These Winning Photos Capture The Beauty & Majesty of Michigan

From Lake Michigan’s sandy beaches to sunsets in Detroit, Michigan residents often find an opportunity to capture a “Pure Michigan moment” through the lens of a camera.

To give photographers a chance to share their love of Michigan with the world, the Pure Michigan Moments Photo Contest was created.  Four winners, one for each season, have been selected from the top 10 entries that received the most votes from the Pure Michigan community. In all, there were 8,924 submissions from photographers who shared their images on social media using the hash tags, #PureMichigan and #PMcontest2015.

The winners will have their photos and names published in a 2016 Pure Michigan Travel Guide and receive merchandise from the Pure Michigan store.

WINTER:

Brenda Martin of Ortonville, who took the photo while on a family trip to the Upper during the Thanksgiving holiday, called it an honor to have her photo selected.

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It was while in Eagle Harbor that Martin said she noticed how well the snow, sky, a lighthouse and Lake Superior looked and decided to capture it all on film.

“When I entered the contest, after several family members and friends shared it to my Facebook page, I thought maybe I had a chance because everything is special about this photo, all the right elements are there,” she said. “But, to actually be selected as the winner, is an absolute honor. Pure Michigan gives photographers of all skill levels the opportunity to showcase their beautiful photos of this great state we live in, and there certainly was no shortage of beautiful photos in this contest.”

SPRING

Suellen Gause of Dowagiac was shopping with a friend in Benton Harbor when she decided to stop at Rocky Gap Park to see Lake Michigan.

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“It was one of those days when the sun was bright, the sky was blue and the lake was gorgeous,” Gause said. “It was a weekday afternoon, so only a few people were parked there taking in the view.  I took several shots of the shoreline and open water, feeling fortunate to have been there on such a perfect spring day.”

The photo is especially important to Gause because Lake Michigan is 40 minutes from Dowagiac where she was born and raised.

“Those Lake Michigan beaches have been the site of many family picnics and sight-seeing trips from the time I was a small child,” she said.

SUMMER:

Evans Tasiopoulos of St. Clair Shores was on Belle Isle the week before Labor Day when he snapped his winning photograph of the James Scott Memorial Fountain.

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“The 90-year-old fountain, especially at night, always fills me with such awe and wonder,” Tasiopoulos said. “When all lit up, to me, the fountain becomes a living and breathing entity. It has seen the many changes throughout Detroit’s history. I always find myself drawn in to spend a little time listening to all of its stories.”

FALL

Kristy Ratcliffe of Flat Rock was visiting Tahquamenon Falls in Paradise with her family and a friend when she photographed her winning picture.

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“My family and I have been there many times before but never in the fall,” she said. “Our friend, Danielle, had never been across the Mackinac Bridge so we convinced her to join us. We have camped all across the country but the U.P. is still our favorite place to be.  There is nowhere else like it.  It makes me so happy to share the beauty of our state with the ones that I love.”

Which photo is your favorite from this year’s photo contest?

Five Phenomenal Pure Michigan Instagram Photos from December 2014

As holiday lights brightened Michigan cities and brought families together from across the state, our fans took full advantage of the beauty and serenity of another December in Pure Michigan. These five remarkable photos are courtesy of our incredible Instagram community, who continue to share breathtaking photos each and every month.

For more, check out our September, October and November roundups and be sure to follow Pure Michigan on Instagram!

A beautiful shot of the mighty Mackinac Bridge by @MichiganNutPhotography.

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Parallel pines crossing a snow-covered trail found in Stony Creek Metro Park in Shelby Township by @danfreiphoto.

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Rochester‘s glowing holiday lights from @desuth.

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The Detroit River and skyline on a calm night by @picturethisbymarilyn.

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A snowy Empire beach by @owenweberlive.

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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 repost.

Twelve Photos You’ll Find Inside the 2015 Pure Michigan Calendar

The holidays are fast approaching and it’s just about time to get shopping! The 2015 Pure Michigan Calendar makes a great gift for the Michigan-lover on your list. Whether you’re near or far from the Mitten State, this 12-month calendar showcases the best of Michigan’s remarkable year round scenery and is now available to order in the Pure Michigan Store.

Here’s a look at each month’s photo – including locations. Be sure to order yours today!

January: Jordan River – Photo courtesy of John McCormick

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February: Empire Bluff near Sleeping Bear DunesPhoto courtesy of John McCormick

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March: DetroitPhoto courtesy of Mike Boening

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April: Lake SuperiorPhoto courtesy of John McCormick

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May: Bay HarborPhoto courtesy of Brian Walters

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June: Grand HavenPhoto courtesy of Tom Roche

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July: Vaughn Lake – Photo courtesy of Neil Weaver

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August: Sugarloaf Mountain, MarquettePhoto courtesy of Laura Maynard

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September: Au Sable River – Photo courtesy of Tom Roche

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October: Lake SuperiorPhoto courtesy of John McCormick

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November: Lake PlumbagoPhoto courtesy of John McCormick

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December: Turnip Rock, Port AustinPhoto courtesy of John McCormick

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If you’re pressed for time this season or just not one to embrace the hustle and bustle of busy shopping areas, the Pure Michigan Store has a number of other Michigan-inspired gifts to help make holiday shopping a breeze.

Which month’s photo is your favorite? Share with us in the comments section below.