I have been using Adobe programs like Photoshop, Fireworks, Illustrator and InDesign for quite a long time. But I got more and more unsatisfied by time. Adobe is bloating their applications with functions that most of the users don't need.
If you take Photoshop for instance: it has become a monster. You can do video editing and 3D modelling in Photoshop in the recent versions of it, it's much more than an image editing program now. But seriously who wants to do video editing in Photoshop? Photoshop is extremely slow compared to programs like Affinity Photo, about which I will talk later, the initial loading takes forever and it's not very responsive.
I liked to work with Fireworks, even if it was always a bit buggy, in my opinion it was always the better choice for doing screen designs. You were able to use symbols, like in Freehand that saved a lot of time and you had the ability to build simple HTML click dummies. But unfortunately Adobe discontinued the development of Fireworks.
I never liked Illustrator in contrast and I was disappointed when Adobe decided to let Freehand die after they bought Macromedia. Freehand was a very nice, fast and handy vector graphics tool and it worked perfectly together with Flash. Illustrator always felt way more complicated and slower than Freehand.
But what finally made me want to switch to other applications was the fact that you have to rent the Adobe Suite now. You have to pay 59,45 € per month to be able to use all Adobe programs, or 23,79 € if you want to rent just one application. So that's 713,40 € per year for the whole Adobe Suite! Of course you always get the latest versions, but still, it's a lot of money. And I use AfterEffects, Premiere and the other applications that are included very rarely, but it's still cheaper to rent the whole collection than renting just the programs I need.
So I have been searching for alternatives for a while now and for a long time there haven't been any real alternatives. But then programs like Sketch, Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Hype were released and at this moment the only Adobe application that is still on my computer is an old version of InDesign, because there is no alternative to it (yet).
Adobe Photoshop Alternatives
The open source image editing application GIMP is often called an alternative to Photoshop , but it's not. It has never been one and it doesn't look like it will be one in the near future. And I am not even talking about the important functionalities that are still missing, or about the lack the of performance, I am talking about the user interface. It's ugly, it's complicated, it's just horrible. It doesn't refer to any interaction patterns you learned from other programs.
Most people don't know that a few of the very common daily image editing tasks can be done with the Preview application that is shipped with Mac OS X.