Mikkel Aaland is a photographer, a writer, a lecturer, and the author of ten books, including Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure (O’Reilly, 2008), Photoshop CS3 RAW (O’Reilly, 2008), Shooting Digital, 2nd Edition (Wiley, 2006), Photoshop CS2 RAW (O’Reilly, 2006), and Photoshop Elements 4 Solutions (Wiley, 2006).
Mikkel’s documentary photographs have been exhibited in major institutions around the world, including the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the former Lenin Museum in Prague. In 1981 he received the National Art Directors award for photography. He has contributed text and/or photography to Wired, Outside, Digital Creativity, American Photo, The Washington Post, and Newsweek, as well as several European publications.
His photography and writing have allowed Mikkel to pursue a life of adventure travel and to indulge his fascination with other cultures. A six-year adventure resulted in The Sword of Heaven: A Five Continent Odyssey to Save the World (Travelers Tales, 1999). A three-year study of international bathing customs took him to Russia, Japan, Finland, Mexico, Turkey, and Greece and resulted in the illustrated history Sweat (1978). He spent nine years traveling the county fair circuit in the United States and the result, County Fair Portraits (1981), received widespread media attention and garnered him an interview with David Letterman.
Mikkel has been a pioneer in digital photography, an interest that dates back to a 1981 interview he conducted with Ansel Adams in which Adams discussed at length his fascination with digital photographs of the planets. Mikkel has pursued this new technology since its infancy. He wrote a column on the subject for American Photographer for several years and also wrote Digital Photography (1992), Still Images in Multimedia (1996), and Photoshop for the Web (first edition 1998, second edition 1999).
Mikkel has lectured and taught on the subject of digital photography at Stanford University, Drexel University, and the University of California at Berkeley, as well as at computer graphics conferences around the country. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Rebecca and two daughters.