For the most part, I’ve been very happy with Apple’s Aperture photo post production app. Of course, it’s also the only such program that I’ve ever used. When I got started in photography, I was convinced that I was not going to modify my pictures in a computer, and therefore I wasn’t that concerned with the image modification capabilities of Aperture.
However, as I’ve learned more about the art and craft of photography, I’ve also learned that many many modern photographs were altered in the darkroom, or with filters, or by some other means. One particularly important moment for me was a scene in the movie War Photographer, where James Nachtwey is working with someone in a darkroom on how to print a photo. The scene shows the actual dodging and burning being done to a wall sized print. So as I’ve learned more, I’ve accepted that someday I was going to come to the point where I would want a program like Photoshop, which could perform edits and modifications to portions of a photograph, instead of all of a photograph.
Funny thing is, that I already have a copy of Photoshop, or should I say, had. Back when we lived in Silicon Valley, I won a copy of Photoshop at a trade show. I took it home and installed it on my WIndows box, but I didn’t really have the interest or pressing need to learn how to use Photoshop. Of course, that’s all different now. And now I am back on the Mac, not on WIndows. So that copy of Windows Photoshop wasn’t really doing me any good.
I figured that I would be stuck buying a brand new copy of Photoshop once the Intel Mac version came out. On some of the photography forums that I read, some people were saying that they had convinced Adobe to allow them to upgrade a Windows Photoshop to the Mac version. I took heart from this, but didn’t do anything about it. When the Beta of Photoshop CS3 came out, I learned that Adobe was going to restrict the set of versions that would be allowed to upgrade to CS3, and version 5.5, the version that I had, was going to be dropped from the list.
I figured that two upgrades of Photoshop were still cheaper than buying a brand new copy, and finally picked up the phone and hoped that Adobe would let me upgrade. It turns out to be ridiculously easy. I called the Adobe sales phone line listed at http://www.adobe.com/buy/. The person that I talked to was very helpful and there was a clearly defined procedure for doing what I wanted. In addition to my order information, I had to fax back a form where I promised to get rid of my copy of the Windows version – no problem there. After that I was all set. Yesterday my copy of Photoshop CS2 arrived, and I installed a copy of CS3 as well. I haven’t had any time to play with them yet, but I figured that there might be a few people out there that might benefit from my experience.
Props to Adobe for making this possible – in fact, you can do this for any Adobe product that has a Mac and Windows version, and you can do it the reverse direction as well. I wish Microsoft would let me do the same from an old Office for Windows version.