Celebrate Michigan Contest week 7 finalists announced

The Detroit News

Lighthouse or robot? Amateur photographer Tina Gartley of Howell added special effects to her frozen scene to create an image that seems plucked from a sci-fi movie. Her photo "Ice House!" earns a place in the finals of The Detroit News' ninth annual Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest, in the Best Digitally Enhanced Image category.

She had to work to get the shot. "After learning the lighthouses were ice-covered, I hopped in the car and drove two hours to capture them in all their beauty," she said. "I first went to Grand Haven, where it was a beautiful morning. (Then) I headed south to St. Joseph, where the conditions were not so ideal. Walking the pier to get this shot was no easy task. It was the equivalent of walking the plank in a blizzard with ice-covered bowling balls all over."

She downloaded the photo, then used HDR (High Dynamic Range) software and a filter program to get the effect she wanted.

Each Wednesday through Sept. 2, Detroit News judges will select four photos of Michigan people, places, wildlife and activities that show our state's unique character. Other finalists select this week:

■"Feeding time" by Bhushan Awate of East Lansing, in which five baby blue herons — beaks open, standing on skinny legs in their nest — are silhouetted at sunset at Kensington Metropark in Milford.

■"High and Dry" by James Noud of Wolverine, Mich., shows a row of five sailboats out of the water in Mackinaw City, in dry dock for the off season.

■"Boys of Summer," by Cari Taylor of Fremont, Mich., a silhouette of three cousins playing in their favorite tree, with branches dipping into Fremont Lake.

The prizes are:

■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 digitally 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, share them on social media, browse a photo gallery of the finalists and enter your own Michigan scenes.