ⓘ Mikkel Aaland
Mikkel Aaland is a Norwegian-American photographer, based in San Francisco and Norway. He is known for work in the early days of digital photography, as well as his twelve books on photography. He is best known for his 1978 book Sweat, an illustrated history of sweat bathing. His documentary photographs have been exhibited in major institutions around the world, including the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the former Lenin Museum in Prague. Aaland is the author of works of memoir, books featuring his own photojournalism as well as works on digital imaging and various Adobe Photoshop products.
1.1. Biography Early years
Aaland was born in San Francisco and grew up in nearby Livermore, California. His Norwegian born father worked as a scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory research facility. Aaland was an Eagle Scout who attended Livermore High School, where he played football. He graduated from California State University in Chico with a major in photojournalism and was an All-American swimmer on the NCAA Division II championship team.
1.2. Biography Beginning career
In 1978 Aaland published his first book, Sweat: The Illustrated History and Description of the Finnish Sauna, Russian Bania, Islamic Hammam, Japanese Mushi-buro, Mexican Temescal, and American Indian & Eskimo Sweat Lodge. The book was the culmination of a three-year travel and photo-journalistic tour of the worlds various bathing customs. Aaland continues to be an active proponent and historian of sweat bathing.
Aaland published his second nonfiction book, County Fair: Portraits 1981 after spending nine years traveling the United States visiting county fairs. Jon Carroll wrote in New West magazine, "County Fair is a chronicle of people being who they are. These faces become historical." The photographer Mary Ellen Mark said of the book: "Such moving photographs, funny and sad. Its real Americana. Aaland is a latter day Mike Disfarmer." In 1982 Aaland appeared as a guest on the David Letterman Show, sharing work from both Sweat and County Fair.
During an interview in 1981 Aaland was introduced to the newly emerging field of digital photography by renowned photographer Ansel Adams. He contributed articles and photos for other publications such as American Photographer, FOTO, American Photo, Digital Creativity, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Popular Science, and Wired. In 1981 he received the National Art Directors award for photography.
1.3. Biography Digital photography instruction
Aaland was one of the first to write about digital photography. In the 1980s he wrote covered the topic in a regular column on the topic for American Photographer, and as West Coast editor of Swedish magazine FOTO. In 1992, Aaland released the book Digital Photography. The book gives instruction and tips on using digital cameras to take unique photographs. He followed that with Still Images in Multimedia 1996 and then Shooting Digital: Pro Tips for Taking Great Pictures with Your Digital Camera 2003, which was named by Designers Bookshelf as "Best Digital Photography Book of the Year for 2004."
Aaland has been the co-host of the Nordic Light International Festival of Photography since 2011.
Beginning in 2001, Aaland began publishing a number of guidebooks about using the computer design program Photoshop to enhance digital photography; Photoshop Elements Solutions: The Art of Digital Photography was followed by second, third, and fourth volumes. He also acted as an unpaid adviser to the development of both the alpha, beta, and final versions of the Adobe Photoshop Elements application. Photoshop CS2 RAW: Using Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge, and Photoshop to Get the Most Out of Your Digital Camera 2006 was Aalands first of two books explaining the graphic file format RAW, which is used by professional photographers.
While working as an adviser on beta tests for Adobe Lightroom, Aaland proposed a real-world test of the software by inviting professional photographers to travel to a far-off land where they would use Lightroom. The result of this was Photoshop Lightroom Adventure: Mastering Adobes Next-generation Tool for Digital Photographers 2007, which brought professional photographers to Iceland to test the software. Aaland followed up that book the same year with Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure: Mastering Adobes Next-generation Tool for Digital Photographers, which brought professional photographers to Tasmania to show users how photographers work with the Lightroom 2 software.
1.4. Biography Memoir and travel work
In a diversion from photography instruction, Aaland published The Sword of Heaven: A Five Continent Odyssey to Save the World 1999, detailing the six years he spent traveling around the world documenting a peace project initiated by survivors of Hiroshima and led by a Shinto priest. During this time, Aaland dropped brick-sized pieces of a holy Shinto Sword of Heaven into bodies of water around the world to form a protective ring of kami.
Aalands most recent book, The River in My Backyard, is an illustrated memoir exploring his family history, the murder of his father, and his pilgrimage to Mount Kailash.
In 1984, Wired sent Aaland to Paris to interview filmmaker Chris Marker. The interview was later published as the cover story of Digital Creativity. Following the interview, the two became friends and correspondents. Aaland is currently working on a project that will honor Marker.
1.5. Biography Sweat bathing
Aaland, as the author of Sweat: The Illustrated History and Description of the Finnish Sauna, Russian Bania, Islamic Hammam, Japanese Mushi-buro, Mexican Temescal, and American Indian & Eskimo Sweat Lodge, is recognized as an authority on sweat bathing. In 2014 Aaland organized the Perfect Sweat Summit in San Francisco, bringing together 50 international experts on sweat bathing. Aaland is currently filming a travel documentary series, Perfect Sweat, which combines his career-long interests in photography, travel, and sweat bathing. The documentary series is an exploration of bathing traditions around the world, and revisits the topic of his 1978 book Sweat.
- Sweat: The Illustrated History and Description of the Finnish Sauna, Russian Bania, Islamic Hammam, Japanese Mushi-buro, Mexican Temescal, and American Indian & Eskimo Sweat Lodge, Capra Press: Santa Barbara, 1978; reprinted, Borgo Press: San Bernardino, 1989; reprinted as ebook, Cyberbohemia Press: San Francisco, 2017. ISBN 0-88496-124-9
- The River in My Backyard, Cyberbohemia Press: San Francisco, 2016. ISBN 978-0-9972610-1-1
- Pilgrimage to Kailash: Tibets Holy Mountain, Cyberbohemia Press: San Francisco, 2013.
- County Fair: Portraits, Capra Press: Santa Barbara, 1981. ISBN 0-88496-172-9
- The Sword of Heaven: A Five Continent Odyssey to Save the World, Travelers Tales: San Francisco, 1999. ISBN 1-885211-44-9
2.1. Bibliography Photography instruction
- Still Images in Multimedia, Hayden Books: Indianapolis, 1996. ISBN 1-56830-273-8
- Photoshop CS2 RAW: Using Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge, and Photoshop to Get the Most Out of Your Digital Camera, OReilly Media: Sebastopol, 2006; reprinted as Photoshop CS3 RAW: Transform Your RAW Images into Works of Art, OReilly Media: Sebastopol CA, 2008. ISBN 0-596-00851-1
- Digital Photography with Rudolph Burger, Random House: New York, 1992. ASIN B000KVE4BA
- Photoshop Lightroom Adventure: Mastering Adobes Next-generation Tool for Digital Photographers, OReilly Media: Sebastopol, 2007; 2nd edition, 2007. ISBN 0-596-10099-X
- Shooting Digital: Pro Tips for Taking Great Pictures with Your Digital Camera, Sybex: San Francisco, 2003; Sybex/Wiley: Indianapolis, 2007. ISBN 0-470-04287-7
- Photoshop for the Web, OReilly Media: Cambridge, MA, 1998; 2nd edition, 1999. ISBN 1-56592-641-2
- Photoshop Elements Solutions: The Art of Digital Photography, Sybex: San Francisco, 2001; 2nd edition, 2002; 3rd edition, 2005; Wiley: Indianapolis, 2005. ISBN 0-7821-4446-2
3. Related reading
- Eggers, Ron. Professional Photographer, October 13, 2008.
- Ibid., November 1, 2008.
- McNamara, Michael J. Popular Photography, September 1, 1993.
- Ibid., May 1, 2008.
- California Bookwatch, April 1, 2006.
- M2 Presswire, "Helping Digital Photographers Go RAW; OReilly Releases Photoshop CS2 RAW," April 18, 2006.
- Ibid., December 1, 2007.
- Ibid., March 1, 2007
- Ibid., January 1, 2008.
- Internet Bookwatch, March 1, 2009.
- Ibid., March 1, 2008.
- Ibid., December 1, 2008.
- Ibid., September 1, 2008.
- Lafortune, Wes. Photo Life, May 1, 2009.
- Lombardo, Daniel. Library Journal, March 15, 2007.
- Ibid., June 1, 2006.
- Zwingle, Erlan. American Photographer, December 1, 1982.
- Petersens Photographic, March 1, 2005.
- Ibid., October 1, 2006.
- SciTech Book News, March 1, 2001.
- Ibid., January 1, 2009.
- Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2000.
- Ibid., "Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure - New from OReilly: Instruction with Inspiration," November 10, 2008.
- bid., "Photoshop CS3 RAW - New from OReilly Media Transform Your RAW Images into Works of Art," January 28, 2008.
- Ashbrook, Stanley B. PSA Journal, June 1, 2006.