Celebrate the state! Enter our 13th annual photo contest

The Detroit News
"Aurora Hunters," by Dale Niesen of South Rockwood,  was an Award of Excellence winner in the 2017 contest. Niesen used two LED flashlights, a wide angle lens and a 15-second exposure to create this shot of the northern lights near Empire Bluffs in  Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Attention, amateur photographers: For the 13th consecutive year, we invite you to participate in The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest. The competition rewards outstanding photos of Michigan, its people and animals, with nine prizes of as much as $300 doled out over the course of the summer.  

Like last year, the contest will roll out in three consecutive themes, each lasting about a month: People and Places (May 24 - June 21), Woods and Wildlife (June 21- July 19), and Four-Season Fun (July 19- August 16).  You can enter as often you like, as long as you were the photographer and the photo wasn’t selected as a Celebrate Michigan finalist in previous years.

Four finalists will be selected each week by members of The Detroit News' photo staff. On the fifth week, two winners will be named from the 16 finalists, one by our photo staff, the other a People’s Choice winner selected after five days of public voting online. 

At the close of the contest on Aug. 28, three more photos will be chosen from among all of the finalists to receive Awards of Excellence from our photo staff.

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

Finalists will be announced on Wednesdays beginning June 5, in the newspaper and at https://detroitnews.com/celebrate-michigan, where you can follow the progress of the 13th annual contest all summer.

You don’t necessarily need top-notch camera gear to produce great photos. Every year, some of the finalist photos come from mobile phones. The judges will evaluate each photo’s overall appeal, artistic merit, technical quality, originality and theme appropriateness.

Ready to share your vision of Michigan? Enter your photos now for Celebrate Michigan: People and Places. They can be shots of people in Michigan locations, or interesting places by themselves. Submitted photos, after they are reviewed, will be displayed on the theme’s entry page.

The second theme, Celebrate Michigan: Woods and Wildlife, is self-explanatory, but we’ll accept pets, farm animals, zoo and parks photos too.

The third theme, Celebrate Michigan: Four-Season Fun, aims for photos that highlight one of Michigan’s four seasons and the activities we enjoy.

The Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest is open to non-professional photographers age 18 and older. All photos must have been shot in Michigan, with no significant alteration by a software program. More specifics can be found in the official contest rules.

Want some inspiration? Check out last year’s photo gallery of the winners and finalists below.  When you’re ready to enter your Celebrate Michigan photos, upload them at https://apps.detroitnews.com/submitphotos.

We hope you’ll join the thousands of photographers who have shared their Michigan moments over the years in our contest. Celebrate the state!