Happy Veteran’s Day to all of the brave men and women that have served or are currently serving this great country that we call Home. Thank you for your sacrifices that give us our safety and freedoms that we enjoy everyday.
Best of 2013 Photo Contest
The Best of 2013 photo contest is underway on the Michigan is Amazing facebook fan page. There are 49 amazing photos to enjoy from many talented photographers from all over this beautiful state. Check out the album and vote for your favorites!
Click here to vote: Michigan is Amazing Best of 2013 Photo Contest
The winner will receive a beautiful Michigan-themed picture frame made by Scott Snow from Michigan in Metal!
What General Motors $125m Project Means For Michigan
General Motors revealed that they intend to retain 135 jobs at their Flint, Michigan plant, and add 15 new jobs in the next two years. The move comes as part of a new $124.5 million construction project, which will enable a new 850,00 square-foot paint shop to be built at the plant on Van Slyke Road. This is good news for the residents of the city, and comes in the wake of the devastating closures of many car plants throughout the state in recent years.
Michigan, and Detroit in particular, has long been known as the automotive capital of the world, with the car industry providing thousands of jobs for local residents. There are many reasons why Michigan developed into the dominant force in car making during the 20th century. Henry Ford lived in Detroit for starters. Then there was the abundance of high quality iron ore from the Mesabi Range in nearby Minnesota, as well as timber here in Michigan. Good rail links and access to water made it easy to ship cars to the metropolises of New York City and Chicago, and Detroit already had proven its success in heavy industry, having manufactured stove works for many years prior to the automotive boom.
Geographical advantage? Lucky accident? Or did Michigan become what it is today through the hard graft of its many plant workers and automobile employees? Maybe it’s a combination of all three. But, still, the statistics are astounding. A total of 125 different car companies were launched in Detroit at the beginning of the twentieth century. Ford help to devise the modern assembly line which became part and parcel of the automotive industry in Motor City in the following decades. In 1914, the company introduced the five dollar day, where industrial workers saw a significant pay increase, which helped to boost productivity as well as profit. The car industry brought workers from across the United States – and beyond – and soon Detroit, and the rest of Michigan, became one of the most ethnically diverse places in the country.
For those who want to experience Michigan’s long association with the automobile industry, try the Henry Ford Museum, located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. This vast complex and the surrounding Greenfield Village, contains vast structures such as Thomas Edison’s laboratory, and the shop where the Wright Brothers conceived the invention of the airplane. Both have been restored and moved to this location. There is also an extensive car collection which displays many vehicles from throughout history, and contains exhibits on how the car industry has had an effect on the culture of our nation.
The Automotive Hall of Fame, also in Dearborn, pays home to the thousands of workers who developed and advanced the car industry, whilst the Ford Rouge Factory is the only public tour of a car plant in the state, with the building measuring 1.5 miles long. Built in 1917, the Ford Rouge Factory once employed 100,00 workers and as is a must-see for anyone interested in the long and diverse history of Michigan. With the promise of a new General Motors plant in Flint, which will start construction in 2014, let’s hope Michigan’s affinity with the automobile industry will continue for decades to come.
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Above: General Motors building (Image source)
Below: Ford Motor Company, Detriot, Micihigan (Image source)
Author biography – Bradley Taylor is a freelance writer from Derby, England born in 1984 who writes about all aspects of the automotive industry. You can connect with Bradley on Google+ and follow him on Twitter.
For my birthday, my husband bought me a rock tumbler. So, for a couple weeks my family and I spent time collecting rocks along Lake Huron.
I started up the tumbler and have been patiently waiting while the first step of coarse grit smooths my collection of rocks.
I cleaned and inspected everything tonight. My Michigan rocks already look amazing! Here they are – all ready for step 2.
I washed and replaced them along with medium grit.
Now, I wait until I can take another peek at them in a few days.
Camping at Tawas Point State Park
I just returned from 10 days of camping at Tawas Point State Park. It was a great vacation with my family! If you have been to Tawas Point State Park, you know what a little slice of Heaven looks like…and if you haven’t been there, you really should check it out. The campground is really nice and we had a great site that was frequented by many pairs of Orioles and many other beautiful song birds. The Lighthouse is open for tours and there is a small gift shop where you can pick up a shirt or a great picture frame by Michigan in Metal. Between the 2 playgrounds and all of the biking and swimming, the kiddos were exhausted each night.
There are beautiful sunrises over Lake Huron or if you are not an early bird (like me), you can watch the sunset over Tawas Bay.
The beach has beautiful sand and the lake is quite shallow along this part of the shore which makes for great swimming. The wind on Tawas Point is great and lures many kiteboarders who are seeking wind to fill their kites. I got to meet Mark Kuban, the owner of Motor City Kiteboarding and watch him, my husband, and many others ride the wind and waves. These guys and gals are really entertaining to watch and are such a friendly group.
And when you need a great meal and a friendly smile, just stop by to see Joe at The Tawas Beach Grill right there by the beach for great coneys and ribs!
So, it was a great vacation and we are already counting the days until we can go back for more sun, sand, wind, and water.
Pure Michigan Guest Post
A few weeks ago I was asked to write a guest post for Pure Michigan and today it went live. It is such a great honor to be part of the great Pure Michigan site. Here is the link to the Michigan is Amazing guest post on the Pure Michigan blog:
Featured Photographer – Tony Baiardi
Tony Baiardi has been enjoying photography for 47 years. He started with his first camera as an eight years old. For the past 25 years, he has been using Canon cameras – first film then digital. Tony self-taught and then began taking digital photography classes to master the art of digital photography and photoshop. Tony says, “I use mac, photoshop CS6, and am able to do about anything. I try to keep my work as is out of the camera, but sometimes on site that one shot you want needs a bit of tweaking, with a full size sensor unit, clear crisp shot, well lit, you can do about anything you need.”
Photography is both a hobby and a profession for Tony. “What started as a hobby many years ago has been a job for some time now. Hard to call it work, though weddings and up-front paid shoots definitely are work. Very stressful if you’re a perfectionist as I tend to think I am. Landscapes are often wet, freezing, windy, countless hours in the field, but I truly love the result. Very seldom do I go to a location and come home without one wall hanger.” Tony always has a camera with him while on the road, but must be moved to take the shot. Tony’s favorite things to photograph are, nature, kids and babies, glamour, and sporting events. Tony also photographs weddings, high school seniors and commercial work. Tony also does photo touch-ups and complete photo restorations.
Tony has been a home designer/builder for 37 years – all in Michigan. He has done projects from Mackinac Island to Northville (custom homes mostly with some commercial). Tony is married to a great gal, Denise, and they have two kids, Nicole and Richard. Tony also has two awesome grandkids, Sidney and Joe. Tony and Denise have a cottage up north off Burt Lake, which at times is Tony’s base for photography. Located 28 miles below the Mackinac Bridge – he has a great location. They have traveled on the great lakes at roughly the center of the state from east to west, all the area north on the water. Tony says, “We love the water and I will never leave this state just for that. The great lakes are priceless. We have traveled many areas around the world and I always love coming home.”
Tony’s favorite things about Michigan are, “The four seasons and water, the Great Lakes are priceless, and the fall colors are second to no other state. The Upper Peninsula has such great vast areas of nothing or nobody – total nature.” Tony also loves the sand dunes, mini mountains, rivers, golf, culture, restaurants, museums, copper mines, and the history on how our white pines were stripped from our soils to build USA.
Tony’s top 5 places to visit are:
1. The Great Lakes
2. Grand Marais Dunes
3. Two-tracking through the Huron mountains in the fall
4. Mackinac Island in the off-season
5. Isle Royale
To see more of Tony’s work, you can visit his website: http://imagesbyanthonynet.zenfolio.com/f537744488
Friday’s Fab 5 – 2/8/13
There are 5 Amazing photos in this week’s photo contest! Check it out and vote for your favorite!
Featured Photographer – Lj Long
Lj Long has always enjoyed photography and had a dark room in his parents’ basement as a teenager. Years later, with the coming of digital photography, he has renewed his passion for photography. Lj uses Nikon equipment exclusively and is currently enrolled in The New York Institute of Photography. Although photography is currently a hobby that sells the occasional print, Lj aspires to grow into a business later in life. Lj’s favorite things to photograph are nature, anything around the lake (Gun Lake) is good, Lake Michigan, lighthouses, beaches, motorsports, cars, and bikes. Lj had a blast with fall foliage last year and also enjoys photographing bikes racing on the frozen lake.
Currently, Lj’s full time job is working as a Field Service Representative for Square D Services, a nationwide service company in the Electrical Industry. Lj specializes in power distribution equipment, “things like transformers, switchgear, circuit breakers and other fun stuff like that. My job affords me a great deal of travel around the state which is good for my hobby. Other hobbies include British sports cars. I restored an old Triumph which is a lot of fun. Naturally, living on the lake pretty much demands that you enjoy everything about it all summer long [including] boats, swimming, and time with friends.”
Lj’s favorite thing about Michigan is the abundance that Michigan offers. It has everything anyone could ever want, four wonderful seasons, beautiful scenery, the lakes, and wonderful cities. “Lake Michigan is like going to the ocean, only better. The list goes on and on.” Lj describes Michigan, “Imagine a place with fresh water oceans, the most incredible dunes. Endless forests. Incredible inland lakes. Now picture a city that looks like it was ravaged by war, broken down abandoned buildings, burned out corpses of cars, urban blight and decay. All of these things offer incredible photo opportunities.”
Lj’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:
2. Mackinac Island
3. Pictured Rocks Lakeshore
4. Silver lake
5. Grand Haven
You can view more of Lj’s beautiful work on his facebook page at:
Featured Photographer – Dee Maggio
Dee Maggio is no stranger to today’s economic struggles. After losing her job and her home in 2011, Dee has found renewed hope and strength in her photography. On December 25, 2011, Dee began photographing the animals that were in need of homes for non-profit animal rescues. Dee’s photos are used to help showcase the animals on PetFinder, Facebook, and other adoption websites. The area organizations have begun using these beautiful portraits on their marketing and promotional campaigns as well as calendars, note cards, t-shirts, and logos.
Dee says, “The response has been amazing, almost 500 of the pups I’ve photographed have been adopted (and many more are pending) in less than ten months! I share credit of these adoptions with the fosters and volunteers, the shelter staff, the cross-posters, it truly takes a village. Working with these pups is amazing. Finding a place to set up for a photo shoot in an overcrowded shelter is almost impossible. Other rescues that I’m working with are foster-based, which means rounding them all up for a photo shoot is difficult and finding a place to shoot, even more challenging. The stuff I haul to and from photo shoots is overwhelming. The work is really challenging, but I love it.”
Dee uses her Nikon for the animal photography, but also for photographing people, nature, the fall season, and she adores “rusty things.” Dee’s love of photography began as a child and many of her family photos do not include her since she was behind the camera. As a young girl, most of her babysitting money was spent on developing film.
Dee’s favorite thing about Michigan is Lake Michigan. Her top 5 places to visit are:
1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and all of Leelanau Peninsula
2. Lighthouse hunting all along the coast of Lake Michigan (Little Sable Point is my favorite)
3. The little towns along the way for fabulous restaurants, art galleries and boutiques (oh, how I LOVE Leland and Pentwater!)
4. Central Michigan for the covered bridges
5. Detroit area is rich with history (the architecture alone!), Belle Isle, Henry Ford Museum, Fox Theatre, the Detroit Zoo, etc.
You can view Dee’s work or inquire about photography services at: