Nature: Air

Last modified 29.03.2023 | Published 12.01.2015World abstracts

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This is the last part in my series of photo essays dealing with the classic four elements of nature. The fourth element is Air. It goes without saying that air is a tricky thing to photograph and visit.

Air is usually not visible, yet we breathe it and we need it. It is indispensable for the survival of all life on this planet. It can get polluted, its molecules can mix with water and create damp and clouds.

If you add light, usually natural light from the sun, you may produce fascinating combinations and views – in particular during sunrises and sunsets. The northern light is particularly spectacular. The absence of light is called darkness.


Norway - Jæren - The Viste hike

Sunset at Viste, Norway


What it is

“The element of Air is vital to human survival, without it we would all perish, its aspects are Thinness, Motion and Darkness and its quality is Active. Air is the manifestation of movement, freshness, communication and of the intelligence. Sound is another manifestation of this element. As an element, it is invisible, but its reality can be felt in the air that we breathe in every day.” (Source)

You can watch air from below, or you can be flying in between the clouds high up in the air. Very few have had the opportunity to watch air on our planet from outer space, that is from a place without it.

The hard facts: “By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1% at sea level, and 0.4% over the entire atmosphere.” (Source).

Wind, like water, has an eroding effect on another basic element, Earth. You cannot watch the wind’s effect for it takes a long time to produce.


Kyrgyzstan - Chichkan river valley

Clouds over the Chichkan valley in Kyrgyzstan


Further reading

Missing anything? For sure, I’ve had to skip some of my images related to this subject and refrained from mentioning some of my visits. Feel free to search this website for more. In addition, you are surely missing famous places or your own favourites. Chances are I haven’t been there, and I only include my own images and visits in this series.

This post is the last in a series of 15 articles portraying the classic Elements of Nature: Earth, Fire, Water, Air.


All articles in this series

(1) Introduction

(2-7) Element: Earth

(2) Great Caves

(3) Strange Rock Formations

(4) Dramatic Cliffs

(5) Amazing Mountain Views

(6) Great Highlands

(7) Dry Deserts

(8) Element: Fire

(8) Active Volcanoes

(9-14) Element: Water

(9) Dramatic waterfalls

(10) Fascinating Beaches

(11) Mighty rivers

(12) Picturesque Lakes

(13) Important Straits

(14) Snow and ice

(15) Element: Air (THIS)


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