Explore the Elements – is a Travel Photoblogging Challenge run by the good folks at Thomas Cook. Photography and Travel, by themselves compliment each other pretty well. A Travel Photoblogging Contest, with such a theme, then is a match made in heaven :) It is similar to the the earlier contest – ‘Capture the Color’ from few years back – just with a nice twist in the theme. For me, the contest was definitely intriguing because of the theme. It is all about identifying the shot that signifies the meaning of each of the Elements in Nature – Earth, Water, Fire & Air. Personally, it had lot of connection with my pursuits – seeking new experience, capturing the same and sharing with you all – by way of Travel and Photography.
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.
Short-listing the potential entries, I was kind of surprised. It gave a significant insight into the kind of shots I had captured. Noticed, it was easier to pick a lot of shots for one category, while being nearly bankrupt on another :). Additionally it was a welcoming challenge, in itself, to identify that single shot for each Element of Nature. There were a lot of shots with expansive views and to my liking, but I zeroed down on ones that stuck a cord with the theme – #Elements of Nature. I wanted to showcase the shots that were in synergy, with my soul searching, experience and mood from my travels.
We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
Hope you enjoy viewing them, as much as I did in capturing and sharing them :)
Bryce Canyon is not much of a canyon. One could visit the place umpteen number of times, but still be awed. It is just magical. The hoodoos change with time – due to the forces of wind, water and snow. The colors are amazing and different, depending on the time of the day. Heading out at 4 AM was well worth it, as the early morning with the dawn’s first light, is probably the best times to enjoy this view. The hoodoos look so delicate, yet at the same time stubborn – that result in this beautiful formation.
I love this shot for the flow it has – from the skies to the mountains, from the mountains to the plains, form the plains to the forest and eventually to the canyons. It is as if you get a glimpse into dissected view of mother earth, evolving over 1000s of years !
Morning Glow @ Bryce, Utah
Thor’s Well at the rugged Oregon coast is well, just a pit – 10 feet wide and 15 feet deep. But when the tide is high, the play of water makes this place so out of the world. It literally feels like Thor’s well, aptly popularized by one of the photographer around 2006. Standing there, dodging each wave, witnessing the power of the ocean – is quiet intimidating. It gives such a humble feeling and at the same time a sense of being part of the something much bigger !
Getting this shot involved a lot of pre-planning and then some more. The preplanning involved – locating the spot and planning to get there when the tide was high enough during a sunset. It took additional scouting and caution to get to the actual spot. Getting this shot was all based on the rhythm of the waves and timing. I had wanted a long exposure on the foreground, but had wanted the sprouts of the waves in the back to have some structure. After shooting for almost an hour, it all came together, with a bit of luck. A huge double wave hit the coast as my exposure was closing out, resulting in this frozen moment !
Thor’s Well, Oregon Coast
I could not think of anything better to represent energy, than the creation of Earth itself. Witnessing the beautiful synergy of the energetic forces of nature, catalyzed by the lava is a lifetime experience.
It is an adventure just to even witness the lava flow, but it is all the more intriguing and intimate to follow the lava from the crater to the ocean entry. They make the way thru the lava tubes and eventually culminate at the ocean. The lava flow, when it happens, is mostly over multiple days. But to get this shot, I planned for the morning twilight, when there is enough light to lit the water and the sun is not yet out, so the lava can be captured in its beauty. Sleeping in the car at the parking lot, helped, but still had to plan for the time to actually get to the spot. Personally for me, it was such a intimate experience, shooting from the water and witnessing the raw beauty of earth being created.
Fire and Ice, Ocean Entry Kilauea
Standing at the foot of a majestic 250ft waterfalls does something to your self. The cool breeze thru the hair, the spray of the falls on the face – opens up your senses. You kind of realize that you are not bound to this body and could just fly if you wanted to. It just nudges you to connect with nature.
It had been almost a decade, from when this was captured, but I could still sense that feeling of belonging, as I just stood there enjoying the grandeur of the falls. Some of life’s best moments are not planned , but instinctive.
P.S: This symbolizes my feeling when am out there in nature and I love the shot so much, that it had been my online profile avatar for years :)
At the Foot of Latourell Falls, Oregon
Being driven by Photography for the past couple of years, I decided to share the same via this blog. This and the online community paved way to know, meet and shoot with some great folks. As part of this contest, I would like to nominate the few of my friends whose work I admire a lot. I know, this greatly reduce my chances at the contest, when I pull in these guys. But it is all about getting the best of the shots right ;-) These are some amazing photographers, do check out their work too.
Through Strange Lenses – Jimmy McIntyre
The Star Trail – Ben Canales
Out of Chicago – Chris Smith
ShreeniClix – Shreenivasan Manievannan