Round 1 of News photo contest celebrates outdoors

The Detroit News

Clay Holmes of Macomb Township is nothing if not adventuresome. He not only rides a Jet Ski, he balances a GoPro camera on a pole with one arm while steering the watercraft, with his sister Lauryn behind him.

“We were riding around on Wixom Lake where we have a cottage that we go to all the time in the summer. We were trying to capture some cool angles,” Holmes said. “The funny part was we weren’t really trying here and caught the photo by accident.”

His action-packed photo “Jet Ski Views” is one of four striking images advancing to the finals of the first of three Detroit News Celebrate Michigan Photo Contests. The first contest, Outdoor Adventures, is open for entries until noon June 30 for all non-professional photographers who are 18 years or older. Submit your photos of activities, scenery or events that show Michigan as a great place to be outdoors.

Four finalists will be selected by Detroit News judges each week and announced on Wednesdays, based on artistic merit, theme appropriateness, technical quality, originality and overall appeal. After the entry window closes and the last of the 16 finalists are named, they move on to Round 2, where the winner will be determined by public voting July 5-9.

The winner’s grand prize is a $500 Visa gift card.

Other finalists named this week are:

■ “Brisk Day at The Bridge,” by Jason Friday of Cheboygan. Friday “went up to the (Mackinac) Bridge to take photos on a snow day, not expecting to take a picture like this,” he said. “I walked underneath, saw the ice veins and icicles that had formed from the spray and wind, and was amazed.”

■ “The Dawn Hiker,” by Mudg Poster of West Bloomfield. “The sunrise and a persistent mist surrounded the hiker as she rounded the small peninsula in Kent Lake,” Poster said. “She walked so quickly I barely managed to get my camera up for this shot.”

■ “Michigan Lighthouse,” by James Timmer of Troy. Timmer shot this photo of choppy waves surging against the Benton Harbor Lighthouse on a blustery December day. “Lake Michigan was showing a teaser of her incredible strength and beauty,” he said.

When Outdoors Adventures ends, the next contest, Woods & Wildlife, begins. Entries will be accepted from June 30 to July 28. The third contest, Favorite Places, will be open for submissions from July 28 to Aug. 25. Each will pay a $500 Visa gift card to the winner.

At the end of the contests on Sept. 6, three Editors’ Pick bonus prizes of $150 cash cards will be awarded for three photos chosen by The Detroit News staff from the pool of finalists.

For the complete contest rules, go to detroitnews.com/celebrate-michigan, where you also can find all of the weekly stories and the photo gallery of finalists that will grow all season long.

When you’re ready to enter, go to http://apps.detroitnews.com/photocontest, where you can view all of the entries, share them on social media, and submit your own Outdoor Adventures scenes.

Enter often, you could win 500 more reasons to love Michigan’s outdoors!