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!

Michigan Picture Frame 4x6 in Rustic Copper

Michigan Picture Frame 4×6 in Rustic Copper

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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.

LAKE TOPAZ self portrait

Cottage color 22x15

Mackinac winter street 2009

Tahquamenon Falls poster winner

Petoskey Pier fall18x12

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

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.

Gun Lake Studio - Lj Long

Gun Lake Studio - Lj Long 2

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:
1. Detroit
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:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gun-Lake-Studio/165970600193597

Featured Photographer – Neil Weaver

Twelve years ago, Neil Weaver ventured out to the lake with his 35mm camera. A few months later he purchased a Canon Rebel X and some Fujichrome Velvia 35mm slide film and fell in love with photography. In 2006, Neil reluctantly went to a digital SLR and became a believer almost immediately. Today, Neil uses a Nikon D300, go-to lenses include the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 and Sigma 10-20mm and 70-200mm Lenses, and an Induro Tripod.

Neil is just as passionate about Michigan as he is about photography and he wants his photos to demonstrate that. Neil loves shooting wide sweeping landscape photos of our Great Lakes shorelines. “I am 100% self-taught, learning through trial and error and a lot of reading. One important thing I have learned is that you often have to experience some discomfort to get the best photos. What I mean by that is that I often get my best photos by getting out of bed early or staying out late past the sunset, shooting in freezing temperatures, standing in frigid water to get up close to a waterfall, or laying on my stomach in the wet grass to get the best angle.”

Regarding the choice to begin selling his prints, Neil said, “photography began as a hobby, but a few years ago I decided to start up a website and sell my prints and things went well. This year has been the best yet, even with the economy the way it is, more people are hanging my prints in their homes and offices. I love the business side of photography almost as much as taking the photos, I really enjoy working with customers.”

Neil was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie where he lived until 2005. Neil now lives in the capital area with his wife Kristina, two-year-old, Brady, and nine-month-old, Paige. Neil and his family love to travel all over our beautiful state and enjoy all it has to offer. Neil loves the diverse natural features in Michigan, its great lakes, thousands of inland lakes, beautiful rivers, dunes, sandy beaches, rocky shores, and waterfalls.

Neil’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:
1. Pictured Rocks
2. Porcupine Mountains
3. Sleeping Bear Dunes
4. Au Sable River
5. Ludington State Park

You can visit Neil’s website or facebook page to see many more of his beautiful images.

www.NeilWeaverPhotography.com
www.facebook.com/neilweaverphotography

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

Featured Photographer – John Gessner

John Gessner first picked up a camera in 2006 to document college life. Intrigued by art, John took some art history classes, but found out that he was a “complete dullard with a paint brush.” In January of 2010, John purchased his current camera, the Canon 450d, and began taking photography seriously later that fall.

John is a self-taught photographer and enjoys learning from other photographers as well as taking inspiration from classic works of art. John is either out on a photo shoot or in his “digital darkroom” daily. When asked about photography, John says, “Photography is a way of life. It’s more than a hobby, but it’s not a profession – although I do sell an occasional print or set of note cards (which has its benefits as photography is very expensive!). For those that really want to make great images, it’s a lifestyle – you’re up early or out late, traveling and scouting locations, laying in the mud, getting eaten by bugs, getting frozen stiff, and a lot of other discomforts. But it’s worth it!” When John is not behind the lens, you typically can find him hiking, boating, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing or hanging out with friends and his wife, Hilary, in Traverse City. John works for the Grand Traverse Conservation District in marketing and outreach, and occasionally gets to use his love of photography for work – “which is great!”

John describes Michigan as a “Land of Abundant Beauty.” His favorite things about Michigan are the woods, beaches, lakes, people, farms, food, sunrises, sunsets, birds, bugs, and the night sky.

John’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:
1. Mission Point Lighthouse/Farmland tour on Old Mission Peninsula
2. Fishtown/Village Cheese Shanty/Lake Leelanau boat cruise
3. Leelanau State Park
4. Mackinac Bridge
5. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

To see more of John Gessner’s photography or to purchase a print, you can visit his website at: www.johnagessner.com

Royal Oak Art Fair

ROYAL OAK 42nd ANNUAL OUTDOOR ART FAIR

The 42nd Annual Outdoor Art Fair will be held Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8, in the beautiful setting of Memorial Park, at the corner of Woodward Avenue and 13 Mile in Royal Oak. Fair hours are 10 am to 6 pm Saturday, and 10 am to 5 pm Sunday.

Over 100 Michigan and out of state artists will be selling original art work for your home, office, or as a gift. An exciting variety of art offered by these juried artists include ceramics, painting/prints, fiber arts, jewelry, photography, sculpture, wood, glass, leather, and mixed media. A variety of food items will be available.

The Art Fair is sponsored by the Royal Oak Department of Recreation & Public Service and the Royal Oak Arts Council.

Rain or shine, make it a fun day at Royal Oak’s 42nd Annual Outdoor Art Fair.