Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Great Light

Why is it the Internet fora are full of photographers mainly discussing gear, but hardly ever discussing great light:

Nikon D3x, 55mm f/2.8 Ai-S macro

Friday, May 10, 2013

Graphics Cards for Photoshop CS6

Following on from my previous post, I know it can be difficult to identify a suitable graphics adapter for use with Photoshop, so I thought I would share this link.

I would have chosen an Asus nvidia GTX650 1GB card, which seems to be excellent value for money - it's performance in these tests was mostly just 5-10% off the performance of the top-performing adapters, yet it can be found for a shade over £100.

In the event, the heatsink and cooling tubes weren't a great fit in my Dell Precision 490, so I had to drop to a GT640, which is slightly smaller physically, and cheaper but came with 2GB of memory instead of 1GB. It wasn't around when the above test was run but ought to be fairly similar to the 650.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Adobe 'Cloud'

Adobes' recent changes to their pricing structure has caused quite a bit of a backlash from photographers, if the Internet fora can be used as a measure of this. Me, I take a more positive view, at least in the short term.

Basically Adobe is shifting away from selling boxed products, instead selling applications by subscription. Once you subscribe, for a monthly fee, you can then download the latest versions of the applications you are eligible for under the subscription plan you chose. As long as you keep paying the fee, you can carry on using the software. Once you cease your subscription, then at some point Adobe will block your use of that software, until or unless you re-subscribe. That 'at some point' is currently 90 days but this is due to increase to 180 in the near future.

Adobe use of the phrase 'Creative Cloud' (CC) has caused a bit of confusion. To be clear, the applications bought through CC are downloaded and installed on your computer, and run on it just as if you had installed from DVD/CD. The application then periodically checks with Adobe that your subscription is still valid. To get around the issue of users being away from an Internet connection, there's effectively a 90/180 day grace period. So, plenty of time to go on an 3 month assignment then (are you listening National Geographic?).

I use two Adobe Products, Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom will continue to be sold as a boxed product according to Adobe, but Photoshop is moving to CC. I thought I had foolishly missed the opportunity to upgrade from CS4 to CS6, but in hindsight this may have been a wise move, because for less than £9 a month, I have now not only been able to upgrade to CS6, but will also be able to move to the next version, Photoshop CC, when it becomes available later this year, for no additional cost.

Given that previous upgrade costs have been around £180, short term I'm quite happy with this. It remains to be seen what the cost will be in year two, as Adobe is currently giving introductory discounts to encourage users to subscribe to CC. For now though, I'm happy to be running the latest version for the next 12 to 18 months.