Swallowed my pride – I’m now a subscriber!

After several years of running Lightroom 6.14 (the last shrink-wrap version) due to my aversion to paying Adobe a subscription to use a later version, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and am now a subscriber. Several incremental upgrades have made making this step easier for me (the texture slider and dehaze without faffing with presets, for example) but the new masking tools have tipped me over the edge.

While I’m still not a fan of the subscription model (due to losing the ability to edit, should I choose to end my subscription) I do like Lightroom’s workflow. In the interim, I’ve tried and, in some cases, bought alternatives. None have proved as usable as Lightroom. These have included Exposure X6 and X7, Luminar and Affinity Photo.

The Exposure tools are quite nice but somehow not as usable as Lightroom – perhaps because they’re always playing catch-up due to the lead Lightroom has over their product. They do offer lots of quite neat presets, including film emulations. This is where they started and Exposure still can work as a plugin to Lightroom to gain access to them.

Luminar just leaves me cold. Having positioned themselves as a Lightroom replacement, with promises in particular of a DAM (digital asset manager) comparable to Lightroom’s, they then failed to provide this for two years or more. Instead, they appear to have abandoned this promise and have gone ahead with fancy sky replacement tools and other such gadgets that I don’t think many serious photographers will be much interested in.

Affinity Photo is more of a Photoshop replacement and does pretty good job, I have to say. I’m trying to build my AP skills for the day I drop the Adobe subscription.

All that said, I’m happy to be using Lightroom with its new features and will keep the subscription going for as long as I think it offers me the right cost/benefit mix.

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