I’m not one to typically enter contests.

I am, however, someone who loves to take photos (if you’ve seen my Instagram, you know. I can’t get enough.)

Yet when this themed photography contest came across my desk, I was immediately drawn to the concept. Soon I found myself pouring over the more than 10,000 travel photos in my archive looking for images that best represented earth, water, fire, and air.

The elements surround us at all times, yet for me it’s travel that brings my senses alive and helps me appreciate the softness or hardness of the nature around me. Perhaps it’s the changing of scenery, the exploring of new places, or the acute attention to our surroundings, but I find myself immersed in the rawness of the world when I’m traveling. Certain destinations or experiences bring out a prominent element, which is what drew me to each of the images I’ve selected.

Outside of each individual element, what cemented these choices for me was two-fold: their sense of movement, and their ability to tell the story of the place I was.

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