Hallelujah! I am now Adobe free.

That means no more Photoshop or Lightroom. Why? Back in 2013, Adobe decided to not sell their software. They decided to rent it. They call it a subscription. Now you must pay monthly or yearly to use their software. If you stop paying, you are no longer able to access the apps. It can cost anywhere from $10 to $50 per month depending on which apps you want to use. I subscribed to the Photography Plan, which included Photoshop and Lightroom. Ironically, perhaps, a couple of years before they started renting instead of selling, I had bought Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom for $700. I could still use the older versions, but Adobe no longer supports or upgrades them. So I finally bit the bullet and subscribed for $127 per year. For two years I rented at that price. Six months ago, I began looking for alternatives.

A UK company called Serif showed up in Google searches. At the time, they had just one app available called Affinity Photo. The reviews and Internet buzz was impressive, so I bought it. Shortly thereafter, they released Affinity Designer, an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. I bought that, too. And just a few weeks ago, they released Affinity Publisher, the alternative to Adobe InDesign. Needless to say, I now own (not rent) all three desktop apps and the iPad Pro versions of Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. An iOS version of Affinity Publisher is due out in the fall. The price? A one-time $50 each for the desktop apps, and $20 for the iOS versions.

What the folks at Serif have accomplished is nothing less than astonishing. The apps are beautiful and intelligent. If you are currently renting Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, I highly recommend checking out the offerings at

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