Rapt attention

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Flying geese - Salton Sea

Google, in its infinite wisdom, has decided not to continue to support the Nik photographic editing software program that it purchased several years ago. Nik was a San Diego company and its products are a vital part of my workflow, especially Silver Efex pro, which superbly converts color photographs to black and white.

Google first reduced the price of the software a few years ago and then starting giving it away for free, a tipoff that its mortality was doomed. Now it will still be able to be utilized for the foreseeable future, but will probably be terminal with the advent of a new operating system update.

Apparently Google bought the popular software solely for its patented Snapseed technology, which works on mobile apps, and that is obviously where Google thinks the new action is. But we desktop artists and photographers, we are screwed. And the fact that many of us depend on this product doesn't seem to affect their calculus too much. Or should I say, they may feel bad but they know that they and we will get over it?

This is a familiar habit with Google, they develop really great technology, people get hooked on it and then they terminate it and cut the users off at the knees with all the sensitivity of Mike Pence talking about climate change or even lead pollution in East Chicago, Indiana.

Google is a good company, I don't think that they are evil, they give me a nearly free blogging platform which is greatly appreciated. It just doesn't seem that they have much of a bedside manner when they start cutting people off from products that they have got used to.

Happened with Picnik, Picasa, really with many if not hundreds of neat programs that they ultimately killed, many of which can be found here under discontinued. Anybody remember Labs, Buzz, Wave, Reader or Spaces? I guess that when you are the biggest animal in the forest you can do pretty much what you want.

I ordered the Creative kit from MacPhun today which has a program called Tonality which isn't altogether terrible, although it is certainly not Silver Efex. Hopefully will find a way to make up for the coming loss. Might as well learn the workaround now, stay ahead of the curve.


Sanoguy said...

I just got Luminair from Macphun. Pretty cool... combo of LR PS and Nik.

Jon Harwood said...

I think this will continue indefinitely. I can't remember how many plug ins and auxiliary photo programs have come and gone. My counter strategy is to learn the basics of Photoshop well enough to be able to replicate (perhaps with a lot more steps) what the plug in type programs do. The manufacturers are taking advantage of the users tendency to want to do complex things easily with a few clicks but the same users keep getting stranded as programs are drowned in the froth of an unbelievably competitive market place. The only winners are the software companies that get to continue selling new programs and upgrades each time a new operating system comes out. The users are cash cows.