Explore the Elements

A project for the Thomas Cook Travel Photoblogging Competition.

Fire.

Official Entry;

The wilds of Siberia, on a two thousand kilometre jaunt to the Polar Circle on a 45 year old Ural motorbike in the dead of winter.

Selected others;

Devotees look towards prayer and solace at the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, February 2013, an event which witnessed probably the largest single human gathering in history.
A young boy wandering the streets on Pushkar. While the eyeliner is simply a method by which parents think will protect eyesight, the dots on the boy’s right cheek signify a warding off of evil spirits and the human evil-eye.
A paramotor sails through the setting sky in outback Queensland, Australia.
The dramatic landscape of Iceland’s north. Just outside the lake town of Myvatn, the geothermal activity underground results in an endless venting of sulphurous material at the surface. The contrast of Iceland’s frigid location and it’s melting pot sizzling under the surface has given rise to its moniker as The Land of Fire and Ice.

Water.

Official entry;

A chinstrap penguin glances back to his mate hiding over the hill on a massive iceberg flow just off the north east of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Selected others;

The Norman River in northern Queensland, en route to Mornington Island.
A fruit trader leaves the scene after selling all his produce for the morning at Srinegar’s floating market on Dal Lake in Jammu & Kashmir province, India
A man and his daughter walk under the rainbow created by light refracting on the water of Skógafoss waterfall in southeast Iceland.
A crew member surveys the scene on the crossing between Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam and Stone Town on the Zanzibar archipelego, while a tourist looks on.

Air.

Official entry;

A young boy flies his kite on the shores of the Ganges in the holy city of Varanasi, while around him his elders celebrate life by cremating the recently deceased loved ones at the burning ghats.

Selected others;

An iceberg rears its head northwest of the settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit in eastern Greenland. Dwindling Arctic ice sheet levels have become the focus of climate change action in recent years as warming temperatures have caused a shift from solid to more viscous states.
The morning parade of hot air balloons rising up from Göreme in Cappadocia, Turkey.
A storm rises up from the east while the sun sets in the west on the plains of Mongolia, east of the old capital of Karakorum, while traditional gers (tent-homes) offer the only form of refuge.
The Svalbard archipelego, Norway.

Earth.

Official entry;

The moonscape of Laguna Colorada and its rising hillside in southern Bolivia. Much of the lake is covered with white coloured borax islands, which contrast sharply against the red hue of the water which results from the sediments and algae that occupy it

Selected others;

A tourist runs towards the light, at the end of The Siq (the shaft), at the ancient site of Petra in Jordan. Lying in wait is the Treasury, a rock hewn edifice carved into the canyon side.
Taktsang Palphug Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, in the Paro Valley of Bhutan in the northern Himalayas. The monastery is where Guru Padmasambhava, whom introduced Buddhism to Bhutan, is said to have meditated.
A pair of holy men walk past a makeshift Buddhist shrine replete with sanskrit markings on the trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp in north east Nepal.
Wild horses run across the plains of southern Kyrgyzstan in the shadow of the Pamir Mountains.

Nominations to post their own entries;

Alexander, Zoe, Daniel, Bernardo and Gonzalo.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Ben Cooke’s story.