All about photo.com: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, photographers, books, schools and venues.
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.
 

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #40 Portrait
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

 Nadar
France
1820 | † 1910
Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon. Nadar was born in April 1820 in Paris (though some sources state Lyon). He was a caricaturist for Le Charivari in 1848. In 1849 he created the Revue comique and the Petit journal pour rire. He took his first photographs in 1853 and in 1858 became the first person to take aerial photographs. He also pioneered the use of artificial lighting in photography, working in the catacombs of Paris. Around 1863, Nadar built a huge (6000 m³) balloon named Le Géant ("The Giant"), thereby inspiring Jules Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon. Although the "Géant" project was initially unsuccessful Nadar was still convinced that the future belonged to heavier-than-air machines. Later, "The Society for the Encouragement of Aerial Locomotion by Means of Heavier than Air Machines" was established, with Nadar as president and Verne as secretary. Nadar was also the inspiration for the character of Michael Ardan in Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. On his visit to Brussels with the Géant, on 26 September 1864, Nadar erected mobile barriers to keep the crowd at a safe distance. Up to this day, crowd control barriers are known in Belgium as Nadar barriers. In April 1874, he lent his photo studio to a group of painters, thus making the first exhibition of the Impressionists possible. He photographed Victor Hugo on his death-bed in 1885. He is credited with having published (in 1886) the first photo-interview (of famous chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, then a centenarian), and also took erotic photographs. From 1895 until his return to Paris in 1909, the Nadar photo studio was in Marseilles (France). Nadar died in 1910, aged 89. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Source: Wikipedia
Davide Bertuccio
Davide was born in Messina in 1991. He is a photojournalist based in Milan. He graduated with honors in 2016 at IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) at the school of visual arts in photography. Since the end of 2016, he focused on the theme of globalization, looking for stories that would give voice to the small realities crushed by that indefatigable desire for equality. In 2019 He decided to follow his passion for science and environmental problems with the realization of a work about the problem of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. Davide, inserted in 2014 among the 10 best under 25 Italian talents and nominated in 2019 by 6X6 World Press Photo Global Talent Program, has been published by National Geographic USA, National Geographic Italia, Il Reportage and his works received national and international awards. Accross the River's Flow Saxons are a community with German roots. Since XI century, together with Hungarians and Romanians, they’ve been living in the green heart of Romania. From this very land, a major migration is now taking place which marks the decline of centuries of history. Saxons are disappearing and their culture, their tongue and traditions along with them. “Across the river’s flow” aims to be a work about the disappearing of ethnic minorities, overwhelmed by the pace of modern life and by an ever-growing globalization. Saxons are an example of how authenticity is wiped out to make room for a fictitious daily routine and how entire ethnic groups and populations must surrender to outside forces such as racism.
Myrtie Cope
United States
1950
Myrtie Cope is an Atlanta photographer with a focus on architecture and nature. Ms. Cope completed the Summer Intensive and Advanced Intensive certificate programs at Rocky Mountain School of Photography. She is pleased to have both architectural and nature photos in several private and public collections around Atlanta including the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, Emory University Hospital, Broadstone Yards, and the Huntley on Park Avenue. Ms. Cope was honored to receive the Denis Diderot Scholarship to Chateau Orquevaux Artist Residency in Orquevaux, France, in October 2021 and was accepted to the Atelier AIR artist residency in Dangeau, France for Fall 2023. Ms. Cope's work has been included in numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Her ongoing project photographing historic theaters in the Southeast - ''Second Act'' -was exhibited at Spalding Nix Fine Art in September-November 2021. Ms. Cope was the Nonprofessional winner of the Nature Category in the 19th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers, and she recently won Honorable Mentions in both the Nonprofessional - Nature Category and the Architecture Category in the 20th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers which will be exhibited in Barcelona, Spain. Ms. Cope recently began combining her photography with her sewing skills by embroidering her photographs and creating quilts with cyanotypes on fabric. She is still exploring these techniques and discovering new ways of looking at photography.
Jürgen Schadeberg
South Africa
1931 | † 2020
Jürgen Schadeberg was a German-born South African photographer and artist. He photographed key moments in South African history, including iconic photographs such as Nelson Mandela at Robben Island prison. He also lived, worked and taught in London and Spain, and photographed in many African countries. Jürgen Schadeberg was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1931 where he grew up during the Nazi regime and World War II. In the aftermath of the war, his mother began a relationship with a British officer in the army of occupation and emigrated with him to South Africa in 1947. Schadeberg learned to be a photographer at the Deutsche Presseagentur (German Press Agency). He moved to South Africa to rejoin his family in 1950 and, the following year, found employment on Drum magazine as an official photographer and layout artist. Schadeberg became the senior figure of the group and a teacher and mentor to some of the most creative South African photographers of his time, including Bob Gosani, Ernest Cole, and later Peter Magubane. As one of the few white photographers who photographed daily life among the black community, he became knowledgeable about black life and culture. As a result, he captured on film the beginnings of the freedom movement, the effects of apartheid, and the vibrancy of township life. Schadeberg photographed many historic and pivotal events in the 1950s among them the Defiance Campaign of 1952, the 1956 Treason Trial, the Sophiatown removals of 1955, the Sophiatown jazz and social scene, the Sharpeville funeral of 1960, and pictures of Robben Island inmates. Some of the famous people he photographed include Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Trevor Huddleston, and Govan Mbeki. He also documented 1950s jazz legends such as Thandi Klaasen, Hugh Masekela, Kippie Moeketsi and Miriam Makeba. He made documentation of everyday life. When Drum wanted the singer Dolly Rathebe to be the cover girl for one of their issues, Schadeberg took her to a Johannesburg mine dump and photographed her in a bikini. The two were arrested for contravening the Immorality Act which forbade interracial relationships. In 1959, Schadeberg left Drum to become a freelancer. He was part of an expedition led by Professor Phillip V. Tobias from the University of the Witwatersrand to study the Bushmen, publishing images in The Kalahari Bushmen Dance in 1982. Schadeberg felt forced by increasing civil unrest to leave South Africa, and in 1964 went to London, where he was picture editor of Camera Owner magazine (forerunner of Creative Camera), into which he incorporated a stronger sense of design and increased its pictorial content, and from April to July 1965 he was its editor. He also taught and curated photographic exhibitions in England, notably for the Whitechapel Art Gallery. He then moved to Spain where he focused on a career as an artist. In 1972, he returned to Africa where he accepted a position as a photographer for Christian Aid in Botswana and Tanzania. In 1973 he traveled to Senegal, Mali, Kenya, and Zaire, taking photographs. In 1985, Schadeberg returned to South Africa, where he lived with his wife Claudia. He continued to work as a photojournalist, and also made documentaries about the black community until 2007 when he returned to Europe. Schadeberg died from a stroke at his home in La Drova [ca], Valencia, Spain, on 29 August 2020, aged 89. His work is held in the collections of the UK Arts Council, National Portrait Gallery, Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.Source: Wikipedia Jurgen has edited and published over 30 photographic books including The Finest Photos from the Old Drum, The Fifties People of South Africa, Mandela & The Rise of the ANC, Voices from Robben Island, Sof’town Blues, The Black & White Fifties, The San of the Kalahari & Soweto Today 2002, Witness - 52 years of pointing lenses at Life 2004, Voices from the Land 2006. Jazz, Swing & Blues – 56 years of SA Jazz and Tales from Jozi 2007– Six decades of documentary photography in Europe, Africa and America published by Hatje Cantz 2008, Great Britain 1964/84 , 2011 Jurgen Schadeberg visits Germany – 6 decades 2012, and Six decades of South African Photography 2014. Together with his producer wife Claudia, Jurgen established The Schadeberg Movie Company to produce a series of some 15 documentaries and dramas about South African social, cultural and political history. Jurgen Schadeberg, sometimes known as “The Father of South African Photography”, is a principle figure in South African and World Photography. His major body of work, which spans 70 years and incorporates a collection of some 200,000 negatives, captures a wealth of timeless and iconic images.Source: www.jurgenschadeberg.com
Willy Ronis
France
1910 | † 2009
Willy Ronis was a French photographer best known for his photographs of life in postwar Paris and Provence, who spent his career roaming the Parisian streets capturing people in love, at work, and at play in lyrical black-and-white images, claimed an interest in "ordinary people with ordinary lives." He was a central figure in the "humanist photography" movement, alongside colleagues Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and George Brassaï, celebrating the poetry in the everyday in warm, witty images. I have never sought out the extraordinary or the scoop. I looked for what complemented my life. The beauty of the ordinary was always the source of my greatest emotions. -- Willy Ronis Working in his parents' photography studio, Willy Ronis honed his sense of proportion and composition. Ronis was born in Paris; his father was a Jewish refugee from Odessa, and his mother was a Lithuanian refugee who had fled the pogroms. His father established a photography studio in Montmartre, and his mother taught piano. The boy's first love was music, and he aspired to be a composer. When Ronis returned from military service in 1932, his violin studies were put on hold because his father's cancer forced him to take over the family portrait business; His love of music can be seen in his photographs. When his father died in 1936, the business collapsed, and Ronis went freelance, with his first photographs appearing in Regards. Willy Ronis met David Szymin and Robert Capa in 1937 and did his first work for Plaisir de France; in 1938-39, he reported on a Citroen strike and traveled in the Balkans. Ronis, like Cartier-Bresson, was a member of the Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires and remained a leftist. Ronis was inspired to start exploring photography by the work of photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams. After his father died in 1936, he closed the studio and joined the photo agency Rapho, where he worked alongside Brassaï, Robert Doisneau, and Ergy Landau. Most of my photographs were taken on the spur of the moment, very quickly, just as they occurred. All attention focuses on the specific instant, almost too good to be true, which can only vanish in the following one. -- Willy Ronis Willy Ronis was the first French photographer to work for Life magazine. In 1953, Edward Steichen curated a show at the Museum of Modern Art called Five French Photographers, which featured Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Izis, and Brassaï. He was also featured in the Family of Man exhibition in 1955, and received in 1957 the Gold Medal from the Venice Biennale. Ronis began teaching at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, and Saint Charles, Marseilles in the 1950s. The Minister of Culture awarded him the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography in 1979. In 1981, Ronis won the Prix Nadar for his photobook Sur le fil du hasard. Marie-Anne Lansiaux (1910-91), a Communist militant painter, was the subject of Ronis' well-known 1949 photograph, Nu provençal (Provençal naked). The photograph, which was taken in a house that Marie-Anne and he had just purchased in Gordes, showed Marie-Anne washing at a basin with a water pitcher on the floor and an open window through which the viewer can see a garden; it is notable for its ability to convey an easy feeling of Provençal life. "The destiny of this image, published constantly around the world, still astonishes me," Ronis said of the photograph. Ronis spent the 1960s and 1980s in Provence and photographed Marie-Anne, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease at the time, sitting alone in a park surrounded by autumn trees.
Fred Lyon
United States
1927 | † 2022
Lyon has been called "San Francisco's Brassaï ," and has also been compared to Cartier-Bresson, Atget, and André Kertész, but with a San Francisco twist. The lifelong San Francisco Native happily admits his debt to those icons. Now 88, his nonstop career reaches back to the early 1940s and embraced news, fashion, architecture, advertising, and food. In the golden years of magazines his picture credits were everywhere from Life to Vogue. Lyon still maintains a lust for life, and is now combining his extensive picture files for galleries, publishers, and print collectors. Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery Fred Lyon is a time traveler with a camera and tales to tell. This former Life magazine photographer and fourth generation San Franciscan has an eye for the city and stories to match. We showed photos from Fred's books San Francisco, Portrait of a City: 1940-1960 and San Francisco Noir, and images spanning his diverse career. In conversation he'll discuss his art, work, and life; recollections of old friends like Herb Caen and Trader Vic Bergeron; and more. He shared his unique perspective after nearly a century in San Francisco. Fred Lyon's career began in the early 1940's and has spanned news, architecture, advertising, wine and food photography. In the golden years of magazine publishing his picture credits were everywhere from Life to Vogue and beyond. These days find him combing his picture files for galleries, publishers and print collectors. He has been called San Francisco's Brassaï. That's fine with this lifelong native who happily admits his debt to those icons.Source: The Interval Fred Lyon, a fourth generation San Franciscan, has accomplished a lot over his seventy-year career with his trusty mechanical film cameras and he continues to explore the medium to this day. Lyon has worked alongside photography greats while creating a name for himself, becoming known as San Francisco's Brassaï. He got his start at age fourteen as an assistant at Gabriel Moulin Studios and studied under famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams. When asked why he initially wanted to get into photography, he grinned and explained that, "Cameras were cool and I thought it would be a good way to get the girls. Guess how that went?" After a stint in the Navy as a press photographer, working directly with Roosevelt's office, he went on to photograph fashion in New York City. After a trip back to the San Francisco Bay Area, he decided to return permanently to the city that holds his heart, and luckily for us, he never left. His professional career spanned decades and his work has been seen in Time Magazine, Life, Vogue, and countless other fashion, home and garden magazines.Source: Leica Store San Francisco
Advertisement
AAP Magazine #40: Portrait
Win a Solo Exhibition in June
AAP Magazine #40: Portrait

Latest Interviews

Barbara Cole and Wet Collodion Photographs
Cole is best known for her underwater photography, but her other studio practice during the cold months in Toronto is an ongoing series of wet collodion photographs. This heavily analog process from the 19th Century is a years-long endeavor of revitalization and experimentation, offering modern day viewers an understanding of what it took to develop photographs in the early days of its invention. Cole has added her own unique take on the process by adding a layer of color in contrast to the usual sepia tones associated with the genre. The resulting wet plate photographs are tactile and dimensional dances between light and shadow, past and present, depicting women in timeless dreamscapes. We asked her a few questions about this specific project
Exclusive Interview with Michael Joseph
I discovered Michael Joseph's work in 2016, thanks to Ann Jastrab. I was immediately captivated by the power of his beautiful black and white photographs from his series 'Lost and Found.' His haunting portraits of young Travelers have stayed with me ever since.
Exclusive Interview with Debe Arlook
Debe Arlook is an award-winning American artist working in photography. Through color and diverse photographic processes, Arlook’s conceptual work is a response to her surroundings and the larger environment, as she attempts to understand the inner and outer worlds of human relationships. Degrees in filmmaking and psychology inform these views.
Orchestrating Light: Seth Dickerman Talks About his Passion for Photographic Printmaking
Seth Dickerman is a master manipulator of the wide spectrum of light densities that reflect off the surface of a photographic print and enter into our field of vision. His singular intent in making prints is to bring out the best an image has to offer, which means giving an image the ability to hold our attention, to engage us, and to allow us to discover something about an image that is meaningful and significant.
Exclusive Interview with Michel Haddi
Photographer and film director, Michel Haddi has photographed many high-profile celebrities while living in the USA including, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, David Bowie, Uma Thurman, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Diaz, Faye Dunaway, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and many others. He also manages a publishing house, MHS publishing, which publishes his own books. Currently based in London we have asked him a few questions about his life and work
Exclusive Interview with Sebastien Sardi
In 2008, Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi, inspired by an article exposing hidden mining-related incidents, embarked on a photography journey. Without formal training, he explored mines and ventured to India's Jharkhand state to document coal miners in Dhanbad, known as the "coal capital." His project, "Black Diamond," captured the lives of people, including men, women, and children, dedicated to coal extraction in grueling conditions.
Exclusive Interview with Debra Achen
Monterey-based photographer Debra Achen was born and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, where she developed a passion for both nature and art. She studied a variety of studio arts, including drawing, painting, and printmaking in addition to her training in traditional film and darkroom photography. Her project 'Folding and Mending' won the September 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked here a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Hoffman
Steve Hoffman is a documentary photographer who has who spent the last dozen years working with and photographing the people that live the housing projects in Coney Island. He was the winner of the July and August 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Aya Okawa
Aya is passionate about exploring the natural world and protecting ecosystems and wild landsAll about Photo: Tell us about your first introduction to photography. What drew you into this world? Her project The Systems That Shape Us'won the February 2022 Solo Exhibition. We asked her a few questions about her life and her work.
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #40 Portrait
Publish your work in AAP Magazine and win $1,000 Cash Prizes