Pure Michigan Facebook Fan Photos June 2014

Summer is officially here in Pure Michigan! Our fans have been out and about enjoying the warmer weather with boat rides, kayak trips, winery tours, golf outings and more! Here’s a look back at some of our favorite photos from June. For more fan photos, be sure to check out our Pure Michigan Flickr page, or follow us @PureMichigan on Instagram.

The Mighty Mackinac Bridge with calm waters below. Photo by Facebook fan Gary Ennis.


A great shot of the Northern Lights in Michigan. Photo from Facebook fan Jeremy Rows.


A magical sun setting over Houghton Lake, MI. Photo by Facebook fan Loose Canon Photography.


A vibrant purple flower blooms in Holland, MI. Photo by Facebook fan Jessica Jackson.


A peaceful sunset behind the grapevines in Caseville, MI. Photo by Facebook fan Jason McIver Photography.


All the shades of blue make us want to go kayak on Madron Lake. Photo by Facebook fan Deb Whitfield.


We would love to sit back and enjoy this view in Northport, MI. Photo by Facebook fan Bradi Metcalf.


This dock in Burt Lake, MI looks like the perfect place to sit back, go fishing, and relax. Photo by Facebook fan Constance Durst Dobson.


A beautiful shot of the perfect day at the Bear Golf Course in Acme, MI. Photo by Facebook fan Little Ways Photography.


We love looking at all of beautiful rocks and shells that wash up on shore in Traverse City, MI. Photo by Facebook fan Morgan Kantola.


Which photo from June 2014 is your favorite? Be sure to share your favorite summer photos with us on Facebook and Instagram! 

Five Incredible Instagram Photos from Our Fans in June 2014

We might be biased, but of all 50 states, we think Michigan is the most photogenic. No matter where you are in the mitten, you’re sure to find a beautiful setting sun, white-capped waves, or vibrant blooming flowers. This June, our Pure Michigan Instagram community ventured outdoors to find some captivating Pure Michigan moments. From blue skies to kayak rides, here are just a few of our favorites from June. 

For more fan photos, check out our March, April and May roundups and follow us on Instagram

A stretch of beautiful unspoiled nature at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains captured by @brob40. What a perfect view! 10375647_239190046292110_620682336_n

A swirl of beautiful pastel colors light up the sky as the sun goes down over Ann Arbor. Photo by Instagram user @klc_ina2.AnnArbor_klc_in_a2

Bright stars speckle the dark sky over Duck Lake in Muskegon. Photo by Instagram user @skeetownjay.DuckLake_Skeettownjay

No matter the temperature, Pictured Rocks will always take your breath away! Photo by Instagram user @amateer14.PicturedRocks_amateer14

 A glowing sun dips below the Lake Michigan horizon on a tranquil evening in Leelanau County. Photo by Instagram user @john_a_gessner.John_a_gessner

Have you captured a fantastic Pure Michigan photo recently?

If you’re on Instagram, follow us @puremichigan! If you’d like us to share your photos from across the state, please tag them with #PureMichigan to give us permission to “re-gram.”

Tips for Photographing the Milky Way in Michigan – and Seven Stunning Starry Night Photos too!

Today, guest blogger Shawn Malone of LakeSuperiorPhoto shares some tips for photographing the night sky to keep in mind for the next time you find yourself stargazing in Michigan. We can’t get enough of these spectacular starry skies! 

Now that warmer temperatures are upon us, it is a great time to get out and do some stargazing. On clear, moonless nights, the brightest part of the Milky Way can be found in the southern sky, and rises as the night progresses. With advances in DSLR technology in which sensors are now more light sensitive than ever, many are jumping in to night sky photography and coming up with impressive images of the night sky.

Some basic items you’ll need to capture the Milky Way are a DSLR camera capable of capturing high iso images with acceptable noise levels, a fast wide angle lens, a cable release and a tripod. You will be taking long exposures, so it is a good idea to use mirror lock up to ensure elimination of any possible camera shake during exposure. There are a lot of astrophotography software options out there that show the night sky in movement by date and location. Landmarks framed by a brilliant Milky Way always make for great images, you need to be aware of the best angles of those landmarks relative to the position of the Milky Way as it rises in the sky. Choose a software that best helps you  to plan for optimal shooting times and locations, and composition-much software is free or of minimal charge and demos can be found online with a little bit of searching.

This is an image of the Milky Way as it rises through the trees in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The trees provide a nice framing to the brightest part of the Milky Way, and the dark sky location of this area makes it prime for night sky photography in all directions.

Michigan Milky Way

A good all around manual setting I frequently use in Milky Way photography is iso 3200, f2.8, 25-30 second exposures. This captures the Milky Way nicely and also elements in the surrounding frame with enough light in one exposure.

This image was taken seconds later and shows a brilliant outburst of northern lights streaking through the Milky Way. This was an unexpected event, as the auroral activty to that point had been very faint and only low on the horizon. The more you get out, the greater chances you have to capture welcome surprises such as this one and this image remains on of my most intriguing night sky photographs.

Here, the Milky Way is shown sweeping across Tobin Harbor in the very dark sky location of Isle Royale. The darker the skies, the more contrast you will end up in your photos of the details of the Milky Way. A setting of iso 3200, f2.8, with an exposure of 25 seconds was what captured this image. Any longer of a shutter speed and movement in the stars becomes an issue with the 14mm lens I was using here.

Upper Tahquamenon Falls is a great location for the Milky Way as it is framed nicely from late Spring through a good portion of the Summer as the Milky Way progresses through the southern sky from east to west.   On moonless nights, you will get a fantastic definition in the Milky Way, but light painting is necessary to illuminate the falls. Here I just used a simple headlight and moved it across the falls throughout the 25 second exposure. A 30-40% moon rising in the east would provide a more even lighting, but you will lose some contrast in the Milky Way.

Here you see the entire Milky Way as it stretches from north to south at Whitefish Point Lightouse. It was getting near dawn here as you see on the left side, and the Milky Way had risen quite high, I could barely fit it completely in the frame even with a 14mm, however you get a good look at the entire Milky Way. This is another great dark sky location as you see the southern portion of the Milky Way clearly defined, while the lighthouse is framed nicely.  This is a composite of 12 images and is stitched together in a post process to create a 180 degree panorama.

AuSable Point Lighthouse and Milky Way. Again, in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore-  This is another great lighthouse that frames the Milky Way nicely as the Milky Way rises in the south in late Spring and into the Summer.  In this picture, light painting again was used to show some detail in the lighthouse, as it was a new moon.

Sometimes you might not be in a position to drive very far. This panorama was taken in my ‘backyard’ from the turnouts on M-28  east of Marquette. This is a great location for night sky viewing both to the north and south due to dark skies over Lake Superior to the north and relatively little light pollution to the south. In this 270 degree panorama, light pollution of Marquette to the west is visible on left behind the white pines, a subtle aurora arcs to the north, and the Milky Way stretches from North to South.  This is also a composite stitched in post and was taken in late Spring before the Milky Way rose too high out of the frame.

So check your calendar for the new moon and when clear skies are in the forecast and get out for a few nights to try your hand at capturing the night sky.  That is the magic of digital photography, instant results for quick evaluation and learning, and with some basic equipment and a few simple steps, you are on your way to capturing great images of the night sky.

Do you have any photos of starry nights in Michigan? Tag them with #PureMichigan on Twitter or Instagram and check out our Michigan Milky Way Pinterest board!

Shawn Malone is a photographer out of Marquette Michigan where she runs LakeSuperiorPhoto, an art gallery/studio of her work in downtown Marquette on 211 South Front St. email: mqtphoto@aol.com. Malone runs night sky photography workshops out of her studio during the summer and fall months. Visit the website for the latest photography workshop dates and times.