Announcement: Partnering with Adobe Photoshop Elements

I’ve been shooting travel photography since I was 13 years old on a school exchange to Japan.  Back then, I used one of those bright yellow disposable Kodak cameras and a curious eye to capture the world.  I still remember setting my eyes through the plastic viewfinder and loving the sound of the shutter flipping.  I loved how I could take a world of motion, and twist it to a stop.  I loved how I could steal an emotion from a scene and remember it forever.  It was addictive even then.  I’m sure I must have wound that camera dial half a mile in length on that trip.  Forget memory cards, back then I had to pack multiple cameras.  It was an instant love affair with both photography and travel.  And of course, the two really do go hand in hand.

Photoshop elements, Rocky Mountain House

Photo from my hometown of Rocky Mountain House

I still have all the photos from that trip.  The film slides sit in a box somewhere in the basement of my parent’s house collecting a vintage tint that instagram could only dream of capturing.  On the rarest of occasions when I do find myself in my hometown, you might find me sitting cross-legged on the floor basement of my parent’s house flipping through the images with a childish grin on my face.

Since that trip to Japan, I’ve set the sights of a camera and lens on six different continents and more destinations than I’d ever dare to attempt to count.  I’ve gone from shooting that simple disposable camera to packing about 20 kilos of camera gear with me wherever I go.  I never leave home without it all strapped to my back or slung around my neck.

Photoshop elements, cheetah

Over the past 15 years, the equipment and technology has changed, but I like to hope that the curious eye I once saw the world with has never been lost.  Regardless of the type of equipment you use, it’s that eye – and the propensity to constantly explore – that makes the photo.

It wasn’t until I made the decision that I was going to try to make a career out of travel journalism that I really started shooting photography seriously.  About 4 years ago, I upgraded my equipment so I would stop using that as an excuse as to why my shots weren’t spectacular.  I picked up dozens of photography books and picked the brains of people in the industry to make sure I was doing everything I could to steepen the learning curve.  I also made myself a promise that I would start editing my photos properly.  The first program I ever used was Photoshop Elements 7.  Thus, you can imagine how excited I am to announce that I’ve agreed to be a part of Photoshop Elements latest ambassador program.

Photoshop elements 11

Over the next couple of months, you can expect some posts on this site about Photoshop Elements.  These articles will generally be of the tutorial variety where I show you how I bring certain travel photos to life, or create a certain effect in my photos.  I think it’ll be a lot of fun.  I also think that you’ll benefit tremendously from the tutorial aspect of things.  Whenever I see a cool travel photo, my first thoughts always slip to “I wonder how she/he shot that”.  Through this process, I’ll be able to let you into my process to help you answer that question.

How can you Follow Along?

Of course, if you follow me already on social media and check into the blog regularly, you won’t miss a beat.  However, if you’re interested in the project and Photoshop Elements I can’t recommend to you enough to follow them on facebook where they are constantly tossing out great information to get the most out of your photography. Also, if you’re on twitter (or I guess you can hashtag on facebook too now right?) you can follow the work of the various ambassadors on the hashtag #PSElements.  You can also check them out on pinterest.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. Very cool that you’re partnering with Adobe. I’ve been a long-time user of Adobe Creative Suite but actually use Photoshop rather than the Elements version. Will be interested to see what you can do with Elements. I can’t actually recall if it’s included in my Creative Suite subscription package.

    With Adobe’s new subscription model, how do you find paying per month to use the software? I originally liked the idea but because of a credit card snafu, I’m finding the potential hang-ups. My subscription isn’t active and I can’t access any of my software in the meantime while my case is considered — which is a huge hassle for someone on the go! Generally, though, I like the idea of the subscription model…

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    • Thanks Adam.
      Yeah, I actually use elements a lot more than the big one. It’s lighter and I find I can get almost everything done I need to. It’s also much cheaper if that’s ever an issue for people.
      As for the subscription thing, I love it. I use inDesign for the magazine, but since the magazine has been put on hold until August I just stop paying since I wont use it. I’ve only had to spend like 19.99 on it rather than the full price, which is a win for me. If I had CC issues, I’d probably be less happy.

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  2. Congrats! Sounds like a great partnership for you. I always love your photos, so I look forward to finding out more about how you edit them. That’s always the hardest part for me.

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    • Thanks Jim, yeah the editing is an art in itself and even I’m still learning constantly. Hope I can teach a thing or two 😀

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  3. Nice, Brendan. You certainly deserve it. Looking forward to reading your tips. Lovely photo of the cheetah, by the way.

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    • Thanks Jenna! On both accounts 😀

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  4. Your love for photography is not only portrayed in your childhood story but all the current awesome photos you are taking. Like you, I have used Photoshop Elements for numerous years. It assisted me through two university photography courses and publishing my first art cards. The student price point was so reasonable when I first bought Photoshop Elements 6 way back when. So tell me Brendan, what version are they on now?

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  5. That’s fantastic, they’ve certainly chosen their ambassadors well if you’re on the list! We are just starting out in the wonderful world of photo journalism so I love visiting your site and immersing myself in your great tips and images. Can’t wait to see what you partnership entails!

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  6. Indeed, Adobe Photoshop can make miracle. They can turn the impossible into possible . The work of art and imagination goes hand in hand.

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  7. Hi Brendan,

    Wow, I just spent a few minutes looking around your site and your photos are stunning. While I have a good set of gear (a Canon DSLR and two lenses) I am trying to learn as much as possible (the last time I took a photography course was in high school). Do you have any recommendations of photography books that you found most helpful? Or tutorials online? While I know the general basics (rule of thirds, how to manipulate aperture, etc) I’d love to take my photography a step further.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    Post a Reply
    • Amanda, maybe a photo workshop in Dublin with us??
      Good books, although basic, are the Scott Kelby Digital photography school books. I’ve got a new book coming out soon too, but maybe a month away still.
      Over at we’re going to be setting up an online photography course very shortly… stay tuned!

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