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5 October 2015

We spent the morning watching the Adobe MAX keynote, which included demonstrations of what's new in the desktop and mobile applications for the Creative Cloud. "Watching" isn't quite the right word for it, though.

The Cloud. What do you see? Camera Raw 9.2 with an assist from Piccure+.

We didn't live-blog it because it was streamed. You could be there if you wanted to be. You didn't need us to tell you what was going on.

That left our hands free. Briefly.

As each new feature was introduced, we swiveled from laptop to phone to tablet to try it out for ourselves. It was like a three-ring circus where we were the audience, too.

No, "watching" isn't quite the right word.


We've had a series of briefings over the last few weeks with several companies launching innovative products. But none of them offers anything like Creative Cloud.

Yes, there are cloud-computing initiatives from both Apple and Google, formidable enterprises with unique visions of their own. And there are less ambitious efforts like stand-alone image editing software. Acorn and Affinity Photo, for example.

But Creative Cloud is different. It's integrated into your workflow. It's part of your design process. It seamlessly accesses your work on whatever hardware platform you're using at the moment regardless of what system you used to create it.


We don't work that way, frankly.

We like to sit around like Buddah with our legs crossed and nothing but air in our hands and smile as if a light bulb has just gone off. Then we put our little fingers to work like an army of ants trying to make fire out of smoke.

Sometimes we sit on a piece we've written for a while. Sometimes we publish it immediately. Depends on the complexity of that light bulb, on how wide our Buddah smile is.

But our path is more of straight line than the Adobe circle that spirals into the cloud. It taps into Adobe for imaging processing (Photoshop, Lightroom) but not for the Web (not Dreamweaver or Muse).


And still, the Creative Cloud offers us ways of working that aren't touched by anyone else. Like Lightroom mobile and Lightroom Web.

Adobe Capture won us over this morning. Adobe Comp seems like just the ticket for those otherwise wasted moments in life (waiting for the bus, say). Photoshop Fix will get some screen time, too. And the revised Photoshop Mix may be mature enough for another look, too.


It's no secret that Adobe has made these apps available for nothing more than your email address (for an Adobe ID) as an enticement to find your way to the Creative Cloud as a subscriber.

And it's no secret that a lot of people abhor the subscription model. Not to mention Adobe itself.

We don't feel that way. Adobe was the only company on our side in the 1980s when imagesetters were all the rage. We learned to code in PostScript. And we liked it. The Programmer's Reference Guide to the language is still on our shelf.

And we think if you try their free apps, you'll be impressed by their polish and their power (start with Adobe Capture). You'll find them useful (even exciting, like PostScript was) just as they are. No subscription required.


There's no argument against the Creative Cloud for large (and even small) organizations where duties are shared. There's no argument against it where collaboration is a job requirement. It has a way, which Adobe had dubbed CreativeSync, of putting an organization's assets at everybody's fingertips.

But as long as it takes two to tango, even the independent contractor will find value in it.

All you have to do is look up to see what animal the Cloud looks like to you.

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