Written by Betsy Abraham, email@example.com Sunday, 17 August 2014 00:00
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.
Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:00
A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.
A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.
State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.
Friday, 17 October 2014 00:00
For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.
“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.
However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”
Thursday, 16 October 2014 08:31
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
Thursday, 09 October 2014 08:47
The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.