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Are all good photographers early risers? Probably not, but the dawn light certainly increases your chances of creating an atmospheric photograph.

Camping at South Higgins Lake State Park near Roscommon, Bill VanderMolen of Pittsfield Township got up before the rest of his family "to see if there were good photo opportunities at Marl Lake. Just as I arrived, two men set out on kayaks with fishing poles to try their luck on the peaceful and scenic pond. The rising sun and mist made for a great start of the day and perfect photograph."

VanderMolen's photo, "Perfect Fishing," wins a place in the finalists pool of the ninth annual Detroit News Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest, which continues all summer. We're looking for photos that show something beautiful, unique or striking about Michigan. People are always good subjects, but wildlife, scenery, architecture, sports and events, to name just a few, have produced prize-winning photos.

Each Wednesday through Sept. 2, Detroit News judges will select four photos to become eligible for prizes to be awarded on Sept. 9. Other finalists selected this week are:

"Lake Huron Sunset" by Barbara Bloom of Bloomfield Township, which features a 5-year-old girl watching for her kayaking mother as the sun starts to set on the golden shore.

"Evolution Detroit" by Terry Shear of Royal Oak, showing a downtown streetscape.

"The End of the Rainbow" by Jessica Steere-Yordy of Midland, which captures a magical moment when her young niece put on her rainbow tutu, went outside and danced under an actual rainbow.

The contest's prizes:

First place: A two-night stay for four at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Second place: $300.

Third place: A gift basket of made-in-Michigan products.

Best enhanced image: A 16-by-20-inch matted and framed print of your photo.

The contest is open to all amateur photographers who are 18 years or older, except employees of The Detroit News, Michigan.com, and their immediate families. For the complete contest rules, go to detroitnews.com/celebratemichigan, where you can view all of the entries and share them on social media.

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