Thomas Cook launched a Explore the Elements contest earlier this year and I thought this would be a great chance to share some spectacular photography I’ve been able to capture over the years focused on the four elements of fire, earth, water and air.
Despite today being the last day to enter, I am still extremely honored to be nominated by my friend Samantha of My Tan Feet. You rock!
Without further ado, here are 4 photos from the archive that I think you’re going to love.
While waking up at 3AM to shoot this sunrise may sound crazy, it was totally worth it. Driving out from Moab and into Canyonlands National Park in pitch black, I finally find the parking lot for Mesa Arch. As I get geared up, another couple, John and Madeleine arrive on the scene and together with my headlamp (they forgot to bring theirs) we hike to the mesa’s edge where the arch is. As the dark sky began to awaken, we set up our tripods and patiently wait and watch. More photographers start streaming in and I’m so glad I got there first because the ledge where I’m camping out is starting to get a little cramped.
The magic really happens when the sun stretches its arms and peeks its head over the horizon and just behind the rock formations beyond the arch. With the rays bursting in all directions, the whole mesa, cliff and floor is lit up in brilliant hues of red, orange and yellow. My favorite is definitely when the belly of the arch turns a fiery orange.
While to the naked eye, the moves at a snail pace but you soon realize that it’s over before you knew it and you’re just glad you had your finger glued to the shutter.
Indonesia is one of the most underrated countries in Southeast Asia and its about time people start adding it to their itinerary. I had a chance to visit Mount Bromo during my jaunt around Asia and boy was it a spectacular sight.
We started with a jeep ride up to a mountain’s edge across from the active volcano and watched the sun rise. From there, we were dropped by an old temple that you can see to the right of the photo and we trekked our way through the sandy valley floor and up the veiny ridges that lead up to the lip of the Mount Bromo caledera.
From here, I was absolutely in awe of the formation of the landscape, the massive pyramids of earth, and the growth of vegetation in an otherwise desolate place.
I’m sure glad that I packed properly for this trip. Make sure to read more about backpacking tips.
Travel is all about the spontaneous moments and this one I captured while exploring Miyajima in Hiroshima, Japan.
While Miyajima is known for its floating Torii gate, I will say that I was mesmerized by the ebb and flow of the water. At high tide the Torii gate is in the middle of the Inland Sea of Japan and only accessible by boats but in the late afternoon, you can watch the water being sucked away by low tide, revealing the gate in its entirety.
Walking right up to the gate, my eye caught a bunch of local kids playing, jumping and splashing in pure joy. To this day this is still one of my favorite captures.
I’ve always been fascinated by flight and how seagulls like this one are able to effortlessly glide with the currents of the wind.
On one of my trips to Milwaukee of all places, I had a chance to spend some time by the beach where seagulls are plenty. Not typically one to take photos of birds in flight (as most of you know is incredibly challenging), I was able to snap this shot of a seagull ready to swoop down for landing.
Thank goodness for image stabilization 🙂
Here are my blogger nominations for the Explore The Elements contest. I look up to every single one of you!
Will from The Broke Backpacker
Mary from Calculated Traveller
Sharon from Dream Travel Mag
Parm from Planet Blue Adventure
Tracie from Tracie Travels
For more information on the contest plus prizes, you can check details here.