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.

Featured Photographer – Bob Simmerman

Bob Simmerman has been interested in photography and taking pictures since childhood. Now, 35 years later, Bob says, “[my] hobby has grown into a part time profession and a full time passion. A couple years ago I made the decision to ‘go pro’ and have never looked back. I am constantly seeking ways to improve my technique and I doubt that I will ever be satisfied, all the more reason to keep going. With every session I learn something new and am eager to try new things whether on the camera side or the editing side. I also enjoy looking at the work of other photographers as a source of inspiration and alternate perspectives.” Bob’s photography skills are self-taught with 4-7 photography sessions weekly.

Bob’s equipment of choice:
“I am currently using a Canon 5D Mark II. The lens I use most often is the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. For birding and wildlife photography, I use a Sigma 150 mm – 500 mm – F/5.0-6.3 telephoto lens. For portrait work I like the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM and the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Canon lenses. A Vanguard tripod rounds out the gear for a typical shoot.”

Bob’s favorite things to photograph are landscapes, birds, and Northern Lights.


When Bob is not looking through the lens, he is an analytical chemist for SOS Analytical in Traverse City, a state certified drinking water quality laboratory. Bob also enjoys Formula One and NASCAR racing, computer games, movies, and the Discovery ID channel.

When asked how he would describe Michigan to someone that has never been here, Bob’s answer was: “I think that instead of trying to put the beauty of our great state into words, I would show them a picture from each of our four seasons, taken at various locations and let those speak for themselves.”

Bob’s top 5 spots to see in Michigan are:

1. The Big House in Ann Arbor. It has been over thirty years since my first and only trip to a Michigan Wolverines football game, but I will never forget it—a definite must see!

2. Michigan International Speedway—NASCAR isn’t just for the southern folks, another stop on my must-see list.

3. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore…I can’t imagine this not being on any list of places to visit in Michigan.

4. Whitefish Point. While attending college, I made a trip to the Upper Peninsula to help paint a cabin and we passed the idle time by visiting the Point. I was in awe at the power and beauty of Lake Superior, a truly emotional experience.

5. Tahquamenon falls. Simply stunning, and I can’t wait to get back.

To view more of Bob’s photography, you can visit his website at: www.pandoracreations.zenfolio.com

ALLEE WILLIS MARCHES ON DETROIT



WHAT: As a special benefit for MUMFORD HIGH SCHOOL, alumna extraordinaire
 
ALLEE WILLIS conducts the MUMFORD HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND through a medley
 
of her hit songs in the lobby of Detroit’s FOX THEATRE, with cast members
 
from THE COLOR PURPLE joining in for a sing-along.
 
WHEN: Saturday, April 9, 11:00AM to 12:30PM, SHARP
 
WHERE: The Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
 
 
 
GRAMMY, Tony, Emmy, and Webby award-winning/nominated songwriter, artist,
 
multimediaist, director, collector, party thrower—and native Detroiter—
 
returns to her hometown for a special benefit event at the historic and fabulous
 
Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.
 
 
 
An alumna of Mumford High School, Willis will lead the school’s marching
 
band through a medley of her hit songs in the lobby of the Fox. The Saturday,
 
April 9 event takes place during a weekend run of The Color Purple at the
 
theater, and cast members from the touring company of the Broadway smash—of
 
which Allee is a co-author—will join in for a celebratory sing-along. Event
 
will go toward new band uniforms.
 
 
 
The Allee Willis-composed songs comprising the medley—to be played first
 
instrumentally by the marching band, and then with TCP company members singing
 
along—are:   “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “In The Stone,” (all
 
major hits for Earth, Wind, & Fire), “I’ll Be There For You” (Theme from
 
Friends),” “The Color Purple,” “Stir It Up” (Patti LaBelle), and “Neutron Dance”
 
(the Pointer Sisters).   The last two songs connect Allee to Mumford
 
beyond her having gone there—they’re featured in Beverly Hills Cop, and on the
 
soundtrack, which won Allee a GRAMMY.   The film, produced by fellow Mumford
 
alum Jerry Bruckheimer, made the school famous when Eddie Murphy wore a
 
Mumford t-shirt throughout.
 
 
 
Allee was inspired to work with the Mumford High marching band after being
 
invited to conduct the 350-piece marching band at her collegiate alma mater,
 
University of Wisconsin, for the halftime show at the 2010 Homecoming
 
football game.   “Allee Willis Marches on Detroit” is a dream come true for
 
Allee, connecting her songs and The Color Purple to Mumford and her beloved
 
hometown of Detroit—all in the city’s most famous venue.   She also looks
 
forward to working with Mumford students on an ongoing basis.   And, this project
 
builds on work Allee started doing with the school in 2008, when she was on
 
a national radio broadcast as Mumford became the first school in the
 
country to receive 400 hours of historic audio tapes related to African-American
 
history that she helped to restore with Pacifica Radio Archives.
 
 
 
Tickets are $50 each, with attendance limited to 200 guests (not including
 
the band and event facilitators).   Sponsorships are available to help
 
underwrite the event, and will go toward “sponsored” tickets to allow current
 
Mumford students to attend, generating proceeds for uniforms, and covering
 
production costs.
 
 
 
FYI “Allee Willis Marches on Detroit” takes place just before a matinee of
 
The Color Purple.   Event tickets do not include admission to the show.
 
Attendees may (but are not required to) separately purchase discounted
 
tickets for The Color Purple—in advance—by calling Fox Theatre group sales at
 
313-471-3099.
 
 
 
“Allee Willis Marches on Detroit” is supported by Nickelodeon’s The Big
 
Help Grant Program.

Michigan’s Amazing People

Yesterday, we featured Kid Rock not only for his love of Detroit and Michigan, but for his giving spirit.  Do you know someone that is giving back?  If so, send us an e-mail at michiganisamazing@michaelflora.com and tell us about them.  It can be an individual, young or old, businesses large or small – anyone that is doing their part to make the community or a person’s life better.

Please tell us about your nominee and include your contact information in case we need more details.

We are going to begin featuring upstanding and outstanding citizens and businesses and would like all of the Michigan Is Amazing fans to tell us who is amazing to you.

Let all of your friends know, too!  Let’s celebrate all of the amazing people in this great state!

Kid Rock Gives Back

Kid Rock’s love for Detroit and Michigan has always been apparent, but this past Saturday at his 40th birthday bash at Ford Field, Detroit showed its love for Kid Rock by presenting him with the Spirit of Detroit Award.   In true Rock style, he returned the favor by announcing $25,000 donations to each of these Metro Detroit charities, COTS, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Haven and Rainbow Connection.

Michigan Business Spotlight – McClure’s Pickles

Using their Great-Grandmother’s pickle recipe, McClure’s Pickles began making pickles in 2006.  They use local produce whenever possible and each pickle is hand sliced.  Soy and vegetable inks are used with chemical-free plating and are created using wind powered electricity for their labels.  McClure’s Pickles was started in 2006 just outside of Detroit.  Today, they also have a location in Brooklyn, NY.

For more information or retail locations, please visit: www.mcclurespickles.com

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Today in Michigan History

June 17, 1866

Lewis Cass died in Detroit.

Born in New Hampshire and raised in Ohio, Lewis Cass arrived in the Michigan Territory to help fight the British in late summer 1812. In 1813, he was appointed territorial governor—a position he retained until 1831 when President Andrew Jackson appointed him secretary of war. In 1848, Cass served the Democratic party as its presidential candidate, but he lost to Zachary Taylor. Besides appointments as ambassador to France and secretary of state (under President James Buchanan), Cass served Michigan in the U.S. Senate until 1857 when Republicans took control of Michigan politics.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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Today in Michigan History

May 6, 1945

Bob Seger was born.

Born in Dearborn, Robert Clark Seger moved with his family to Ann Arbor when he was six years old. Seger learned to play the ukulele when he was five years old. At the age of fifteen, he began writing songs and performing locally with area bands. Between 1976 and 1984, Seger had fourteen Top Forty singles. In 2000, Detroit Free Press readers ranked him Michigan’s number-one entertainer.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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R.I.P. Ernie Harwell

Here at Michigan is Amazing, we don’t like to share the negative.  However, we feel it’s important to pay tribute to a man that so many generations of Michiganders know and love.  Ernie Harwell was the voice of the Tigers for over four decades.

Tuesday May 4, 2010 Mr. Harwell passed away at the age of 92.  As he said in his final sign-off in 2002, “Now God has a new adventure for me.”  No other words seem more fitting.  Your voice will live on forever in the minds of baseball fans everywhere, but especially for those here in Michigan.

Rest in Peace Ernie…we’ll miss you.

To read more on Ernie, click here.

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Today in Michigan History

April 23, 1832

William Austin Burt joined the Macomb County Circuit Court.

Born near Boston in 1792, William Austin Burt settled in Michigan in 1824. A year after becoming a judge, Burt was appointed a U.S. deputy surveyor. Burt and his men, including several of his sons, surveyed much of Michigan during the 1830s and 1840s. Burt also invented the solar compass that allowed surveyors to work in areas where minerals in the ground might make the needles of their magnetic compasses act wildly and produce errors.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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