Greetings, my name is Mike Hartley and thank you for stopping by. I hope you find or have found something here that moves you in some way or inspires thought or illicit’s emotion. And if you do, thank you also for your comments, likes or just taking the time to view my postings. The photo below is probably the only one you will see on this site not shot by myself. I don’t like taking pictures of myself.
Threw Mikes Eyez is a company started to share my creative side (for better or worse) and hope that in time, I can develop this into my next career after my life in the Newspaper Publishing industry comes to an end. I’m privileged to have worked with many talented people over the decades. From artist, writers, photographers and other craftsmen of the industry. This has shown me many things and forged some of my principles here.
For instance I believe in a more photo-journalistic approach to photography. For instance at this time I don’t own Lightroom or Photoshop. Most of the images you see might have some cropping or overall tonal adjustment but no manipulation of the subject matter. If I do that I’ll label it a photo illustration.
I became interested in photography at a young age and had hopes in my early years to make it a career but after getting a job at a local newspaper publisher while in my first year of college I decided that earning a living as a reproduction photographer was more important than becoming an Art and Design major/graduate. So I dropped out of school in my first year and continued work in the Engraving department. I think I’ve had just about every job possible in a Newspaper over the decades. Though the one job you associate with newspapers (writer/editor) I’ve spent the least amount of time in my career doing. I’ve been a publisher, salesman, pressman, engraver, photographer, paperboy, insert-er, layout, designer, classified caller, clamp truck operator, writer, marketer. But most of all I’ve worked on the technology side. From the publishing and computer systems that came in and changed how a paper was made in the 70’s and 80’s to the present day where we have gone from publishing once a day to a 24/7 format online.
And while the industry seems to be in its death throes and is urgently recreating itself for new delivery vehicles and trying to find a new financial model that will sustain them into the future, I look back and can say I’ve been very glad to be along for the ride for 4 decades, (not counting my paper delivery days as youngster). I’ve worked for the small, medium and large newspaper publishers. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages which I’ll go on endlessly about someday.
I’m glad my work in newspapers continues to be valuable to them today and I hope till my retirement age, for I have enjoyed the work I must admit. And when you’re enjoying work and getting paid for it there are few better things professionally. But that one better thing has also been part of my career. The PEOPLE. I would list them here but I also know many people value their privacy and will honor that here. But I have made lifelong friends from my work in Newspapers. I’ve seen levels of honesty, integrity, courage, effort, knowledge, artistic skill and business knowledge that are wonders to behold.
Personally I’m blessed to have been married to my wife Patti for 36 years now. We have two wonderful children and have had many wonderful pets. I’m working on a book for my children so I’m not going to go on about how great they are and how much I love them but I’d love to.
I’m a proud kidney cancer survivor. I say that because so many voices can’t. I was blessed to have good doctors who caught it early and were able to surgically take care of it. And one of those voices who can’t was a friend I was working with when he came down with the same type of cancer I had a year after mine was found. Unfortunately his was much further along and he was gone in a year. This is one selfie I’m glad I took, I use it as a reality check when I’m feeling down as a reminder that it’s still good to be here. So get checked early for anything that is ailing you. And if you can, donate to one of the cancer organizations or hospitals working on this disease.
And update to this cancer thing. Got a second cancer and again with doctors help I’m still kicking and loving life. This one was a much harder fight. But it gave me that renewed appreciation for life I hope to never lose again.
I’m privileged to have had supportive parents and friends in my lifetime. And I feel privileged to have the opportunity to start my own company.
My hope here is to share some of my writings, photography, artwork, video and observations of life along the way.
That is if I’m not out fishing.