About Michael Knapstein Photography


Michael Knapstein is a fine-art photographer who has earned international recognition for his insightful and nuanced visual exploration of the American Midwest. Based in Middleton, Wisconsin, his photographs have earned more than 350 national and international awards for work in both color and black and white. He was named International Landscape Photographer of the Year by the Barcelona Foto Biennale and Portfolio Photographer of the Year by the Moscow International Foto Awards. He also won Grand Prize in the prestigious Pollux Awards (based in England). Photolucida (Portland, Oregon) named him a Critical Mass Finalist four times. His photographs have also been widely published and exhibited through a variety of solo, juried and group exhibitions around the globe.

Knapstein's work has been recognized by a wide variety of organizations, including: American Advertising Federation, Camera USA (Naples, FL), Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO), Center for Photographic Art (Carmel, CA), Center for Photography at Madison, Chasing the Light, Exposure International (Modesto, CA), Grand Prix de la Couverte (Paris, France), Kemper InsuranceKodakLa Grande Photo International Photography Awards (Paris, France), LensCulture (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Moscow International Foto Awards (Moscow, Russia), Monochrome Awards (London, England), National Geographic, Nikon, Neutral Density Awards (London, England), Nutshell Magazine1X Photo Awards(Uppsala, Sweeden), Photolucida (Portland, Oregon), 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, SundanceSony World Photography Awards, 3M, The Nature ConservancyThe Pollux Awards (Kent, England), The Portfolio Project (New York), The Royal Photographic Society (Bath, England), Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts & LettersWhitness to Nature, Wisconsin News Photographers AssociationWisconsin 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

2020

  • San Francisco Bay International Photography Awards “Swing of Time” won Gold Award and Gallery Award (from  ACCI Gallery in Berkeley, CA).  San Francisco, CA. September.
  • LoosenArt “Home” Exhibition – Two photographs selected for international juried exhibition. Millepiani Gallery. Rome, Italy. August 7 – 17.
  • Moscow International Foto Awards – Named Portfolio Photographer of the Year. Gold for Portfolio Fine Art. Silver for Portfolio Personal. Silver for Portfolio Nature/Trees, Moscow, Russia. June.
  • Perspective Gallery “Mini Donuts” selected for regional juried exhibit at Perspective Gallery. Evanston, IL. July 2 – 26.
  • Black and White Magazine – Portfolio of 12 images won Merit Award. Ross, CA. May
  • All About Photo – Portfolio of 20 images featured on international online gallery. San Diego, CA. May.
  • Edge of Humanity Gallery – Portfolio of 10 images featured on international online gallery. Pompano Beach, FL. May
  • FotoNostrum Magazine – Interview and 15 images published in premier issue. Barcelona, Spain. May.
  • International Color Awards 13 Second Place and Honorable Mention winners in Americana category plus five finalists. Beverly Hills, CA. March.
  • “Monochrome” Exhibit“The Blacksmith” selected for an international juried exhibition. The Blank Wall Gallery. Athens, Greece. March 6 – 18.
  • Pollux Awards Exhibition – FotoNostrum Mediterranean House of Photography. Barcelona, Spain. March 4 – 29.
  • Wisconsin Artists Biennial -- “Hay Bale” selected for a statewide juried biennial exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. West Bend, Wisconsin.  January 25 – March 29.
 2019
  • Pollux Awards 14 – First Place Landscape Series. Honorable Mention in Fine Art, Documentary & Reportage and Culture & Daily Life. Kent, England. December.

  • Budapest International Foto Awards – Honorable Mention in Fine Art for 20-image portfolio. October 31.

  • Black and White Spider Awards 14 – Third Place (Honor of Distinction) in Fine Art. October 14.

  •  Photography Gala Awards Exhibition -- Portfolio exhibited at FotoNostrum Gallery, Barcelona, Spain. October 7 - 27.

  • San Francisco International Photography Competition – Gold Award. Exhibit at ACCI Gallery. Berkeley, CA. September 4 – 28.

  • Royal Photographic Society -- Six images named Finalists for RPS 162 Exhibition. Bristol, England. 

  • International Photography Awards -- Second Place and "USA Country Pick" for 10-image portfolio. Los Angeles, CA. 

  • Museum Collection -- Work acquired for the permanent collection of the Dubuque Museum of Art. Dubuque, IA.

  • Critical Mass Finalist -- Ten image portfolio named "Top 200" by Photolucida. Portland, Oregon. 

  • Chania International Photo Festival -- Exhibited in Chania, Crete (Greece). August 16 - 24.

  • Southeast Center for Photography – Two images selected for “Home” juried exhibition. Greenville, SC. July 5 – 27.

  • "14 Inspiring American Artists" -- Interview and image included in article on inspiring American Artists. 

  • Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) -- Eight Honorable Mention Awards for Fine Art Landscape. Paris, France. 

  • Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA) – Silver Award for Fine Art Landscape Series. 

  • Palm Springs Photo Festival – Finalist -- portfolio of 40 images presented at the Annenberg Theatre. Palm Springs, CA. May 6.

  • DuMA Biennial – Three images selected for regional juried exhibit. Dubuque Museum of Art. Dubuque, IA. May 18 – September 8.

  • Pollux 12 Award Winners Exhibition – Four images in international juried exhibition. Galeria Valid Foto BCN. Barcelona, Spain. May 8 – 25. 

  • Monochrome Exhibit – Three images chosen for international juried exhibit. Blank Wall Gallery. Athens, Greece. May 3 – 15.

  • Fine Art Photography Awards – Landscape Series (5 images) and People Series (5 images). London, England.

  • International Color Awards – Honorable Mention in Americana. Beverly Hills, CA. 

  • Gallery of Wisconsin Art – Eight photographs in “Image 9” exhibit. West Bend, WI. March 2 – April 26.

  • Black and White Magazine – “Looking Back – Looking Forward” contest winner. Published in issue #132.Ross, CA.

  • FOCUS Photo LA – The 28th Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition – Top 20 images. Barker Hangar Gallery. Santa Monica, CA. January 31 – February 3.

  • One  Eyeland Awards – Series in Fine Art Landscape, Fine Art Other and Nature/Seasons. Chennai, India. 

  • Digital Photo Magazine– Black and White contest winner. Braintree, MA. .

  • Dodho Magazine – story and 20 photographs printed in international photography magazine. Barcelona, Spain. January 8.

  • Tokyo International Foto Awards (TIFA) – Bronze Award and USA "Country Pick" for 20-image Fine Art Portfolio. Tokyo, Japan.  

  2018

  • Barcelona Foto Biennale – Named the International Landscape Photographer of the Year -- images featured in the 5th Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography at Space Nau Bostik, Barcelona, Spain. October 4 – 21.
  • Lucie Foundation International Photography Awards – Second Place for 4-image series. Los Angeles, CA. October.
  • Double Vision: Seasons of Change – Nine images in main gallery at the Lowell Center, Madison, Wisconsin. September 5 – October 31.
  • Rangefinder Magazine Fine Art Photography Winner – Six image portfolio selected as a winner in an international competition. Featured in September magazine and exhibit at Fujifilm Gallery on Fifth Ave. New York, NY. September 18.
  • PhotoMidwest Festival Biennial Exhibition “After the Storm” exhibited in Gallery One at the Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, Wisconsin. September 7 – December 12.
  • Photolucida Critical Mass 2018 Finalist – The “Midwest Memoir” portfolio of 10 images was named a Finalist in Critical Mass 2018, widely considered to be one of the most important photography portfolio competitions in the world. Portland, Oregon. August.
  • Wisconsin Photography 2018 – Three images selected for a statewide juried biennial exhibit organized by the Racine Art Museum. Exhibited at the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Art. Racine, Wisconsin. August 26 – November 24.
  • Black and White Magazine – A 12-image portfolio won Merit Award in the 2018 Portfolio Competition. Four of the images were published in Issue 128. August.
  • Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) – A series of five “American Midwest” images won Honorable Mention for Fine Art Landscape Series. Paris, France. June.
  • Wisconsin’s Great Waters Photography Contest – “Dawn at Cave Point” won First Place and is featured as the month of May in the 2019 Calendar. June.
  • “Art in the Heart of RUH” -- Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 160 --“Forest Fog” exhibited at the Royal United Hospital. Bath, England. June 20 – September 26.
  • Portfolio ShowCase 11 Exhibition – Images selected among the Top 10 portfolios in the world by the Center for Fine Art Photography. The Carnegie Center for Creativity Gallery. Fort Collins, Colorado. June 13 – July 7.
  • Moscow International Fotography Awards -- 20 "Midwest Memoir" images won the Silver Award for Fine Art Portfolio. Moscow, Russia. May. 
  • Tokyo International Foto Awards Winners Exhibition – Eight images presented at the ICA Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. May 12-16.
  • Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 160 --“Forest Fog” exhibited at the Chapel Gallery in Ormskirk, Lancashire, UK. March 17 – April 14.
  • The Pollux Awards 11 – Grand Prize Winner (overall First Place), First Place in Documentary/Reportage, People and Nature categories plus Second Place in Fine Art, Landscape and Wildlife categories . Kent, England. March 15. 
  • Graine de Photographe Feature – This French photography publication featured an interview with me plus 15 images on their blog, website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. March 15. 
  • International Color Awards 11 – Eight photographs won in six categories, including Honor of Distinction (Third Place) in Americana and Wildlife. March 10.
  • Adore Noir Magazine Feature -- My "Midwest Memoir" portfolio was showcased in a 15-page feature story and interview in Issue 42 of Adore Noir magazine. Vancouver, Canada. February 10.
  • The Center for Fine Art Photography Portfolio ShowCase 11 – Portfolio of 12 images selected as Top 10 created by artists from around the world. Fort Collins, CO. February.
  • Wisconsin Artists Biennial 2018 -- “After the Storm” selected for a juried biennial exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. West Bend, Wisconsin.  February 3 – April 8.
  • Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 160 -- “Forest Fog” exhibited at the Aberystwyth Arts Center in Wales. January 27 – March 10.
  • "Feature Shoot" Feature – Interview and 14 images from the “Midwest Memoir” portfolio featured in this leading international publication from Sydney, Australia. January 16.

2017

  • Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 160“Forest Fog” was selected as one of only 100 photographs to be included in the 160th Annual International Photography Exhibition. Exhibit opened in London then toured Great Britain. London, UK. 
  • Moscow International Fotography Awards (MIFA) – 10 images won awards in three different categories.“Sedona Series” won First Place (Gold) in Fine Art Landscape. “Blizzard Oak” won Second Place in Nature Seasons. And “Snow Owl” won Second Place in Nature Wildlife. Moscow, Russia. 
  • Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) – A series of five “Midwest Memoir” images won Third Place in Nature/Landscape. “Wawanissee Point” won Honorable Mention. Paris, France. 
  • Friends of Wisconsin State Parks – “Winter Oak” featured in 2018 Calendar.
  • 12th Annual Black and White Spider Awards“After the Storm” won Honorable Mention in the Fine Art Nature. “Blizzard Oak” nominated in the same category. London, UK. 
  • Lucie International Photography Awards -- A five-image “Midwest Memoir” portfolio won Honorable Mention in Nature/Landscape.Los Angeles, CA. 
  • Pollux Awards International Exhibition – Five images from the “Midwest Memoir” series exhibited at Galeria Valid Foto BCN. Barcelona, Spain. September 18 – 29.
  • Photolucida Critical Mass 2017 Finalist – The “Midwest Memoir” portfolio of 10 images was named a Finalist in  Critical Mass 2017. Portland, OR. 
  • Feature Shoot Magazine – Selected for juried exhibition entitled “Rural Life.” Sydney, Australia.
  • Edge of Humanity Magazine – Ten images from the “Americana” series featured. Pompano Beach, FL.  
  • Best of Photography 2017“After the Storm” was selected for book published by Photographer’s Forum magazine. Santa Barbara, CA. August.
  • International Color Journal 7 Vol 1 – Featured in the Americana and Wildlife sections. London, UK. August.
  • The WPGA Pollux Awards (10th Annual) – Five images from the “Midwest Memoir” portfolio were named the First Place Winner in Landscape and Honorable Mention in the Documentary. Kent, UK. 
  • Royal Photographic Society “After the Storm” and “Forest Fog” Finalists for the 160th Annual International Print Exhibition. Bath, UK. 
  • Soho Photo Gallery 2017 National Competition and Exhibition “After the Storm” selected by juror Aline Smithson as one of 40 photographs exhibited. New York City. July 5 – 22.  
  • Dubuque Museum of Art 2017 Biennial “Clothesline” and “Blizzard Oak” were selected for this five-state exhibition. Dubuque, IA. May 27 – August 20.    
  • Fluno Center Exhibition – Six images from the “Midwest Memoir” in at the Fluno Center. Madison, WI. May 1 – June 30.
  • Charles Dodgson Black & White Awards – Five images from the “Midwest Memoir” series won Second Place Landscape/Seascape. “Winterscape” won Honorable Mention. York, UK.
  • The Print Swap from Feature Shoot – Two images from the “Midwest Memoir” portfolio selected for The Print Swap initiative. 
  • Mother F Stop – Twenty-five images from the “Midwest Memoir” portfolio were featured by online photography magazine. 
  • 10th Annual International Color Awards -- Nine images were nominated in three categories and two were named Honorable Mention winners. London, UK. 
  • PhotoMidwest Exhibit “Forest Fog” exhibited at the UW Hospital. Madison, WI. March 4 – April 1.

2016

  • “Trees” International Juried Exhibit – Juror Michael Kenna selected “Forest Fog” for exhibit at the A. Smith Gallery. Johnson City, TX. Dec. 16, 2016 - Jan. 29, 2017.
  • MIFA Exhibit in Crimea – “Picket Fence” exhibited at the Franco Crimean Republican Scientific Library in Simferopol City, Crimea. Dec. 13, 2016 - Jan. 10, 2017. 
  • The WPGA Pollux Awards – Five images from the “Midwest Memoir” portfolio were honored in the Documentary category. Kent, UK. 
  • 11th Annual Black and White Spider Awards – Seven photographs recognized. London, UK. 
  • National Historic Preservation Act 50th Anniversary Photo Contest – “Canal Seed and Feed” – selected as one of the Top 50 Winners. 
  • Friends of Wisconsin State Parks – Two images in the 2017 Calendar.  
  • 8th Annual PhotoVisa  International Festival of Photography “Picket Fence” exhibited at the Novorossiysk State Historical Museum. Novorossiysk, Russia. October 20 – 30.
  • 4th International Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography Exhibition – Five images exhibited at the Palazzo Italia (Romischer Hof), Unter den Linden. Berlin, Germany. October 4 - 29.
  • International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation) 12th Annual – Five Honorable Mention Awards. Beverly Hills, CA.
  • Photolucida Critical Mass Finalist -- The "Midwest Memoir" portfolio of ten images was named a Finalist. Portland, OR.
  • LensCulture CONNECT International Juried Exhibition -- “Clothesline” was selected for an international juried exhibition. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 
  • Best of Photography 2016 “Before the Storm” featured in book by Photographer’s Forum magazine. Santa Barbara, CA.
  • International Color Journal 6 Vol 1 –  Double-page spread. London, UK.  
  • Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA) – 2nd Place for Portfolio and 2nd Place for Fine Art Portfolio. Ten images exhibited at the Art Gallery Na Kashirke in Moscow from July 20 – August 7.
  • Royal Photographic Society – Finalist for the 159th Annual International Print Exhibition. Bath, UK. 
  • La Grande Photo -- International Photographic Awards – Four images. Paris, France. 
  • Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) – Honorable Mention. Paris, France. 
  • Wisconsin Triennial 2016 Finalist -- Chosen as one of 95 Finalists for the Wisconsin Triennial 2016 exhibit at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Madison, WI.  
  • 9th Annual International Color Awards – London, UK.
  • “Wings and Water” Exhibition -- River Arts Center. Prairie du Sac, WI. March 17 – May 11.
  • PhotoMidwest -- UW Hospital galleries. Madison, WI. March 5 – April 2.
  • “After the End of the World: Memories of Popular Culture” Exhibition -- Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI. March 3 – April 25.
  • The WPGA Pollux Awards – 13 images were honored in three categories. Kent, UK.
  • FOCUS Photo la – The 25th Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition – Los Angeles, CA. January 21 – 24.
  • Monochrome Awards – London, UK.