My dad has used Photoshop since 1.0. Twenty-odd years ago, he was a forward-thinking graphic-design upstart unafraid to use a computer instead of an X-ACTO knife. It turns out he made the right bet. These days, Photoshop is the only way to do his job. There’s no X-ACTO fallback, and no viable “modern” alternative for this generation’s upstarts. And yet, today my dad feels like a hostage.
“I love and hate Adobe,” he said when we first discussed this piece. See, Adobe doesn’t build Photoshop for my dad. Adobe just builds Photoshop, and Photoshop is an insane mess. Every couple years brings a new version, costing hundreds of dollars, chock full of new features he doesn’t need, and lacking the improvements he wants. Later, he downgraded his original sentiment: “I hate Adobe.”
This is a fairly lengthy ready, well, I mean it takes some time. But I loved reading it so much. It’s funny, I have a love hate relationship with Photoshop as well. It is integral to so much that I do and I have not been able to find a replacement for it. I cannot do those things which I often need to do with any other tool (yes, I’ve tried Pixelmator, it just doesn’t live up. And no, I will not use Gimp thank you very much, it’s a far worse mess than Photoshop). So I love Photoshop because I can do awesome things with it.
But Photoshop also has a steep learning curve, and even though I’ve been using it for years, I still probably only know how to use about 10% or less of it’s capabilities. I hear that even folks who work on Photoshop, who should know it intimately, don’t know how to use all of it’s functions and stuff. That’s just bad. Poor design, poorly thought through.
And it costs WAY more than it should. WAY more.