Water at high altitudes (say in the Alps) tends to inhabit one end of the natural states it exists in or the other. Water vapour as clouds comes in a multitude of types – from the cumulous nimbus and stratus to the rare and strange cloud formations often mistaken for flying saucers. As children, we lie on the grass and spot teddy bears and ice creams in the clouds. Cloud gazing, or Aeromancy has it’s own website (cloudappreciationsociety) and is documented as far back as the Ancient Greeks. They appear throughout popular culture, with Donald Sutherland and Kate Bush creating them (to their cost) and Rickie Lee Jones famously describing the ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ in the Arizona skies of her childhood for the Orb. It seems that man, throughout history, has always been fascinated by clouds.
Ice, on the other hand, is solid, hard and unforgiving. It’s exploration is dangerous and it is associated with harsh and forbidding landscapes – glaciers, mountains and of course the North and South Poles. Conquering it was a huge accomplishment and a demonstration of man’s power over his environment, as illustrated by the desperate quest to be the first team to reach the South Pole at the beginning of the last century. Antarctica’s beauty has
For the photographer, both of these states offer challenges – to capture the essence and beauty of something as transient as a cloud.