Thursday, November 15: LA Web Design Camp

Our sister Adobe User Group, LA Web Professionals is putting on a web design event featuring LADIG’s Lee Varis, Chana Messer of the Adobe Illustrator LA user group and Adobe instructor Brian Wood, November 15 at Barnsdall Park in Hollywood (Hollywood & Vermont).

This event will cover design with Dreamweaver, Photoshop and the Adobe Touch Apps.

You can signup here, and LADIG members can get free admission from the link on the LADIG Members page.

Summer Events at LADIG

Besides our July 11th presentation on Time Lapse Photography, we have a few other things planned for this summer:

Next month, probably Wednesday August 15th, we are planning a big event to be held at Canon’s new Hollywood meeting space, with one of Canon’s Explorers of Light photographers to talk with us. More details soon.

We are also working on a Twilight Photo Tour of the recently opened Metro Expo Line, now officially scheduled for Saturday, August 18th at 5PM. This will be a docent-led tour much like our Union Station and Art Deco tours of last summer, starting at 5PM from the Expo Line Culver City Station. All Aboard!

Finally, those of you who attended Lisa Carney’s presentation in June and want to learn more about compositing might consider signing up for her one day intensive workshop on July 21st. I am looking at those Hollywood movie posters with new eyes, especially the ones for The Dark Knight Rises that are everywhere right now: Layers! Noise! Debris!

Adobe CS6: Buy or Subscribe? So many choices!

Today, Adobe publicly announced the Creative Suite 6 and the Creative Cloud, which has been generating a lot of controversy since it was first unveiled last fall. The new products, shipping in the next 30 days, will require a bit of head-scratching to decide how to upgrade. So here are a couple of scenarios for photographers:

  • Just use Photoshop and Lightroom? To buy the upgrades is $199 for Photoshop (standard) and $99 for Lightroom if you upgrade at the same time: total $298.
  • By comparison, a year of Creative Cloud costs $49/mo, or $600. That’s a lot more than $298 and its only for a year. Next year you’ll need to spend another $600 – but that is offset by the fact that you’ll need to pay for upgrades if you didn’t get the subscription anyway.

It seems to me not worth it if all you use is Photoshop and Lightroom. BUT if you use any other Adobe programs – Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere, After Effects – then a Creative Cloud subscription DOES become worthwhile. An upgrade to the Master Collection (what you get with Creative Cloud) costs at least $525, and that doesn’t include Lightroom, Photoshop Touch and other apps that come with Creative Cloud. There is also the 20GB of cloud disk space, web-hosting, on-line resources, and social features that may or may not be useful (Ping, anyone?)

  • If you own any CS3/CS4/CS5 Suite or individual product you can subscribe to the Creative Cloud for $29.95/mo. (special intro price and 1 year commitment). This is an insane deal, $360 for a year of Photoshop Extended, Lightroom 4, Photoshop Touch, Premiere, Dreamweaver and every other product Adobe makes.
  • You could also purchase Lightroom and subscribe to Photoshop. The Photoshop subscription is $19.95/month (1 year commitment) and the Lightroom upgrade is $149. So $389 for a year altogether. This doesn’t make sense to me, though.
  • Actually to me, subscribing to Photoshop at $19.95/mo doesn’t make any kind of sense if you’re upgrading. $240 for the year vs. $199 to buy the upgrade. If you don’t have Photoshop and just need it for a year, then a subscription might make sense though.

But lost in all the teeth-gnashing about the cost is the real reason Adobe is doing the Creative Cloud. Think about your web browser. There are frequent updates (in some cases, daily updates) that fix bugs and add new features. Adobe would like to add new features to their products frequently too – but because of accounting regulations they (and every other packaged software vendor) are prevented from adding new features without charging for them. So Adobe has to save up the features until they accumulate enough of them to sell you an upgrade.

But a subscription model doesn’t have this limitation: they can give you new features as soon as they come out of the oven! So look for lots of new updates that those who bought the upgrade won’t get access to until they can upgrade to CS7.

I realize that everyone is different, but personally I can’t wait for the Creative Cloud to get released. I use Photoshop, Lightroom and Dreamweaver every day; and InDesign, Premiere and AfterEffects at least once a week. So I need all those apps, and for me the Adobe Creative Cloud is more and better features for much less money.

Photoshop CS6 Public Beta Now Available

This evening Adobe released the Photoshop CS6 Public beta. This is a beta version of the next Adobe Photoshop, and has lots of great new features such as Tilt-Shift Blur, video editing and color-correction, as well as all the RAW image adjustments from the just released Lightroom 4.

In fact, in my testing the private beta release during the past month, I would say Photoshop has learned a lot from Lightroom in this release.

Photoshop CS6 Beta is available as a free download from Adobe Labs. If you like to live a little dangerously and get your hands on the latest and greatest, download it now. CS6 will live peacefully alongside a previous version of Photoshop. So what have you got to lose?