·       frozen water, a brittle transparent crystalline solid: she scraped the ice off the windscreen. her hands were as cold as ice
·        a sheet or layer of ice on the surface of water: the ice beneath him gave way

·       a visible mass of condensed watery vapour floating in the atmosphere, typically high above the general level of the ground: the sun had disappeared behind a cloud [mass noun]: the sky was almost free of cloud
·        an opaque patch within a transparent substance.
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, through out history, has always been fascinated by clouds.

Ice, on the other hand, is solid, hard and unforgiving. Its exploration is dangerous and it is associated with harsh and forbidding landscapes – glaciers and mountains, usually accompanied by its softer cousin snow. 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 been shot by many for it’s beauty, but with films like Chasing Ice, it is also evidence of our changing climate.

For the photographer, both of these states offer challenges – to capture the essence and beauty of something as transient as a cloud, or as huge and seemingly featureless as vast expanses of white. The challenge is to capture the natural patterns and variations in both whilst retaining the sense of awe 
and wonder when confronted by the epic…

These images were first published in Mascular Magazine 6.

Solid Gaseous
Cloud 2
Cloud 1
Cloud 3
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