Recently started following excellent ‘The Urge to Wander‘ and as a consequence spotted this photography challenge.  Not sure I can match Madhu’s inspiration, especially as I am away from home and so only have limited access to my photographs, but the challenge is too inspiring to miss so here goes . . . .

The Challenge is a Travel Photoblogging one and is titled The Thomas Cook Explore the Elements.  It’s all about interpreting, capturing and expressing the four elements  – Earth, Water, Fire and Air.  Sounds simple until you try. Here are my entries.


Earth – Represents the hard solid objects of the earth.  Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness, physicality and gravity.

This vertical lift bridge in Sacramento, California was constructed in the 1930’s and painted gold (following a public vote) in 2002.  I know a man made bridge is not a usual shot of “earth” but I have chosen it because nearly all travels on this earth now involve interaction with man made constructions. And this bridge for me, by its appearance, colour, materials and vertical lift, reflects all of the words described above as associated with the earth.  Plus it’s original!

Water – Represent the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. Associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism.

Why this one of the Ria Formosa, Portugal – quite simply it was the ripples! We had been sitting there for quite awhile magnetised watching the tide and listening to the bird life around us. This photo for me rally captures the beauty of this part of the Algarve, I suspect however it is not quite creative enough for this competition.


Fire – Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world. Associated with security, motivation, desire, intention and an outgoing spirit

We were on a bus travelling from Washington DC to Pittsburgh, and suddenly it was as though there was a huge fire in the distance.  We realised after the initial gasp that it was of course the sun setting.  I have taken better photographs but for me this one captures both the representation and association described above hence its entry, and so in the end I went for the emotional impact this view had on us for a few moments in our journey.

South Island, New Zealand

Air – Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy the freedom of movement. Associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, and wisdom.

ooh Madhu is right this one is difficult, in the end I decided on clouds forming above the mountains in New Zealand.  As you will see I took this a while ago now.  It was a magical plane trip, the mountains so close and yet so far.  I recall looking down at one moment thinking well if this plane goes down, that’s it!

Been fun finding these photographs, and trawling through my online albums has brought back lots of wonderful travel memories.   So thank you Thomas Cook and also Madhu for bringing this challenge to my attention.

I have nominated a few fellow bloggers and photographers below but before you find out who they are, here are some of my alternatives to the selection above!

Fire as seen through Chihuly Glass, Pittsburgh
Fire as seen through Chihuly Glass, Pittsburgh
'Frozen' Air on a windscreen in Winchester, Hampshire
‘Frozen’ Air on a windscreen in Winchester, Hampshire
Earth in the form of a peace sculpture in Liverpool anglican cathedral
Earth in the form of a peace sculpture in Liverpool Anglican cathedral
Water at Tahoe, California
Water at Tahoe, California

And my final task is of course to challenge others  – GeorginaLaura, Jo, LouiseMatthias and Gilli as well as anyone else reading this post this weekend.  Only mention the weekend as the closing date is Monday 16th March.  Have fun!