Lightroom [Classic] CC: total catastrophe

I’ve used Photoshop since v1.0 in 1990, and Lightroom for some years. I’ve also been a professional software dev and product manager for 25 years.

The language in Kost’s video backs this up: unadorned “Lightroom Classic” vs “the All-New Lightroom CC”

It makes a great deal of sense to me that Adobe would introduce a prosumer-oriented, cloud-based photo cataloging and editing application natively supporting mobile workflows. The overly simple slant of Apple Photos and others have left plenty of room for a capable and scalable app+platform targeting less-casual users.

However it’s inconceivable to me that Adobe would not see the branding catastrophe of calling that “Lightroom”. The announcement video in which Julieanne Kost lays out the differences and argues with a straight face that it “works for both professionals and amateurs” feels tone-deaf, bordering on disingenuous.

“Classic” is akin to saying “Yesteryear.” It smells like “end of life” and will most surely discourage new professional adoption. It also telegraphs to existing users that this tool, central to so many pro workflows, may not be there in the future. No amount of forum-reply assurances “we plan to keep both forever” can overcome the implication that senior-management focus may have shifted toward greater consumer orientation and that Adobe is paving the way for abandonment of a key pro app.

The language in Kost’s video backs this up: unadorned “Lightroom Classic” vs “the All-New Lightroom CC”, and so forth throughout, providing a contrapunctal narrative in which at every turn “Classic” represents the old, the manual, the difficult, and the new app (how do I even reference it separate from Classic? I already use “Lightroom CC” (2015), but now “Lightroom CC” is a completely different application. Do I write “Not Classic”? or just “”?) represents the agility and ease of the cloud- and mobile-empowered future.

Many have multiple TB of master images. How does Ms. Kost propose one would move those to “the cloud”?

I happen to come from an industry (feature animation) that got to the cloud long before most, we just didn’t call it that in 2005. But in 2017, master data in that industry is still well too large and sensitive to live in public server farms. It’s kept on-premises and backed up “manually” as Kost puts it. I have 500 GB of LR master images on an SSD here. I know many LR users have multiple TB of master images. How does Ms. Kost propose one would move those to “the cloud”?

Either Adobe intends to end-of-life Lightroom as a pro app, in which case I’m disappointed, or it doesn’t but somehow didn’t realize this branding would telegraph such an intent, which would be astonishing.

I hope it’s the latter. If so, “Lightroom CC” (the new one, not the one I already have installed) should be given an entirely different name. Or, just call a spade a spade: “Classic” is “Pro”, and the new one isn’t.

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Back to it…

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Long ago, I had a blog. Back then, that was unusual, I had time, and it was fun. Years ago I stopped, because I didn’t have time for it, it stopped being unusual, and it stopped being fun.

Though I have less free time than ever, today I find I still have much to share that won’t fit in 140 characters… so, here begins my blog 2.0.

With any luck, more will follow.