Photoshop CC: Available on Subscription Only
For three decades (yes, 30 years!), Photoshop has been the secret sauce behind professionals and hobbyist creative-types. So widespread is its use that, as the joke goes, Photoshop keyboard shortcuts has become the second language for many.
But forget keyboard shortcuts. For newcomers, the entry-level language to Photoshop can sound like an alien tongue. At the very least, a few defined terms would be helpful. Consider this article an attempt to explain some of these key terms and to explain Photoshop’s Creative Cloud subscription service.
Cheers Photoshop CS … Hello Photoshop CC
Once upon a time, it was possible to purchase Photoshop as a stand-alone boxed or downloadable product. As such, the software was called Photoshop CS6, where CS stood for Creative Suite (and 6 referred to the version number).
In June 2013, Adobe adopted the Creative Cloud branding, and now Photoshop CC is available only on subscription (“software as a service rental model”). i.e. you pay a monthly fee to use the software and this ensures you receive the regular updates provided. (For those who use Office 365, you’ll be familiar with the shift from a stand-alone product to subscription-based service.)
So, long story short, if you’re starting out as a professional photographer, you’ll need to become a Photoshop CC member. Yes, there are pros and cons to this (and the shift was not well received), but it is what it is. Bottomline, for A$14.29 per month, you get the newly named Creative Cloud Photography Plan (read: the whole shebang), and 20GB of cloud photo storage.
Lightroom Versus Photoshop
What is Lightroom and how does it compare with Photoshop?
Lightroom is essentially an image management tool (with limited editing capabilities), while Photoshop is a comprehensive image editing system.
Like Photoshop itself, Lightroom is no longer available as a stand-alone product. It is now available on subscription only—at the same price as the more comprehensive Photoshop Creative Cloud Photography Plan, but it comes with a lot more storage space (1TB).
If you’re a professional photographer, you’ll need to go with the Creative Cloud Photography Plan (which includes both Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC).
What is Photoshop Elements and how does it compare with Photoshop?
The only non-subscription version of Photoshop currently available for sale (as a stand-alone product) is Photoshop Elements.
While Adobe Photoshop is created for professional photographers, Photoshop Elements is mainly for graphic artists, and it incorporates limited functionality from both Photoshop and Lightroom.
Photoshop Elements isn’t recommended for professional photographers.