Photo Chats – Russell Brown – February 28, 2024

This Is One Photo Chat You Don’t Want To Miss

Russell Preston Brown circa February 2024
Russell Preston Brown circa February 2024

PhotoPXL is pleased to announce the first special guest of the new Photo Chat series of photo conversations will be the always colorful Russell Preston Brown, Senior Principal Designer Adobe Inc. and all round funny and talented guy. The event will be February 28, 2024 at 2 PM Eastern US Time (5-UTC). Registration link for the free event is here: REGISTER HERE.


Russell circa 1985
Russell circa 1985

In the unlikely event you were born in a cave or are living under a rock, you should know that Russell is one of the people who helped convince Adobe to “buy” Photoshop from the Knoll brothers John and Thomas back in the late 1980s. Thank Russell for that…seriously, thank him!

While Russell is a “graphic designer” by training and experience, he’s also been personally responsible for evangelizing Photoshop as a “fun and easy to use tool” to the world. I’ve heard John Knoll, co-author of Photoshop, refer to Russell as “Adobe’s secret weapon” in the early days before Photoshop became as successful as it is today. Photoshop wasn’t the first digital editing app introduced to the marketplace, but it ended up beating out one of the first ones, ImageStudio, which was developed by Fractal Software and written by Mark Zimmer and Tom Hedges. Unfortunately for ImageStudio and Fractal, the company that distributed the software was Letraset (remember the old Presstype sheets?), and Letraset really didn’t do a good job of marketing to the public. That’s where Adobe and Russell really shined.

Russell has been a fixture on any stage that will have him. I first encountered him at a MacWorld back in 1994 (I think) when I went to meet some of the Adobe folks like Mark Hamburg and the guys who created an expensive photo imaging app called Live Picture. That year, Russell gave a Photoshop presentation to a hall packed with eager fans of the Mac and Photoshop; over 1,000 people watched as Russell came out on stage dressed as a wizard with a wig and pointed hat and robes to demo Photoshop. There was also some smoke, but I won’t go into that here…


Russell by Jeff Schewe circa 1997 or 1998, not sure when I shot this.
Russell by Jeff Schewe circa 1997 or 1998, not sure when I shot this.

In addition to his duties as an evangelist (he now prefers the term “Influencer”), Russell was and still is a wonderful teacher. In fact, he even won an Emmy Award for one of his educational videos! He has helped some of the world’s leading photographers (myself included), publishers, art directors, and artists master the software tools that have made Adobe’s applications the gold standard by which all others are measured. His presentation style is both highly entertaining but rich in content and it’s been said, “A live performance of the Russell Brown Show is not to be missed.” 

You must register for this event to be part of it.  Please REGISTER HERE.  Once registered, you will receive a link to the meeting.


Here's Russell being inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his many contributions to the community of Photoshop users.
Here’s Russell being inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his many contributions to the community of Photoshop users.

While his long career at Adobe (he was Adobe employee #38 back in April of 1985) has seen him perform a lot of functions beside graphic design, teaching and presenting, his recent job-one that he cherishes so much he refuses to retire from-is to travel the world with a mobile phone camera to capture his adventures from a whole new creative perspective.

Top Row: Astro shot in Vegas, Model John Liess as a Viking, Shot in Kyoto prior to Adobe MAX Japan,
2nd Row: Performing artist Deise Mendonça, artist Mizuki Shinagawa at Cirque du Soliel’s Kooza show,and Mizuki Shinagawa again.
3rd Row: Russell edited into the show Ice Fishing in Alaska, The northern lights Alaska

In addition to traveling and shooting in wonderful locations, Russell is also fixated (some may say obsessed) by costumes and makeup. While he studied graphic arts and photography at Art Center in LA, he always had a love of dressing up and putting on makeup. I mentioned his costume at MacWorld well; I combined the many faces of Russell into a 1-minute video, which I beg you to watch! 

You must register for this event to be part of it.  Please REGISTER HERE (Click).  Once registered, you will receive a link to the meeting.

The Many Faces Of Russell Brown

Jeff Schewe put this little montage together of Russell Brown’s many faces. It should help make it clear why we are in for a special treat when Russe joins the photoPXL Photo Chats.

The photos of Russell were captured off his Facebook page in the Profiles Album, with his permission!

I don’t wish to spoil the suspense and give away too much, but Russell has promised to be his usual creative self in PhotoPXL’s upcoming Photo Chat on February 28th. You seriously will be entertained and amazed by his presentation and the wonderful images Russell will be showing. I’ll be attending live while hanging out on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Some Fun Links

If you are interested, here are a few links (some of which are hard to find) that might give you a larger look at the fellow we fondly call Russell Preston Brown (I love that he likes using his middle name; maybe I should start going by Jeffrey Karl Schewe?)

Here’s a link to The Russell Brown Show” website

Here’s a link to The Russell Brown Show SNAP HAPPY on YouTube:

Here’s a link to Russell’s main YouTube page

Russell Brown on Facebook and Instagram

Here’s a recent interview on Camera Shake with Kersten Luts

Here’s a link to an interview Russell did with one of my photo heroes, Jerry Ueslmann, on the Russell Brown Show Snap Happy

Here’s a really great (and rare) video of Russell presenting as Obi Wan Adobe and the “eg Conference” in 2010

If you want to go back in time, here’s a link to a video showing Russell talking about Photoshop 1.0 on the Today Show circa 1990

Register For This Event

Please register for this Zoom Meeting.  We are limited to 100 attendees, so reserve your spot today.

You must register for this event to be part of it.  Please REGISTER HERE (Click).  Once registered, you will receive a link to the meeting.

Jeff Schewe
February 2024
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: News

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