I’d entered this contest months ago and largely forgotten about it, but I received (one of many) “nominee” statuses from the contest. I will say they’re quite fancy with their media; neat little badge above and a fancy “fill in the blank” press release below. But I suppose being 1 of 919 photos selected out of 6378 entries isn’t all bad.

Pre-written Fill-in-the-blank press release from the site:


LOS ANGELES (Date) – Amateur photographer Michael Potts of the USA was presented with the 15th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee title in the category of Fine Art at a prestigious Nomination & Winners PhotoShow streamed Sunday, November 1, 2020.

The live online gala was attended by industry leaders and the photography community from around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the world’s premier event for black and white photography. 15th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne; Sotheby’s, London; Travel/Discovery Channel, New York; Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland; Portuguese Center of Photography, Porto; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels; The Guardian, London; Contrasto Galleria, Milan; ADK Creative One Inc., Tokyo; Hiroshima MOCA, Japan; MACBA, Barcelona; and Pereira O’Dell in New York who honored Spider Fellows with 610 coveted title awards and 919 nominees in 32 categories.

“Simply Stunning.” Justine Gruser, Specialist at Sotheby’s commented. Bernardino Castro, Director at Portuguese Center of Photography (CPF), Porto said “The amazing quality of the images in the competition made it very difficult to select the winners. I would like to reinforce the relevance and impact of Black & White Spider Awards as a mobilizing agent in promoting the production and dissemination of excellent photography at an international level.” Christopher Doyle, Creative Director at Travel Channel/Discovery, New York added, “Always look forward to the way in which these photographers see the world in a unique and curious way.”

“It’s an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 6,378 entries from 69 countries we received this year” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “(Name)’s “(Title of Photograph),” an exceptional image entered in the (Category) category, represents black and white photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present (her/him) with the title of Nominee.”

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography. http://www.thespiderawards.com


It’s been a while since I added to the book list, but I found a beast worthy of attention. This three-volume slipcover set contains a massive collection of MEM’s work from her decades-long career. She traveled, she met and befriended people, and she told their stories in photos. It’s not a cheap collection (what good photo book is) but it’s a real treasure of great photos from a Great American Photographer.

Last week I had the pleasure of trading an hour with a photographer who was in town for a wedding job and wanted to get some updated photos of herself. We went to a local park and took turns shooting and modeling and I had an absolute blast. At the end of the hour we traded memory cards back so that we’d each have the photos of ourselves.

Below are a few that Heidi shot and I edited. Maybe if the whole photography thing doesn’t work out I can be a “dad-bod” model.

This morning I received an email notice of two Honorable Mentions for two photos I’d submitted to the International Photo Awards. They give out a lot of these but it’s always nice to be noticed and the other photos that also received HMs are amazing, so I’m pleased to be in such skilled and beautiful company.


I’ve created a second webpage.


This page is a more stream-lined site designed to showcase my art photos, portraits, and fine-art nudes. The usual and regular content on my main site (www.mrpvisionaries.com) will continue, but this site will include my ongoing projects including the underwater work and photography featuring the human form au naturale. Galleries for all of these will be coming soon(-ish).


Okay, so it’s actually second place, but for me it is the highest award an individual piece (or a series for that matter) has achieved to date. I was surprised to find I was one of seven prize winners on Tuesday and never expected to receive more than an honorable mention. To be honest I’m still a little stunned.
I’m especially pleased because the trend, rightly, is that photos that win contests are usually of a journalistic nature or political, and one can argue that this is appropriate given that we need to document the important happenings in our world. My work is purely artistic and so a bit of a luxury creatively, but as a couple of friends have reminded me sometimes we need art for art’s sake. Sometimes we need calming and pretty images. Many have said they find “Into Dreamtime” peaceful and soothing. Maybe it’s an ideal second image to look at after all the politics and turmoil of the year.

Yesterday I spent 8 hours at Arcosanti for a photography workshop. If you’ve never been it’s about an hour north of Phoenix and I recommend taking one of the tours, especially if you like architecture. 

I’m not really an architecture photographer and we had very little time with the perfect light, but I whipped up a few decent little shots from the surroundings.