Dream bigger. Creative Cloud. (Exorbitant Prices.)

I have to say, I can’t understand people who are so attached to Adobe. Extremely restrictive policies of this company have been known for decades.

What struck me was that the spread of Adobe products before creative cloud time - at least in my surroundings - was mainly due to the fact that the cracked versions were relatively easily accessible. I remember that hardly anyone I knew bought a license.

Ironically, this has led to a dependency and conditioning of the image processing so that an impression was created that there were no real alternatives.

Interestingly, in the moment one avoids this dictation, it becomes immediately obvious how many different ways and possibilities there are to approach the image processing.

I’ve been working almost exclusively with free software for more than 10 years and I can’t remember missing anything that could only be done with proprietary solutions.

The biggest difficulty for me was not the lack of solutions but the change and adoption to a new approach. But even this phase of uncertainty I found much more pleasant than the permanent “enslavement” I had to put up with when I was dependent on proprietary software.


Just to add some numbers and also user segmentation, which I think is important to know when we ask ourselves why Adobe is so dominant.

This one mentions free software, but the full report is paid:

I was induced to look for this information by @s7habo’s question ( “I can’t understand people who are so attached to Adobe”), which immediately made me remember a day when I visited a designer friend of mine. I asked him why didn’t he used free software, instead of pirating Adobe’s, and he told me that he had tried it before, but he didn’t had the time to … well, do what we do here, that is, share experiences, ask for help, establish a closer relationship with developers, by either making suggestions for new features or pointing issues in current releases. It simply wasn’t his mindset. End of discussion, next topic.
I felt he wanted to stay focused on his ideas and don’t be drawn by technicalities. I suspect that he his creative ideas were produced in some kind of mental Adobe ingested workflow. I felt he felt good by being nursed by Adobe.
I don’t know what to think about that event neither the whole discussion. at least, not without having a closer look at some numbers like the ones I linked above, although I feel I need more.

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I have known some people like that, and I can say I understand them (that’s not the same as saying I agree with them): the ones I knew were focusing their efforts in creating products (images, customer orders, …), and not by finding out how to do something with a new software. They didn’t want to waste time asking or waiting for something to be implemented. To me, that is understandable. And they went the easy route: keep using Adobe products.

Maybe the biggest advantage of Adobe products are not the products themselves, but the incredible amount of help, tutorials and companies willing to sell products oriented towards ease the learning curve of Adobe software. You want to know how to do something with Photoshop? Just a quick search and you have literally hundreds of solutions.

To me adding a feature to a FOSS program is useless if almost nobody knows how to properly use it.

If you’re new to a free program and find yourself playing with sliders to know what you can get, without a quick and easy way to find some help, there’s little doubt you will close and forget such program.

Perhaps what FOSS programs lack is help: not only this forum, but a quick Google search that will give you several ways to do the same. That is, aside from this forum, webpages with tutorials. Same as with Adobe products: do this, click there, save the result

Something like this for Darktable, or this for RawTherapee, but like a thousand more :slight_smile:


The weakness of Adobe isn’t its apps but its business practices. They wouldn’t have become such a market leader if it weren’t for those practices. It couldn’t do some of the good things it has done if not for the power and influence. I am not excusing their problematic way of doing things but, without this player, the world, not just the creative, software and hardware industries, would have been very different; and I would argue, not as developed and forward looking.

This issue isn’t just an Adobe problem. I keep up with the news; esp. tech news. Breaking up and curtailing global scale companies has become the discussion of late and probably much earlier for academics and other people who aren’t popular or talking heads. It is a complex problem to be sure, although, if you think about it, it has been relevant for a very long time, since the dot-com bubble, probably.

Thank you for mentioning my channel :+1:.

Some people I know keep Adobe due to the cloud service (1TB). I keep telling them to just buy a NAS and work from there. So many great software alternatives are available to us, I can’t understand why people continue to let themselves get forced into a subscription model. I’m not talking about large corporate entities or certain schools that have special priced packages for students and stuff but about people like you and me.

I agree with that statement. That is the usual course of things. When you buy a car, you do it because you need it for transportation and not to teach others to drive or even help the developers to make a better one. You gave money to use the car for your purposes. But:

This is the moment where the change of mindset should take place: You have the privilege to use the program without any cost with all freedom to use it you can imagine. If nobody gets paid for development, distribution and training, you can’t expect someone to do it just like that.

Reciprocity is broken here. If you don’t give any money, the costs you have to face are the effort you have to invest in the community if you want your tool to get better.

This mindset change is the biggest hurdle for many people. The argument “I don’t have time to spend on the improvement of the tool in addition to my work” is very interesting for me. That was also my attitude in the beginning.

When I then noticed that I need one small photo job monthly just for the software costs, and the time I had to invest for that job, preparation and postprocessing, I noticed that with free software I can better use this time to occupy myself with the functionality of the tools or to make a small tutorial or video.

And all this with the advantage that I don’t have to worry about having to pay more for the next version in the next month, that there is no danger that the terms or use and licenses will change to my disadvantage, that I can’t even own the program anymore, that I will be forced to chargeable upgrade and so on and so forth.

In the end, this time investment in community - in whatever way - turns out to be much “cheaper” for me than any payment conditions at proprietary providers.


This, and the answer from @afre made me realize that I had gone a little offtopic, I think. Well, I agree with you, and I didn’t meant that the programmers have to give me everything (the software, the help, the support, …). No way.

It was just that we, the users, should be creating a ton of help pages, videos, … to give the newcomers to a program a good base to start with. But not many people is willing to do that.


No problem. People seem to be enjoying your comments → image.


On the contrary. @afre and you have mentioned some interesting arguments why people, despite Adobe’s questionable customer policy, continue to stick to their products. :slightly_smiling_face:

That was my point exactly.

People are happy to be able to use the program without limits and completely free of charge, but they can’t leave the support expectation they were promised when they purchase software.

This is the “blind spot” that free software always has to struggle with.

But that’s starting to change. You can see this with Krita or Blender.

I think I’ve just inaugurated another kind of free software activism: real time sessions.
I was browsing DT’s Facebook page and came across a post of a guy who had just migrated from LR, and had all kinds of questions. I noticed that he was online, so I proposed him to do a real time edit session. He accepted and we connected thru Teamviewer and I showed him how I would do a basic edit of one of his photos. We used his Notepad to chat.
That was really fun!!

EDIT: In the end, he told me that he needed to exchange edits with others and I pointed him to here, of course, so we will probably have a new member arriving soon.


Now Adobe is deactivating all accounts in Venezuela. All that is possible with software in a subscription model easily.


That’s a surprising turn of event.

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Customers are also screwed because of issues with the macOS Catalina release. You can’t keep or use older versions, so you have no choice but to downgrade and reinstall.

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Yup, now people are just pirating it in Venezuela. Karma, Adobe…

I really dislike the abstracted sliders in Lightroom anyway. It feels so much less flexible compared to the open source options. I only hope that people will consider trying open source alternatives instead of pirating, as it will grow our community and benefit us all. You never know if the newbie asking all the annoying questions is going to contribute a game-changing idea for your favorite raw processing software in a few months


For me it is not really the price or other political issues. Right now on Catalina Adobe is causing me to lose edits due to a odd saving issue where it just gets stuck during the save. At this point I need to find a new workflow and settle on a new raw processor.

Hello Boris :stuck_out_tongue: I used to think like you, and then I learned a few things about computer users. To paraphrase the much regretted Steve Jobs, people do not want to learn how to use a computer, in fact they would rather not use a computer at all, people want to write a letter, listen to a song, watch a video, and in order to make more sales we need to provide a means to do that that is as friendly as possible and requires as small of a learning curb as possible.

This is he is ultimately right in his assessment of people at large. I am a computer guy, I love computers, I love being able to do interesting things with them (and graphics is one of them), and I also love the process of using my computer for that; but I must understand that there is a huge amount of people, and they are the majority, whether we like it or not, who are only artists, not computer people + artists, and they just want to make their art, in an intuitive environment.

Adobe understands that, so they aim to make Lightroom simple; hence the part about them applying slight dynamic range tweaking behind the scenes and other things we sometimes end up discussing in this forum - things that make images arguably prettier but inaccurate.

Adobe understands another thing as well; that beyond simplicity in use, most people get addicted to the convenience of what they are used to, and that can actually extend to stupidly great lengths. I mean I have a friend who chose Lightroom over RawTherapee because she prefers a dark theme …and by the time RawTherapee had one, she was already used to the layout in Lightroom and wouldn’t leave it. Point is, people get used to things and are not willing to let go and learn something new, and Adobe is willing to profit off of it. Adobe also reinforces that by having made a name for themselves, as what they like to call “industry standard” and people will go for the software for which most youtube tutorials are made for, and the software Universities teach. They want to make money off of their product, and they want as much of that as possible, and they apply as much manipulation as they can to make it so. We may not like it, but it is how competitive commerce goes; after all that is what it is, commerce …unlike projects like RawTherapee that are in it to produce good software rather than profit; while Adobe wants to produce a good profit, and if must be, they will also improve on their product, when means of enslaving people through legislation-backed subscription licenses aren’t enough :stuck_out_tongue:

Both of the two things you mention here are not by coincidence; they were both intended and what Adobe did, they did in order to make them happen; namely to create dependency to their own products and to create the illusion of inexistency of alternatives. It’s dirty, but very lucrative business.

Microsoft tried it before …back around 2004 when they hailed Linux as being the cancer of the software industry; while now many hail Microsoft and a good agent that supports Linux our of the goodness of their hearts. One of the biggest BSes I have heard that so many people seem to gladly swallow and it is unexplainable to me.


I don’t know if it is all about the ease of use. I know there are two things that attracted me to Adobe over alternative software.

  1. Performance
  2. Integration

Lightroom and Photoshop work really well together. Almost seamless in my experience.

As for performance I don’t know what their magic sauce is TBH but out of all the raw processors I have tried on my 4k iMac outside of On1 photo raw Lightroom is crazy smooth.

Rawtherapee on my machine is in usable unless I switch to the eye painful low resolution mode of my iMac. Darktable holds its own for a little bit but as you add modules it too becomes unusable for me.

On1 is a paid alternative performance is great but the Raw Processor engine is quite bad.

So on my end I continue to feel stuck on Adobe until open source plays nice with my particular Mac model.

I would love to help a project get there but I am no where near knowledgeable enough in development to do so. Raw editors are way over my programming head and have no clue how to learn all that.

This is because LR is using a smaller, proxy image instead of the full sized image in the pipe.

Interesting I had no idea. Does this have any negative side effects on the processing of the raw data?
If so I may have to find a alternative way to work like a secondary screen or something to get around the fact that my built in display is 4k because it is painful waiting for preview updates.