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

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 – 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:
http://deemaggiophotography.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dee-Maggio-Photography/136248176432563

Featured Photographer – Guy Strong

Guy Strong is a timelapse videographer and a soccer coach and has been taking pictures for 16 years. On a typical shoot, he takes 25,000 photos. In his free time, he takes photos as often as he can – depending on light and weather. In a perfect world he gets 3 images a day that he likes. Guy’s equipment of choice are: Nikon D4, Nikon D800E, Gitzo Tripod, Kessler pocket dolly, Favorite Lens Nikon 14-24 mm, 24-70, and 70-200. Zeiss 35 mm 1.4 f.

Guy’s favorite things to photograph are: “high action cowboys and performance cars, landscapes, wildlife, northern lights when weather permits and landscapes using moonlight to light the landscape.”

Guy’s favorite thing about Michigan is the diversity of the landscape. His top 5 places to visit are:
1. Traverse City
2. Leland
3. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake shore
4. Marquette
5. Porcupine Mountains

To view more of Guy’s work, you can visit his websites:
http://www.guystrongphotography.com/
https://www.facebook.com/guystrongphotography
https://vimeo.com/guystrongphotography

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 McCormick

John McCormick of Michigan Nut Photography received his first 35mm slr camera at age 17, and has been “hooked” on photography ever since. Today, over 30 years later, John goes on photo shoots around the state 2-3 times each month and has made a few upgrades to his equipment since the original 35mm that started it all. John’s equipment of choice is: “(Camera Nikon D-700) – Lenses / 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR. and a 50mm f/1.8. Tripod: Manfrotto 055XPROB.” John has a licensed business selling stock image licensing, and fine art prints. He is also a micro-stock contributor and a Getty Images artist.

John’s skills have all been self-taught with the help of library books (before the wonderful invention of the internet!). John has been married to his wife, Shelley for 31 years and they have 3 sons, Matt, Mike, and Mitch. John and his family enjoy camping and hiking in Michigan.

When asked to describe Michigan, John’s response is a great one: “Some Landscape photographers say the Midwest has a lack of scenery. What they’re missing is a wilderness that stretches along miles of Great Lakes shoreline. Nowhere in the United States will you find an area that more reflects the dramatic seasonal changes, beautiful winters, colorful Autumns and springs. It’s a landscape continually changing. Michigan is beautifully diversified with forests and rivers, wetlands of immense size, rocky ridge-lined and sand dune shorelines. And with over 100 lighthouses, historic buildings and an ancient mountain range, Michigan offers more than any photographer could ask for. A weekend gives you a glimpse and a week a good look, but it takes years to see the majority of what Michigan has to offer.”

John’s top five places to visit are:
1. Leelanau Peninsula / Traverse City
2. Sleeping Bear Dunes
3. Mackinac Island
4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
5. Black River scenic byway/ Porcupine Mountains.

If you browse through John’s albums on his website, you will see John’s favorite things to photograph are Michigan Lighthouses, Great Lakes shorelines, and waterfalls. Visit John’s website and browse his many fantastic photographs from all around this great state.
To view more of John’s great pictures or to purchase a print, visit him at: Michigan Nut Photography

You can also see many wonderful photos on Michigan Nut Photography’s facebook fan page.