About Michael J Duke
Born in Northampton and brought up in London, Michael spent many years living and working in Israel. It was during his years in Israel that Michael became a freelance photographer contributing to the Jerusalem Post, Ma’ariv, Popular Science in Israel and American Image Magazine based in Lewisville in the United States.
Michael got his first camera – a Kodak Brownie 127 box camera – from his parents as a tenth birthday present, but took a few years before taking photography a bit more seriously. He became the family photographic diarist with some of his images being popular – and some not so popular.
In February 2000, he joined up with Moshe Taub in Tel Aviv (a professional photographer) who was at the time the Chairman of the Tel Aviv Camera Club. It was during this time that Michael became a member of the International Freelance Photographic Organization based in Lewisville in the USA. Moshe helped give some direction to Michael’s photographic output and this culminated in Michael’s first exhibition in Central Tel Aviv. By 2004, Michael had another two exhibitions in Central Tel Aviv and one in Holon and appeared in a number of Tel Aviv Camera Club exhibitions which toured from Tel Aviv to Tzahala (north of Tel Aviv) to Haifa.
Early in 2004, Michael and Moshe joined forces with Rommi Goldhammer to form the Ventures Group of Songwriters, Poets, Artists and Photographers. Michael became the PR officer and built up a number of contacts and this caught good attention to the City Lights/Metro weekend arts and marketing magazine which ran a number of articles on the group – including a full page article written by Michael on the life of Rommi.
Due to world politics effecting the economy in Israel, Michael returned to London and soon joined up with the Hampstead Photographic Society. He served as PR Secretary (2005 – 2008) and Programme Secretary (2006 – 2008) and edit’s the HPS Newsletter, an item that he started in 2006 as ‘a thought in response to the club’s 70th Anniversary’. It caught on well enough for the club members to want it’s continued existence regardless of Michael taking a back seat on the running of the club. During Michael’s tenure on the committee, he organized three group exhibitions to celebrate the club’s 70th anniversary, returning to the HPS committee in 2016
Outside the club, Michael has had a number of one-man exhibitions in Barnet, Hendon, North Finchley, East Finchley, Whetstone, Warwick and took part in a number of group exhibitions in Friern Barnet, North Finchley, Swiss Cottage, Holburn, Covent Garden and Warwick as well as winning a number of 1st, 2nd, 3rd place prizes and Very Highly Commendeds in competitions in Hampstead, Friern Barnet and The Isle of Wight where he has had six images in a group exhibition showing in Ventnor. During 2011, Michael has organized a series of exhibitions to complement a series of music recitals in Churches in the Barnet area.
Michael has given talks on photography in Golders Green, Hendon, Hampstead, Isle of Wight, Warwick and St. Johns Wood including on Life in London and Life in Israel (both including a geographical overview of the locations) as well as on ‘People on the Move’ covering dance, culture, music and sport and photo-journalism. As a side issue to photography, Michael also assisted the Anthology Editorial Team of the Voices Israel Group of Poets in English.
I have had a number of articles published in the arts sections of the Jerusalem Post and Ma’ariv newspapers and contributed photography to Popular Science in Israel. I have contributed to articles on the Hampstead Photographic Society in the Ham & High and Camden New Journal. Along with another HPS member, I have also contributed to an article in the Isle of Wight County Press. Since September 2006, I have been editor of the Hampstead Photographic Society Newsletter.
I have been ‘runner-up’ on a number of occasions in the Hampstead Photographic Society internal competitions as well as winning the PDI Landscape of the Year Award 2014 and received a number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in the Friern Barnet Summer Show Photographic Competition plus the J C Tiplady Trophy for Best Image in the Show in 2006 and 2009. I have also received 2nd prize in an Isle of Wight Photographic Society Monochrome Class ‘A’ competition and in 2014 won the HPS PDI Landscape of the Year Trophy and runner up in the same category for the Isle of Wight PS.
In 2004, I helped set up and organize the Ventures Group of Songwriters, Poets, Artists and Photographers in Tel Aviv. The monthly meetings resulted in the combining of work to produce CD’s, postcards, calendars and other media. Although not on the committee, I have also helped out with the Hampstead Photographic Society with programming and publicity. I was also involved with the ‘on the day’ workings of the Frien Barnet Summer Show.