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Michael Palko of Traverse City was a man on a mission, bent on backpacking the entire 42-mile shoreline of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

“You can drive the shoreline and see certain aspects of it, but you really get a whole new appreciation of its beauty when you walk it and really see just how incredible the entire shoreline is,” he said. “One minute you're on a sandy beach, the next you're 100 feet above the water of Lake Superior! It truly is amazing.”

On the third day of his trek in June, he reached Grand Portal Point. “This was the Michigan moment,” he said.  “The view was breathtaking.”

His photo “Picture Perfect” – shot with a GoPro on a selfie stick -- is a finalist 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. 

Other finalists chosen this week:

  • “Red Sky at Night,” by Sara Roberts of Grosse Pointe. As she was relaxing at the family cottage in Prudenville, “I noticed that the room was taking on a pink hue.  When I looked outside the sky was pink and yellow,” and soon a vibrant red. She went outside to take photos of the evening sky and Lake James, just as a family of ducks swam into the frame.   
  • “Frigid,” by Jim Swoboda of Kentwood. Waves burst around Grand Haven’s icy outer lighthouse in December.  “That was a crazy windy day,” Swoboda said.  His photo session ended when "I got swamped by a wave from inside the channel that I never saw roll over the top.“
  • “That’s a Whole Lotta Bull,” by Caroline Harris of Petersburg.  A bull charges at a fallen rider during the Lost Nations Rodeo at the Monroe County Fair earlier this month. “I thought the pic submitted showed the most raw energy, motion, and anticipation,” she said. “The wanting to know what happens next is almost palpable.” Luckily, the rider wasn’t hurt.

Just a few days remain for you to enter your photos in the Four-Season Fun theme at  The entry window closes at noon Friday.

After all 16 finalists are named, two 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.

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.

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.

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