30 Amazing Photos of Fall in Michigan

 

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Fall in Michigan is not for the faint of heart, it can get pretty emotional. After weeks and weeks of hunting breathtaking reds, blinging oranges, and shimmering yellows, it’s kind of sad to see all those bare trees and leaves on the ground when it’s over. At least that’s how I look at it! Fortunately, this year, I quite my desk job in October to ensure I’d be able to honor my favorite season’s memory in pictures.

It can be a bit tricky as far as timing goes; different areas peak at different times so the struggle was real when I’d drive three hours north and saw bare trees instead of brilliant colors. All-in-all, it was a very rewarding experience, and here’s a photo tour of the places I saw this past Autumn.

GRAND LEDGE

I had heard of Grand Ledge, it wasn’t too far away, relatively speaking. A quick 90 minute jaunt to Fitzgerald park on a Tuesday yielded SO MANY incredible scenes… including the railway bridge pictured above. When you talk about “peak” conditions, this was it. Nary a green leaf was to be found and the mighty grand river and limestone walls provided some super backdrops.

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CLOSE TO HOME/ SE MICHIGAN

I live in a suburban area in Southeast Michigan, north of Detroit.  What I love about where I live is the proximity of Metroparks and Forest trails within a very short drive. Early in the fall, we experienced some foggy conditions. it was challenging, at first, but once I changed up the settings on my camera, things began to click! While there aren’t many scenic vistas, I was able to catch a number of mature trees in full explosion, and the foggy weather along with remaining green produced some of my most eye-catching photos

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RIVER ROAD NATIONAL SCENIC ROUTE/OSCODA

Remember about driving 3+ hours and being “late”? I did research, and more research, and more research… thinking I could time each peak perfectly. But what I couldn’t predict (or just missed), were high winds in the days prior to leaving on a Friday.  Virtually ALL the red leaves had already tumbled to the ground by the time I had arrived. Thankfully, there was plenty of yellow and some orange to keep me satisfied… not to mention the amazing landscapes of the Au Sable River valley.

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SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL PARK/TRAVERSE CITY

The photos from here might have turned out better if the colors weren’t so sunbleached, and it helped solidify my new found love for foggy/overcast days in regards to capturing the colors in the trees.  Anyhow, I still managed some pretty cool shots in what is one of the most visited places in our state.

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The Instagram equation: Art + Science = More Followers

 

The Instagram Equation

Oh how things on Instagram have changed. Much of the advice I shared here last year, besides the obvious practice of daily engagement with new members of your audience, doesn’t hold value today. I’m not backtracking, I’d like to think of it more as adapting because it’s not as if what I suggested was wrong… it’s just that Instagram moved the cheese on us. But fear not, your retired IG Superhero is hot on the trail of cheddar and ready to share a few tasty morsels with you!

The equation, though, is always changing. And while solving it can be a bit tricky, there’s more than one solution to grow your Instagram account.

There are a number of different solutions to the problem. Before we even get too much further, something needs to be established. What do YOU want Instagram to do for you and what do you want to do for Instagram? Me…? It’s become more about sharing stories and expressing my thoughts through pictures than the followers and being instafamous. Just take a quick moment and find out if you’re bringing something to the table.

Art Trumps Science

Being Instafamous isn’t just about the art, there’s also an underlying science of attracting followers which comes into play. Seriously, there’s a top secret instagram algorithm. Though, to set the right expectations, I will say Instagram places a much higher emphasis on creating good Original content. IG pages who only repost OPP #otherpeoplespictures are a dime or dozen.

If you can’t take a good selfie or aren’t willing to capture the beauty in nature or don’t have much of a creative passion in any capacity, then I’d recommend sticking with Twitter & Facebook. If you think you’re dedicated enough to the art part of the equation, read on.

3 “facts” about getting more followers on Instagram.

While these Instagram tips probably are fact, they’re *technically* hypotheses based on my experience, observations, and reports of mythical activity which I’m just masquerading as proven scientific truths. But they’re definitely not myths!

1) 1 like from an instafamous account has further audience reaching effects than 100, maybe even 1000, likes from average accounts. Back when I was running my #supergram contest, I heard multiple instances of substantial account growth WITHIN MOMENTS after participants posts received likes from my contest co-hosts and myself.

The Biggest jump I saw screenshot proof of was from my instafriend who gained 69 followers and saw a spike in activity to the tune of hundreds of likes within 15 minutes of the color queen @kardinalmelon liking his post.

A good follow up piece will be how to get their attention… it can be tricky. For now, I’d say be persistent and genuine with praise of their works. I also notice spike in activity when certain friends swing by and engage on my posts.

2) Instagram now suggests followers after you follow someone with a 4 figure follower count the only problem is I haven’t quite figured out a blueprint on how to ensure an account would be linked to another. But for experiments sake, I changed my “name” from “Tony Bennett” to “A Pure Michigan Fall showcase” and sure enough, I’m often one of the 3 suggested after someone follows @puremichigan.

By the looks of it, the algorithm is largely based on geographic location, so think about adding it to you bio or play with it a little to see if you can link yourself to a fast growing account.

3) It’s easier to get videos to “go viral”. Another unscientific truth, as I don’t have a written from Instagram stating “videos are more likely to appear on the “explore” page than images”. But I’m noticing a phenomena of video heavy accounts growing at a more rapid pace than photo pages with similar content.

I see at least 30-50 new followers whenever I post a video. However, on the flip side, my videos hardly ever get as many likes as the pictures do. It’s all relative, though, because more followers will lead to more likes on everything.

Don’t go fake – slow is better than shallow

Lastly, I’ve seen a growing number of folks go the route of buying fake followers. In theory, especially on instagram where perception is most definitely reality, it’s not the worst idea if done reasonably. No, I’m not advocating it but human nature says people are more likely to follow accounts with big numbers.

With that being said; it’s so easy to spot a fraud on Instagram that it’s not worth getting a bad rep over it. If you want to win over those key accounts, you need legit activity. Having 100k+ followers with only a few hundred likes on Instagram will stick out like a sore thumb.

Tony Bennett Instagram

My growth this year has been slower than the past two, but I’m rather optimistic that I’m on the right path. I’ve still managed to amass an additional 17,000 followers in the last 4 months after stagnating in the first half of the year using the philosophies discussed above.

It’s tempting to go get the fake cheese wiz and pad my stats… but I find the real stuff to be far more rewarding. Hope you found my facts to be helpful. Do you have any success stories to share? Make sure to comment with your instagram tag readers can check you out. I’m @tony.bennett, hope to see you around the gram!

Women Dominate Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

The stats are in and women dominate social media. Where are all the guys at? In some cases women just leave men in the dust.

As you might have guessed women crush men on social network Pinterest. Only 8% there guys, come on you’re missing opportunity.

Social Media Usage Breakdown by Sex

Facebook: Women 76% Men 66%
Pinterest: Women 33% Men 8%
Instagram: Women 20% Men 15%
Twitter: Women 18% Men 17%

The only social network were men lead is LinkedIn, with a slim 5% margin.

Overall 30% of US women use social media daily, and men are at a paltry 16%

Women vs. Men Social Interaction

Support: Women 54% Men 44%
Offers/coupons: Women 53% Men 36%
Stay Updated: Women 39% Men 33%
Leave Comments: Women 28% Men 25%

Congrats ladies, keep staying social. Guys, you need to step it up.

Most Popular Social Media Sites Review: Why Women Are The Real Power Behind The Huge Success Of Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram