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Michael Knapstein
Michael Knapstein
Michael Knapstein

Michael Knapstein

Country: United States
Birth: 1956

Michael Knapstein (born 1956, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA) is a fine-art photographer who has earned international recognition for his insightful and nuanced visual exploration of the American Midwest. He now lives in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Michael's photographs began attracting national attention while still in high school. At the age of 17, his work earned its way into the permanent collection of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. After graduating from the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Knapstein began a 30+ year career in the world of advertising. He sold his ad agency in 2010 and returned to his first love of photography. Since this reemergence, Michael's work has been recognized with hundreds of awards in some of the world's most prestigious photography competitions. He is a four-time Critical Mass Finalist, Pollux Award Winner and was named International Landscape Photographer of the Year at the 5th Barcelona Foto Biennale in Barcelona, Spain. He was also named one of "14 Inspiring American Artists" by Skillshare and Feature Shoot. His work has been widely exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.

About Midwest Memoir
There is a certain magic to the American Midwest.

Honest. Modest. Understated. Sometimes unappreciated. Often overlooked.

I created Midwest Memoir as a way to help others see the Midwest in a whole new light. The Midwest in which I was raised. The Midwest that shaped my experiences and my artistic aesthetic. The Midwest the way I will always remember it, even though it continues to change and disappear around me.

I think of the Midwest as being classic and timeless in nature. Therefore, I approached this project from a time-honored "straight photography" perspective in the spirit of Group f/64 and gave the work a modernist character with a strong formalist dimension. My approach was informed by the work of mid-century modernist photographers such as Adams, Weston, White, Strand and Evans.

My work was also strongly influenced by the American Regionalism movement and the work of artists who portrayed the American heartland, including Wood, Benton, Curry, Wyeth and Hopper.

If you pause for a moment, perhaps you'll feel the humid air of an approaching thunderstorm, or catch the smell of fresh laundry as it dries in the summer breeze. That is my Midwest Memoir.
 

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Hidetoshi Ogata
Hidetoshi Ogata, born in Osaka, Japan in 1987, is a Japanese photographer. After taking an MSc in Biochemistry, he visited many places around the world to photograph landscapes. His fascination with traditional Japanese fire festivals began when he was 26 and photographed the annual Yassai Hossai fire festival at his birthplace Osaka. Since then, he has travelled around Japan photographing traditional local lore about fire preserved from the past, as part of his ongoing, long-term project, "In Awe of Fire". Ogata has also been working on wild macaques and regularly visits places like Nagano prefecture, Awaji island in Hyogo, and Shodoshima island in Kagawa. He was the 13th Smithsonian Photo Contest Natural World Winner and the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2018 People's Choice nomination. His work has been recognized in various photography competitions, including the LOOK SMITHSONIAN exhibition in Shanghai, and has appeared in magazines, TV programs and Web pages throughout the world such as the Washington Post, NY Daily News, the Daily Mail, CBS, Beijing TV and TV Tokyo. Awards: International Photography Awards (IPA) 2015 Honorable Mention The 13th Smithsonian Photo Contest, Natural World Category, 1st Prize Winner International Photography Awards (IPA) 2016 Honorable Mention Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2017 Shortlist National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2018 Nature People's Choice nomination Media: The Washington Post, USA TODAY, NY Daily News, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, El País, CBS News, National Geographic, National Geographic Travel Publications: Garuda Indonesia Colours December 2017 Outdoor Photographer of the Year Portfolio III TV: BTV, Sichuan Satellite TV, TV Tokyo Photo Exhibition: LOOK SMITHSONIAN Seoul, LOOK SMITHSONIAN Shanghai
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Francis Haar born as Haár Ferenc was a Hungarian socio-photographer. He studied interior architecture at Hungarian Royal National School of Arts and Crafts between 1924 and 1927. His master was Gyula Kaesz.He started working as an interior architect and poster designer in 1928, and taught himself photography. In 1930 he became acquainted with Munka-kör (Work Circle) led by socialist avant-garde poet and visual artist Lajos Kassák, who just returned from Vienna. Kassák pointed out that the photography is more than the painting and can access to such part of reality that cannot be accessed by painters. Kassák's motto was photography is the real child of our age not the painting. That was a life long inspiration to Francis. He became an active and leading member of the Munka Kör, his partners in socio-photography were among others Sándor Gönci, Árpád Szélpál and Lajos Lengyel, who later became renowned graphic artist and book designer. The first socio photo exhibition ever in Hungary was held in 1932, which brought the first success to Francis. His first photo studio was opened in Budapest in 1934. Some of his photos were exhibited at the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in 1937, so Francis Haar decided to move to Paris where he established himself as a portrait photographer. However in 1939 he was invited by Hiroshi Kawazoe to Japan and the International Cultural Society of Japan (Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai) officially arranged his trip. With help of Japanese friends he opened and operated his photo studio in Tokyo between 1940 and 42. The Haar family was evacuated to Karuizawa in 1943 and they spent 3 years there. He became the photographer of Yank, the Army Weekly magazine of the U.S. occupation forces in Japan, and subsequently filmmaker with U.S. Public Health and Welfare Section (1946-48). Again his Tokyo photo studio was opened in 1946 and was in active business until 1956. His wife Irene opened the famous restaurant Irene's Hungaria in Ginza, downtown Tokyo, which was frequented by celebrities, intellectuals, army men and sports people from all over the world besides the Japanese. Accepting a challenge he moved and worked as photographer for the Container Corporation of America, Chicago from 1956 until 1959. He returned to Tokyo and operated his photo studio again for a year. 1960 brought a great decision and the Haars moved to Hawai'i and Francis started his photo studio there. He taught photography at the University of Hawai'i between 1965 and 1985. He became the production photographer for the Kennedy Theater, the University of Hawai'i Drama Department. Francis Haar died at the age of 89 in Honolulu.Source: Wikipedia
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Sem Langendijk is a documentary photographer with an interest in communities and their habitat, the urban environment and spatial arrangements. He observes the identity of a place, the impact communities have on their environments, and how space functions within the structures of a city. Langendijk shoots on large and medium format cameras, and aims to imbue his subjects with a certain tranquility. He continues to balance his work on the very narrow edge between visual storytelling and poetic personal documentation. Langendijk studied documentary photography at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague. In 2018, he was a recipient of the Mondrian Fund Stipendium for Emerging Artists and his work is exhibited at multiple art fairs and festivals, most recently 'The American Landscape', a group show travelling the US with The Gallery Club. He is currently working in Amsterdam, Londen and New York, on a personal body of work, continuing his research about the former Docklands. As an artist I intend to raise questions about the concept of 'the city' in our time. What role does history play in the identity of place, and feeling of belonging? How does ownership of (private) property relate to the right of the city? Through working with communities and researching their habitats I try to reveal (economical and political) systems that influence today's city life. My visual work is loosely related to social geography and anthropology, as I do field research and create visual notes. I combine this with more structured and methodological work, such as typologies. With these approaches I mean to reflect upon, as well as creating a more personal excerpt of, reality.
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Fabian Muir is an award-winning Australian photographer based in Sydney. The principal motivation behind his projects and practice is visual storytelling with a focus on humanist issues. He is an Eddie Adams alumnus (USA) and represented by Michael Reid in Sydney and Berlin. He speaks fluent German, French and Spanish, while his Russian sputters with the determination of a Lada on a rather steep incline. His images have featured in major solo and group exhibitions and festivals around the world and have been acquired by numerous significant collections. His fine art series addressing social challenges and injustice confronting refugees, entitled 'Blue Burqa in a Sunburnt Country' (2014) and 'Urban Burqa' (2017), as well as his two-year survey of daily life in the DPRK (North Korea) have attracted global press, television and radio coverage. He has also spent years surveying the legacy of the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its disintegration. Outlets include The Guardian / The Atlantic / VICE / BBC World TV / CNN International TV / LensCulture / SPIEGEL / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / BBC Asian Network / BBC Digital / FotoEvidence / PDN / Vogue Entertaining + Travel / Sueddeutsche Zeitung / Channel 9 Australia / BuzzFeed / World Photography Organisation Blog / Leica Magazine / Vision (China) / ZEISS Lenspire / France Culture (Radio France) / Photographic Museum of Humanity (PHmuseum) / Marie Claire / CNU (China) / El Observador (Portugal) / The Sydney Morning Herald / Fotoblogia (Poland) / LIFO / Bird in Flight / FAHRENHEITº Magazine / MindFood Magazine / Ampersand Magazine / Studio Magazine / Bios Monthly (Taiwan) / La Repubblica / Lenta.ru / The Age / Black + White Magazine / Konbini / Capture Magazine / Photojournalink / Expert-Russkiy Reporter / Street Photography Magazine / Feature Shoot / Gulf News (UAE) / The National (UAE) / PhotogrVphy Magazine / Musée Magazine New York / Forbes Magazine / London Telegraph / Lenscratch / Aesthetica Magazine / Portrait of Humanity book published by Hoxton Mini Press, London / The Independent / London Times / Huck Magazine / British Journal of Photography
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A black and white Kodak advertisement caught my attention. The simple image of a cityscape with a teenage boy leaning against a wall plastered with faded, torn posters portrayed an honest and oddly poignant moment.It was 1972. I was living in New York City, married with two small sons. Inspired by the ad, I started carrying a point and shoot camera and capturing whatever struck me as memorable or unsettling. I soon bought a 35mm SLR camera and began educating myself with classes and exhibitions. At night I would transform my kitchen into a darkroom and stay up late watching the chemicals turn my observations into silver images. After moving with my family to Hartford, Connecticut, I built a legitimate darkroom in the basement of my house. In 1981, I began working professionally with a focus on portraiture, weddings and events. Color landscapes I had done in Europe and America landed me magazine work and eventually architecture/interior design documentation and advertising. I continued to pursue my own projects, receiving a Connecticut Individual Artist's Grant in 1987 for experimentation in B&W portraiture. I taught at the Hartford Art School for a couple of years as an adjunct instructor.In 1992 I stopped photographing, sold all my equipment and most of my possessions, and traveled. I had become certified to teach English as a Second Language and wanted employment in Europe. Instead I ended up in an ashram in India teaching English and learning meditation. I moved to California in 1996, and in 2005 began again to capture the world both within and around me. I had met a man who invited me to live with him, had gifted me a digital camera and told me to get back to work. I'm still with this man and still photographing. Time As We Know It
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Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition.