Explore the Elements

Explore the Elements photography

Earth, water, fire and air – the four elements that make up life on earth and which we tend to take for granted. But a new photography challenge got me thinking about the elements – how they’re expressed in the world around us and how you can capture them in a photo. In the Explore the Elements competition, bloggers are being asked to share photos which represent each of the elements. The categories are open to interpretation though, and you don’t need to be too literal. … 

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In pictures: Berlin’s Reichstag dome by night

Reichstag dome

Seat of the German Parliament, the Reichstag is one of the most famous and imposing buildings in Berlin. The original version, built in the 1880s, was topped with a stone dome. But that, along with the rest of the building, was damaged by fire and war. When it was restored in the 1960s they left out the dome, but 30 years later architect Sir Norman Foster designed a space-age glass version to top the building. Made of glass and mirrors, it looks like a location from a sci-fi film. Walkways spiral around the edge of the dome and in the centre is an upside-down pyramid which points down into the parliament hall below. … 

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In pictures: Snowdrops at Colesbourne Park in the Cotswolds

Colesbourne Park snowdrops

After winter seems to have dragged on for ever, the first snowdrop peeking out of the ground is a sign that spring is finally on it’s way. But Colesbourne Park in the Cotswolds has taken snowdrop growing to extremes. Described as ‘England’s greatest snowdrop garden’, the estate has over 250 different varieties of snowdrop on display in ten acres of traditional country garden. Colesbourne Park has been home to the Elwes family for centuries and Henry John Elwes started off the snowdrop collection when he discovered a new species, named Galanthus elwesii after him, in Turkey in 1874…. 

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In pictures: The best of the rest of 2014

Sailing out of Santorini

Only a fraction of the huge amount of photos I take each year ever make it onto the blog, so it’s become an annual end-of-year tradition for me to share some of the ‘best of the rest’ of the year’s photos (here are my choices from 2011, 2012 and 2013). These are some of my favourite unpublished photos from the last 12 months, starting from the seas off Santorini in Greece all the way to a Marrakech rooftop sunset. Hope you enjoy them, and wishing you all a great New Year’s Eve and a fantastic 2015! Lucy x… 

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In pictures: Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle, Wales

In the heart of Cardiff, the city’s castle brings together 2000 years of history in one place. Over the years it’s been a Roman fort, Norman Castle, Victorian Gothic mansion and a Second World War refuge. The first building here was a Roman fort, long-destroyed by the time the Normans arrived in 1181. They built a new castle, with an imposing keep on top of a motte – or hill – which you can still climb for fantastic views over the city. The castle was passed down through generations of noble families until it reached the Bute family in 1766 who transformed it again. … 

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In pictures: Poppies at the Tower of London

Poppies at the Tower of London

As you approach the Tower of London, the moat is a sea of red, with tightly packed flowers as far as the eye can see. It’s an awe-inspiring sight, and even more so when you realise that every single bloom equates to a life lost in the First World War. It’s all part of an art installation called Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red, created by ceramicist Paul Cummins, which centres around the symbol of remembrance – the poppy. … 

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In pictures: The ruins of Lindisfarne Priory

Lindisfarne Priory ruins in Northumberland

Northumberland’s Lindisfarne Island has such religious significance they even named it Holy Island – and its holiest site is its priory. The region’s earliest Christian monastery was founded here by Irish monk St Aidan in 635 AD. Despite its remote location it was close enough to Bamburgh’s castle for protection, making it the perfect base for converting the local pagans to Christianity. Over the years the priory was also home to St Cuthbert, who’s commemorated by a statue amongst the ruins today, and the illustrated Lindisfarne Gospels were written here. But after a series of Viking attacks at the end of the 8th century, the monks packed up the Gospels and Cuthbert’s body and relocated to Durham. … 

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In pictures: Amongst the ruins at Ephesus

Ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey

On the western coast of Turkey, Ephesus has some of the Mediterranean’s best-preserved, grandest ruins. As a major port for trade routes to Asia it grew from a coastal town in the 10th century BC to the second largest city in the world. A series of rulers over the years left their mark – from the Greeks and Romans to the Byzantines and Ottomans. But when its port silted up, Ephesus was abandoned and fell into ruin. … 

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In pictures: Santorini in blue and white

Blue and white in Fira, Santorini, Greece

Santorini is the classic Greek island – its shades of blue and white featuring on magazine covers across the world. But would it be as impressive in person? Docking in the port, we dodged the cable car queue and the donkey handlers and climbed up the 650 steps to the town of Fira. Despite 30 degree heat it was worth every step for the views that greeted us at the top – a maze of whitewashed buildings spilling down over the edge of a steep cliff, with the backdrop of the deep blue Aegean Sea. … 

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In pictures: Bryggen, the old heart of Bergen

Bryggen old town in Bergen, Norway

Along the waterfront in the Norwegian city of Bergen is one of its most historic and beautiful areas – Bryggen. A row of colourfully painted shopfronts face the wharf, but down the narrow alleyways in between you’ll find a jumble of overhanging balconies and walkways. This is the oldest part of Bergen, which was first built on back in 1070. … 

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