#ExploreTheElements: A photoblogging challenge

The Thomas Cook travel company has challenged travel bloggers and photographers to use four original photos to represent each of the four natural elements: air, water, earth, and fire. I was nominated to participate in the challenge by my dear and wildly talented friend, Amber DeGrace, of Fine Craft Living. Not one to let my friends down, I scoured my thousands of travel photos to find one for each of the categories. If any of my photos is chosen as best by the panel of judges, I will win one of the following prizes: MacBook Air, a Fujifilm X-T1 camera, or an iPhone 6 with Bose noise-cancelling headphones. I wouldn’t mind any of those. One overall winner will be chosen and will be awarded a £5,000 travel fund. The family and I could take a really nice trip with that chunk of change!

With fingers crossed, I present my photo submissions.


Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth. Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness, physicality, & gravity.

Thomas Cook #ExploreTheElements | Earth

Blue sky, white clouds, green earth

Taken at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, this photo captures the collective essence of earth from the ground up to the heavens.


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

Thomas Cook #ExploreTheElements | Water


Fluid and flowing on Playa Platanares. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.


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

Thomas Cook #ExploreTheElements | Fire

Mammoth Hot Springs | Yellowstone National Park

While there is no actual fire at Mammoth Hot Springs, the heat of the springs is quite forceful. The steaming water and sulfur are always moving, and the structure of the terraces always changing.


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

Thomas Cook #ExploreTheElements | Air

Wiener Riesenrad

Enjoying freedom of movement up, up in the air on the world-famous Ferris wheel at Vienna’s Prater amusement park.

Part of the challenge is to nominate five of my fellow bloggers to participate. Not only are the following folks incredible bloggers and photographers, but they also are awesome friends.

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6 Responses to #ExploreTheElements: A photoblogging challenge

  1. Amber DeGrace March 10, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    You are TOO sweet! What beautiful representations of the elements you’ve chosen. I love the “fire” shot – nature is amazing! Best of luck, my friend. xo
    Amber DeGrace recently posted…Thomas Cook and the Explore the Elements Photoblogging ContestMy Profile

  2. Pola (Jetting Around) March 11, 2015 at 1:25 am #

    That Yellowstone photo… Tell me why I’ve lived in the US for over a decade and have yet to go there?…
    Thanks for nominating me, I’ll see what I have.
    Pola (Jetting Around) recently posted…Interview with travel photographer and writer Lola Akinmade Åkerström: ‘Expats are keen observers’My Profile

  3. Karl March 15, 2015 at 8:14 am #

    Nice pics FF. Wish you luck!

    • Francesca March 15, 2015 at 8:25 am #

      Thanks so much, Karl!

  4. Christina December 7, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    The photo taken in The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois is a stunner. The blue sky, pure green grass, and white clouds are very picturesque.

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