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Summer is in the air, which around here means lake time, cabin time, vacation time, and, for the 12th year in a row, time to gather up your best photos of Michigan.

 Why? So you can enter The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest, which aims to showcase the best pictures of Michigan you’ll ever see.

This year, the contest unfolds with three consecutive themes: City and Country (May 25-June 22), Woods and Wildlife (June 22-July 20), and Four-Season Fun (July 20-August 17).  Enter any or all of them for a chance to win prizes.                 

Each theme runs for four weeks. Four finalists will be selected each week by members of the Detroit News' photo staff.  On the fifth week, two winners will be selected from the 16 finalists, one by the Detroit News photo staff, the other a People’s Choice winner selected by public voting. 

At the close of the final contest theme on Aug. 29, three more photos will be chosen from among all of the finalists to receive Awards of Excellence from the Detroit News photo staff.

Prizes are $300 VISA cards for the two winners of each contest theme and $100 VISA cards for the Awards of Excellence.

Finalists will be announced on Wednesdays beginning June 6, in the newspaper and at https://detroitnews.com/celebrate-michigan. After the entry window closes for each theme and all of the 16 finalists have been chosen, they move on to a public vote over a five-day period which will determine the People’s Choice winner.  

So let’s get started! Enter your photos now for Celebrate Michigan: City and Country.  You might take photos, for instance, of a bustling urban scene, cool architecture, entertainment events, recreation or nightlife. If Michigan’s countryside is more “you,” think about creative shots of weathered barns, camping or fishing scenes, beaches, starry nights and rural roads. (Hint from the judges: Including a person in your photo often makes it more interesting.)

The second theme, Celebrate Michigan: Woods and Wildlife, is just what it says, but we’ll accept pets, farm animals, zoo and parks photos too.

The third theme, Celebrate Michigan: Four-Season Fun, should attract entries that are a perfect example of people enjoying one Michigan’s four seasons.

The Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest is open to non-professional photographers age 18 and older. All photos must have been shot in Michigan by the person submitting them, with no significant alteration by a software program.

The weekly finalists will be chosen based on overall appeal, artistic merit, technical quality, originality and theme appropriateness.

Study the official rules and follow along all summer at https://detroitnews.com/celebrate-michigan, where we’ll post weekly stories and a running photo gallery of the finalists and winners selected to date.

Need some inspiration? Check out last year’s photo gallery of the winners and finalists in our 12th annual photo contest, below.

When you’re ready to enter your Celebrate Michigan photos, upload them at https://apps.detroitnews.com/photocontest. We’re eager to see what Michigan moments wind up in your viewfinder.

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