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Sunset jump, mud crawl, fireworks and frigid freighter join photo contest finalists

The Detroit News
"Jumping into Summer," by Rachel Hamilton of Haslett.  A group of exchange students from Michigan and Japan were touring the coast of Lake Michigan. One day, "We were staying in Whitehall and decided to go to the beach to watch the sunset," she said. "My friend Rikuto wowed us all with his jumping form at Duck Lake State Park."

In 2015, Rachel Hamilton of Haslett was one of eight Michigan high school students on an exchange trip with eight Japanese students, to study water science and culture.

“Part of the Michigan portion of the exchange was going down the coast of Lake Michigan, starting at the Mackinac Bridge,” she said. “On one of the last days we were staying in Whitehall and decided to go to the beach to watch the sunset.

“My friend Rikuto wowed us all with his jumping form at Duck Lake State Park.”

Her photo of his silhouetted leap, titled “Jumping into Summer,” becomes one of the first finalists in The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest under the Four-Season Fun theme.  Sixteen finalists will be named by August 22 to compete for two $300 prizes.  

This week’s other contest finalists are:

  • “Bath Needed,” by Jim Ridley of Brighton.  At the Merrell Down and Dirty Obstacle Course Race at Kensington Metropark, “This competitor brought his A-game,” Ridley said. “The competitors pushed themselves over 5K to 10K courses, including military fitness-inspired obstacles, mud crawls and strength challenges.”
  • "Fireworks at the Dunes, " by Eduardo Rojas of Troy.  He was watching the July 4th fireworks across Silver Lake near Hart, Michigan.  “I noticed it not only lit up the sky but the dunes, too,” he said. His photo makes it look like the fireworks are sprouting from the sand dunes.
  • “Winter Arrival in Marquette,” by Rod Burdick. When the Laker Kaye E. Barker arrived at Presque Isle Harbor, Marquette, on a frigid December morning, “The sea smoke on Lake Superior and iced-over rocks on the lakeshore caught
  • my eye,” he said.

Enter your photos at until noon August 17.  From the 16 finalists, two Four-Season Fun winners will be selected, one by the Detroit News photo staff, the other a People’s Choice winner selected by public voting August 22-26.

Both winners will receive a $300 Visa gift card.

At the close of the contest on Aug. 29, three more photos will be chosen from among all of the summer’s finalists to receive Awards of Excellence in the form of $100 Visa cards.

Consult the official rules and follow along at 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.