#58 Meet Russell Brown, Pioneer of Photoshop and Mad Scientist

“I’ll do anything to a photo to make it better.”

Russell Brown

It is fitting, we feel, that our first show guest is the distinguished and inspiring Russell Preston Brown.


Who is Russell Preston Brown?

As Sr. Creative Director at Adobe Systems Incorporated, Russell Preston Brown holds a unique position in the computer industry. Brown maintains a vital presence in the digital design and publishing community, facilitating the exchange between the user and software developer that is so essential to Adobe's software development. (http://www.russellbrown.com/whois.html)

Russell Brown, Eclipse at Ship Rock, May 20, 2012

Russell Brown, Eclipse at Ship Rock, May 20, 2012

Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled, 1974

Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled, 1974

See Russell’s work on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr_brown/

Brown (2019) Dino Roundup with Cowboy Bob -  Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Brown (2019) Dino Roundup with Cowboy Bob - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Brown (2019) A Wizard’s Hat Sunrise with Marie-Lee and Philippe

Brown (2019) A Wizard’s Hat Sunrise with Marie-Lee and Philippe

Brown (2019) Surfing at Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Brown (2019) Surfing at Cannon Beach, Oregon.


Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 7.49.23 PM.png

https://www.instagram.com/insta_repeat/

Thomas Jefferson’s grave (https://www.presidentsusa.net/jeffersongravesite.html)

Thomas Jefferson’s grave (https://www.presidentsusa.net/jeffersongravesite.html)

Transcript

Rubin:                        Hey Suzanne.

Suzanne:                  Hey Rubin.

Rubin:                        where are you?

Suzanne:                  I'm doing well. How are you? I'm good. I'm good.

Rubin:                        You know we have a special show today. I know I'm, I'm honestly a little nervous because I am a, I am a big fan of his work, so I'm, I'm pretty excited. No, that's fair. Okay, well Russell, can I introduce to you Suzanne, Suzanne, our guest today? Russell Brown. Russell. Absolute pleasure. Yeah, introduce him. Full introduction. Okay. Hello. That's right. I should hear my voice. There I am. I'm Russell Brown. Hello Suzanne Russell. For those of you who are just tuning in to the world of photography. Russell is, oh, I guess professionally you're the senior creative director at Adobe. Is that still your title?

Russell:                      I have a couple of titles. A senior creative director is one that I use, um, in best just score. It's an good title. And I also have a secondary title called principal. Um, oh wait, I've forgotten my second time already. I have so many.

Rubin:                        Do you have a card? Maybe. Is it written on something?

Russell:                      Here's the card. No, it's changed a principal scientist because it had a good name. I liked it. Um, well let me, let me remind you what to do for this show. So for this show or any general guys, people listening, Russell senior creative director, right.

Rubin:                        I think more important is this idea that Russell was part of the original team that created the product, Photoshop, um, and hung out in the, in the days of the giant with Thomas and John Knoll. You guys put this together and um, I don't think it's possible to have really any kind of conversation about photography or certainly about Photoshop stay without talking about Russell. That's you man. And it's so cool to have you. You're our first guest really on the show, not outside of my family. You're the first one. Real good guess.

Russell:                      I am honored. Thanks. And yet, and yes, I was there in the beginning of time. Um, I was there the day that John Knoll came to Adobe, set up his mackintosh, carried it in on a winch. It was a big thing, no portables then and set it up and gave his first demo of Photoshop to me. And um, um, there is this a urban legend that I personally saw the demo and then I ran to John Warnock's office and insisted that he purchased it and he did based upon my input. That whole, that is the, that is written down somewhere. Is it true? I'm going to say that it's true here today. I will not deny it. Um, nor will John Knoll. He'll go along with that. That I was personally responsible for Photoshop being acquired by Adobe. Wow. How do you like this? Let's just keep the urgent or the urban legend moving forward.

Rubin:                        I like it. Well, that's quite an amazing accomplishment. Know that they know that they listened to you.

Russell:                      Yeah, that is my claim to fame and I'm going to hold with that. That's it. That's it. That's good.

Rubin:                        Um, I have like, I guess I've met you on and off over the years. We just, our, our, our paths have kind of intermingled over time. And first at the Ted Conference, it was early Ted, the Ted, and you see my Godzilla movie at Ted two and three d. I don't remember that. I'm on with the lights on it. Like I remember you performing at the close of the shows for many years. That was always my favorite on the coattails of Tom Riley.

Russell:                      He made, he made me look good. Our early renditions of the closing of the Ted Conference were legendary. So I'm a, I must, I'm, he was a little bit of a snippet. Um, I recall one of those closings. Um, we had a birthday party for Jonas Salk. So it's Jonas Salk birthday. Um, I exist today because he invented the vaccine in 1954 I believe, and I was born in 55 and so I may be here speaking to you because of Jonas Salk. So it's his birthday at the Ted Conference. Tom and I feel, um, 400 helium balloons and pass them out into the audience and make, and then everybody breathes in the, um, helium, right? I could have poisoned them all right there. We all sang happy birthday to Jonas Salk who, um, with high helium activated voices. So here's a little unknown facts only available on this podcast has nothing to do with photography.

Rubin:                        Okay. Now we're going to continue to talk about photography for a second. Can you seem to know a thing or two about photography? I see your work. Um, I mean, uh, I'd like you to sort of separate out the feelings that you have about taking pictures, capturing pictures and the postproduction, whether it, the Photoshop or whatever. Do you, can you separate those or is there no separation is or all your pictures creations?

Russell:                      I am very good question. Um, I think Ansell Adams said this, you know, you don't take pictures, you make pictures. Did he say that? He did say that. Yeah. I, I would follow along with that, that um, I'm more of a maker of pictures as he was in the dark room and from what I've seen, Ansel is original negatives were nowhere near what you would know these things, what the final print looked like and there was dodging and burning and lots of manipulation.

Rubin:                        Is it a gray zone or is there like either it's manipulated with dodging and burning or, and that's the same as taking it off the mountain.

Russell:                      Ah, well, well, taking it out of a mountain, I think Ansell Adams might've done that person. Okay.

Rubin:                        He hope to remember there was a cross, there was writing in that beautiful lone Pine Winter Sunrise picture. The students in the high school had written in white stones on the hillside, their initials, and he had them scratched out of the negative. He didn't want his assistant. So, um, I think this which assistant, I know most of the assistants who was, I think it was John Sexton was

Russell:                      I believe next time I chat with them I'm going to accuse him. Oh No.

Suzanne:                  Of Getting, getting into Photoshop before you did.

Russell:                      Yeah. Yes. Um, so back, back to my concept on this is um, I take a lot of photos but none of them are really just perfect photos and so I indeed will enhance my photos. Um, not only with the standard tools, the dodging and burn tools of light room, but if the sky is not quite right, I admit here today on this podcast and I will swap out a sky real you. Yes. And I will change things. I um, I just saw in one of my presentations, I will even add a bird. I know, right? Jet like making sure I have the better.

Rubin:                        I harbored a lot of Guilt about adding birds. So you, yeah. You know, it's just, it's another story. It's another episode.

Suzanne:                  You, I mean, for example, Rubin and I stand on opposite sides of this. Uh, this sort of discussion where he is very much a purist. Um, whereas I feel it is more the creation and that I'm, I'm okay if things are, are Photoshop or added to or augmented. Like I think it's, it is, it's making, making an image

Russell:                      with good taste. Don't you agree?

Rubin:                        It doesn't that change it into illustration even at Adobe don't we remember at was always this debate that Photoshop is really an illustrator's tool and light room is really a photographer's tool.

Russell:                      Interesting. I guess you could say that was true. My illustrator, graphic designer. Um, I'm, I come from the evil um, graphic design school where you will change any photo. Sure. Fit market what you're trying to say.

Rubin:                        I support that. I do support that, but I wonder whether that is, I mean there's many reasons people get into from the advertising point of view. Absolutely.

Russell:                      There's advertising, photography and fine art photography when you have to then throwing truly the first character Jerry Olson who had Photoshop before there was Photoshop.

Rubin:                        And so should we add, you'll xmen is like a father figure for both of us in different ways. Just to a spiritual visionary. Um, it's bonds us, I think.

Russell:                      Yeah, it's so, um, and I it back in 1973 when I was four, no, back in 1973 when I'm 18 and graduating from high school and I find Jerry, you Holzman's work and some at that time I was in the dark room. You know, I'm playing around with things and I've, I've found quite intrigued by, um, some of the early stuff. The first photo I saw was this, there's probably a name for it. The house which is placed on top of the stump. Loved that. A name for that one? No, it's untitled 1967. I'll put, I'll put that in the show notes cause I love that photo that in 1973 and don't look this up and find out it was actually printed in 1974 it wasn't, was it, when was it? I think it was in the late sixties, early before 74, I'm pretty sure. Um, so I see this and um, uh, motivate the quite a bit in the dark room and I did all sorts of crazy things, you know. Um, multiple exposures, eh, um, Ortho prints, black and white, um, negatives, positives and printing things. Um, but placing my hands in the developer bat didn't affect me. A lot of toxic waste there. Boy, the amount of time you go home and if that deck, tall smell on your hands. Um, so getting back to, um, your, your big question, um, I think a photo is a photo is a photo. I think it's, um, it's art. I, I cherish a good photograph that has, you know, has minimal, uh, adjustments. It, um, just really, uh, a finely toned black and white print is really, you know, um, magic too, I think to you and I both, and I'm sure there's some alterations, I think, um, certainly Cartier-Bresson probably. He of course he must have altered his a little bear. Yeah.

Rubin:                        Those guys were the magnum journalists. Maybe they came from the school of like, it is what it is, you know,

Russell:                      so not, I'm not that. Um, what was that series of photographs that was going around? Um, did you send it around? You just look at these photos of the 55th. Yes. And, and, and I think I said in my comments, you know, I wish I could take one that looked like that in my entire life. The masters, I, I'm, I can best describe myself. I do the photo, get it out there, throw it on to Instagram and then I walk away. I'm a sort of this, this just immediate response. I don't take the time to finesse it. I'm, I get it just right. You know, there's a point when you're working on a photograph in light room or Photoshop and you go, wow, it's sort of a wow moment. Like this is ready, this is ready to post.

Rubin:                        Hey Russ. I would say for me that's like being a caricature artist. Like I sit there, I whipped my camera out, I make a little sketch, I do a quick little whatever, like an origami and then I hand it off and move on and off

Russell:                      and I couldn't think of the old masters. They spent time and they probably put it up on the wall. Jerry doesn't going to throw something on or even Ansell's not going to put something into the gallery until he puts it on a wall for a couple of days. Right. And then has his assistant look at it and then makes more comments. Don't you think that that's the threshold that printing brings? Like that's the one step. Yeah. Well I'm missing that step. Or for your buddy. We'll be there for you. I don't know.

Suzanne:                  His Instagram, you are sort of method of choice.

Russell:                      I'm trying to figure out, okay. I am 64 years. Maybe my friends are 70 year old friends say that's young. Um, so, um, why is it, how is it that I lived without Instagram? Oh, my life. Because I went through, I did um, a website. I did podcasts, videos online. I podcasts are back in by the way. Yes. And um, and I to get your message out, we, everyone would put their images on a website and hand out a card and hopefully your, your images would be seen. So, but there's this, the immediacy. Why did, why am I like I'm a 24 year old instead of a 64 year old, maybe this is why all of the lion I like this, this roll away is out there and see how many likes I can get it for them. What has what's happened to me and it's happened to everyone else and it truly is an addiction. Um, and to go farther with this, I think it's an addiction and I think it, I think it, well, I hope it's improved my photography and my sense of photography. Some would say that I am merely making photos that the masses will love. I then gravitate toward photos that I can get more likes for and yeah, I know how to get more likes.

Rubin:                        Do you ever find yourself just doing something that is runs contrary to that? Just to, except your own

Russell:                      Julian costs? Said, Russ, are you making photos for yourself or for Instagram and likes? I didn't pause. I'm making them for Instagram filters.

Suzanne:                  Do you or do you, Oh, do you take it back to Photoshop?

Russell:                      Here's my current workflow. I used to be Photoshop only, but now I'm a mobile phone guy. Completely immobile. Yeah. Oh, so Lightroom mobile on my phone. Um, look, it's a notification about a wet, um, I podcast I have to do. Um, so I got, well I got my iPhone and I had my huawei phone. Here's my, it's cause they just gave this to me for free today. Um, the huawei, um, a Chinese phone. The most amazing, it's rated with the highest camera quality that you can have a 40 megapixel. Is that right? 5,000 times seven is, does that really come out to 40, 30. After you take off the header information? Right. A little over 7,000 pixels. There's a lot of pixels on the pixels and so I gravitated toward mobile and mobile all the time and shooting into iPhones and huawei phones, travel light. I went to Greenland and Iceland only took photographs with the huawei in that case that they, wow. Large format of it. I, I'm carrying around a phone and everyone else has their multiple, um, lenses and they're large DSLRs.

Rubin:                        Did you feel like you were able to take the pictures you wanted to take?

Suzanne:                  And what are the, because

Russell:                      I think I took better pictures than it did and I think I was more creative than they were. I believe that they've, um, uh, mobile phone has limitations and through those limitations you learn too. It's like a crutch. If you were learning to walk with, you know, this crutch, this, you've got this limited amount of resolution. You have this limited, you know, there's a lots of limitations. You don't have an aperture, you, um, but uh, here I have this tool and um, I find that I am more creative with it interest and maybe not getting the same resolution they're getting, but I feel I'm more creative.

Rubin:                        Don't you think that it has never, like, as you and I have watched technology march over the past many decades, new things are invented and they always have pros and cons. And the old school often says that's not good enough quality. I'm measuring against the old one. But you're not thinking about all the new things you get. And so instead of comparing the phone to my DSLR with my Lens Kit and this and that, it's just apples. What can I do creative with this optical device?

Russell:                      Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Cause you can do anything with anything ever. Ah, everybody has chosen their optical device for, um, capturing their images and I chosen my optical device. They say, well, why are you taking on this simple tool? Um, as I, and I'll say to them, it's, it's just the creativity that comes with that. The number of software tools for adding filters. Did you, you know, you were mentioning, um, I want to add filters to it. Um, if I find a photograph that's boring, I'll add a filter to it and boom, a hundred more likes. I'm sorry. It's a gimmick. Is that a gimmick? Pandering? Oh yes.

Rubin:                        You know, I honestly, I find that with my sunset's like heat myself every time I post a Sunset, cause I look, I think, I don't want to be the guy post in that beautiful sunset, but everyone loves them.

Russell:                      And it's like, hey listen, did I tell you my secret is, is sunsets. It has to, Eh, any image with orange and reds in it, you'll get more likes. Oh my God. Oh, black and white. Boring. I know, I know. No, I'm not an elite. Compelling Black and white. Um, is there a story in it? Is there a human figure in it? Very important. A human figure on the horizon in slight silhouette. Inst um, oh, uh, playing. Oh and he and enslaved you put blinds, planes, planes, planes and reflections. Oh, you can get them a reflection is so, um, how terrible and how many points is that worth in likes? Um, you can get extra a hundred likes for a reflection. Listen, we both know what a boring photo is. And even these days, well remember the early days of Instagram you would liked everything and yeah. Oh, like, like, like, like, and now I really guarded. I don't give out likes.

Rubin:                        So, you know, children, my kids, um, have a different relationship. The flakes on, so they are at a completely different app for them even was, they're using Instagram. They like it just to signal that they saw it and has nothing. It's not a judgement in any respect.

Russell:                      I, I think some of that happens. I think some of my followers just like it because I saw it, I saw it. I, there may be some of those, it's interesting about like, and um, on a, on a good day with a good photo that's done well. Um, 400 likes. That's pretty good photo. Sure. And so I'm on a really great day where it just resonates with everyone. 800 Likes. So that's where my level is. we both have friends who get a thousand likes in the first two minutes. We know those guys. Yeah. Um, and um, was envious of them. And then, and then this, this woman comes along online. Um, uh, okay. She was rushing and I don't know where she was from and she has, um, we've been following your work. We think we can increase your number of likes or getting elected to office. Yes. I'm very, I was interested to, everyone tells me, you know, all the photography, Oh, don't do it, don't do it. But it just had to try it. I Dunno what incantations she pulled off, but I paste put up an image. 2000 likes within an hour. Yeah. It was like mainstreaming the drug. It was just, and she says, so what do you think about us taking, you know, we'd become, you're a client, you become one of our clients and we would then this network, I think it's like a hundred people around the world who then all join forces and they like your images and they share it with everyone else. And so the system you are in the club and then they support you by spreading the word about your image and just makes me sick. It's like painful to hear this painful. Yeah. So I just want to say here publicly, I said no. I said no, I'll go with my um, 400 likes for a good day instead of 2000 In the first half hour. It just made me realize that you cannot look at an image. We both know this image got 20,000 likes. We just don't go.

Rubin:                        I mean very often don't you look at many people or images that get those likes and you think this is like actually a lousy picture. Like what that has no bearing on anything.

Suzanne:                  Well I have a question. I'm kind of like changing the topic a little bit, but please change the topic by the way. And we lost all our viewers and listeners by now. I read it, I read an article that you like to recharge by going on long walks. And so I was wondering, um, what would be your ideal photo walk?

Russell:                      We often get barraged by too much technology. You are going to totally agree with this one. Too much iPhone, too much Instagram, too much interaction. Um, and I think sometimes you just have to go on walks on without the phone and sort of refresh center yourself again. Um, and um, I can get to hyper about emails coming in, things little alarms going off. I've turned off most of the alarms on my phone, but I think in an everyday situation we get to barraged with too much information too fast. Besides that. Um, I noticed the other day how much data Apple's pulling in on your location, on your phone. Did you see that article? It's quite amazing. Then they have a record of every place you've gone. Um, but everyone has a record. Yeah. Google has, has had that for years. I think this just sort of your moment of Zen. That's what I was describing. What you do the weekly, daily. Oh, we do it every morning. You got for a tech free walk every morning. Yeah. I was thinking late.

Rubin:                        You know, Tiffany Shlain talks about how they have a sabbath, right? Where they a tech free from Friday night to Saturday night. That's crazy. I wish I could have done it. I, I'm completely incapable. It's turning things off the eat nuts, like giving up bread. It's really admirable. I on it. I try. Yeah, we try.

Russell:                      We've all tried to be a vegetarian between meals. Maybe you are images, right? Um, yeah. We're, we're, we were going with them. I'm influenced by the Internet. I'm influenced by Instagram. I'm not much of a Facebook person anymore because I don't want to see politics. I just want to share photos and see what others are doing.

Rubin:                        Do you think there's good like is Instagram, I mean I don't feel like it's a very good photographic, no. Is there a better word? Better?

Russell:                      I thought 500 pixels was trying to be that one. But do you know how they quickly come and go and they come into the come into fashion and then they hire these photographers too.

Rubin:                        And they also tend to be about the way they look to monetize is about stock about. So it ends up being sort of this pick up picture-esk stuck photo ish looking glossy photo and it's not really embracing popular culture of photography in the way that I guess I'm hoping for.

Russell:                      I'm there to invoke Julian costs name again. She told me about an Instagram site. I've of course, I can't remember the name of it that um, shows all of this same photo combinations. So person standing with the foreground with a mountain right behind. Guess we've talked about that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I want to go to that site. I'll send you the link. It's in our show notes. I'll send. Oh, okay. Yeah. I, I really like to see that because I might learn something. I might steal one of them.

Rubin:                        You know what, I have a difficult question for you. You ready for a difficult question. So as, um, you know, you and I are sort of in the world of creators of these digital tools over the past many decades for pictures from sound and video, all that stuff. Um, now that all the media is digital and we have created all these tools for absolute manipulation, it now it becomes a photo. It used to be irrefutable proof of something and now it's not at all. It can't be, do we have some sort of moral obligation to create the antidotes to the thing that we created the, the virus for

Russell:                      this question? I love it that your answer, aunt an this question. Um, uh, I normally get to ask this in front of a thousand people alive audience. Wait a minute. There could be a thousand, but you could be, um, um, moral obligation to try to help people understand what they're seeing if it's been manipulated. Have some, we've, we've dealt with this at Adobe. We thought about programs that would identify where photos had been altered or retouched. We took on a role of trying to help, um, different agencies have come to Adobe asking for things like this. Um, they'll go on named and, um, I think we just have to accept that photos can be altered now and it's, we don't, I don't think Adobe has the responsibility. We created the tool, but we're creating the hammer. But we're not telling you to destroy the house or to build the house with the Hammer. Are we, we've got a really great hammer. We could say the same of the hammer manufacturers. Some they destroy it or they build. And so, um, uh, this can, either 50% of your audience is going to, Hate, what I'm going to say, or 50%. But we like it. I think it's up to the responsibility of each person to not lie in their photographs. And I'm very, um, I'm very clear when I post something that I've altered it and manipulated it. Um, but I think it's something we just, I think it's here. I think there are ways to analyze a photo if they really had to prove in court that this photo was real. I think there are ways to do that

Rubin:                        forensic answer. I'm just thinking whether the public somehow, maybe it's the culture of photography is to communicate that this is a live picture versus something that an illustration world in some way

Russell:                      they're moral standards set in journalism versus art. So I'll call myself an artist and not a journalist. And I think journalists have a code and that they follow very clearly. Most of them. Yes. Yeah. Well, we, we'd have seen her a few that to violate those laws. So I think journalism is, it holds out and I think they're making sure that they're screening things as they come in. And so there's a certain amount of control there. But on my side as an artist, um, I think I'm, I'm thinking back to 1990 I'm, I'm on the today show with Rick Smolan and they ask me, I'm Deborah Norville ask some Russ, would you ever give this up, this, this, uh, disability to alternate manipulate photos. You're, you're the evil. She said this evil. Oh, it shouldn't. I said, no, I will continue, um, to alter photos. I'll do anything to a photo to make it better. I think it was my, in my line. And so I'm an MP manipulator. I'm in the side that says that from the art point of view, you should be able to do this. But from the journalistic side of things, absolutely not. Absolutely.

Rubin:                        I'm never really comes down to the trust of the brand or the photographer. Yeah. Yeah. And if it's from a trusted source, then you can trust it's real. And if it's really entertainment sources or do want to make

Russell:                      it very clear on this podcast, you should never trust me. No, I make it, I make it very clear that I alter, there's, I alter everything I am. I'll alter it to make it better. And then those, those will argue. Did you make your photo better by altering it? I'm, I least, I hope so. I used to post the before and after picture online. I'm an educator. I'm supposed to show before and after. Right. I love it. And um, I thought it was good until, um, I think it shows you, it plays your shows your cards. Yeah. Sound I should be showing my cards. I'm supposed to show people how to play the game before and after, but then I found sort of a negative response to it that, oh, you're cheating. Your photos aren't real. I'm sort of the Jerry Uelsmann once again. Can you imagine and you know, early fifties, sixties with Jerry , those aren't real photos. I wonder what, I'm Ansell Adams. I know they were good friends. I wonder what he, how many responded to that? That's like, oh, there's Jerry goofy in your own altering images. I just think they probably felt it was all that. It's just photographic art. Yeah. The end though. I think as in that community they saw it as art. Yeah. But then he wasn't accepted as art is that he wasn't even accepted as art. So I mean, I think these are, this is all a learning of the public. People Start Romanticizing.

Suzanne:                  I have a question before we do, before we go further. Cause I'm curious, like you said, you, you may, you make pictures and you make pictures better. And what's the, what's your favorite picture that you've made spiritually?

Russell:                      Um, cosmically um, lots of feeling to it. I think it has to be, um, and it's not because it got a lot of like it's in a cut scene before, like time. I mean it could have been something never made it. It's a composite of an annular eclipse over, um, the Rock, is it a printed and on your wall? Yeah. And somewhere here at the House I had, my sister has it printed on her wall. So ship rock, um, it's, it's one of those photos. It's getting sort of passed around the web and ill occasionally see it. I'm quite surprised that I'm still attributed to the photo, but like, you know, cosmic photo of the day, um, um, aliens are with us. You know, these groups are you picking up on my photo? And they keep on running it over and over again. Um, proving their point.

Rubin:                        When did you print it and when did it take it?

Russell:                      Um, this was the solar eclipse that went across, um, in 2012 I believe across New Mexico isn't beautiful. You see it, you find it when you googled it has all the information of the universe. I found Russell Brown ship rock image and it came up as Adobe's. Dr. Russell Brown creates an amazing image. He doesn't getting attributed to me and hasn't been stolen and turned into a postcard. And that's a final point. I'm not a professional photographer about, I played one on TV. I'm not a professional photographer. I don't make my living out of selling photographs. If I did, I would be outraged the way people steal photos from others online. Um, I don't go looking to find it and I'm sure it's there, but it really irks me that people take advantage. And I know, I know and understand why some of my good photographers don't post big pictures. They're always putting little postage stamp versions because they'll grab them and run with them and steal them. I'm, I, if I went and looked, they were, I'm sure it would find it, but I don't want to look, I don't want to look,

Rubin:                        I don't want that Russ, Mike, I kind of evolved, uh, thinking about it to a point that says, I don't think you can stop people from stealing the stuff and I want, I'd rather them see it and risk being stolen. And so I've kind of, that's what moved me into this world that just says if it's really important, it's printed and I charge for my prints and I only make one or a short small number. And what happens online is just promoting my print.

Russell:                      And then dangerous thing I did with that image of the solar eclipse, the multiple images, I gave it to a printing house and didn't even think about it. I didn't give him the file. I gave him the full reds' file. Oh, that's like giving out your negatives. Yeah, it was, wasn't it? Yeah. I didn't think about it because I'm giving it to my sister and she's giving it to the printing house. You know, who's making this giant print and now they have it. It's digital. Poof. Off It goes. I bet it's scarred supplies. Yeah. It's an exit college dorm rooms across, um, uh, uh, thinking I'm a photographer. I was traveling with them, took a picture and, um, we're traveling through Arizona and, um, they're in one of the shops in Arizona along route 66 was a picture that he had taken on, on a postcard from out of China. And, um, could you imagine, can you imagine? And what do you, what do you go to the front counter and say, that's my photo and you need to take all those down.

Rubin:                        Um, wow. Well, um, that's, that's crazy. Yeah. I mean, I feel he's, yeah, that's just, isn't it? I'm not changing the subject exactly. But the final question, um, I always thought that it was cool, my feeling about both companies in technology and books and all that stuff as often. Um, I don't really want to do it, but it needs to be done. And so someone has to do it. So you ended up doing it. And when Photoshop was created, you know, Thomas and John made this tool. But I, I think I've always been really happy that I guess John went back to doing, she just wanted a tool like that, you know, vented this stuff cause they needed it. And then went back to creating cool things, you know, at Ilm and

Russell:                      Other things he wanted to do. And he saw, um, you know, they just got an academy award for, um, Photoshop. Knoll brothers. Yeah. So it was about time. Um, so he just in just recent interview, he said that he was working with Adobe and doing filters, um, like lens flare and other filters. He was writing for Adobe. And little did I know, I didn't know. He worked on, um, one of the, um, tools, um, uh, color range of fine locating a range of colors and selecting them. Really powerful tool. And so he worked on that. And so there was a point where all the engineers are coming in and there's, you know, 20 engineers. He just felt that he had other things, responsibilities to different lives. He decided to go back to, um, this dead end job of working on rogue one.

Rubin:                        John Knoll reminds me in that sense of, um, story, I guess it was like Ted 2003 where one of the speakers was talking about Thomas Jefferson and saying that on Thomas Jefferson's tombstone, it has three things written, like author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of you, whatever it is, has three things. None of the three things are, they was president of the United States twice. Like that's the way I feel about John Knoll. It's like he's, he's like, oh yeah, the last thing I did was invent Photoshop and now I've moved on. Right.

Russell:                      Where was he? He's in Tunisia or someplace, you know, somewhere in the world. Yeah. Was shooting. And what is it? He says, you need to go back the people cooking the food or, um, um, um, need to see you and it's just the hell. And here in Tunisia, and he goes back there and they're all fans of Photoshop. Oh. And they want it to meet the founder of Photoshop. So that's awesome. No, he didn't want to meet the director of the movie that's being shot. But Russ, go ahead.

Rubin:                        That's the way I think we feel about you. I mean, I know you're not the no brothers, but I've never like, I've never thought of Photoshop and not thought you were really the face of it. In spite of those guys. Okay. I want

Russell:                      to do the Jimmy Stewart's thing where I find out what is it that I did? Don't you want to go back and sort of, if I wasn't here, what would it be? What would it be? Where would he use it? No one would be using it. Yeah. Yeah. I was the wacky character who were doing the first demos. Um, remember when you brought David Hockney in to see this? Yeah. Yeah. That was the first invitational Photoshop is unbelievable to cross been pretty, I don't think, you know, I was too young, naive and stupid, um, to know how important of a moment that was. You know, sort of like, yeah, I really, it's like, who are you? I knew of his work, but if he stepped in today, I'd be 10 times men, more mesmerized and, but he was so fascinated by Photoshop and the color in there. The other thing that brought him in to that was the color printer from Canon, which was the size of a refrigerator at the time. And we could print directly in color to the cannon from Photoshop at the first colored postscript controller in it. So, um, that was pretty amazing moment. And we, um, um, we had Graham Nash in that room as well. Um, um, and he started additions. It was that connection patients after that, didn't he? Yeah. Amazing. It's lots of spinoffs.

Rubin:                        He's another one of those guys who like would have his band maybe mentioned is one of his early accomplishments. You've done so many cool things.

Russell:                      You know what he's up to today. So I'm, I'm, I'm honored to be a part of this whole Russ. Birth of Photoshop. Yeah.

Rubin:                        Thank you for all this time. Like I think I speak for everyone who uses these tools to just like, it's just great. I'm glad you did what you did and that you keep doing what you do and evangelizing photography for everybody.

Russell:                      You know, more insanity coming our way. Yes. Photoshop on the iPad out soon. It's interesting. I didn't say a date. Did I good? I didn't say a date. We're going to have to like hold off the podcast now for like seven months. Tell Adobe allows you to say that

Suzanne:                  lb Max, I think, right? Oh, is that right?

Russell:                      Does show herself. That would be a way. That would be a great time to show it off. Maybe we can convince you guys to show it at that. How's that? Yeah, that, that'd be good. Yeah.

Suzanne:                  No, I think they just mentioned it. I think it, I don't think they actually, yeah,

Rubin:                        no, just I'm loving. It's been announced. I can say that I can't get in trouble too much. All right. Well Russ, thank you. Thank you for joining us and being our first guest on the show. I'm very excited and um, this will air this weekend. Wow. And then you'll, you'll give me a link to it and then I can share it with no, never. You will never know what happened to with this. Okay. Did I do it? Well, they do well enough on the show to get my secret surprise. Yes, you'll get a secret surprise.

Suzanne:                  Well, it think you Russell Brown. It's been an absolute pleasure having you on. Our show is recorded entities in San Francisco. We're sponsored by new modern concierge style photo printing and finishing. To transform your iPhone photos into frameable art though neo modern.com/podcast to see our show notes, photos, and upcoming events, leave reviews, ratings and questions on iTunes. And don't forget to subscribe.

Rubin:                        Thanks to Mitchell foreman, first theme music and all of you for hanging out with us. We appreciate your attention and hope you can give me some things to think about. Until next time.

 

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