Last summer, the Cloud Appreciation Society jointly launched a competition with Stromness Museum for the best cloud photos taken on any of the 72 islands of Orkney. The deadline is May 2018 and you can enter eight shots, which gives plenty of scope for clouds of all kinds and seasons. With its vast skyscapes, Orkney is the perfect location for appreciating clouds. So I too pointed my camera upwards and began to snap away.
It was an astonishing experience. Sometimes involving delicate sky calligraphy and sometimes suggesting Armageddon and impending doom.
After a few days, it became quite normal for me to wander through fields with my head almost literally in the clouds. And it’s a wonder that I didn’t fall over, especially as I felt distinctly light headed!
It’s October now and I will be returning to Orkney for an exhibition at the Northlight Gallery in Stromness. That’s an adventure in itself and will involve lots of hard work. But I’ll also be taking plenty of cloud breaks, which – without doubt – will give me a completely different perspective on the world.
A little information on the Cloud Appreciation Society
The Cloud Appreciation Society is a UK organisation founded by Gavin Pretor-Pinney in January 2005. It aims to foster understanding and appreciation of clouds, and has over 42,000 members worldwide from 115 different countries, as of January 2017.
Yahoo named the society’s website as “the most weird and wonderful find on the internet for 2005”. In addition, the group and its founder were the focus of a BBC documentary Cloudspotting, as based on Pretor-Pinney’s book The Cloudspotter’s Guide.