Celebrate Michigan finalists make the everyday extraordinary

The Detroit News

Rounding up to the closest bazillion, how many photos do you suppose have been taken of a sunset? Or a sailing ship? How about the Renaissance Center? Or Belle Isle? 

"Ghost Ship Rising," by Tom Clark of Essexville, is a reflection of two ships from the Great Lakes Tall Ship Celebration, one behind the other, on the Saginaw River in Bay City.   "The idea of creating abstract images in the water appealed to me," Clark says. "I cropped the ship's reflection at water's edge, and then flipped the image for proper perspective."

The point being, we see a lot of beautiful photos of familiar sights in The Detroit News' Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest.  This week’s four finalists in the contest’s City and Country theme depict those common scenes in a way that most of us never observe. 

 They are:

  • “Belle Isle from Above,” by Michael Popso of Grosse Pointe Farms.  A drone shot of the area around the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon Tower is endlessly interesting, making it look like a sundial on torn parchment with mysterious markings.  “I got married at Belle Isle and became fascinated with all this history and  landmarks,” Popso says.
  • “Ghost Ship Rising,” by Tom Clark of Essexville.  Shot on the  Saginaw River in Bay City during the Great Lakes Tall Ship Celebration, the Viking ship Draken Harald Harfagre is seen in a reflection. “The horizontal masts in the reflection are actually from another tall ship docked behind the Draken, a reproduction of a Spanish galleon,” Clark says. “Since I love working with reflections, and the hull is painted with bright colors, the idea of creating abstract images in the water appealed to me. I cropped the ship’s reflection at water's edge, and then flipped the image for proper perspective."
  • “Lafayette Sunset #2,” by Russell Dunn of Royal Oak.  On a December visit to Detroit, Dunn photographed downtown traffic lights at sunset, the green and red dots and dark red sky making art out of the mundane.
  • “Motor House,” by Andrew Krupp of Rochester Hills. The curve of the People Mover track, the straight lines of the General Motors entrance at the Renaissance Center, and the morning mist filtering through the towers create a sophisticated piece of modern art.

The City and Country contest theme continues through Friday, so don’t delay in entering your photos at http://apps.detroitnews.com/photocontest.  The last four City and Country finalists will be announced on June 27. 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).   

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.

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

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.