Smugmug buys Flickr

"Two Bridges" - one of my popular photos on Flickr

"Two Bridges" - one of my popular photos on Flickr

This might just be the best news Flickr and it’s loyal users have received in years. Probably ever since it’s heyday in 2005. 

Among all the photo sharing services, Flickr has always been the most photography centric. I had always been a fan and stayed with it until it landed up in Verizon’s lap. 

While I don’t expect a resurgence, I do hope for it to become a more relevant, sustained service under smug mug. Hopefully the recent backlash against Facebook and hence Instagram helps some folks to reconsider Flickr as an alternative social media platform for photographers.  

Adobe signs the death sentence of Lightroom as we know it

Adobe announced a new app today called Lightroom CC and renamed what has been understood as Lightroom until today to "Lightroom Classic CC". Apart from the terribly confusing naming - Adobe has all but explicitly called out that the traditional Lightroom ("Classic"?) that I've come to mostly love (for excellent image cataloging and editing features) and occasionally hate (for its sluggishness, crashiness and the horrendous update process) isn't long for this world.

Lightroom CC - its younger, cloudier, simpler (stupider) sibling, clearly designed for the amateur or entry-level hobbyist, or mostly mobile shooter, is going to be where Adobe is going to focus. And one day, after it has basically atrophied and Apertured it, Adobe will kill Lightroom Classic CC. That day for Adobe I presume couldn't come soon enough. The day for 'pro' users like me - couldn't be far enough. 

Lightroom Classic CC is dead - it is not a question of 'if' but 'when' - and it is terribly saddening. 

It is a disease that Apple has now successfully spread to the most 'pro' of 'pro tool companies' - Adobe.  All software tools must be dumbed down to the level of the least sophisticated user and in doing so - gain visual declutter in favor of dropping a host of capabilities used perhaps only by the most devout. 

A less cynical view (or perhaps a more cynical – depends on your timeline) on this would be…

  1. Realize that beyond a point a software product cannot be maintained/improved any longer because of cruft
  2. Start a new software product with a different outlook/feature set and backend technology and leave out less used features
  3. Realize over time that some features left behind need to be added  – add some of them back
  4. And then eventually - go back to step 1

While not a great approach for long-time users, this seems the only way large, complex software products get developed. 

@instagram on a desktop browser is a completely different experience - most photos look bad - opposite of the experience on iPhone

Not sure if it is because of the brilliance of the modern day mobile screens or because of the small sizes or the emotional intimacy of a display you hold in your hand or a combination of the above - but the desktop instagram experience is not even close to as satisfying as the mobile experience.