Some folks just need to move forward with the industry.
After the Adobe MAX event last week (which I wrote about twice in my newsletter), there have been many reactions to the updates announced for Photoshop, Lightroom, and other products. While most folks are noticing a variety of enhancements across the Adobe product line, some more traditional photographers feel like they’re being left out.
I’d argue they’re not being left out, but perhaps if they don’t adapt, they’ll be left behind.
Over at Luminous Landscape, Dan Wells published a piece yesterday titled Adobe, Why Have you Forsaken Us? , where he notes a handful of updates to Lightroom Classic, another several for Photoshop, and then he notes that Adobe spent a lot of time focusing on:
Photoshop on iPad
Adobe Fresco (iPad painting app)
Illustrator on iPad
Creative Cloud Desktop and Libraries
Photoshop Camera (phone camera)
Adobe XD coediting (XD is a mobile app interface design tool)
Adobe Aero (AR design)
Adobe Substance (3D)
In his words:
overall, it’s a pretty disappointing set of updates for people interested in photography and even video. The overwhelming theme is phones, tablets, AR and cloud services.
Here’s what I’ll suggest: a huge chunk of the future of photography and even videography (capture, editing, management, and commercial application thereof) is phones, tablets, AR, and cloud services.
While hobbyist and casual photographers might still be pleased making single images editing them, and printing or sharing digitally, Adobe’s banking on the professional, and the professional world of photography is evolving. Photos are increasingly being created, edited, and shared from mobile devices. AR and VR are going to need photography material as sources. The iPad is a nearly-ten-year-old platform, and it’s maturing. The iPad Pro has as much computing power as most of today’s laptops. If Adobe doesn’t bring its tools to the iPad, they’ll lose out to competitors who do.
Adobe has an ecosystem. While there might be individual apps from competitors that outpace individual features of a particular Adobe application (indeed, Wells notes some examples in his article), nobody else has the broad ecosystem involving capture, editing, and image management that Adobe has. Thinking about individual traditional photo applications, for traditional photo uses, is, well, traditional. But software companies don’t thrive on designing for the past. They attempt to look to the future, and the future of photography is in nontraditional media. AR. Cloud services. Artificial intelligence. Mixed media. Mobile.
If your view is that “phones, tablets, AR, and cloud services” aren’t key to the future of photography, it’s likely time for you to move onto other ventures than photography.