Interpreting The Elements In Images

Blogger friends – Suzanne of The Travebunny, Kathryn of Travel With Kat and Wilbur of Wilbur’s Travels – have nominated me for yet another challenge. The Thomas Cook Explore The Elements Travel Photoblogging Challenge requires me to publish photos that best represent my interpretation of the four classic elements of Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

Here are my choices:

Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth. Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness , physicality and gravity:Cape Buffalo, NgorongoroThe buffalo is said to symbolise strength and abundance. This magnificent specimen and the vastness of the Ngorongoro crater beyond, seemed to me to embody every feature associated with the element Earth.

Represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. Associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism:
Ablutions - Kolkata, India
The life giving and cleansing properties of water make it an esential element in many religions. Buddhist and Shinto shrines have Temizuyas at their entrances. Most mosques and churches their ablution/ baptism fountains.  Hindus use temple ponds or their holy rivers. This candid shot captures a priest performing his ritual ablutions in the river Hooghly – a tributary of the Ganges in Kolkata.

Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world. Associated with security, motivation, desire, intention, and an outgoing spirit:Ganga Aarti- Varansi, IndiaAs the flame of knowledge that dispels the darkness of ignorance, fire is central to Hindu rituals.  Its power of devouring destruction associated with the cleansing of egos.  Regardless of ones beliefs, it is hard not to be swept up in the energy and fervour of the Ganga Aarti in Varanasi.

Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement.  Associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, and wisdom:Balloon ride over- Cappadocia - TurkeyAir was the hardest to go symbolic with. So I stuck with a more straightforward interpretation of a balloon. Floating over the surreal landscape of Cappadocia remains one of our most memorable experiences.
Thank you Suzanne and Kathryn for the nomination. With the 16/03 deadline just a day away, I throw this challenge open to those of my readers that want to attempt it.

There are great prizes to be won: Four individual category winners will receive a MacBook Air, a Fujifilm X-T1 camera, or an iPhone 6 with Bose noise cancelling headphones, depending on their personal choice. The overall winner will be awarded an amazing £5,000 travel fund.

Go on, try your luck….

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

103 thoughts on “Interpreting The Elements In Images

  1. Great choices and great images. More than that, this is the first time I have carefully read the classic associations with these elements. On previous occasions I have skimmed through, but now I get a lot from the wisdom behind these thoughts.

  2. well I hope they post the winners of this – and in your post – I like the balloon image (Air) the most – but all flowed so well – and what nice idea for a challenge – I bet it will be hard to pick winners.

    1. You are the first one to pick the balloon Yvette! I quite like the three dimensional effect of that shot myself, against the surreal background.

  3. Woooo! Way to go, Madhu…..nice images, and the reasons representing the four Elements, as depicted in your photos.

  4. I’ve just scrambled a last minute entry 🙂 🙂 I was only tagged 2 days ago and wasn’t sure I’d have time. Love your ‘fire’ shot! It’s so alive! Good luck!

        1. Yes, part of it that had me stressed last week. There is still some seepage to be attended to from the outside. The quote for the scaffolding is more than that of the work itself! I am so ready to move into a studio apartment Jo. Preferably serviced 😀

  5. Great post with lovely photos, Madhu! Good luck, we keep our fingers, toes and wings crossed for you! ❤ 🙂

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