Explore the Elements Photo Contest!

By | 2018-06-05T17:59:41+00:00 January 19th, 2015|11 Comments

This contest is now over

Earth, Water, Fire, and Air

Explore the Elements is a contest that invites bloggers (that’s you!) to showcase the images you’ve captured on your travels. There are four categories (Earth, Water, Fire and Air) and the challenge is to submit photos that capture the essence of each of these elements. There is no stipulation on how long you’ve been blogging, so bloggers new and old are welcome to take part.

While it isn’t compulsory to submit an image for each of the four elements, you’ve got more chance of winning one of the prizes on offer if you do submit a photograph for each category. It’s also worth noting that to be in with a chance of winning the grand prize of a £5,000 travel fund, you’ll have to submit a photo for all four element categories.

I’m a Judge!

Here’s a list of all of the judges for this contest:

As you can see, I will be judging the “Air” category! It’s a tough one, I’ll admit, so put those creative thinking caps on. Here’s what I am looking for as a judge:

  • 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.

Here are my interpretations for each of these categories:

"Earth" — Nha Trang, Vietnam.

“Earth” — Nha Trang, Vietnam.

"Fire" — Angkor Wat, Cambodia

“Fire” — Angkor Wat, Cambodia

"Water" — Punalu'u Beach, Big Island, Hawaii.

“Water” — Punalu’u Beach, Big Island, Hawaii.

"Air" — Tigard, Oregon.

“Air” — Tigard, Oregon.

How to enter:

  1. Publish an Explore the Elements post on your blog with images for all 4 elements. If you don’t have photos for all 4 elements, post images for the elements that you do have images for. Those who don’t have photos for all 4 elements will still be in with a chance of winning the category winner prizes but won’t be in the running for the main £5,000 travel fund prize.
  2. Nominate and notify 5 other bloggers to take part in Explore the Elements at the end of your post to spread the word about the contest!
  3. Notify Thomas Cook of your entry before the closing date of the 16th March 2015 by either:• Tweeting @thomascookuk including #exploretheelements and a link to your blog post in your tweet; or

    • Emailing exploretheelements@thomascookonline.com, including a link to your post, your name and your email address.
  4. This contest is open from January 19, 2015 through March 16, 2015.

More information about this contest:

Thomas Cook and the competition judges will share and retweet some of our favorite “Explore the Elements” posts throughout the contest’s 8 week duration, so be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts closely!

Prizes & Judging: Every Explore the Elements blog entry will be judged by our 4 judges with each judge selecting an element category winner to receive either a Fujifilm camera, an Apple MacBook Air, or an Apple iPhone 6 with Bose noise canceling headphones depending on their choice. The judges will then work together to select the overall winner of the £5,000 travel fund. For further information about the judging and the prizes see the Terms & Conditions by clicking the link below.

Read the updated Terms and Conditions.


If you want to know more about the contest or if you have any questions please get in touch via either Twitter (@thomascookuk) or email (exploretheelements@thomascookonline.com).

Official Competition Pages:

This contest is open to everyone! And, to get things started, I’ve nominated a few of my fellow photographers:

Please CLICK HERE to view the Terms and Conditions for this contest.

Good luck!!!

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website, nicolesy.com.


  1. paul parkinson January 19, 2015 at 3:17 am - Reply

    It’s worth noting that there is one Heck of a rights grab in the T&C’s Nicole…

  2. Samuel January 20, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Giving up the almost all the rights really keeps me from entering that contest. Too sad as it’s a cool idea…

  3. paul parkinson January 20, 2015 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Whilst I am happy that they have seen some degree of sense – it’s an improvement but still not what I could call fair and reasonable to the entrants. I doubt they will shift further. Allons-y!

  4. lensaddiction February 9, 2015 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    In the immortal words of kiwi slang “yeah nah”

    First I was put off to have to nominate five fellow bloggers – nominate them to do what exactly? No details beyond they have to be nominated – Im taking that as a easy way to spam more bloggers about the contest and thats not cool either.

    Then I saw the IP rights grab – its a shame that a competition judged by professional photographers cannot have a sensible approach to copyright – there isnt even a time limit on it so therefore implies perpetual.

    Nope not entering here

  5. Matt Payne February 19, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

    “By taking part in this competition and submitting a blog/photographs (hereafter referred to as “Intellectual Property”), each entrant agrees, in consideration for the chance to win a prize that they are granting a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable and transferable licence to Thomas Cook to publish, reproduce, use, adapt, communicate and broadcast all or any part of the Intellectual Property in any form and in any media at Thomas Cook’s sole discretion in connection with the promotion of this competition”

    The way I read this was that by submitting my images, I’m basically giving them the right to use them however they want for eternity, meaning, it is like they are going to get a ton of free stock images. Not a bad ploy, and I see lots of companies doing this. I think it isn’t a bad deal for some folks, but if you’re already successfully licensing your work, probably not.

    I’ll think about entering! It does sound fun! Good luck with the judging, I bet that will be amazing!

  6. chat March 2, 2015 at 2:29 am - Reply

    please send me some beautiful pictures by email

  7. noelmorata March 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I love your entries especially the one of Earth, so well chosen to the theme, good luck to you and your entries!

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