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 honored as the International Landscape Photographer of the Year in the prestigious Pollux Awards (based in England). Photolucida (Portland, Oregon) has three times named him a Critical Mass Finalist, widely considered to be one of the most important portfolio competitions in the world. 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

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 11Grand 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 with circulation of 85,000 copies.
  • 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. Over 12,000 entries from 115 countries. 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 “Dinner Time” was selected for an online juried exhibition entitled “Rural Life.” Sydney, Australia.
  • Edge of Humanity Magazine – Ten images from the “Americana” series featured on contemporary documentary photography site. Pompano Beach, FL.  
  • Best of Photography 2017“After the Storm” 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, CA. August.
  • International Color Journal 7 Vol 1“Star Bright” was featured in the Americana section and “Great Blue Heron” was printed in the Wildlife section. 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 representing the best artwork from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri. Dubuque, IA. May 27 – August 20.    
  • Fluno Center Exhibition – Six images from the “Midwest Memoir” series were included in a group exhibition entitled “The Conservators” 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 online by online photography magazine. 
  • 10th Annual International Color Awards -- Nine images were nominated in three categories and two were named Honorable Mention winners -- “Star Light, Star Bright” in the Americana and “Great Blue Heron” in the Wildlife. 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 a juried exhibition 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 with circulation of 85,000.  
  • 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 images won Honorable Mention Awards. Beverly Hills, CA.
  • Photolucida Critical Mass Finalist -- The "Midwest Memoir" portfolio of ten images was named a Finalist in the Critical Mass international portfolio competition. 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 a hardcover coffee table book by Photographer’s Forum magazine. Santa Barbara, CA.
  • International Color Journal 6 Vol 1“State Fair” was featured as a full-color, double-page spread. London, UK.  
  • Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA) – Fourty-three images awarded in six different categories, including 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“Clothesline” was named a finalist for the 159th Annual International Print Exhibition. Bath, UK. 
  • La Grande Photo -- International Photographic Awards – Four images were recognized. Paris, France. 
  • Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) – “Sandhill Crane Dance” won 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 – Five photographs were nominated and “State Fair” won Honorable Mention. London, UK.
  • “Wings and Water” Exhibition -- “Sandhill Crane Dance” selected for juried exhibit at the River Arts Center. Prairie du Sac, WI. March 17 – May 11.
  • PhotoMidwest -- Group exhibit at the 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 (Eighth Edition) – 13 images were honored in three categories. Kent, UK.
  • FOCUS Photo la – The 25th Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition “Clothesline” exhibited at Photo Basel (Switzerland) and FOCUS Photo LA. Los Angeles, CA. January 21 – 24.
  • Monochrome Awards“Picket Fence” and “Angry Eagle” won Honorable Mention Awards. London, UK.

 2015

  •  “An Art Odyssey” Exhibition “Morning Fog” in group exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. West Bend, WI. 
  •  “Middleton: Beautiful by Nature” Exhibition – Duo exhibit at the Prairie Café and Bakery. Middleton, WI.
  • 8th Annual Pollux Awards – 13 photographs Runners Up or Finalists. Kent, UK. 
  • 10th Annual Black and White Spider Awards – Honor Roll distinction in the Fine Art category. 
  • Friends of Wisconsin State ParksFeatured in the 2016 Calendar for the month of October. Madison, WI.
  •  International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation) 2015 – Five "Forest Fog” images won Honorable Mention. Beverly Hills, CA. 
  • Best of Photography 2015 – “Stonehenge” in hardcover by Photographer’s Forum magazine. Santa Barbara, CA.
  • The Nature Conservancy -- Honorable Mention Award and Top 100 photographs selected in this international photography competition. Reston, VA. 
  • Dane Arts Calendar – Included in the 2016 calendar from Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission. Madison, WI. 
  • Royal Photographic Society 158th Annual International Print Exhibition –  Short-listed. Bath, UK.
  • Madison: The Good Life – Wrap-around cover plus 15 interior images published in a hardcover coffee table book written by Doug Moe. 
  • 7th Annual Pollux Awards – 23 photographs honored. Kent, UK.
  • “The Golden Hours” Exhibition – PhotoPlace Gallery. Middlebury, VT.
  • Belfast Photo Festival Exhibition -- The Andrews Gallery at Titanic Belfast. Belfast, Ireland.

  • Shire Hall Gallery, Great Hall, Stafford, England -- Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition. 

  • 8th Annual International Color Awards – Six photographs honored. 

  • FOCUS photo l.a. – The Icon, Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.
  • Monochrome Awards – Four photographs honored. London, UK. 
  • Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition – Royal Albert Hall, London, UK.
  • Photo la – The 24th Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition. Los Angeles, CA. 
2014
  • Lenscratch "Snow" Exhibition
  • 10th Annual International Photography Awards (Lucie Awards)
  • Neutral Density Photography Awards  
  • "Terroir" -- Solo exhibition
  • Banbury Museum -- Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition
  • Digital Camera World Magazine 
  • 9th Annual Black and White Spider Awards
  • National Geographic Magazine "Top Shot"
  • "Of Midwest, By Midwest" PhotoMidwest Festival 2014 Invitational Exhibition  
  • Aberystwyth Arts Centre -- Included in the Royal Photographic Society 157th Annual International Print Exhibition
  • Shadow and Light Magazine "Showcase"  
  • International Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography, Malaga, Spain 
  • 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. London, UK. 
  • Soho Photo 19th Annual National Exhibition 
  • IMAGE New Mexico – Matrix Fine Art. Albuquerque, NM 
  • EMERGING FOCUS Barcelona, Spain 
  • “Selected Works” – Solo exhibition, Madison, WI
  • “Around the World in 14 Days: How the Land Unites Us” – Four images included in an international exhibition of contemporary landscape photography. Pine Street Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 
  • Photography Masters Cup (7th Annual)
  • Midwest Prairie Review Magazine 
  • Pollux Awards (Sixth Edition) – York, UK. 
  • “Reflections: Madison” – Monona Terrace Convention Center. Madison, WI
  • Center for Photographic Art – Carmel, CA 

 Contact the artist for a full CV and/or Bio