From Our Fans: 15 Favorite Pure Michigan Memories to Kick Off 2015

With the new year officially underway, we asked our fans to take a moment to reflect on their favorite memories from 2014. After a stroll down memory lane, here are 15 unforgettable Pure Michigan moments from days gone by to inspire your travels in 2015. 

Waterfall watching while vacationing in the U.P. from Sherry Stiles

Vacationing in the UP Sherry Stiles

Seeing the Mighty Mac all lit up on a warm August evening from John Stine

Mighty Mac on a Warm August Evening John Stine

 A trip to Arch Rock while visiting Mackinac Island from Wiona Porath

Wiona Porath Arch Rock

A visit to the amazing ice caves off the shores of Leelanau from Janeen M Wardle

Amazing Ice Caves off the shore of Leelanau Janeen M Wardle

Watching the crackling Frankfort fireworks from Jeanine Offer Krupp

Frankfort Fireworks Jeanine Offer Krupp

 Long Lake Michigan beach days from Mark Titus

Mark Titus Beach Days

Summertime trips to the Farmers Market from Leslie Layton Coslet

Leslie Layton Coslet Farmers Market Frankfort

Peaceful moments spent with nature from MavaMarie Vendervennet

Peaceful Moments MavaMarie Vendervennet

Fishing and a fiery sunset over Brevort Lake from Ben Stefanic

Fishing Brevort Lake Ben Stefanic

Walking on frozen water in South Haven from Jennifer Schoenfield Osborn

Walking on Frozen water in South Haven Jennifer Schoenfeld Osborn

Witnessing unforgettable sunsets from Donna Pratt-Owens

Donna Pratt-Owens Frankfort sunset Lake Michigan

Spectacular fall color viewing at the Porcupine Mountains from Patti Potts

Patti Potts Fall Colors Porcupine Mountains

Plenty of Pure Michigan snow days from Ry Meyer

Ry Meyer Snow Days

The Presque Isle scenery from UP Serenity Photography

UP Serenity Photography Presque Isle Park

Wrapping up the year with celebratory fireworks in Ludington from Todd and Brad Reed Photography

NYE Ludington Brad Reed

Where in Pure Michigan will 2015 take you? 

Five Spectacular Summertime Instagram Photos from Our Fans in July 2014

With warm temperatures and sunny skies across the state, July was a beautiful month to get out and explore Pure Michigan – and our Instagram fans’ spectacular summertime captures did not disappoint! From long days at the beach to an evening in the city, here are just a few of our favorite Instagram fan photos from July.

For more fan photos, check out our AprilMay and June roundups and follow us on Instagram

A peaceful evening in Ottawa County courtesy of Instagram user @rkramer62.Ottawa County Sunset @rkramer62

The 313 celebrated its 313th birthday this month! Did you celebrate Detroit‘s birthday this year? Photo courtesy of Instagram user @joshtallyphotos.joshtallyphotos

Beautiful blue waters surround the ore dock in Marquette‘s Lower Harbor. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @detroittinydancer.detroittinydancer marquette

Lovely Mackinac Island lilacs add a splash of color to this summer scene. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @rwalli02.rwalli02 mac island

Smooth stones washed ashore along Lake Huron courtesy of Instagram user @mjo524.928298_1509596179272235_1316778010_n

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.”

Seven Tips for Capturing a Perfect Pure Michigan Sunset

We consider ourselves quite lucky to have the opportunity experience breathtaking, colorful sunsets all year round in Pure Michigan! Today, nature photographer Joshua Nowicki shares some of his best tips for capturing the memory of a perfect Pure Michigan sunset forever. 

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography - St. Joseph

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography – St. Joseph

I am out almost every night taking photos of the sunset.  Recently, I decided to look back on my photos from the last several years and I could see a noticeable change in the style and quality of the images that I have created.  This led me to think about the way I now approach sunset photography.  As a result, here are a few tips on creating beautiful photos of the sunsets in Pure Michigan.

Research your location: Do an image-search to get an idea of the popular features of a particular location.  Also, find out where the sun will set; there are a variety of apps and websites that will allow you to determine the position of the sun on the date and time that you will be in a particular location.  Knowing the position of the sun relative to the features of the landscape will allow you to better plan the composition of your photos.  For instance, there are several locations in Saint Joseph where I know that I can take a photo of the sun and the lighthouse at a distance, but this is only possible on a limited number of days during the year due to the changing position of the setting sun.

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography - Ludington State Park

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography – Ludington State Park

Get to your location early and observe others: When I arrive at a location, I first look at where other people are.  Sometimes it is a great spot, but often I move away from the group.  I do this because then I am not competing with others for space to take photos.  Also, I like to find a less common perspective, and I enjoy taking photos from a quiet spot in order to better enjoy the moment.

Look around: Because I arrive early, I usually have time before the sun is in the location that I want to photograph.  I use part of this time to enjoy taking photos during the ‘golden hour’ when the landscape is bathed in the soft warm light of the sun.  Further, this is a good opportunity to look for any objects that may unintentionally end up in your photos; power lines, cars, buoys etc. if not placed purposefully in the composition of your photo can be very distracting.

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography - St. Joseph

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography – St. Joseph

Try a different perspective: I like to crouch down low or even lay on the ground to take photos.  It makes waves look larger and lets you uniquely catch the light on the water or through grass.  It is a wonderful way to capture details that are often overlooked.

Be patient: Wait for the position of the sun, sailboat, lighthouse etc. to align as planned.  When I started taking photos, I often ran from place to place trying to get as many different angles as possible without thinking about exactly what I wanted to capture.  Now, I will choose a place and wait patiently; if necessary, I move location only slightly to get the photo composed as planned.  As a result, I take fewer photos, but I am happier with the ones that I take.

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography - After sunset in St. Joseph

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography – After sunset in St. Joseph

Stay late: It is amazing how quickly people leave after the sun sets. The color of the sky, especially if there are clouds, is amazing after sunset.

More than just the sunset: Photos of the sunset and water or clouds can be beautiful, but adding in an element that tells a story about the location is wonderful. Trees, lighthouses, animals, and buildings etc. add to the story that the photo tells and offer valuable data about the experience of being there.  A photo of the beach could be almost anywhere; but with a lighthouse in the background, the photo is instantly given a definable location.

With amazing sunsets almost every night, there are endless opportunities to take beautiful sunset photos in Pure Michigan.

For more photos of Pure Michigan sunsets, check out our Pure Michigan Flickr page or follow us on Instagram.

Joshua_NowickiJoshua Nowicki is a St. Joseph, Michigan based photographer specializing in landscape, nature, architecture, and food photography.   His photos can be viewed online on Facebook or his website.