For over a decade I’ve been a dedicated and happy user of Adobe Photoshop for all my photo manipulation needs. From book cover creation to blog post headers the program has been invaluable. But now everything shifted to a subscription service. The result? I am moving over to Gimp, a freeware software. Zero cost and excellent tools for the same projects.
The problem arose that my budget for my writing endeavors is limited and limited funds need to be set aside wisely in order to produce quality products for my readers. I am not a fan of the whole subscription-based idea. At $20 per month Photoshop now costs $240 per year. I’m not short-sighted… so I see the math of spending that money over the next five years. Yep, the same program that could have been purchased and installed on any desired machine for a few hundred dollars is now running over $1,000. To me that seems like Adobe greed and a foolish purchase on the part of a small business owner (such as myself).
You will notice that my recent blog posts have not featured header images (which I love to do). Windows 10 blocked my installation of Photoshop 7, which I’d used for many years, and even blocked the install of CS2.
The choice seemed clear now. I would need to downgrade to Windows 7 and buy one of the last versions of Photoshop that is available on disc. Discs can be used again and again… digital copies limit my options.
Another choice is one that I am currently exploring and achieving success with: Disposing with Photoshop entirely in favor of freeware version Gimp. My problem with Gimp has been the learning curve. At first I found it difficult to migrate to it from Photoshop. It does not feel as intuitive, more like it was designed for code experts. This could be due in large part to the fact that what I had is what I am familiar with, but Gimp does seem more confusing than any other software I’ve attempted to learn in a long time. And the learning curve requires precious time. I’ve been tempted to renew my subscription to Photoshop but then I think, “Get off your lazy butt and learn Gimp… and save yourself a hefty chunk of change in the process.”
Thanks to some youtube videos Gimp is growing on me. Initial challenges are being overcome and I am finding it simpler than I had thought to learn it.
Freeware is a powerful asset. One I am becoming more inclined to focus on. The products cost nothing but are often user-focused instead of created by companies looking first to their own profit. Freeware is created by those who do it for the love of it, not the profit in it. As a creative this is attractive to me.
We will see which wins out. My familiarity with Photoshop, or my frugal nature and the desire to conquer a new challenge. So far I see Gimp winning out in a big way.
Q: Do you have frustrations or celebrations of subscription-based software?
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