I’ve had a lot of inquiries about dropping Adobe and how I can possibly expect to be considered a professional without them and I look back a decade when people asked the same thing when I said I shot Sony. The answer is the same, when I bought a house, I didn’t ask what brand hammer the framers used, or what brand truck they used to get to work. We live in a world full of alternatives, many of which out perform the most popular options when given the chance.
I’ll use the picture modes on the camera and deliver JPGs straight off the memory card before paying for adobe to drag down system performance and collect copious amounts of private data from my system again. That being said I love having access to the extra data in a RAW file and more control over details in a digital darkroom so to answer the question about my as is workflow; the vast majority of my work is currently being done in ON1 Photo Raw. Without doing a full review of the editing software I was very pleasantly surprised with the capabilities of their application. Exceeding the features and performance of Adobe Lightroom and add in the competitive non-subscription price point the learning curve has been an easy premium for the switch. The software isn’t perfect but nothing is and has gotten to where it is in a much shorter time than it took lightroom. As a company On1 is much more responsive to their users than adobe as well, they host a specific feature request forum and periodically update entries on status for gathering more feedback, moving to development and usually give a reason when something gets “declined”.
Since then I’ve added the Affinity suite by Serif and though Affinity Photo is a great alternative to photoshop and similarly lacks cataloging/Digital Asset Management (DAM) and the bulk processing tools I use the most for it to be my daily workhorse. I actually expect to use Designer and Publisher more than Photo since I have ON1 and my DAM starts my day there but with the integrations between the three applications already in place I would love to see that continue to grow into a DAM module. All three are valued assets especially at the V2 launch pricing (extended through January 25, 2023). This addition comes at great timing with my new computer that it will never have to suffer the overhead of Adobe’s spyware installed on it, as even my old perpetual CS6 license now requires their creative cloud installer (and several sub processes) to pay the “privacy tax” rather than just working like it used to.
On the general business side of software I’m now completely off of the Microsoft Office suite as well. This has been a rolling transition for years, Linux machines, machines I don’t need a full license on, and more severely as Microsoft has deactivated the ability to access older licenses in attempts to force “upgrades”. The powers that be at MS have long forgotten what made Office 95 come form the bottom of the stack and suddenly crush the competition, and from a usability standpoint a steepening decline since 2003. The more recent push for a subscription only added an extra seal on my wallet. OpenOffice is a more than capable free alternative for most business applications, with fill interoperability. The only thing missing is an outlook alternative but unless you’re running Exchange as your own mail server you have other options and really shouldn’t be paying for it twice anyway.
All new software of course has a learning curve and will take a fair amount of time to adjust to but I think with the choices available today It’s worth the investment of time and energy to utilize new features and support companies that still present some business ethics and customer appreciation. Of course without me making these changes public most clients would never know about them but if you have any questions, concerns, or special requests about my deliverables please let me know and we’ll get everything taken care of. These changes are in line to maintain my ultimate goal of providing you the images you want, the way you need them.