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Michael Baker of West Bloomfield was visiting Belle Isle State Park as part of a photo workshop when he “found this beautiful sight” — the venerable James Scott Memorial Fountain.

The often-photographed fountain has rarely looked as good as it does in Baker’s photo, one of this week’s finalists in The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest.

“I had taken a couple of close-up shots of the turtles in the water at different settings, and I liked how the really long exposure (20 seconds) made them look almost like they were emerging from a layer of thick mist or even ice,” he said. “I decided to take that setting and try to get a symmetrical view of the fountain as a whole, with the turtles in view and the front lip out of frame, so that it appeared that the viewer was in or on the surface like the turtles, rather than viewing from outside.

“Being an engineer by trade, I like finding symmetry in photography.”

Each Wednesday through Sept. 2, Detroit News judges will select four photos that celebrate the unique character of our state: the people, wildlife, scenery, activities and events that make it special.

Other finalists selected this week:

■“Business and Birds of Lake Superior” by Matt Fetters of Bethesda, Maryland. The East Lansing native was watching seagulls perch on old pier posts at Whitefish Point in the Upper Peninsula, and waited for a freighter to move into the background to take his shot.

■“Holland MI Windmill” by Steve Korn of Oak Park. During Holland’s Tulip Festival, Korn crouched down to shoot a field of tulips and the windmill, “the perfect souvenir photo,” he said.

■“Future Black Swallowtail” by Allison White of Clinton Township. A friend’s gift of a bunch of dill included a few colorful black swallowtail caterpillars, which White photographed up close against an almost abstract background of dill foliage.

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, and their immediate families. For the complete contest rules, go to, 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.

Hurry! Only four more finalists will be named. The deadline for contest submissions is noon Friday.

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