Iceberg photo hoax
Famous picture of full iceberg is a fake
THIS SPECTACULAR PICTURE OF A MONSTER ICEBERG has circulated all over the world in emails that claim it is a genuine photograph.
It allegedly shows an iceberg floating on the ocean and at the same time allows us to see what icebergs look like below the water.
But the photographer tells a different history. Photographer Ralph A. Clevenger says he created this top-to-bottom iceberg photo from a composite of four images. He took the photographs in 1998 on photographic slide film.
Clevenger says: “I created the image as a way of illustrating the concept of what you get is not necessarily what you see. As a professional photographer I knew that I couldn't get an actual shot of an iceberg the way I envisioned it, so I created the final image by compositing several images I had taken.”
Digital artists can create exceptionally real-looking fake photos quickly in Photoshop and other graphics programs. Many of the photos in our website's DinosaurCam section have been shown to be fakes, such as the extinct pteranodon hovering over a South African waterhole, the tourist on the observation deck at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and the huge dinosaur trundling through a jungle village.
Ralph Clevenger says the halves of his iceberg were separate photos of two different icebergs. He didn't take either of the shots underwater.
“The top iceberg was shot in Antarctica, and the bottom iceberg was shot in Alaska above water,” he said. “Then we cut it out and flipped it, and put it underwater.”
Interestingly, in a video interview with Frederick Van Johnson in 2012, Clevenger says the photo was not color-enhanced.
“The iceberg was originally that blue — the one we flipped,” he said.
The sky and the water were taken off the coast of southern California. The sky was the last component to be added, and he took a massive amount of time researching lighting and scale to get the iceberg to look real.
The final image was marketed widely, and its uniqueness guaranteed worldwide interest. It was quickly picked up by Chrysler and other large corporations for use in their marketing.
There are different versions of the image to fit a variety of layout options — horizontal with the iceberg centered; horizontal with the iceberg to one side so it can fit 2-page spreads in magazines; and the vertical layout we have used above.
© Image copyright Corbis Corporation. Used under
Ralph A. Clevenger website.
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