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Fall foliage fantasy: Michigan named top spot for shooting autumn colors

What is 2016’s best spot for fall foliage? The Great Lakes state, according to social media and a contest sponsored by Nikon. On Friday, Nikon announced Michigan as the top state in its annual crowdsourced ranking after reviewing thousands of entries.

Each year, Nikon chooses the top state for fall foliage after tallying up hashtag submissions from their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels. With Michigan as the top choice for the year, last year’s state, New York, was runner-up followed by Pennsylvania and North Carolina tied for third.

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Out of more than 8,000 entries, Michigan photographers made up 1,600 of those shots. Nikon says that the most striking among those displayed the state’s hills and parks, and contrasting the blue of the Great Lakes with the reds and oranges on the trees.

New York earned the second-place finish with a variety of entries from Central Park to the Adirondack Mountains. Both of the third-place states, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, displayed waterfalls, beaches, and highways surrounded by fall color.

“The beautiful fall colors and changing of the leaves offer Americans from all states unique opportunities to capture stunning scenes from the great outdoors,” said Lisa Baxt, Nikon’s associate general communication manager. “After a fantastic response to last year’s campaign, we were determined to once again encourage people to get outside, capture, and share images that reflect both the beauty of the season and participants’ state pride.”

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The competition ran across the three social media platforms using the hashtag #NikonFall along with the abbreviation for each state. Images from the annual contest are available with a #NikonFall search on Instagram and Twitter or on Nikon’s Facebook page.

The 2016 competition received four times the response from the 2015 event, which included more than 2,000 entries. Both North Carolina and Pennsylvania were ranked in the top three in 2015 as well.