Explore The Elements – Travel Photoblogging Challenge [Closed]

Update: This competition has now closed, to see the winning entries click here for our announcement post.

Welcome to the Thomas Cook Explore the Elements photo blogging competition. It’s all about capturing and expressing the four elements through travel photography.

We’re looking for bloggers to publish photographs they’ve taken which best represent one of the four elements. All the categories are open to your interpretation, so you can be free to take a picture of anything you feel showcases your chosen element.

Once the competition has finished our panel of leading travel experts will come together to select the best photos. Each judge will preside over one category picking a winner from each before they collectively choose an overall winner.

The 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. Keep up with the conversation using the official hashtag #ExploreTheElements

The 4 Elements



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



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



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



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


Publish an Explore the Elements post on your blog with an image for each element or as many as you want to capture
Spread the word and nominate 5 of your fellow bloggers to take part
Lets us know you've entered by tweeting @ThomasCookUK or emailing us
Keep an eye on the Thomas Cook Twitter account to find out who wins

Entry Examples



BIO: Dave Bouskill is an award winning travel photographer and visual storyteller. He travels full time documenting the beauty of this planet.

WHAT DAVE IS LOOKING FOR: When choosing the photos I will be looking for ones that not only showcase the beauty of the elements but do it in a unique way. Each photo should evoke emotion and at the same time be able to transport the viewer into that destination. For me originality will always take precedence over a pretty photograph.

Ken - Water Judge

BIO: Ken Kaminesky is a professional travel photographer whose work has appeared on the cover of National Geographic. He's a Fujifilm Global Ambassador, Zeiss Lens Ambassador and runs photography tours all over the world.

WHAT KEN IS LOOKING FOR: I'm looking for images with depth and character. Images that tell a story or stir the soul. This contest is similar to a commercial photography assignment since there are some directives that need to be followed. Be creative in your interpretation of the guidelines as that is an important factor in how I'll be judging. Good luck and have fun!

Elia - Fire Judge

BIO: Elia Locardi is a professional travel photographer, public speaker and highly sought after educator who has visited more than 50 countries since 2009.

WHAT ELIA IS LOOKING FOR: I’m specifically looking for creative entries and I strongly encourage you to think outside of the box. Study the fire category description before submitting images and above all, I’ll be looking for photos with a strong emotional impact and that are created with good technique.

Nicole - Air Judge

BIO: Nicole S. Young is a photographer and author living in Portland, Oregon, specializing in landscape, travel, and food photography.

WHAT NICOLE IS LOOKING FOR: The main thing I'm looking for in the winning photo is a unique and creative perspective on the concept of "air". I'm also looking for images with clean processing and balanced composition.

Want more information?

If you want to know more about the competition or if you have any questions please get in touch via either Twitter or email. Click here to view the Terms & Conditions.

Need Some Inspiration...

If you're stuck for inspiration, take a look at these picturesque destinations; Santorini, The Red Sea, Las Vegas, Cuba, Cyprus, Mexico, Florida, Cape Verde, Tenerife, Morocco, Spain, Cancun, Goa or Egypt .

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