast (that’s really a biggie for me)

If there’s available natural light I try to use it first
That was the case with the shot you see above (that’s a two-page spread in a wedding book I’m working on). This is up in the balcony  and there were all these beautiful old wooden theater-looking seats (great looking, but not particularly comfortable) and to the right of the scene above is just this huge window. Huge! So of course my first thought was — let’s just use natural light.

The problem is: natural light isn’t always beautiful light
Sometimes, even indoors like this with a big beautiful window with a shade streaming natural light, that light can still be really harsh, dappled and unflattering (or in our case, all three).

If we think we might have the opportunity to use natural light, I have Brad bring at least a 1-stop Diffuser (something that goes between the direct sunlight and our subject, like the Lastolite 1-stop TriGrip diffuser you see above, to spread and soften the sunlight). The sunlight at this time of day (around 3:00 pm) was so bright and harsh that even when we diffused it, our bride was still squinting and the light was still kinda harsh. Look at the light on the chair to the right of her and you can see how harsh that light is.

You’d think the light would be even….
But we soon realized that while we could diffuse the light somewhat (we really needed a 2-stop diffuser), we’d still have very strong dappled beams of light landing right next to her so we wound up chasing down these beams and positioning the diffuser in different places (that’s John our 2nd assistant on the shoot jumping in front of some dappled beams).

This is why I always bring a light. Or two. 
I just wasn’t happy with the natural light, and our inability to control it, so I called down to Brad to bring up a flash head with a small softbox (it’s a 27″x27″ square softbox). I have to tell you, it’s pretty frustrating to be standing in a room with this much light and still have to bring out a flash, but we were having such a hard time getting the light where we wanted it. We finally moved the bride to a different location, hoping for better luck by placing her back a few rows into an area that wasn’t getting much harsh light, but we still had to use the diffuser to keep some of the direct beams from falling on her, or near her.

The idea was to have her in a dark part of the chairs, and then just put a little light on her, and have everything else look pretty dark and dramatic, and this new set-up seemed to work OK. It’s not great light. It’s not amazing light or anything — it was more like just having a problem, solving it to some extent, getting a decent shot so we could move onto another location with the groom waiting downstairs.  Once we got it “in the ballpark” I took the shot using a super-wide 14-24mm lens, and rolled out of there. I basically cut my losses because although I felt like with another 15 or so minutes I could have probably nailed the lighting, I didn’t have another 15 or so minutes.

In the end….
I think the shot works in the two-page spread you saw at the top of this post, even though with that cool of a set-up (with a gorgeous stained-glass window on the far left, and these wonderful old chairs wrapping around), I really thought I could come up with something really special, but just didn’t. I played the hand I was dealt and we both folded. I didn’t win, and the harsh light didn’t win, but I lived to light another day. Hopefully next time, it’ll be later in the day, and I’ll be by a north-facing window —- one that hasn’t been washed in an awfully long time. :)

Thursday
May
2013
02

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  34 Comments

Adobe Sneak Peek of RAW Processing on Tablet
Yesterday on The Grid, Scott and Matt were joined by Tom Hogarty from Adobe, who gave us a sneak peek of processing RAW photos on a tablet! Using a prototype version of a possibly upcoming app on his iPad 2, he demonstrated the ability to edit RAW photos using Lightroom-like capabilities such as Highlights, Shadows, Exposure, Contrast, and more. He also discussed cloud synchronization with the edits made on tablets back to your computer. Careful not to say anything concrete, he also mentioned that he would like to see the ability to mark picks and rejects or set other categories in the app.

There were also a ton of giveaways, including copies of Lightroom, so check out the show above for more info on how to win!

The Business Side of Tim Wallace
Tim Wallace is one of the top automotive photographers in the world, with clients like Mercedes, Jaguar, Aston Martin, and more. Sit down with Tim and Kelby Training’s Mia McCormick in The Business Side of Tim Wallace as they discuss being a successful business person, getting hired, how to price your work, marketing yourself, and much more.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of this class!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott KelbyMatt KloskowskiRC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

The Shoot Like A Pro Tour with Scott Kelby
Apr 30 – Chicago, IL
May 23 – Seattle, WA (info coming soon)
May 24 – Los Angeles, CA (info coming soon)

Photographic Artistry with Adobe Photoshop with Ben Willmore
May 15 – Columbus, OH
May 21 – Boston, MA

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
May 10 – Salt Lake City, UT
May 17 – Milwaukee, WI

Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Get Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers eBook for Just $9.99!
There are just a few days left to get Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers eBook for only $9.99! It’s the current eBook Deal of the Week from Peachpit Press this week, which means you can get it until Saturday, May 4 at this special price. Check these links each week for other great deals on other books from Peachpit.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of this eBo!

Winners
KelbyTraining.com Rentals
- Avishai F
- Shelley Franklin

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- Andrea

That’s it for today. If you’re one of the winners, we’ll be in touch soon!

Wednesday
May
2013
01

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Brad Moore!

by Brad Moore  |  50 Comments

Photographing Some of my Heroes

At this past Photoshop World in Orlando, I realized that I had never fully taken advantage of the opportunities that I have there sometimes. I’m surrounded by a number of people who’ve been great influences on my life and career. I have lights and a camera. And, even though I’m busy, I can at least try to find the time to make something happen.

So I looked at the schedule, found a small block of time where I didn’t have too much going on, and set up a couple of lights in an empty room just around the corner from the staff office.

You know how when you’re watching someone work, you have epiphany moments where you see something that you’d never thought of before? I had always seen lights put in front of subjects, but never behind. Until assisting Joe McNally on a job one day when he had me do just that, and I was astounded at the result. So I wanted to use a similar setup for this shoot as a bit of a nod to one of the many things I’d learned from my time working with him.

Once I was set up I asked Joe if he would mind stepping in front of my camera for a few minutes. Truth be told, I was nervous about this and he could probably tell. I mean, I’d been in front of his lens plenty of times in the past as a test subject, and I doubt he was too nervous about shooting me in those instances. But the tables were turned this time and I definitely was. I know he’s had his share of nerves over the years, especially when photographing his heroes (like Arnold Newman), so I’m hoping he could relate.

Once I thanked Joe and let him get to his next presentation, I went back to the staff office to see who else might have a minute and allow me to photograph them.

If you’ve followed me at all, you know I’m into concert photography, and I wouldn’t know half of what I do if it weren’t for Alan Hess. From day 1, he’s helped me figure out who to contact for photo passes and given me all kinds of advice for shooting. I like to pop into the concert workshop he teaches at Photoshop World when I can and pick up new tips, and he always has great new work in his presentation.

After finishing up with Alan, it was back to the staff office to see who else might be around. Luckily, I saw just who I was hoping for.

There are lots of legendary photographers who teach at Photoshop World, and Jay Maisel is at the top of the bunch. I was honored when he said yes to my request for a quick portrait. I wanted to respect his time and get him in and out as quickly as I could, but he jumped right in and started making suggestions and giving me advice! I couldn’t have been more tickled.

We finished, and I went to find my final subject, another person to whom I owe quite a lot.

It goes without saying that I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work with Scott Kelby. I have and continue to learn from him not only in the way of photography and post processing, but also business and life lessons. From great ideas and work ethic to balancing work and family, I’m always learning something from him.

There were definitely other instructors I would love to have photographed, but with everyone’s limited time and busy schedules, I got what I could. Hopefully I can continue this project at future events and add more of the people who have been great influences on me to it.

You can see more of Brad’s work at BMooreVisuals.com, and follow him on Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.

Tuesday
Apr
2013
30

Greetings from Chicago!

by Scott Kelby  |  7 Comments

It’s a beautiful day here in Chicago today (should hit around 80°) and I hope you’re one of the nearly 600 photographers who’ll be here for my “Shoot Like a Pro” tour. Looking forward to meeting everybody!

Don’t forget the big Sneak Peek coming from Adobe tomorrow for photographers on “The Grid” at 4:00 pm LIVE (here’s the link).

I’ve gotta get over to the Convention Center. Here’s wishing you all a beautiful 80° kinda weather day!).

Cheers,

-Scott

 

Monday
Apr
2013
29

Coming Wed: Adobe “Sneak Peeks” What’s Coming for Photographers in the Creative Cloud

by Scott Kelby  |  18 Comments

Check out the short video above (it’s like 90-seconds or so) which explains why Adobe is doing this unprecedented sneak peek, but once you watch that, here are the specifics:

Who: Tom Hogarty from Adobe Systems
When: Wednesday, May 1st at 4:00 PM ET (New York time)
Where: Live on “The Grid” (here’s the link)
Why: This is your chance to get straight answers straight from the source and to see a sneak peek of some stuff I haven’t even seen yet — but I heard about them— and you’re definitely going to want to see ‘em! (everybody will be talking about it on Thursday!)

See you on Wednesday!

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