Explore the Elements – Photography challenge

Explore the Elements – A photography challenge

Four images that best represent the four elements in your own interpretation. Oh my that’s going to be a tough one for this new photo challenge called Explore the Elements sponsored by Thomas Cook. Combing through the many digital files, I found it a real editing challenge to choose the best images representing the four elements that resonates with my own artistic vision of unique landscapes or creative interpretation. Considering that only four images are allowed, the editing eye really becomes more crucial  representing my work and aesthetics. I do love nature and the elements, and at the same time, I also enjoy bringing in the human element to connect within these environments.  The landscapes I chose are very spiritual places that man has placed an important stamp and emotional connection to the land, and I hope that you might experience some of these thoughts and my personal feelings through these photographs.

Let me show you my favorite images that represent the four elements



While I was on a tour of the Lion Rock better known as Sigiriya in Sri Lanka’s central hill district, I was truly struck by the amazing vistas and tropical landscape of the area from the top of the ruined palace. Honestly you cannot take a bad shot from any location of this Unesco World Heritage Site. But there are those magical moments that only happen once in a lifetime and you just have to be patient and in the right spot for it to happen. And this is exactly the moment for me when this visiting monk came to view the panorama and his orange robe just popped out in a sea of emerald greens. If you would like to see more imagery on a recent visit to Sri Lanka in full color, take a look at my favorite post on this amazing country here.

On top of the ruined palace of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

On top of the ruined palace of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka



I am so lucky to live on Hawaii island and always wake up to spectacular sunrises on the east side of the island. It’s not always easy getting up early to great the day but when I take the effort to drive early to the coastline, I’m always rewarded with an amazing display. This location with the undulating lava rocks formed with fire and fresh lava pouring into the ocean and the sun rising just in the distance, really shows the time and place both connecting to this special land and amazing moment. I love to explore this area of Hawaii island regularly for the spectacular sunrises in my area, if you want to see more of my favorite sunrises on the island, check out my post here.

Morning sunrise at Hawaiian Paradise park, Hawaii Island

Morning sunrise at Hawaiian Paradise park, Hawaii Island



Fall time in Plitvice National park in Croatia is the ideal time frame to visit this stunning national park in the off-season. Not only are you rewarded with amazing fall colors throughout the landscape, but the lack of crowds during the shoulder season make this even more memorable and comfortable without a horde of tourist that flock this to this popular park during the summer peak season.  I really enjoy traveling off-season so that I can take more time to observe, relax and enjoy nature at its very best –  and the fall show and landscape here is quite spectacular compared to many of the national parks around Europe. Plitvice National park is more well-known for its famous waterfalls and boardwalks traversing the surreal water landscape in the park, but I was also drawn to the many fascinating water reflections like the image below that captivated me with all the colors and graphic patterns.  I wrote a series of posts on Plitvice starting with this highlight tour of the region, please do check it for more spectacular fall images of this wonderful park in Croatia.

Water image at Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Water image at Plitvice National Park, Croatia


This element is definitely the most challenging, because air is represented everywhere and in almost every scene you can imagine. To create an artistic approach that defines air, I decided to submit this black and white image below of a solitary tree with the threatening clouds at Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. Here at the Chain of Craters road in the lower section of the park, the land is harsh and the elements are full of ‘Mana’ or the ancient Hawaiian spirits that preside over this inhospitable and yet spiritual aina (land). This landscape, filled with endless acres of solid black lava rock is so desolate and yet it is filled with ferns, shrubs and even trees can grow from solid rock.  The air is filled with so much Hawaiian history and the fiery presence of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess, that lives in the crater of Halemaumau and still makes her presence known with live lava still flowing from the crater in the middle of the park. If you would like to learn more about this fascinating section of the park, please check out my post on Volcanoes National Park here.

Chain of Craters road, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Chain of Craters road, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

To find out more about the competition and how to take part check this page. Thanks for visiting and checking out my submissions for Explore the Elements – Photography challenge. If you enjoyed my post and photos, please do share them with the social media buttons located around the post, thank you.   I would love to nominate the four following friends/bloggers to this challenge, good luck and I look forward to seeing your entries. Inta with Curious Cat Expat Jan at Budget Travel Talk Anita at No Particular Place to Go Katherin at Dreams of Freedom Laura at Travel O Cafe

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15 Responses to Explore the Elements – Photography challenge

  1. Johanna Bradley March 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

    Fabulous, Noel 🙂 I especially love the Plitvice shot.

  2. Kathrin - Dreams of Freedom March 22, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    Hi Noel,

    thank you very much, for nominating me. I am just preparing my relocation to Florida, that’s why I missed the deadline. So sad. I might still post the pictures though.

    I really like your entries and keep my fingers crossed for you!


  3. Rahman @ Small Group Tours March 17, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    I expected more light for fire and less green for earth. Although I like your photos very much, I must admit that people have different ideas about the four sacred elements depending on where they live. I’m from a country where its ancient religion, Zoroastrianism, believed in these elements and I know how much they were valuable to them due to the climate.

  4. Justin Miller March 17, 2015 at 6:24 am #

    Wow these are all really great. Perfect representations of the elements.

  5. Kathryn Burrington March 13, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

    Oh Noel, these are gorgeous! Especially love the water shot – beautiful. That would be my winner.

  6. budget jan March 9, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    Thanks for nominating me for the challenge Noel, I had fun finding the “right” photos for each element. 🙂

  7. Muza-chan March 9, 2015 at 3:14 am #


  8. Rajlakshmi March 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    That’s spectacular photography. I loved the earth and sun ones the most. All of them are brilliant 🙂

  9. budget jan March 4, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    Your photos are always a delight Noel and thanks for nominating me – I always enjoy the challenge of finding the perfect photo for a particular category. I particularly love your water photo.

  10. Jacomijn March 4, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    What a great pictures!! Love every single one!

  11. Moon March 4, 2015 at 2:24 am #

    Beautiful photos… the Water photo is very very poetic!

  12. Corinne March 3, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    Noel, Great choices! I love them all, but especially your Earth! Gorgeous. Good luck in the contest.

  13. travelFREAK March 3, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    The second photo is fantastic! The ray of light on those rocks…

  14. Renuka March 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    Great photos! All the best!

    • Noel March 3, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

      Wow, I didn’t know you also participated, I’ll check it out now Renuka

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

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