Capture the Colour



 I am drawn to color and colorful scenes


If I see someone or something with an amazing outfit or some striking color detail – I run as if my life depended on this moment and this image to happen. The photo and moment cannot wait and my subject passing by – it’s now or never!  As a photographer I’m constantly drawn to color from the farmers markets I visit, the food I taste, and even the stunning events and costumes I see at a local gathering or special event.

Color inspires us all in so many ways, about how we feel, act and look. Also, color has such a wonderful way of directing and creating dynamic visuals, developing an instant affinity to a place, a local dish, historic landmarks or a simple adornment – color attracts us.  Humans are drawn to something bright, attractive and instantly gravitate to images or graphic details with color as a dominant theme.

Choosing images for this competition was not easy since I have so many images to review, in any case it was a fun exercise to edit my work to only five selections. Following are the photographs I have chosen along with the story of the image being shown. I would love to hear what you think of my choices below.


Red : Jizo shrine in Nikko, Japan


Jizo shrine in Nikko Japan

Red draped buddhas line the Jizo shrine in Nikko


The red bibs and knit caps grab your immediate attention to these stone Bodhisattva forming a line along the scenic Daiya river in Nikko, Japan. The Statues are directly linked to Buddhist thoughts, spiritual actions and personal rebirth. This line of 70 statues along this spiritual walkway represents the Buddhist divinity called Jizu, a savior of children, consoles those awaiting rebirth as well as protecting travelers on a journey. There were 100 statues originally, but a flood had devastated this section and wiped some of the statues in to the river in 1902. It’s a very contemplative and meditative space, and the trails leading up to the shrine along the river is mesmerizing and a calming place to breathe clean air, relax and enjoy the views.



Yellow :  Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo, Hawaii


Merrie Monarch performance

Merrie Monarch performance


The largest hula competition in the world gathers every year in Hilo, Hawaii for the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. It takes years of training and dedicated attention to master hula dancing, chanting and other Hawaiian rituals. In this image you can see that each individual is telling a tale, each is animated and passionate about their oli (chant). The beautiful and rare yellow Ohia lehua (blossoms) are picked from native Hawaiian Ohia trees. Each picker must also be careful to pray a chant, allowing them to take something from nature and use it for a purpose like this hula performance.


 Green :  Guardian Jikoku-ten (green skin)

Capture the colour

A warrior guard in Nikko, Japan


Nikko, Japan is a natural wonderland and at the same time a Unesco World Heritage site for the ancient shrines and temples of Rinnoji Taiyu, Tosho-gu and Futarasan. This elaborately carved and embellished guard is stationed at the second of two gates called Niten Mon gate. This guardian called Jikoku-ten (green skin) is there to protect the east sky. Flanking it on the other side is Komoku-ten (red skin) who is the guardian protecting the west sky.


Blue : La Sagrada Familia


La Sagrada Familia

Altar of La Sagrada Familia


Gaudi’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia is an iconic landmark and a major tourist attraction in Barcelona. Entering the interior hall and gazing up into the altar you immediately have this feeling of amazing light, airiness and spiritual being. The dark columns in deep blue and purple hues reach towards the heavens and lighten up towards the ceilings into a divine and glorious space. It’s quite an amazing basilica to sit, contemplate and believe in a spiritual or divine presence within Gaudi’s magnificent architecture.


White : Night market at Djemaa el Fna square, Marrakesh


Outdoor food stalls in Djemma El Fna

Outdoor food stalls in Djemma El Fna


Evening time is  when everyone congregates around the main square of the Medina at Djemaa el Fna in Marrakesh. The night market filled with so many food vendors displaying all sorts of exciting Moroccan delicacies, exotic fruit and fresh squeezed orange juice. It’s almost hard to decide with all the colorful displays of delicious food and choosing the raw ingredients, which is cooked immediately and served hot on the table. Sometimes trying smaller plates and sampling from various vendors will give you a good reference point to the different flavors, spices and combinations that appeal to your personal taste.

How to Enter the Capture the Colour Competition

Simply post your best travel photos on your blog in any or all the five colour categories (green, blue, red, white and yellow) link to the competition details and nominate five other bloggers. Here are the full terms and conditions.


Here are the five bloggers I am nominating:

Donna Leftwich Hull from My Itchy Travel Feet

Catherine Sweeney from Traveling with Sweeney

Iain Mallory from Mallory on Travel

Samuel  Jeffrey from Nomadic Samuel

Sam and Pete from Travelling King


These are my five choices for the contest, did any of these inspire you from any of the colors? (I would love to know). If you like this post please share it with any of the media buttons on the post, thank you.

53 Responses to Capture the Colour

  1. seo Baldock August 14, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Hi just wanted to ggive youu a brief heads up and lett you know a few of
    the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think
    its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet
    browsers and both show the same results.

  2. Majida@Hanels Travels October 4, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    Finally,I did it too! The choice was tough and temptation to add more for one color too big ;). Guess this is also one lesson for us!! And thanks for hosting the photo roulette 🙂

  3. Mo September 16, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    Beautiful, Great stuff… Love the Red Noel…

    • Lani September 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

      Agreed. I love the RED. So cute and cozy and unexpected.

  4. gilly September 14, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    Your photos are incredible, wish I had one percent of your skills. I really love ‘Yellow’ but as Marrkech is one of my favourite places the night market wins for me!

  5. TammyOnTheMove September 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Lovely photos Noel! I think green is my favourite one!

  6. Christoffer Moen September 3, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    They’re all so stunning, vibrant and pulsing with life, it’s so difficult to choose! But I feel most connected to RED.. I find the juxtaposition of red (vibrant, throbbing with energy) against the general calm background absolutely compelling.

    • Noel September 3, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Aloha Christoffer, thanks for connecting and checking out the entries…love my visit to this area in Nikko, its stunning

  7. Sarah September 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    BLUE!!! Amazing picture! I haven’t been to La Sagrada Familia in years, couldn’t recall the blue hue. Wonderful lighting!

    • Noel September 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Yes, I couldn’t remember until I revisited the pictures and wow, they are really blue, thanks for connecting.

  8. Annette September 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Noel – these are 5 incredibly striking images and it’s difficult to say which ones I like the most. I was definitely moved by the dancing Hawaiian girls – the intensity of expression in their faces and their unique outfits are truly stunning. The blue basilica leaves me speechless and I can just imagine the power of this place in real time. Really enjoyed these pictures.

    • Noel September 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Aloha Annette,

      Thanks for connecting and looking at my images, appreciate it…yes the Gaudi building is truly stunning to see inside and out!

  9. Vanessa (@Turnipseeds) September 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    I love white as well – we’re always drawn to the vermilion, the indigo, the turquoise, but white has such amazing subtleties that need to be shared.

  10. Christina September 1, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    That “Red” entry is really amazing. I also like the “yellow” shot and the expressions you captured. Great selections!

  11. zof September 1, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Great shots! I like the white the most!

  12. elaine schoch @ September 1, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Great pics! Really like the one with Jizo shrine in Nikko, Japan

    • Noel September 1, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      Thanks for connecting Elaine and checking out the entries, the walk around Jizo was very spiritual and amazing, you should visit Nikko.

  13. Cathy Sweeney August 31, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    Your photos are amazing, Noel. The night market is my personal favorite, but each of them is a beautifully creative capture. And thanks so much for nominating me — totally flattered.

    • Noel August 31, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      Thanks for connecting Cathy and choosing white, that’s a first, hope you participate

  14. Colleen Brynn August 31, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    The blue is fantastic! What an amazing structure…

    • Noel August 31, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      Aloha Colleen, thanks for connecting, isn’t that an amazing interior, you would never think blue and purple!

  15. Majida August 31, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    I loved stark contrast between the red and the green in your “red” picture!

    • Noel August 31, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      Thanks for connecting Majida, I loved this walk with the Buddhas such a spiritual place, appreciate the comments.

  16. Karisa August 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Gorgeous photos, Noel! I LOVE the yellow one!!

  17. Marilyn Armstrong August 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Wow. Such richness of color and texture. You could overdose and go right into a color coma.

  18. Meagan @ Life Outside of Texas August 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Great photos! The green photo is so much fun! Good luck, Noel.

  19. Cacinda Maloney August 30, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Utterly Amazing Photographs!!! I love them all!! Your talent blows me away!!

  20. Jeff @ Go Travelzing August 30, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Great pictures. The one of the hulu dancers is amazing. I love seeing the inside of Sagrada Familia completed. It was not done last time I was there.

  21. Ruth August 30, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I am definitely attracted to color but even more so dancers in costumes. Your color photos stunning and wonderful!

  22. Indiraindira2412 August 30, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    All the photographs are fascinating. Superb shots. Loved the Buddhas.

    • Noel August 30, 2013 at 8:25 am #

      Aloha Indria, thanks for the comments and liking the Buddhas, they are a beautiful place to visit and walk through…happy weekend.

  23. foodiesleuth August 30, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Stunning representatives of each color, Noel. Even the ‘white’ night scene shows dynamic and pulsing life. Imua!

    • Noel August 30, 2013 at 8:25 am #

      Thanks so much Sonia for commenting, but you didn’t tell me which one was your favorite?

      • foodiesleuth September 1, 2013 at 7:58 am #

        My favorite was Yellow: Merry Monarch…love the ‘action’ and color against the black background

        • Noel September 1, 2013 at 8:03 am #

          Sweet, thanks for acknowledging this Sonia, appreciate it!

  24. Lilian August 30, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Love your photos, especially yellow I think that’s my favourite! I entered this too competition too, so much fun and a great excuse to back over older photos 🙂

    • Noel August 30, 2013 at 8:24 am #

      Aloha Lilian,

      it was fun going over the images and also frustrating deciding which ones were more interesting to use, thanks for connecting.

      • Majida August 31, 2013 at 3:04 am #

        I am still in that dilemma!

  25. Mary Calculated Traveller August 30, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Love the colour inspiration Noel….As always your photos are gorgeous!

  26. Lindsay August 30, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Your photography is seriously amazing!! I think the yellow is my favorite!

    • Noel August 30, 2013 at 7:09 am #

      Thanks for connecting Lindsay and those crabs look yummy!

  27. Ingrid D. August 30, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    I participate as well 🙂 What stunning pictures, especially the Sagrada Familia!

    • Noel August 30, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      Thanks Ingrid, enjoyed your images as well, thanks for connecting, sent you a separate msg on your blog.

  28. Escaping Abroad August 30, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    Excellent choice of photos… the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival came out with perfect timing and the perfect angle! Good luck in the competition 🙂

    • Noel August 30, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      Thanks for connecting, that festival is my favorite and I go back every year. I’m enjoying your travels to Latin America, look forward to visiting hopefully next year!

  29. James @ Fly, Icarus, Fly August 30, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    Beautiful photos, Noel! I also love the hula dancers. Love that each girl has a different expression on her face. How did you get the background to be so dark?

    • Noel August 30, 2013 at 6:14 am #

      Aloha James,

      Thanks for connecting and the comment, it was a though shot in poor lighting and long distance but it turned out fine…thanks for connecting and loved your images to!

  30. Jessica J. Hill August 30, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    Wow, Noel – your photos are simply stunning, as always. I love the one of the dancers in Hawaii for yellow. Such an incredible shot!

    I’ve just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Check it out your award here:

    • Noel August 30, 2013 at 6:15 am #

      Aloha Jessica,

      Thanks for connecting and your comments, have a great weekend.

  31. Noel September 20, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    What a wonderful interview, thank you so much for letting me share a little bit about my travel philosophy and interest in traveling.


  1. Traveler of the Week: Noel Morata - September 20, 2013

    […] California (giving us a shared love of this region). Check out some of his favorite photos in his Capture the Color post and slow travel, sustainability, and more […]

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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