So why even get it?
Tons of people, including myself and friends of mine, have “acquired” Photoshop in one way or another. We have heard that Photoshop was the solution for image editing. It was the ONLY way to do it
But, to a young person who does this sort of thing as more of a hobby rather than for a paycheck, Photoshop might as well cost a million dollars, although it only costs $600.
And it should be that expensive. Photoshop is for professionals, it is NOT for beginners. People download Photoshop because they think it’s the only way to do what they want. And when they open the program for the first time they are OVERWHELMED with how much is in the program – they don’t even know how to do what they want to do at first. They didn’t get a manual with their download.
Which is why something like Photoshop Elements, Adobe’s entry-level image editing software, is important. Frankly, I didn’t even KNOW that Photoshop Elements existed until a few months ago! And from what I can tell, about 99.9% of what a typical user will want to download Photoshop for can be done with Photoshop Elements. And it looks like it’s even easier to do in Elements!
The only reason I can think of that it isn’t that prevalent is how poorly Adobe has gotten the word out. I think that Elements is usually bundled with scanners. I guess that’s a good idea, given that people buy scanners to archive their prints. But they’re just now getting around to getting their photos on their computers. How willing are they to learn a whole photo package? Scanning takes too long. If it were me I would probably just scan an old photo and not even touch it unless I really needed to.
Ideally, it should be bundled with digital cameras. Instead, the cameras come with some other no-name crappy software. No wonder things like iPhoto have taken off, despite no real editing capability.
And even then, OEM software comes with little or no documentation anyway.
You even try to look for it on Adobe’s products page and it’s all the way at the bottom, underneath mobile device development. How many people just give up right there?
Still, Elements is ideal for the hobbyist or beginner. And when they’re ready to take their skill set to the next level with the full-fledged Photoshop they’ll already have a solid base to learn upon. If they downloaded Photoshop it’s likely they’ll just click buttons and icons until they find what they’re looking for (even before searching the help file).
It’s the ideal software upgrade path. Developers can influence the software decisions of users by mapping out this path. Apple has done this with nearly everything they do. You get iMovie for free. If you outgrow iMovie you can move up to Final Cut Express. You outgrow Final Cut Express you can move to Pro. You outgrow iPhoto, you can move to Aperture. You outgrow Garageband, you can move up to Logic Express and then Logic Pro. There’s a clear-cut upgrade path that is so simple that you won’t see the sense in changing vendors or even look elsewhere. And that’s exactly how they want it.
Adobe has this kind of thing going with Photoshop and Premiere, but nothing else. If I want to make a small newsletter there’s no Lite version of Indesign for me to use. Instead, I’m going with something like Pages or if I really hate myself, I’m going to try to do layout in something like Word. Yuck.
And if someone actually uses an illegitimate copy of Photoshop (or any software) everyday to its full potential, they should recognize the effort put into software that makes their tasks easier by actually buying the software.