Not Impressed by Adobe Creative Cloud’s Launch Features for Photographers

Is this how they usher in the Cloud era?

Today Adobe announced Photoshop CC that is only available to cloud subscribers.

Adobe should not release such lame updates to Photoshop and Lightroom to convince people that the cloud-subscription software is exciting. They should make dramatic improvements – things that photograpehrs can’t live without. Can we live without “Smart Sharpen” and “Intelligent Upsampling” with Photoshop. Err, probably. The Lightroom improvements are equally underwhelming. You know that the updates are lame when one of the top bullet points is “Include video in your slideshows!” How did THAT become one of the top-most-requested features?

Photoshop Creative Cloud

Here's a list of some of the features with Photoshop CC. I am not thrilled. Also, that seems like kind of a lame photo they are using to show off their product, isn't it? Maybe Photoshop has gotten to the point where it is just kind of like a pencil or a paintbrush -- they can't be improved upon. Maybe Adobe really has run out of ideas (except for ideas around new business models where you get to pay them every month).

It also worries me that Adobe is running out of ideas for their photography-related products. Their “big features” are, at best, incremental improvements. They are certainly not exciting enough to drive millions to subscribe to their cloud subscriptions. Their biggest idea, sadly, seems to be cloud-based subscriptions.

Business-model confusion with Adobe

Adobe’s PR and marketing team has a whole list of reasons about why Cloud-based subscription is so awesome for Photoshop. They have a few good points in there, such as it is easy to do incremental updates. But mostly, the reasons are lame and not exciting to amateurs and hobbyists who can’t afford to shell out a ton of money every month.

Here is the confusion: If Cloud-based subscriptions really are so awesome for Photoshop, why do they have a completely different business model for Lightroom? They tell me, well, Lightroom is more for hobbyists and casual people, and Photoshop is more for professionals. I think that sounds kind of ridiculous, don’t you?

What is especially confusing for me is, “How do I explain this to people?” I get a bunch of people that come to this website or to the HDR Tutorial (new and improved, and free as always, btw!) to get advice on what kind of software to get. We get a lot of new photographers who don’t really own any software. Now I have to give confusing advice: “Well, you really need Photoshop and Lightroom. Photoshop you have to pay every month for, but Lightroom you can just buy once.” People are like, “Whhhhaaat?” Why have two business models for such complementary pieces of software? It’s completely confusing to new people, and moderately confusing to veterans.

Anyway, these are the kind of confusing decisions that come out of committees. I hope they clarify things soon, and I also hope they have a business model that is less punitive to beginners, students, and hobbyists that can’t afford the high price of cloud-based subscriptions. It’s not like Netflix or World of Warcraft with their monthly fees. You pretty much have one kind of customer there. With photography, you have the full span of professionals and studios to ameteurs and hobbyists. In my judgment, it’s too punitive to have One-Pricing-Model to rule them all.

Daily Photo – Sunset in New Zealand before the Blizzard

We are expecting a major blizzard coming into Queenstown tonight! We just got back from the grocery store to stock up. I’ve got all my cameras fully charged and ready to go… I’ll try to hit as many places as I can with the fresh snow… chains are ready and all is good to go! Super-excited.

And, speaking of the article above, I can’t think of any of my images that could have been improved if I am using the new features in Adobe’s cloud. Sure, I subscribed to their cloud (Adobe did not gift me one, nor will they probably ever because I am so critical of them), and I am using the latest of everything… but none of these new features have really found their way into my photos yet. Comon Adobe… I know you can do better.

Queenstown Pond Sunset New Zealand

Sunset in New Zealand before the Blizzard

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO280
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Abandoned Ruins in Dalefield

Sony NEX-7

You’ll recognize the photo below from the Sony NEX-7 Review here on the site! This is one of the new photos I took with the 10-18mm lens. I love that thing!

Daily Photo – Abandoned Ruins in Dalefield

This is the turn-around-point for my jogging route! I run around this area between Queenstown and Arrowtown and end up at this place. Sometimes if I am feeling more full-of-energy (rare), I’ll go a bit longer, but usually not. This is a beautiful place to loop around and begin my return-journey.

I don’t know much about this place, other than it is a bit hidden from the road. If you look for it off Speargrass Flats, then you can see it, but you’ll never notice it if you’re just driving down the road like a normal person. I’ve heard they have plays here and have had a few film crews show up. Either way, it’s cool!

THe Farmhouse in Dalefield

Abandoned Ruins in Dalefield

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture14
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Out in the Woods

From the Photomatix Presets

You may remember this shot from the sample on Trey’s Photomatix Presets. It turned out to be a perfect candidate because of the crazy amount of dynamic light. This is just about as dynamic as it gets — shooting into a very bright sun with dark, shadowy trees in the foreground.

Daily Photo – Out in the Woods

This is one of my favorite photos of an outhouse that I’ve ever taken. I’ve only taken one, by the way.

Actually, when I think about it being an outhouse, it makes it feel not so beautiful. So I just think of it like a little maintenance shed or a meditation chamber. Yes, that’s better, some sort of Scientologist meditation chamber where they measure their midichlorians.

Outhouse in the woods

Out in the Woods

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Lake Wakatipu in the Late Sun

Hangout with Schoolkids from Thailand

I don’t know if you missed this crazy event… but it was a fun one. Their teacher contacted me to see if I wanted to talk to her kids about science and photography. Some of the questions they asked me were kinda funny. I think they were trying to take another topic and bend around the questions so they had something to do with photography!

Daily Photo – Lake Wakatipu in the Late Sun

The colors here go a little crazy when the clouds are in the sky! I’m not what it is… I think this very cold lake also does something to the air to make it a bit… thicker… or have more moisture in the air… or something!

I took this shot from atop the Skyline Gondola with the trust old 28-300mm lens! Check the Camera Lens Reviews over there on the right if you want to read more about this lens or the others.

Lake Wakatipu in the Late Sun

Lake Wakatipu in the Late Sun

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length125.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Tom with the Horse

Mid-day Update – Flickr News 1 TB free?

I saw that Flickr is now giving 1 TB of storage of hi-res photos to ALL users. Wow that’s kind of an insanely high number! I’m not sure how existing pros account holders (like me) think about this, but they get grandfathered into infinite, which is a lot more that 1 TB, so that is nice. The new re-design looks nice too. Here’s my Flickr page.

I wonder if they are making this move because it “sounds” good when they know that the vast majority of users will never use that much data. So, it may not be that much of a financial hit on them for the storage space. Google recently upgraded their full-rez photo allotment too, but not nearly that high. But, on the plus side, the Google one allows infinite uploads of photos smaller than 2048×2048, which I think most photos are nowadays. My friend Thomas Hawk also has a nice article about this news from Flickr on his blog.

I still use SmugMug (see SmugMug Review) as my main place for hi-rez photos and my portfolio. Still, however, I spend most of my time on these other social networks, none of which do as good of a job as displaying my portfolio of work.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I still can’t upload full-rez images on Facebook… Sad emoticon.

Did you get the free Lightroom presets upgrade?

We recently added a free bonus package to the Lightroom presets for free. If you already bought them, then this is a free upgrade! Now, we started selling these in the “old” store, which let us send out an email to everyone. But if you got them in the New StuckInCustoms Store, then your account has been automagically updated! Just login and you can re-download the package that will have all the new goodies in there!

Daily Photo – Tom with the Horse

The first time Tom and I took photos of horses was on Oahu. This was our second horse-encounter here in New Zealand! He got up close with his fisheye while I backed up with the 70-200 f/2.8 to get this shot.

I really like those mountains behind Tom. I want to get a shot of them this winter when they are all covered in snow!

Tom with the Horse

Tom with the Horse

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length78.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Another Max Patte Statue

Seeing in 3D Again?

Did you miss the Hangout Show #76 when I talked to Thomas Hawk about this? We both see out of one eye, and we talked a bit about it towards the beginning of the show. To see that episode (or others you may like), go to My YouTube Channel and go find that playlist for “Trey’s Variety Hour” — then show #76 should be close to the top!

Daily Photo – Another Max Patte Statue

The Hills Golf Course is covered with these amazing sculptures! I think they have a good thing going here, and I hope they keep adding more and more statues. With all these statues and whatnot, it reminds me a bit of a miniature golf course for grownups! These statues are not on every hole, but they are elegantly placed here and there. Also, they seem to all be set up for really good photo ops as well.

Max Patte Statue

Another Max Patte Statue

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Entering the Dungeons

Remote Vision, Ravens, and Glass

Here’s a snippet from the latest tutorial for you. This is the part we filmed when we were up close to the North Korean prison here in New Zealand. I talk a bit about expanded visual consciousness…

Daily Photo – Entering the Dungeons

Here’s the dungeon from under that French chateau that we visited several months ago.

I can’t imagine actually living in a house with a dungeon. I mean, it would be pretty dang awesome, but you would also feel like you’d have to put the place to good use. I guess I have a few enemies that I could capture and put down there, but that seems a bit extreme. Maybe just have parties and stuff. Or maybe a studio for processing down there. It’s hard to say… it all seems a bit dreary.

Maybe when I get some miner-bots, I’ll minecraft up a design under my existing house and send them on their way. I can carve something out down there. Well maybe I better do it beside the house so my bad designs don’t make the whole house collapse.

dungeon

Entering the Dungeons

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

The Night of the Aurora

Huge PhotoWalk in San Francisco Tonight!

Hope to see you there! See the event info here! :) We’ll be giving away Google Glass, so good luck to all of you attending.

New part of the HDR Tutorial – mini-masking tutorial

If you have seen the new and improved HDR Tutorial, then you may see this new video below on page 3! This describes how to do masking, which is a very common question for people that are getting started in Photoshop.

Daily Photo – The Night of the Aurora

I think these happen a lot down here in New Zealand! I’m hardly an expert though… I’m very last-minute about all these things and only know about them once they start happening. Some people are real aurora experts and track them like storms. There are websites, apps, and all sorts of things. I gotta get my act together so I can plan for these events better.

I was having so much fun with the landscape orientation… but then I decided to go vertical for a few shots, and I am glad I did!

When I show people these photos without any explanation, they never ever ask me what that yellow-green light is in the lower part. I don’t know if they just assume it is the aurora, or maybe they think it is light from a city, or maybe they think I added it in post. I just don’t know… but I do like to see people’s reactions, especially when they are confused. I don’t know why I enjoy confusing people with these sorts of photos, but it is just kinda fun. I think it is fun because I am also confused by how this kind of light can even be possible!

The Night of the Aurora

The Night of the Aurora

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Frolic and the Fancy by Max Patte

Largest Photowalk in History?

Here’s an article on Petapixel about the upcoming event in San Francisco!

The official unveiling

I’ll be saying a few words at an unveiling of these new statues on Sunday, May 12, at The Hills here in Arrowtown. A few of you may be there! Sir Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop and Sir Michael Hill will be there for the official unveling of its newest work, ‘The Frolic and the Fancy’ by Max Patte. See more about Max here. Max liked this photo I took one day while I was out golfing, so it will be fun to be there for the official event! :)

Daily Photo – The Frolic and the Fancy by Max Patte

Here’s the first photo I took of these transcendant statues.

I’m surprised at people’s reaction to this photo online. So many people thought they were real! I suppose I did too the first time I saw them.

There is one other very unusual thing. I don’t know what they are made of, even though I was right beside them. Obviously, I know next to nothing about sculpture, but I have some basic knowledge of materials (I think!). Anyway, I absolutely am not sure how they are made… I’ll ask Max and report back to you!

Frolic and fancy max patte the hills

The Frolic and the Fancy by Max Patte

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Two Events in Queenstown Today – Google Science Fair Worldwide, and a local talk!

Watch online for the Google Science Fair, Live from Wakatipu High School in Queenstown

Well, “today” is confusing in New Zealand. It’s May 8 in NZ and May 7 in the US + Europe, and, well, + everywhere.

First is the Google Science Fair, which you can see below.

Second is with NZIPP this evening. Check this post to find the local time.

The Google Science Fair – Live Today

Here is the embedded video from Wakatipu High School in Queenstown. This was a really fun event for the Google Science Fair!

Daily Photo – Queenstown from the Air

I’m happy to be back home in Queenstown!

It’s strange to me to come “home” to the kind of place I used to go on vacation. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. There is a very nice feeling when the airplane approaches this place. If you ever have a chance to fly in here, then you will know what I mean.

Airplane pilots have to go through some kind of special training or planning before an approach here. They have to spiral down and get between the mountains. I don’t know much about it, obviously. But I do know there is a very nice pilot on Air New Zealand that is a frequent reader of the blog! He came up and said hello to me when I was on his plane one day. Hi Captain! :)

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown from the Air

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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