The Future of Photoshop..?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by fab5freddy, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. fab5freddy macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2007
    Heaven or Hell
    Hi there, i am a photographer, that is considering getting into high-end retouching as a career option, and i was just wondering if anyone thinks that
    photoshop is going to change drastically in the next 10 years ?

    Is it worth learing photoshop at an expert level now, and then have the app change in 5 years, leaving you basically skill less......?

    thanks for any ideas
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    If you think the skills all come from knowing the program then you are hopeless.

    It is like 1% software 99% skill.
    The apps change all the time. At most all a huge change should do is slow you down for a month or 2 after that you should at least be back where you where.

    It is a lot like CAD. Learned one it is not hard to learn other CAD programs.

    So yes it is worth learning how to do it now at the expert level. If you think the software change would leave you skill less then you had no skill to begin with.
  3. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    PhotoShop will never "expire". Also, the above poster is's skil not software that makes you good.
  4. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    Unfortunately, too many people are taught to use computers by being told "click on this, then this..." instead of actually thinking about what they're doing. So they laboriously learn to use a program by rote, and when it's upgraded, they're lost. It's far better just to understand the concepts behind it all.

    For example, some years ago I tested out of a college computer course and got credit for it in a couple of hours. I'd never used the specific programs they had, but it wasn't that hard just to poke around (and make use of the help menu) and figure it out, since the basic concepts are pretty much the same no matter what program you're using.

  5. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    Photoshop is constantly evolving. Each new version (roughly every 18 months) has new facilities and existing ones are usually improved, so yes photoshop will alter drastically in the next 10 years.

    I taught photography and digital imaging before I retired (also a free-lance photographer) and regularly had students enrolling in intermediate and advanced Photoshop classes who really should have been in a beginners class. It is vital to totally understand all the basics before moving on.
  6. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Ya know, it is funny that people ask questions of the future without first consulting the past. Photoshop is approaching it's 20th birthday, which means we have two 10 year periods to look at when considering what the next 10 year period might look like.

    In Photoshop's first 10 years the biggest changes for me were the inclusion of the layers and histories palettes. So for me, by version 5 (released in 1998) Photoshop was a pretty mature application. While there were a number of cool features added during the following 10 year period, 90% of what I use Photoshop for on a daily basis was present and accounted for by version 5.5... which I still make use of on an old PowerBook 3400c.

    This isn't to say that I haven't upgraded since 5.5... I have. I bought 7 to have a Mac OS X native version, and then got 8 when I got the full Creative Suite Premium (which I actually got for InDesign and Acrobat 6 Pro).

    I do enjoy most of the newer features (and demo them for people wanting to learn Photoshop), but the main tools... the ones I've used day in and day out for the last 10 years, are all pretty much the same as they have always been.

    Are there feature upgrades or additions that radically effect how the application feels? Absolutely. I have a copy of Photoshop 3.0.1 on my SGI Indy (the last version for Silicon Graphics computers), and it is very difficult to use with things like the histories palette missing. And even though I can be very productive in Photoshop 5.5 today, when working with type it becomes quite cumbersome and I long for newer versions.

    But will Photoshop be radically different 10 years from now? It's not radically different from how it was 10 years ago, so I would say no.

    On the other hand, what you should be asking is if Photoshop is the right application for photographers going forward.

    Photoshop was designed as a darkroom replacement, but even back in the days of film photography, most photographers spent very little time in darkrooms touching up images, and spent most of their time organizing and comparing large groups of images. Photoshop never attempted to cover this vital area of photography, and it was only with the advent of Aperture and Lightroom that photographers got the computer equivalent of what PageMaker was for page layout professionals (something that resembled the types of tasks they did in the physical world but within the computer).

    So if your question is: Is Photoshop going to be the right tool for me to use going forward?, the answer will depend on what you plan on doing with photography. For most of the photographers I work with, Aperture and Lightroom are really the applications they have been needing all these years.
  7. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    People were saying it's mostly skill, but it's a certain combination of skill, talent and knowing the software. There are tons of ways to create a certain effects, but the way you arrive to that effect is dependent on what you know of the program. Trust me learn the current PS and the ones to come will be only slightly different. If it is different, most likely it will be more streamlined and efficient. It's like learning OSX and upgrading tiger, panther, lion or whatever the other ones were before it.
  8. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    right but knowing the software is not something that takes very long. Some one who has the skills could get on photoshop and with little time (month or 2) they can take that skill and be back where they where.

    Better than the OS upgrading to tiger is it is like going from windows to OSX. Yes there is a learning curve but it is not like it is very hard to get most of it down in a matter of an hour or 2. Most things from a users point of view between windows and OSX is pretty much alike.

    Photoshop programs and programs like it are no different.

    It is 99% skill 1% software knowhow.
  9. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Yea learning doesn't take long but knowing the ins and outs of it does take some learning. Since there are so many things in it. As far as going from one version to another, I agree that it's not a big jump. If they miss a certain thing like keyboard shortcuts, it really deters the productivity. I guess I was going into another point that wasn't really what the OP asked about :rolleyes:
  10. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    Photoshop is a tool used to do a job or express yourself artistically, like a paintbrush.

    And yes, I agree it will change much over the next ten years. Just about everything changes a lot in ten years - and software is no different. Functionally the software will operate the same way, but the features improve, the tools improve, and new features are added.

    The program's not a magic well of creativity - Photoshop is only as good as the person who uses it.

Share This Page