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
Outside the club, Michael has had a number of one-man exhibitions in Barnet, Hendon, North 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 six images in a group exhibition currently 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, Warwick and St. Johns Wood and has already taken on bookings for talks for 2011 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 is also assisting the Anthology Editorial Team of the Voices Israel Group of Poets in English.