Entering the upper chapel of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris is a breathtaking experience. It had been more than 30 years since I first climbed the narrow winding staircase that opens to this magnificent chamber. This recent visit produced the same uplifting effect I felt then, a physical sensation of lightness, joy, and awe.
A blog post by Bethany Salvon of Beers and Beans that popped up in my email today reminded me this is the last day to enter Thomas Cook’s Explore the Elements photo contest. I was kindly nominated by Agata of NullnFull.com some weeks ago, and the deadline almost whizzed by. Even though I am very intimidated by the beautiful photos already submitted by other travel bloggers, I’ve decided to enter nevertheless.
Patchwork of verdant fields in the Sacred Valley of Peru
Nowhere is the immense staying power of the earth more apparent than in the mountains and valleys of Peru. This is a shot from the roadside descending from Cusco to the Sacred Valley, where we spent time acclimating to the altitude before ascending to Aguascalientes and Machu Picchu.
Sky after the storm over Colonel Fabyan’s folly on the Fox River, Geneva, Illinois
The good Colonel wanted to build a bridge over the river to join his property that spanned both banks, but local officials refused permission, saying that a bridge would interfere with commercial navigation. The Colonel’s lighthouse is a satiric comment on the ruling. In fact, the river is deep enough to float a canoe or kayak, but I doubt it could float a jon boat along this stretch.
“Tiger, tiger, burning bright”
William Blake’s poem is forever associated with the fiery majesty of the tiger, here photographed at the Wild Animal Sanctuary near Denver after TBEX in Keystone, Colorado.
Super moon reflection, Willamette River, Portland, Oregon
I love water best as a mirror of surrounding light, especially at night. This is one of many shots from a beautiful clear evening in Portland with the super moon rising.
My five nominees
It’s hardly fair at this last moment to nominate someone who doesn’t already know about the contest, so my nominees are previous entrants Bethany of Beers and Beans, Agata of Null n Full, Sherry of Ott’s World, Nellie of Wild Junket, and Andi of My Beautiful Adventures.
I don’t envy the judges their task of evaluating hundreds of photos, each better than the last. Good luck to all!
The rising super moon on a clear night in July 2014 adds its reflection to the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.
Ceiling of La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s fantastical basilica in Barcelona, long exposure converted to black and white.