Like most professional graphic designers, my career was measured in versions of Adobe Photoshop.
v2.5: I decided I wanted to be a graphic designer. The dad of a high school classmate was one. I went to talk with him about it. He worked out of his basement home office with a view of the lake, a room full of Apple gear, and telecommuted to Minneapolis. He launched Photoshop and showed me some of the crazy stuff he was doing with it. I left stunned.
v3: Spent far too long on the Photoshop Classroom-in-a-book tutorial as part of my least favorite college course – something about printing methods and preparing images for press.
v4: The first version I used in a professional environment auch auf Deutsche.
v5: Editable type, Multiple Undo. Those two features are reason enough to fall in love with it.
v6: Like Word 6, and Star Wars 2 – all the hope, promise, performance, and love of the previous version was an unsaved memory. This is the last full version I used and the beginning of my strained relationship with Adobe.
In 2002, my new digital camera shipped with Photoshop Elements v2 and then a couple years later, my scanner shipped with Elements v3. Aside from a few small omissions (inverse selection, select color range, etc), Elements was all the image editing horsepower I needed. It was my go to app, until I switched to the MacBook.
Elements never launched on the MacBook. It’d just bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce until I forgot why I opened it and Force Quit (a pretty good indicator of my image editing workload over the past 2 years).
After 15 years, my relationship with Photoshop officially ended today.
A while back, I downloaded Flying Meat’s Acorn and hadn’t opened it until this afternoon. While Elements was bouncing, I opened Acorn to take a closer look at a client website mockup. Instinct kicked in and I was pushing pixels, using the same key commands I remembered from Photoshop.
Before I hit Save the first time, I bought a license.
In addition to costing less than 1/10th the price of Photoshop, it was the most integrated web/desktop licensing experience I’ve seen. After completing the purchase online, a single click in the browser applied the license to the still running desktop app. Seamless. Fast. Amazing.
I’m one step closer to being Adobe-free and happier than ever.