Clouds, Cloud Appreciation Society, Holm, Stromness Museum, Orkney

Recently I was sent a flyer for a cloud photo competition to be judged by the legendary Cloud Appreciation Society. A great choice of subject matter because Orkney – where I’m based at present – has enormous skies and dramatic weather. So, instead of pointing my camera horizontally or towards the ground, I have started looking upwards, an experience which is quite literally dizzying. And, with my head in the clouds, anything is possible. To quote the great photographer Alfred Stieglitz: “My cloud photographs are equivalents of my most profound life experiences, my basic philosophy of life. All art is an equivalent of the artist’s most profound life experiences.” 

Cloud Appreciation Society

The Cloud Appreciation Society is a society founded by Gavin Pretor-Pinney from the United Kingdom in January 2005. The society 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”.  The group and its founder were the focus of a BBC documentary Cloudspotting, based on Pretor-Pinney’s book The Cloudspotter’s Guide. During an episode of Taskmaster, comedien Hugh Dennis revealed he is a member of the society.