Hart Plaza's winter glow earns spot in Celebrate Michigan finals

The finalists are chosen, now cast your vote for the People's Choice Award!

The Detroit News

Experiments in photography sometimes result in a scene we’ve often seen, but not quite like this before. 

"Transcending the Snow," by Marybeth Kiczenski of Des Plaines, Illinois.

 “The RenCen holds a special place in my heart, being a Detroit area native,” said Marybeth Kiczenski, who now lives in Des Plaines, Illinois.  She was back in town on business for the auto show in January and took time one evening to walk around downtown.

“I really liked the striking shape of the Transcending sculpture (in Hart Plaza) and how it seemed to almost frame the RenCen,” she said. “So I set up the camera and experimented with the Speedlight (flash) to try to freeze the falling snow. Between the flash, and the leftover Christmas lights behind me, it made for an almost sci-fi looking scene.”

For its fresh perspective on a familiar landmark, Kiczenski’s photo “Transcending the Snow” lands one of the last finalists spots under the People and Places theme in The Detroit News’ 13th annual Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest. 

Other finalists selected this week:

  • “Final Resting Place,” by Gary Molnar of Leonard.  An occasional tour guide in Detroit, Molnar was showing three German businessmen the abandoned Packard plant in 2016.  “They huddled and spoke German for a moment,” he said. “Finally one said in English, ‘We didn’t know Detroit was bombed.’” Inspired, Molnar took a photo from the grounds of the adjacent Trinity Lutheran cemetery on a foggy morning.  “The plant looms in the background as a towering tomb that has joined those mortals resting in front of it,” he said. 
  • “Like a Bird,” by Tomasx Lacki of Warren.  “I always had an idea of taking a picture from the bird's view perspective over Michigan,” Lacki said. Packing a custom-made, ultra-strong selfie stick, he got a glider pilot to take him into the skies over central Michigan. “There is nothing like seeing our beautiful state in the total silence of a glider from above,” he said.
  • “Dog Friendly Parks,” by Stephen Hughes of Kalamazoo. In a scene familiar to most Michigan residents, a girl and her pup walk down a sandy path to the beach at Port Crescent State Park in Port Austin.

Now that all 16 finalists are chosen, it’s time to vote for the People’s Choice award. Cast your vote at https://apps.detroitnews.com/vote between Wednesday and Sunday. 

 The winner will be announced on July 3, along with the People and Places winner selected by The Detroit News photo staff. Both winners will receive $300.

Meanwhile, the Woods and Wildlife portion of the photo contest is underway. Photos of Michigan’s flora and fauna will be accepted until July 19. Submit yours at https://apps.detroitnews.com/submitphotos.

The contest’s final theme, Four-Season Fun, wraps up the summer photo fest July 19-August 16.

The contest is open to non-professional photographers age 18 and older. Read the official rules and follow along all summer at https://detroitnews.com/celebrate-michigan for weekly stories and a growing photo gallery of the finalists and winners selected to date.