Explore the Elements Photo Contest

Taking photos is one of my loves of travel (as anyone who has ever gone travelling with me knows…) so I was really excited when Jodie from The Little Backpacker nominated me to continue the Thomas Cook #ExploreTheElements competition.

The essence of the challenge is this: represent the four elements (earth, water, fire and air) in your own photography that you feel fit best.

The other entries are incredible – there are some talented bloggers out there! But regardless, it’s not about winning (kind of), but the joy of going through your photos, reminiscing, and trying to capture the elements and put your own spin on them.

Before I begin, this is how to enter:

  • Write a blog post sharing one of your own photos for each element (earth, water, fire and air). Thomas Cook will choose a winner for each element as well as an overall winner
  • Nominate five other bloggers to do the same
  • Tweet @ThomasCookUK with the #ExploreTheElements hashtag and email them (exploretheelements@thomascookonline) to let them know you entered

The overall winner gets a £5 travel fund, and the winners of each element win goodies including a Fujifilm X-T1 camera, an Apple MacBook Air and an iPhone 6. The competition ends 16 March (your blog post has to be live by then) so get moving! Find the terms and conditions here.

So, here we go!


12 apostles 212 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ok, so I chose this Great Ocean Road picture because 1) I love the Great Ocean Road, and 2) well, I love the photo. The coastline of the Great Ocean Road is so rugged and the 12 Apostles (this side is the not-as-photographed side) are a great example of erosion and the beautiful formations it can make, something I felt was quite suited to the Earth theme. It all still looks firm and sturdy but underneath it’s sort of delicate, too.

We arrived at the 12 Apostles just before sunset and I love the glint that creates on this photo – especially the shadow from one rock on the other. When I return (which I will), a helicopter ride here is a must (my budget didn’t stretch that far as a student…).



Crater LakeCrater Lake, Oregon, USA

Wow, this element was the most difficult to choose. In the end I went for Crater Lake because it’s the place I’ve most been in awe of the water. I found everything about it fascinating:

  • it’s one of the deepest lakes in the world
  • it has some of the clearest water in the world – which seems almost silly from the deep blue of the picture above, but the closer you get, the more you realise just how transparent it is
  • it’s a crater made from a collapsed volcano, not a meteorite. See that little island? That’s one peak, and there are others under the water. There’s so much going on there!

It’s quite out of the way, but I would happily go here again as it’s so mesmerising. The contrast of the land and the water is just incredible. I still can’t get over it.



Kata TjutaKata Tjuta, Uluru National Park, Australia

I chose this for fire for a few reasons. Starting with the obvious, the colours of Kata Tjuta at sunset are vivid reds and oranges. Secondly, I think of fire as wild, free and passionate, which is the way I felt about the stories of the Aborigines and their culture the whole time I was in this part of Australia. There’s a deep spiritual connection between Aborigines and nature, one which is full of force and strength but also a care and emotion, that I felt was suited to the element of fire. Free but attempted to be tamed, wild with nature’s forces, and passionate in their storytelling. It just fit to me.


Les ArcsLes Arcs, France

My first thought was to pick a plane wing photo, but that felt too obvious. This one probably is to, but I love it and whenever I look at it, I can’t stop staring. This was taken while I was skiing in the French Alps last month, a view that was literally (and when I say literally, I mean it) stop-skiing amazing. You always sort of feel like you’re on top of the world when skiing/in the Alps, but this just blew up the feeling full force, from the peaks of the mountains to the wispy sea of clouds. It felt otherworldly.


I nominate…

Beverley from Pack Your Passport, Jessi from Two Feet One World, Naomi from Todd’s Travels, Virginia from The Well-Travelled Postcard and Nicole from A Life Less Beige.

Looking forward to seeing your pictures!


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