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Week 9 finalists named in Celebrate Michigan contest

The Detroit News

Two photographers used long exposures to create the feeling of motion, producing impressive images that have earned a place in the finals of The Detroit News’ ninth annual Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest.

“At the Bay City 4th of July Fireworks Festival we passed the time taking pictures of carnival rides at longer shutter speeds to see what would happen,” said Cathy Bragiel of Pinconning. What happened was a whirl of purple lines that make the carnival ride seem like a rocket about to lift off. She used a shutter speed of 1.3 seconds and a neutral density filter to block some of the light.

You can practically feel the cold, the wind and the sense of isolation in Jeff Vriezema’s photo of the Grand Haven pier at sunset in March. “It doesn’t look like it, but there were over a dozen individuals walking through this shot,” said the Wyoming resident. “Because of a 30-second exposure, they’re invisible as long as they stay moving. I like to use long exposures because I love to see the effect it has with the clouds.”

Each Wednesday through Sept. 2, Detroit News judges will select four photos of Michigan that reflect what’s special about our state — the scenery, people, wildlife and activities that make you want to grab your camera. Other finalists select this week:

■“Birding Michigan!” by Pam Bedsole of Cheboygan, a portrait of a plump scarlet tanager, photographed during spring migration in East Tawas. “It was so beautiful to see a green pine tree filled with these red birds — it was like Christmas in May,” she said.

■“Sunset Over Leland Harbor” by Matt Vailliencourt of Brighton. “The sun was just starting to peek out from behind the clouds at the perfect angle so that it reflected off a fishing boat. The dark clouds contrasted nicely with the sun,” he said.

The contest 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 upload your own excellent photos of Michigan.