Five Frame-Worthy Instagram Photos From Our Fans in February 2015

February in Pure Michigan brought snow-capped trees, sweet celebrations and striking scenery. Set against a backdrop of shimmering snow and ice, the winter photos we receive from our Pure Michigan Instagram community never cease to amaze us! Here are just a few of our favorites from February. 

 Turnip Rock in Port Austin. This unique view comes from @kbernock.

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Snowmobiling on the tree-lined trails in Boon, MI near Cadillac. Photo by @andypeninger.

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Simple winter splendor. Great shot of the majestic Mackinac Bridge from @tbulman01.

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A front row seat to a fiery winter sunset near Saugatuck courtesy of @papafinny.

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Credit goes to @pottspics71 for snapping this incredible shot of frozen Munising Falls while exploring the Upper Peninsula.

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For more fan photography, follow us on Instagram. Be sure to tag your photos with #PureMichigan to give us permission to re-gram! 

From Our Fans: 25 Unforgettable Pure Michigan Snow Day Memories

We asked our fans to show us what they’ve been up to this winter, and we had a blast taking a look at the fantastic snow day memories that they’ve made so far. From dog sledding to snowboarding, snowshoe hiking and more, it’s easy to see that there are countless ways to spend the ultimate snow day in Pure Michigan.

There’s still plenty of winter left! Take a look at these 25 unforgettable Pure Michigan snow day memories and make plans to get out and explore for yourself.

What’s your favorite way to spend a snow day? Share your photos enjoying the snow using #PureMichiganSnowDay on Twitter and Instagram! For more on planning a Pure Michigan winter outing, visit michigan.org/snowday.

Six Unbelievable Close-Up Snowflakes That Reveal the Magic of Winter

When the first flakes start to fall, we look forward to hitting the slopes, making snow angels and revving the engines of our snowmobiles. Fresh snow gives us the chance to head outside and take in the magic of winter. 

So, the next time you’re out enjoying a snow day, grab your camera and get up-close with what makes Pure Michigan a winter wonderland – snowflakes! Photographer Joshua Nowicki shares his tips for photographing these one-of-a-kind beauties. 

dsc_2412 snowflake photo by Joshua Nowicki

As the snow accumulates over the winter months, it is easy to lose appreciation for the beauty of winter.  As the snow builds layer after layer, I find it therapeutic to take a closer look and enjoy the wonders of a single snowflake.

A little over a year ago, I received gift of a +1, +2, +4 set of close-up macro filters to use on a lens for my camera.  It was snowing that day, and almost immediately, I was outside trying to take photos of snowflakes.  I searched for snowflakes lying on leaves, pine needles, windshields anywhere I could find them isolated or on a dark background.  I was spending a lot of time searching for individual snowflakes and not much time taking photos.  So, I decided that I needed to find a better way to capture my subject.  I tried a variety of different materials to catch snowflakes on, and found that I had the best luck using an old blue stocking cap.  The snowflakes land at angles propped up by the frayed fibers of the stocking cap, and this provides a little separation from the rest of the material.

The macro filters gave me a closer view of the snow than I had ever seen before; but I wanted to get closer.  I was using the macro filters on an 18-55mm lens, and then, I switched to trying them on a 55-200mm lens.  This worked reasonably well, but I felt like I was getting too much distortion in the images that I took.  So, I kept searching for another way.  I could not justify the cost of a macro lens, therefore I kept experimenting.  I finally decided upon using electrical tape to attach one lens backward in front of another lens.  My favorite combination is currently a 55-200mm lens with a 50mm lens.  For lighting the snowflakes, I use an external camera flash and flashlight.  It is not a beautiful set up, but it is an effective one.

The level of magnification that this has allowed me has been astounding.  Details that I never thought I would be able to see in person, I could now photograph.  I have been amazed by the variety of shapes of snowflakes and dazzled by the intricate and delicate detail of each individual snowflake.  As the weather and temperature change, the shapes and sizes of the snowflakes also change.  Two of my favorite snowflake shapes are sectored plates and stellar dendrites.

Every time it snows, I find myself running outside to see what the snowflakes look like. Frequently, I have had to explain to neighbors and people passing by why I am sitting in the snow taking close up photos of my stocking cap.  Many of them chuckled until I showed them the photos I was taking. The next time it snows, before you grab your shovel, take a moment to sit in the snow with a camera or magnifying glass and enjoy one of the true marvels of winter. See their beauty below.

dsc_3080 snowflake photo by Joshua Nowicki

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What’s your favorite way to spend a snow day? Share your photos enjoying the snow using #PureMichiganSnowDay on Twitter and Instagram or visit michigan.org/snowday.

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