Cloud necklace

 2014 by JMW

All sorts of strange cloud formations appear in the Antarctic region during the Southern summer. This one was caught in Paradise Bay near the unmanned Argentine scientific base called Brown. It appeared and in a blink vanished. By some stroke of luck I caught it using a Nikon D800 camera with a  28-300mm “go anywhere” multi-purpose zoom lens at its shortest focal length.

   As it was such a fleeting event, I had the camera on Program mode with a high ISO (800) and the image was captured at 1250th of a second at f18. Even though I say it myself, this is a superb snapshot and no more than a snapshot. This was not one of those image events where you stayed in a hide and made careful calculations about the aperture and focussing, it was a mere chance shot. No-one else was near me as I stood on a snowy bluff, so that this image is unique, although other strange cloud formations appear regularly in the Antarctic summer and no doubt other camera buffs on the Shackleton Centenary Voyage aboard the Russian scientific vessel Vavilov may well have caught similar or better images.

   The glory of this one is that the glacier-covered rocks around which the necklace hovers are on the actual Antarctic Peninsula and not on one of the many islands in the Gerlache Channel. A canvas print of this image now graces my London lounge and because of its vivid blue background lures viewers instantly to it.