March 8, 2015

Explore the Elements


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“Explore the Elements” is a Photo Blogger challenge sponsored by Travel Photographer, Thomas Cook.  The idea is to present four images that represent the four elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Air. The image can be literal, interpretational or a combination thereof. I was invited to take this challenge by my friend, Jim Denham, whose entry can be seen here. My initial thought was to use exclusively images I’ve taken around the mills in Lawrence. Collectively, I think they help tell the story of the city. Some can be an interpretation of one of the four elements, but I couldn’t get all four without using a shoe-horn on one or two to squeeze it some elemental meaning.  The challenge forced me to review my broader catalog and think critically about the images I’ve created. Does the image evoke some deeper meaning, or is it just a pretty picture? In the end, I used two images from Lawrence and a two more from my (not often enough) travels.

EARTH: Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains

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

Taken in the dead of winter, in North Carolina, the bare trees expose the gently rolling, but unforgiving terrain of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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WATER: Merrimack River

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

The Merrimack River flows through Lawrence MA, adapting to its terrain. The river was harnessed to generate electricity to help fuel America’s Industrial Revolition.

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FIRE: The Welder

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

The arc of the welder’s blowtorch is a purposeful, forceful fire that fuses metal to metal to create a new object.

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AIR: The Loneliest Road

The Loneliest Road

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

I had another image in mind for Air, but when I saw this one, it knew it was right. It was taken along Route 50 (The Loneliest Road in America), in Nevada. The beautiful, expansive sky and wide open road just screamed “Freedom of Movement.”


The last part of this challenge requires me to extend it to five other photo bloggers. So, Michael Criswell, Steven Perlmutter, Mike Olbinski, Chris Nitz and Jacques Gudë, consider yourselves challenged. And I mean that in the most respectful and photographic way possible.

CORRECTION: I credited my friend Jimmy Denham with tagging me to take on this challeng. It was actually my freind Rob Hanson. You can check out his fine work here.

 

 

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  1. Great collection Bob! I especially like the welder image – very cool! With that said, you’ve given me credit where it is not due – you need to blame Rob Hanson for your nomination just like I had to! There are five other blokes who have their fingers pointed at me! 🙂