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The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest is off to a flying start, with 500 photos submitted in the first 12 days.  The City and Country theme continues through June 22, so you still have time to make a fantastic photo focused on either the urban or rural side of Michigan life.

Four photos have been chosen by the Detroit News photo staff as the contest’s first finalists:

  • “Lake Michigan Ladies,” by Mary McDonald of Ypsilanti. On a drive along the Lake Michigan lakeshore near Sleeping Bear Dunes, “I couldn't resist capturing this moment between this mama and her sweet twin girls taking in the beautiful view,” she said.
  • “Mirror Bridges,” by Liz Haack of Royal Oak. On the night of last year’s Ford Fireworks in Detroit, she was walking to her favorite viewing spot on the riverfront.  “I love reflections,” she said, “and luckily for me, it had been raining lately, creating some great puddles.”  The Ambassador Bridge is reflected in the puddle under a dark blue sky.
  • “Saint Curvy,” by Michael Ramey of Rapid City, South Dakota. Some repair work was being done on long-vacant Woodward Presbyterian Church in Detroit when Ramey asked to come inside.  “Even in its decayed state, this church is remarkable and standing inside feels sacred,” he said.
  • “Sterlingfest – Bret Michaels headliner,” by Gary Lusk of Sterling Heights. “The day of Sterlingfest headliner Bret Michaels’ show, the city camera broke,” Lusk says. “(Sterling Heights) Council knew that I was an avid photographer and asked if I would use my equipment for the show. That was the easiest answer ever!“

Enter your photos at  Four more City and Country finalists will be announced on Wednesdays through June 27, in the newspaper and at Then 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 June 27-July 1.

 Both winners will receive a $300 VISA gift card as their prize.

 The Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest then continues with two more themes: Woods and Wildlife (accepting entries June 22-July 20), and Four-Season Fun (July 20-August 17).   Each follows the same format as City and Country. 

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. The prize for these photographers will be $100 VISA cards.

The 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 for weekly stories and a growing photo gallery of the finalists and winners selected to date.


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