Featured Photographer – Mark S. Carlson

Mark Carlson began photographing with Minolta (35mm SLR) equipment in the late ’70’s, but switched over to Nikon in the early 1980’s. Now Mark uses an assortment of Nikon lenses from wide to telephoto with a Fujifilm S5 DSLR body. Mark has honed his skills through photography courses at Lansing Community Collage, Larry West and John Shaw Nature Photography Workshops and “a lot of trial and error.” Mark has been practicing the art of photography for 40 years, 33 professionally – Great Lakes subject matter is his passion.

When asked about his favorite things about Michigan, Mark answers, “Michigan and the Great Lakes are such a unique eco-system in the world. I love everything about it!” Mark’s favorite places to visit are, “the natural beauty of U.P. waterfalls, native orchid habitats, and many, many scenic locations along the shores of every one of our Great Lakes!”

Mark resides with his wife, Debra, at “Looking Glass Overlook” their 30 acre private nature sanctuary along the Looking Glass River in Shiawassee County. Mark recently started Great Lakes Photo Tours and with his partner, Bob Grzesiak, they conduct tours throughout the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit Great Lakes Photo Tours website. To view more of Mark’s photography, you can visit his website: www.markscarlson.com or his facebook page: www.facebook.com/MarkS.CarlsonNaturalistPhotographer

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Featured Photographer – Debi Hollis

Debi Hollis spends her days as an interior designer, but when that is done, she also enjoys reading, cooking, World War II history, and has also volunteered for disaster relief in New Orleans. Debi can often be found enjoying her photography hobby with her Panasonic Lumix. Her favorite things to photograph are: doors, windows and interesting architecture. In the past year she has really begun refining her skills and hopes to take a class soon to boost her skills even more.

When asked to describe Michigan to an outsider, Debi responds, “A surprise gem! I would tell them about all the golf courses and lakes, the sand dunes and the whole “up north” experience: from Leeland, to Traverse City to Mackinaw. Many people don’t know that our agriculture industry is huge and Detroit is a city that now has many reasons to visit: great theaters, restaurants, sports and entertainment venues, some awesome cocktail bars and of course, Eastern Market!” Debi’s favorite things about Michigan are, “The changing seasons for sure! Summers in Michigan are hard to beat – the lake living is awesome! Fall, cider mills and fall produce are terrific also!”

Debi’s top 5 places to visit are:

1. Detroit – to help change the perception that people have.
2. Leeland – Fishtown
3. The Sand Dunes
4. Mackinac Island
5. Saugatuck, Holland, Grand Haven – that strip along Lake Michigan

Featured Photographer – Ann-Marie Roberts

Ann-Marie Roberts grew up with parents as professional photographers, but only recently began taking up the hobby of photography. In June of 2011, Ann-Marie took a picture of Brown Bridge in Chippewa Landing Park in Caro, MI.

This one photo sparked Ann-Marie’s life-long interest in photography and her love of nature. Now, a year later, Ann-Marie keeps busy with work, two children (Tom, 21 and Tina, 18) and photography several days a week. Even on her “off” days, her camera, a Canon SX40, is never out of reach.

Ann-Marie describes Michigan as, “…a state with many beautiful places to see, from the smallest of towns, to our amazing structures like the Mackinac Bridge and all of the lighthouses. [T]he beauty in nature that can be found pretty much everywhere you look, from the waterfalls in the U.P. to sinkholes in Alpena, and we cannot forget about the mysterious Paulding Lights in the U.P.!”

Ann-Marie’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:

1. Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
2. Bronner’s in Frankenmuth
3. Great Lakes shoreline
4. Tahquamenon Falls
5. Visit a lighthouse

Currently, Ann-Marie’s photography is a hobby, but she would love for it to turn into a profession. You can view more of Ann-Marie’s work at: www.missinde.com

Or check out her facebook page: www.facebook.com/MissindeIA