Check this out, it's a fast action slide show of all my flickr photos: vimeo.com/18229501
I started on flickr in January, 2006. It was love at first sight. I dove right in and have not looked back. It has been a life changing experience in a number of ways. For one, my life-long interest in photography has finally found the perfect outlet. Thanks to flickr, I get GREAT pleasure immersing my self into the world of photography. Also, the exposure my photos get online has brought valuable ($$) opportunities. (If you want to use a photo of mine just ask, based on the use, we can discuss the terms; email me, flickrmail me, or just call, see phone # below.) My computer, photographic, and internet techno-savvy has increased tremendously as well, thanks to flickr use.
The social networking:
I am amazed that through flickr, I have been able to make real friends, all across the globe. In the course of one day, I can be speaking to someone in Taiwan, Rio de Janeiro, South Dakota, the Bronx, Japan, the Persian Gulf, India, Australia, San Jose, San Diego, Trinidad, or in my own neighborhood (well, maybe not ALL those places in just one day, but you get the idea.) And I feel all the same kind of warmth, friendliness, support and closeness just like they were here in person. Although my favorite people to meet are my fellow Jehovah's Witnesses, I have made valuable contacts with many others as well.
Born and raised- Hicksville, Long Island, New York; Alfred University in upstate NY, Engineering degree. Lived in Sheffield, England during college, afterwards, near Fort Wayne, Indiana. Then to AOCS (Navy flight school) in Pensacola, Florida where I lived in a beach house in the middle of hurricane country. (That was exciting.) Two years there and two years on a San Diego based ship; I travelled to places near the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Australia, Korea, Philipines, and Japan. After the Navy I settled on a career, of all things, as a commercial hot air balloon pilot working the passenger tour ride business. Was married 10 years then divorced but I still do more than 50% of the raising of my dear 13 year old daughter Candace.
The meaning of life:
Have you ever wondered why we are here? If there is a God and if he is so loving and powerful, why do so many innocent people suffer; why there is so much injustice? Why is history full of supposedly peace-loving religious neighbors like Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Arabs, Shiites and Sunnis all killing each other often in the name of God? Where do you really go when you die? How to find true happiness?
Well, I HAVE wondered about these things, and it wasn't until well into my adult life, after needlessly beating my own head against the wall of life, that I found very satisfying, logical, reasonable answers to these questions. I realize this may be getting a bit heavy for some, so if you don't care about the above questions, please skip to the next section. If you do, I urge you to talk to Jehovah's Witnesses in your own neighborhood, they are active in 235 lands. They showed me the answers to these questions in my own bible, with a free, no obligation bible study in my own home. They empowered me, and encouraged me to study the bible on my own, to use all my own powers of reasoning and perception to see if I too would not be convinced. I kept waiting for the moment when they would expect something from me in return; I kept searching for the hypocrisy and corruption seemingly inherant in every human organization, but you know what? It never happened! And I never found any! So now I am one of Jehovah's witnesses too.
I admit they are not for eveyone. But if you REALLY care, and want to contribute to the greatest common good on our planet, look no further than the Witnesses.
There is no better way of life in which to raise my daughter. It is based on pure principled, agape love. That's the kind of love that means you show love to your neighbor even if you don't like them. Witnesses in any land refuse to join the military, yet they are good citizens who obey the authorities. Imagine if that was true of all people?
One last point: Einstein said, "We cannot solve the problems we created using the same level of thinking that created the problems in the first place. We must rise to a higher level of thinking." The witnesses have done this like no others because they live in harmony with the word of our loving creator Jehovah God. At the same time, they are your everyday, normal neighbors, coworkers, or schoolmates.
Prior Flickr profile blurb:
Outdoor adventure man, eye for beauty, passion for living, athlete, dedicated dad of 11 year old girl, Jehovah's Witness (lover of REAL bible truth), Jazz Dancer, Commercial hot air balloon pilot, Macintosh computer lover, snowboarder, Mountain climber,
- Project Weather 640,697 photos, 94,083 members
- 365+1 for 2012 (366 days) 13,839 photos, 182 members
- Los Angeles 223,981 photos, 11,093 members
- CLphoto 1,674 photos, 926 members
- *Magic EYE* 49,436 photos, 3,862 members
- Nikon Digital Learning Center 1,911,525 photos, 86,085 members
- BIKER LIFE ~ living and loving the lifestyle~ 125,250 photos, 8,372 members
- Photographers' Rights. 223 photos, 3,643 members
- Getty Images on Flickr 0 photos, 16,946 members
- ☆The Power Of Now ☆ 27,579 photos, 2,303 members
- "Keep on the Watch" District Conventions Worldwide 425 photos, 143 members
- JWs with Matching Outfit 74 photos, 93 members
- Best of Indonesia Photos 35,879 photos, 4,098 members
- SUP Stand Up Paddle Surfing 2,710 photos, 471 members
- Me, Right Now 1,426 photos, 903 members
- *Food-a-holiC* ~ post 1, awards 3 10,425 photos, 1,038 members
- Macros de Naturaleza - Macros of Nature (Post 1, comment 3) 154,931 photos, 8,619 members
- YT wallpapers and more 47 photos, 74 members
- iPhone Freaks 320,313 photos, 9,364 members
- Entrance to Hell 3,570 photos, 19,199 members
- San Diego Wildfires 2007 272 photos, 35 members
- Creative Photo Group_ BASIC (P1-C3) 566,779 photos, 30,485 members
- High Flying 2,324 photos, 275 members
- Horns and Antlers 4,883 photos, 349 members
- Câmera de Ouro Brasil (read the rules) 6,833 photos, 3,335 members
- Super Shots - Post 1 - Award 2 278,828 photos, 40,579 members
- JW Drama ( TJ Drama ) 758 photos, 198 members
- Special Hot Air Balloons 2,156 photos, 327 members
- 24 hours of Flickr 5,151 photos, 17,642 members
- WowieKazowie! 201,264 photos, 7,726 members
- Plain Text Feedback (Post 1, Comment any 3) 1,894 photos, 779 members
- Wind Turbines & Wind Farms 14,416 photos, 4,182 members
- Blue Ribbon PHOTOGRAPHY (INVITE ONLY) 283,262 photos, 41,871 members
- JW Conventions 661 photos, 129 members
- JW History 96 photos, 111 members
- Eucalypts, Angophoras and Corymbia 2,766 photos, 214 members
- Shield Of Excellence - Level 1 (p1/a3) 504,666 photos, 40,646 members
- flickr GOLD***invited images only pls*** 62,384 photos, 12,959 members
- Ave del paraiso (Bird of paradise) 2,225 photos, 227 members
- Jehovah's Witnesses in Flickr 6,515 photos, 575 members
- An Awesome Shot! Invited Photos ONLY!! 427,822 photos, 51,031 members
- Girls and Guitars 2,718 photos, 348 members
- San Diego Super Shooters 27,595 photos, 594 members
- InstantFave RULE:Add "InstantFave"<One Word TAG+read rules 59,945 photos, 7,010 members
- Nikon Coolpix S7c 70 photos, 20 members
- Spectacular Landscapes-invited images only :-) 13,772 photos, 7,978 members
- Outstanding Shots - Invite Only 21,270 photos, 8,472 members
- California Desert 37,042 photos, 3,084 members
- Amazing mountain landscape 13,591 photos, 641 members
- Stairway to Heaven 466 photos, 154 members
macarena moreno says:
"Hello! My dear brother just wanted to say that your pictures are so beautiful. It make me want to just jump in to them and experience the joy that you must of had while taking them. Thank you for letting me enjoy you beautiful work."
March 2nd, 2009
"When I first noticed Michael's profile back in my early Flickr days, I thought that he was an okay guy. But one day, I decided to look at his profile, so I noticed his number and I gave him a call one night to let him know who I was.
Over the months, our friendship has grown. We have had the chance to see each other at the 2008 "Guided By God's Spirit" District Convention. We have even got to hang out and do some cool stuff together.
The two things I appreciate about Michael, is his love for photography and his love for Jehovah God. No matter what the circumstances are, Michael never lets his secular priorities take over his spiritual duties. He is a kind and loving Christian brother that I will always enjoy hanging out with :-)!
Keep it up my brother your doing great!"
May 1st, 2009
"Beautiful! Great! Amazing! Stunning! Mesmerizing!
Those have been the words spontaneously popping into my mind ever since I started visiting Michael's stream.
I've seen an appealing display of love, passion and appreciation for the beauty of life given to us by our Heavenly Father, Jehovah.
Viewing the world through the eyes of this excellent photographer has been a surprising, uplifting and inspiring journey to me.
I could go on raving all that I love about Michael's photostream but best is for you to just go and take a look for yourself. I'm sure you will agree with me."
November 26th, 2008
"Finally i got a chance to meet my friend!!
He is a lot of fun and enthusiastic!
Thank you Michael for visiting me and my family. What a great time we had here with you.
Michael is one of my best friends on Flickr :-D
His enthusiasm and personal interest to many people are parts of his great personality. He's very friendly and he has big talent in photography. I love to see most of his pic, it seems so interesting. I showed it to my family too, and they said that he is very good in taking pix, and have a lot of beautiful pictures.
I met him online on flickr, and i hope i and my family can meet him too in real life. He's a very good friend, and brother in truth. He's just like a teacher for me too in some ways..
Thanks for being my friend Michael!!
Warm Christian love
October 24th, 2008
"This testimonial is a about two and a half years late but better late than never right? I have not been on Flickr since my balloon ride photos were up back in Feb. 06 and made my way back to the site after some family members posted pics of our recent trip to Seattle. In any case, I just wanted to take the time to say what a wonderful experience my fiance and I had with Michael on our flight. He made us feel totally comfortable and I would definitely recommend him to anybody thinking about taking a balloon ride. His great sense of humor and expert piloting skills made us feel very at ease. Thanks again =)"
September 10th, 2008
"When I first saw Michael’s balloon photography 2 years ago on Flickr, they blew me away! He's a remarkable photographer and is the same in person as he is online – down to earth, full of vitality, good-natured, optimistic and quick to commend others. :-) He's very much like a brother - it's a pleasure knowing him on Flickr and to have met him in person."
June 16th, 2008
"i was anticipating this was just the start of a genuine friendship with you mr. Slezak...
muchas gracias señor.."
February 11th, 2008
"A contact on Flickr whose work I admire, respect, and downright find inspirational.
I always appreciate his personal input on my work, and feel he has helped me to progress with my endeavors in photography with his encouraging comments.
I love seeing updates on his photostream, including the captions he puts with his photos posted describing what it took to get that particular shot, or whatever story goes behind it. It makes it come to life! (sometimes too real [i.e. piacho del diablo set] - that one scares me, lol)"
April 13th, 2008
Moody Mal says:
"Michael takes some of the most beautiful pictures on Flickr! Some of them are downright therapeutic. Take a look and you will be lifted into the air with balloons, rocking out with Candace's band, or just chilling out with nature! You will not be disappointed, go ahead...Take a look!"
September 1st, 2007
"After running into Michael's photostream, I was extremly impressed with the quality of photos. His balloon shots are the best that I have seen...ever! Each photo that is up on his photostream showcases the kind of quality of artwork he produces. Not only is Michael an amazing photographer, he is also one amazing person. I am very fortunate to have met Michael and experience his fun personality first hand. He is the nicest, most sincere, and most honest person you will ever 'run' into."
August 22nd, 2007
Ana Bel says:
"a person who loves to fly above the clouds (physically as well as mentally, sometimes), a person who seeks beauty in every aspect of his life. someone to always have a friendly word for you. someone who manages to capture all of these things in amazingly mind-blowing shots. thank you for you sharing your friendship (even though i didn't tell you i went to grand canyon) *g*"
August 15th, 2007
Captain Nandu Chitnis says:
"Mike is perhaps the most happening person/fotographer/friend on flickr.
He has shown us a world from above his balloon like no one else. Incredibly gifted professional, photographer and family man to the core. We in India respect family values enormously, as do many folks everywhere.
He has encourged/mentored so many wannbe flicker addicts. To many, like me, he is way beyond a friend. It's like he and his family are joined to my family at the hips!
Mike...mate...you simply rock!!!
Captain Nandu Chitnis
March 4th, 2007
"Michael may float above the clouds in his daily life, but personally I am very glad he comes back to earth each night to share his view with us terrestrial beings. His photography shows a keen insight into composition and color, two things I love. I am always pleased to find Michael's newest postings be they land based or from the clouds."
January 1st, 2007
"Thank you for the encouragement and for being the first to comment on my photos. Thank you, too, for the inspiration! I look forward to seeing all of your photos."
April 1st, 2006
RyanC Photography says:
"An extremely good photographer, never met him, but from his comments, a very nice guy and one of the smarter guys I've seen on flickr. His balloon shots will blow your mind.
Take a look"
April 16th, 2006
"I met Michael in the bottom of a canyon in Mexico. You can see from his pictures that he has a genuine interest in new things. He's a worldly person who is very fun to talk to...and boy can he navigate his way through the mountains!"
March 20th, 2006
Paula High (KE5DDZ) says:
"Michael is a talented person. I know what it takes to fly hot air balloons professionally (I did if for a short time) and it's hard work. Some days it can really take a lot of concentration and other days, everything just goes your way. In addition to that, while he's up there, he manages to grab great photos! What a guy! He has a terrific eye for a good photo. I'm glad to call him a friend. Soft Landings my friend, From New Mexico! ~~Paulena"
March 21st, 2006
Kris Kros says:
"I am fortunate enough to know Michael. Just recently, we met here through our pictures. But, boy oh boy, he is not just a friend to me. He is like a brother. I feel the joy and excitement when he garnered the top spot on Explore yesterday. I am very certain he has the natural talent needed to produce great pictures we will all love to see. He is certainly one dude that will be forever my dear friend and brother."
March 18th, 2006
- Michael J. Slezak (JW)
- January 2006
- grew up in Hicksville, L.I., NY
- San Diego, United States
- I am:
- Male and Single
- If you really want to get ahold of me and I've been out-of-touch online call me at (858) 922-6737
- ms4jah [at] me.com