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Manipulating Life With Photos

When it comes to photography, it’s been a long road for Hicksville’s John Micheals. What started as a hobby in childhood, has now returned as an irreplaceable form of self expression.

“It’s a way of expressing myself. I’m very comfortable with it. It’s a way of expressing myself and being me without any qualifications,” he said.

Micheals’ journey in photography started with snapping pictures with a Kodak as a kid growing up in Queens. As an undergrad at City College of New York, he took art classes and his photography took a back seat as he became an art teacher. When he retired in 1996, he picked up the camera again, taking classes at Nassau Community College and getting his certificate in photography. He dropped photography again when family priorities arose, and got behind the lens again in 2009.  

And it’s a good thing he did—his photos have gained recognition over the last five years as he has been in over 30 exhibits and won best in show 3 times. He is currently exhibiting in several local venues, including the Heckscher Museum Biennial Exhibit and Manhasset Public Library.

“I do this for myself, but I like to share it with other people. It’s very satisfying,” says Micheals. “In general, an artist wants to share their work with other people. People might not like it, but if they can respect it and say it’s a good piece of work, that’s what’s important.”

Photography has changed tremendously from when Micheals started, or even from when he was taking classes on it in college. He switched to digital photography around eight years ago and says it was hard to give up the dark room experience. But Micheals says that he embraces all the new advances in photo technology.

“There’s watercolor, washes, oils, acrylics, digital, iPhoneography. I welcome that. Why not? Something else is going to come along in the next 20, 30 or 40 years that we can’t even think of and that’ll create another dimension,” he says.

He now uses a Canon, but keeps a Sony R100 handy at all times. He also incorporates a lot of manipulations and is particularly attracted to dramatic lighting and techniques that emphasize a particular look or effect.  

“I consider myself an artist that does photography, not a photographer who does photography," said Micheals. "I use my images more as sources for creating, rather than mimicking life as a photo."  

Micheals’ particular technique includes using as little flash as possible and holding the camera (as opposed to using a tripod). He does a lot of close up work and says he likes to focus on common or vintage objects such as the head of a nail, or wood knots in an old barn, that tend to be overlooked.

“You don’t have to go cross country to take good photos,” Micheals said. “You can do it locally and in your own backyard. That’s what interests me.”  

Micheals will have a photo in the Heckscher Museum Biennial Exhibit from Aug. 16 to Nov. 30. He currently is in a mixed media exhibit at the Manhasset Public Library until Sept. 25.

News

Levittown Hall in Hicksville comes alive every Thursday night with music, dance, fun and laughter as students are swept away into the world of Latin dance.

Under the instruction of professional teacher Mark James, dance hopefuls learn a trio of Latin dance, including salsa, meringue and what James describes as the biggest craze in Latin dancing today, bachata.

 book shops in Hicksville and around the country will hand out free comics on Oct. 25, to celebrate the second biggest free comic book event of the year—Halloween ComicFest. On Saturday, anyone who goes into a participating comic shop can choose from 19 free comics and participate in fun activities comic shops host for their customers to enjoy, while discovering new types of comics and the treasures found in store.

In Hicksville, both Game Master Games (954 S. Broadway) and Amok Time (108C New South Road) will be taking part in the Halloween ComicFest festivities. Game Master Games just recently started carrying comic books and this will be the store’s first comic book-related event. Coincidently, the event runs in the middle of an in-store gaming convention, and store owner Dave VanderWerf is looking forward to the increased exposure for the store.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com