About Michael Knapstein

Michael Knapstein is a fine-art photographer based in Middleton, Wisconsin. His photographs have earned more than 200 national and international awards for work in both color and black and white. He was recently named the International Landscape and Seascape Photographer of the Year in the prestigious Pollux Awards (based on England). His photographs have also been widely published and exhibited through a variety of solo, juried and group exhibitions around the world.


Knapstein's work has been recognized by a wide variety of organizations, including: American Advertising Federation, Camera USA, Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO), Center for Photographic Art (Carmel, CA), Center for Photography Madison, Chasing the Light, Exposure International (Modesto, CA), Grand Prix de la Couverte (Paris, France), Kemper Insurance, Kodak, Monochrome Awards (London, England), National Geographic, Nikon, Neutral Density Awards (London, England), Nutshell Magazine, 1X Photo Awards (Uppsala, Sweeden), Photography Masters Cup (London, England), Photographic Society of America, PhotoMidwest, PhotoPlace Open (VT), Prix de la Photographie Paris -- PX3 (Paris, France), Shadow and Light Magazine, Sundance, Sony World Photography Awards, 3M, The Nature Conservancy, The Pollux Awards (Kent, England), The Portfolio Project (New York), The Royal Photographic Society (Bath, England), Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts & Letters, Whitness to Nature, Wisconsin News Photographers Association, Wisconsin Trails Magazine, World Photography Festival (London, England), World Photography Organisation (London, England) and the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards (Kent, England).


His photographs are also included in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography (Rochester, NY) and Nikon House (New York, NY), in addition to numerous corporate and private collections.

Recent Award and Exhibition Highlights


  • Friends of Wisconsin State Parks“Pewit’s Nest” was selected as one of 12 award winners in their annual photography contest. The image is featured in their 2016 Calendar for the month of October. Madison, Wisconsin. November, 2015.
  •  International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation) 2015 – Five images in a series entitled “Forest Fog” received Honorable Mention Awards in the Nature: Trees category. The competition received 17,841 entries from 230 countries. Beverly Hills, California. October, 2015.
  • Best of Photography 2015 – “Stonehenge” was selected for inclusion in a hardcover coffee table book published by Photographer’s Forum magazine. Selected from among more than 10,000 entries from 74 countries. Santa Barbara, California. September, 2015.
  • The Nature Conservancy -- “Ghost of the North” received an Honorable Mention Award and was one of the Top 100 photographs selected in this international photography competition. Reston, Virginia. September, 2015.
  • Dane Arts Calendar“Capitol Dome” was selected for inclusion in the 2016 calendar published by the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission. Madison, Wisconsin.  Madison, Wisconsin. August, 2015.
  • Royal Photographic Society 158th Annual International Print Exhibition – “Wawanissee Point” was short-listed as one of the top 400 photographs considered for the world’s oldest photography exhibition. Bath, England. July, 2015.
  • Madison: The Good Life – 15 images were selected for inclusion in a hardcover coffee table book written by Doug Moe and published by Cityscapes Books. One image was used on the wrap-around cover. Other images were featured as double-page spreads and single pages. Brookline, Massachusetts. July, 2015.
  • 7th Annual Pollux Awards – 23 photographs were named Runners Up or Finalists in the Fine Art, Landscape and Seascape, Animals and Wildlife, Nature, Still Life and Abstractions and My Town Backyard categories. This international competition is orchestrated by the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, based in Kent, England. June, 2015.
  • “The Golden Hours” Exhibition – “Dawn at Wawanissee Point” was selected by famous photographer and juror Eddie Soloway for inclusion in an international exhibit at the PhotoPlace Gallery. Middlebury, Vermont. June 2 – 26, 2015.
  • Belfast Photo Festival Exhibition -- “December Fog” exhibited as part of the Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition, where it was one of the Top 100 photographs selected from around the world.  The Andrews Gallery at Titanic Belfast.  May 19 – June 16, 2015.

  • Shire Hall Gallery, Great Hall, Stafford, England -- Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition -- Included among the top 100 photographs in the world selected by the world's oldest photography organization. Stafford ST162LD, England. March 14 - May 10, 2015.

  • 8th Annual International Color Awards – Six photographs received Honorable Mention Awards or were nominated in Nature, Wildlife, Abstract and Americana categories. Chosen from among more than 7,300 photographs from 79 countries. Beverly Hills, California. April, 2015.

  • FOCUS photo l.a. – One photo included in an exhibit at The Icon, Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California. April 25, 2015.
  • Monochrome Awards – Four photographs received Honorable Mention Awards in the International Black and White Photography Contest which received 7,000 entries from 86 countries. Three photographs were in the Landscape category and one was recognized in the Fine Art category. London, England. February, 2015.
  • Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition – “December Fog” exhibited as one of the 100 photographs selected from around the world. Royal Albert Hall, London, England. January 16 – February 16, 2015.
  • Photo la – The 24th Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition – “Picket Fence” exhibited as part of the Emerging Focus exhibit located at The Reef in the LA Mart. Los Angeles, California. January 15 – 18, 2015.

  • Lenscratch "Snow" Exhibition -- Included in online gallery. December, 2014.
  • 10th Annual International Photography Awards (Lucie Awards) -- A series of five images received Honorable Mention Awards in both the Fine Art Landscape and Nature Landscape categories. Selected from among more than 27,000 entries from 104 countries. Los Angeles, California. November, 2014.
  • Neutral Density Photography Awards -- A series of five images received Honorable Mention Awards in the Fine Art Landscape category. Selected from thousands of images submitted from 74 countries. London, England. November, 2014.  
  • "Terroir" -- Solo exhibition at the Cambridge Winery Madison Tasting Room. Madison, Wisconsin. November 22, 2014.
  • Banbury Museum -- Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition in conjunction with the Oxford University Museum. Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK. November 22, 2014 - January 10, 2015. 
  • Digital Camera World Magazine -- Featured as a "Hot Shot" in the November issue of the leading photography magazine published in the United Kingdom. October, 2014.
  • 9th Annual Black and White Spider Awards -- Received Honor Roll distiction in the nature category of one of the world's largest black and white photography competitions. The competition attracted nearly 10,000 entrants from 75 countires. London, England. October, 2014.
  • National Geographic Magazine "Top Shot" -- Received the most votes in an online competition to be named the "Top Shot" after initially being selected as one of the "Daily Dozen" best images by a National Geographic photography editor. September, 2014.
  • "Of Midwest, By Midwest" PhotoMidwest Festival 2014 Invitational Exhibition -- Selected by juror Wall Mason as one of 42 images in this national exhibition. Exhibited at the Overture Center for the Arts. Madison, Wisconsin. September 16 - November 30, 2014. 
  • Aberystwyth Arts Centre -- Included in the Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition. Aberystwyth, Wales, UK. September 6 - November 8, 2014.
  • Shadow and Light Magazine "Showcase" -- Selected by Editor Timothy Anderson to be featured as a full-page Showcase Image in this photography magazine published in Albuquerque, New Mexico. September, 2014. 
  • International Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography – Four images selected for a juried exhibition organized by the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards. Exhibit held at the Municipal Heritage Museum. Malaga, Spain.  September 18 – November 9, 2014.
  • Royal Photographic Society 157th International Print Exhibition – Selected as one of only 100 photographs to be exhibited in the world’s oldest photography competition. Selected from more than 7,000 entries from 72 countries. Exhibit opens at the Berkley Gallery in London’s Greenwich Centre and then moves to other locations including Royal Albert Hall.  London, England. August 1 – 28, 2014.
  • Soho Photo 19th Annual National Exhibition -- Selected by juror Ariel Meyerowitz for inclusion in the 2014 Soho Photo Gallery National Competition and Exhibition. One of only 40 images selected from more than 2200 entries. New York, New York. July 1 – 26, 2014.
  • IMAGE New Mexico – Selected by jurors Allegra Wilde (Eyeist), Regina Held (Matrix Fine Art) and Tim Anderson (Cygnet Press) for this international juried exhibition held at Matrix Fine Art in the historic Nob Hill area on old Route 66. Albuquerque, New Mexico. July 1 – 31, 2014. 
  • EMERGING FOCUS Barcelona – Selected by a group of prominent jurors from Spain and the US as one of the Top 20 photographs in an international competition to be exhibited at the Appart Showroom Gallery. Barcelona, Spain. June 20 – July 25, 2014.
  • “Selected Works” – Ten images in a solo exhibition in the Capitol Lakes Plaza Gallery. Madison, Wisconsin. June 6 – July 31, 2014.
  • “Around the World in 14 Days: How the Land Unites Us” – Four images selected by jurors Dawne Fahey (FIER Institute) and Sandy Edwards (curator at Stills Gallery) as the only photographs from the United States included in an international exhibition of contemporary landscape photography. Exhibited during the Head On Photo Festival, the largest festival in Australia and second largest in the world. Exhibited at the Pine Street Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia. May 12 – June 8, 2014.
  • Photography Masters Cup (7th Annual) – Three images recognized in this leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. Selected from among more than 7,400 images from 79 countries. May, 2014.
  • Midwest Prairie Review Magazine – Three images selected for publication in this literary and art anthology, including one image featured on the front cover. April, 2014.
  • Pollux Awards (Sixth Edition) – Four images recognized by this British-based international group (three color landscape and one black and white fine art).  York, United Kingdom. February, 2014.
  • “Reflections: Madison” – Seven images selected by juror David Wells for a photography exhibition held during the reopening of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Madison, Wisconsin. February – September, 2014.
  • Center for Photographic Art – Selected by juror Diana Daniels (Curator of Contemporary Art at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA) for the 2014 Juried Exhibition from among more than 1,000 entries. Carmel, California. January, 2014.


  • Contemporary Landscape Photography: An International Perspective -- Chosen as one of only 41 photographers selected from around the world for a juried exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art. Oceanside, California. November 2013 - March, 2014.
  • International Photography Awards 2013 -- Seven images received Honorable Mention Awards in the Seasons, Nature and Panoramic categories. Selected from among 18,000 entires from 104 countries. October, 2013.
  • New York Center for Photographic Art "Rural Impressions" Exhibition -- Named Grand Prize Winner by juror Aline Smithson. Exhibited at the SoHo Gallery of Digital Art in NYC. September, 2013.
  • Grand Prix de la Couverte International Fine Art Photography Competition -- Received Juror Award of Merit in the Landscape/Seascape category from among more than 5,000 entries. Paris, France. August, 2013.
  • Worldwide Photography Gala Awards Black and White Competition (3rd Annual) – One image received First Place in the Rural Landscape Category and will be exhibited in Buenos Aries, Argentina. Selected from among 1,673 entries from 47 countries. York, United Kingdom, June, 2013. 
  • “The Romantic Landscape” International Juried Exhibition – One image received 1st Place and a $1,000 cash award while a second image received Honorable Mention in this competition from the FIER Institute. Sydney, Australia, June, 2013.
  • Best of Photography 2013 -- One image selected for inclusion in a hardcover coffee-table book published by Photographer's Forum Magazine and Sigma.
  • Pollux Awards (4th Annual) – Named “Landscape and Seascape Photographer of the Year” in a competition that received more than 2,900 entries from 42 countries. York, England, May, 2013.
  • Michael H. Kellicutt International Photo Show – Through a Lens: Ten – one image chosen from among more than 1,900 entries from 29 countries for display at the Coastal Arts League Museum. Half Moon Bay, California, May, 2013.                  
  • Black Box Gallery “Shades of Gray” International Juried Exhibition – one image selected for exhibition. Portland, Oregon, March, 2013. 
  • International Color Awards, Photography Masters Cup (6th Annual) – seven images recognized in three categories, including Honorable Mention in the Nature category. The International Color Awards received more than 8,500 entries from 86 countries. London, England, February, 2013. 
  • New York Center for Photographic Art International “Seasons” Exhibition -- one image received an Honorable Mention. New York City, February, 2013. 
  • Coalition of Photographic Arts (CoPA) 6th Annual Midwest Juried Exhibition  -- one image received Honorable Mention and one of only  five cash awards. Exhibited at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January, 2013.


  • Royal Photographic Society 155th International Print Exhibition – one image selected in the world’s oldest photography competition to be among the 123 prints to be exhibited in an international touring exhibition. One of only five photographs selected from the USA from among more than 2,800 submissions. Exhibited at the Allen & Overy Gallery, One Bishops Square. London, England. Exhibit toured internationally from July, 2012 through May, 2013.
  • The Lucie Foundation’s Tenth Annual International Photography Awards (IPA) – The “Sky Light” series of five photographs received an Honorable Mention Award in the Fine-Art Landscape Category. The competition reviewed more than 18.000 entries from104 countries. September, 2012.
  • Les Rencontres d’Arles 2012 International Photography Festival – one image selected to be exhibited in an installation at Galerie Huit Open Salon Vernissage.  With a 40+ year history, the photo festival at Arles is considered one of the most important in the world and attracts more than 80,000 visitors. Arles, France, July, 2012.  
  • Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) 6th Annual – received Honorable Mention Award in the Fine Art/Landscape category. Paris, France, August, 2012.
  • 7th Annual Spider Awards International Black and White – one image received Honor Roll distinction in one of the world’s largest black and white photography competitions. In 2012 the competition attracted entrants from more than 150 countries. London, England, June, 2012.
  • Camera USA: National Photography Award 2012 – one image selected to be among 50 images exhibited at the Frederick O. Watson Gallery in the von Liebig Art Center. Juried by Bradly Dever Treadaway from the International Center of Photography in New York City. Naples, Florida, June - August, 2012.
  • Monochromatic Exhibition – Two images selected by juror Rafal Maleszyk (famous Polish landscape photographer now living in Hawaii) for exhibit at the Darkroom Gallery. Essex Junction, Vermont, February, 2012.
  • Center for Photographic Art 2012 Juried Exhibition – two images selected for exhibition by the oldest photography organization in the United States (originally founded by Ansel Adams). Only 41 images selected from among nearly 1,400 entries. Juried by Brian Taylor (Art Department Chair, San Jose State University) and Bryan Yedinak (Gallery Director, Modernbook Gallery, San Francisco). Exhibited at the Sunset Center Gallery. Carmel, California, January through March, 2012.
  • Photographer’s Forum 32nd Annual Photography Contest – one image received an Award of Excellence and Honorable Mention winner from among more than 12,000 entries from 60 countries. Also published in Best of Photography 2012 hardcover book and online gallery. Santa Barbara, California. August, 2012
  • Black + White Photographer of the Year (BPOTY) in England selected a series of three images plus two solo images as finalists in their 2012 photo competition sponsored by Leica. September, 2012.
  • 2012 PhotoMidwest: Seven-State Juried Exhibit. Two images were selected by juror Same Abell (National Geographic) for exhibition at the Porter Butts Gallery at the University of Wisconsin. September – October, 2012.


  •  Black and White Exhibition – Two imagesselected for an international juried exhibition and received the prestigious “Curator’s Award for Best Artist.” Linus Gallery, Long Beach, California, December, 2011.
  • “A Thousand Words” Exhibition – three images selected by juror David Wells (Curator, Edenfred) for a traveling exhibit supporting a theatrical production based on famous depression-era photographer Walker Evans. Exhibited at the Sundance Cinema, UW Madison Continuing Studies Building and the Overture Center Gallery II. Madison, Wisconsin, December, 2011.
  • Devil’s Lake State Park Centennial Photo Contest – won two First Place awards in “Vistas & Landscapes” and “Activities” categories. Only photographer to win multiple First Place Awards. Baraboo, Wisconsin, October, 2011.
  • 1X Photo Awards 2011 – Four images named finalists in this international photography competition. Uppsala, Sweden, October, 2011.
  • International Color Awards Photography Masters Cup – one image nominated in the Still Life category of one of the world’s largest competitions for color photography (attracting more than 13,000 entries). London, England, October, 2011.
  • Witness to Nature Photo Contest – one image received a Merit Award in this international competition sponsored by Encyclopedia Britannica. Chicago, Illinois, 2011.
  • Photographer’s Forum 31st Annual Photography Contest – one image selected as a finalist and Honorable Mention winner from among more than 14,000 entries from 92 countries. Also published in Best of Photography 2011 hardcover book and online gallery. Santa Barbara, California. August, 2011
  • Art of Photography Show 2011 – one image selected to be among 109 winners from more than 15,000 entries from 74 countries. Also named a cash prize “special award winner” and Honorable Mention award winner by juror Anne Lyden from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Exhibited at the Lyceum Theatre Gallery. San Diego, California, August, 2011.
  • Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) – Europe’s largest and most prestigious photography competition. Received seven Silver Medal awards and one “special selection” by international jurors selected from among more than 4,000 entries from 72 countries. Exhibited at Espace Dupon. Paris, France, June, 2011.
  • Camera USA: National Photography Award 2011 – one image selected to be among 50 images exhibited at the Frederick O. Watson Gallery in the von Liebig Art Center. Juried by famous British photographer Sir Harry Benson. Naples, Florida, May through August, 2011.
  • Sony World Photography Awards (World Photography Organisation, London, England) – one image recognized as one of the Top 50 landscape images in the world from among more than 58,000 entries. The photo was published in a hardcover book and also featured in an exhibit at the Embankment Gallery at Somerset House during the World Photography Festival. London, England, April through May, 2011.
  • The WPGA Annual Pollux Awards – four images were selected as finalists, plus one image and one five-image portfolio were named Honorable Mention award winners from among 18,912 entries from 65 countries. Juried by Philip Brookman, Chief Curator and Head of Research, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Exhibited at the Palais de Glace. Buenos Aires, Argentina, March, 2011.
  • “Simplicity” Exhibition – two images selected by juror Robert Hecht (San Rafael, CA) as two of 49 winners selected from among 571 images submitted. Exhibited at the Smith Gallery. Johnson City, Texas, February through April, 2011. 
  • Chasing the Light: The Avian Persona – one image selected by jurors Tom and Therisa Stack (Florida-based National Geographic photographers) to be among 25 winning images exhibited online and promoted through a mailing to more than 1,200 photo editors and art directors. February, 2011.
  • “Branch, Leaf, Blossom” Exhibition – one imageselected by juror William Guion (Texas) for exhibition at The Steinhauer Trust Gallery at the UW Arboretum. Madison, Wisconsin, January, 2011.