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2021 Celebrate Michigan photo contest begins

The Detroit News

It's time once again to celebrate all that is beautiful and beloved in the state of Michigan.

For the 15th consecutive year, we're inviting intrepid amateur photographers to participate in The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest. The competition rewards outstanding photos of Michigan, its people, places, and animals, with nine prizes of as much as $300 doled out at the end of the summer.  

The contest has three themes running concurrently from May 28-Aug. 20: People and Places, Woods and Wildlife and Four-Season Fun. You can enter as often you like, as long as you were the photographer, you're not a professional photographer, and the photo wasn’t selected as a Celebrate Michigan finalist in previous years.

Each week, judges from the Detroit News photo staff selects four finalists. At the end of the contest, the judges will select one winner in each category. One People’s Choice winner in each category will be chosen by an online public vote, Aug. 26-30.

Each of the six winners will receive $300. At the end of the contest, three Awards of Excellence will be chosen by the Detroit News photo staff from the remaining finalists of all three themes, and will receive $100 each.

Enter the contest at

Curious what the competition will be like? Last year was a record number for entries — 6,902 photos in all. Here are the winning images from 2020:

  • Shravan Kumar Mummadi's amazing photo of light streaks drawn with fireworks was deserving of the People's Choice award in People and Places.
People’s Choice Winner - Shravan Kumar Mummadi of Dearborn captured this long-exposure image during a night at Lake Hudson Park in June 2020.
  • For the Woods and Wildlife category our editors chose the photo by Brighton photographer Charles Gammon of a female Eastern bluebird with food for her young.
Judges' Prize Winner - Brighton photographer Charles Gammon made a great photo of this female Eastern bluebird with food for her young.
  • Charlie Newman of West Bloomfield was driving the side roads of Genesee County looking for old barns when he made the Editors' Prize winner for the Four Season Fun category. The intense lightning strike behind the weathered barn makes this image. 
Judges' Prize Winner - "Lightning Strike" by Charlie Newman of West Bloomfield.Newman captured this amazing image while driving the side roads of Genesee County looking for old barns.
  • Two images caused a lot of debate between the editors while deciding the top prize winners. Ultimately, Peggy Sue Zinn's shot of a photographer capturing rough weather and Peter Brown's shot of kite surfers were chosen as Award of Excellence winners
Award of Excellence Winner - Traverse City photographer Peggy Sue Zinn photographs fellow photographer Clark Most photographing huge waves.
Award of Excellence Winner - Peter Brown of Benton Harbor captured this image of a father trying to hold his son down as a gust of wind lifts the boy and his kite surfing kite into the air.

See the full contest rules at

Check out entries as they are posted to the contest by going to