On September 25 2019, a Reddit user shared a dramatic image to r/pics, titled simply “Greenland”:
Six days earlier, a different user shared the image to r/MostBeautiful, earning a fraction of the upvotes afforded the “Greenland” picture when it was reposted to r/pics. In the comments of the earlier post, some users commented that they thought the well-balanced shot was a subtle work of digital artistry.
One of the most popular comments on the thread said that there was no way the “Greenland” photograph was authentic and unaltered:
A compilation and not a very good one I’m afraid. The lighting is different in each part and it looks a bit obvious. Nice individual parts though but not as a compilation.
Yes you do not want to be close to an iceberg. they are unstable and roll over, or collapse like this one looks like it wants to.
It’s not even an iceberg. Someone just snipped a photo of a glacier and stuck it on a layer in Photoshop.
You know I was thinking this didn’t look real but know next to nothing about this type of stuff. So I’m glad to know my gut was right.
However, the original poster provided an image source further down in the thread. The user credited Joe Shutter, a photographer working in Iceland (according to his website):
My name is Joe and I am the man behind the lens at Joe Shutter. Over the last few years, I have carved out an adventure-filled life here in the Land of Fire and Ice. Through my blog, vlog and pictures, I show my life in iceland to anyone who is willing to stop and take a look.
On September 5 2019, Shutter shared the image to his Instagram page (geotagged “Scoresbysund, Ostgronland, Greenland”):
Greenland. Guaranteed to blow your mind. And then some. I have just returned from what can only be described as my greatest adventure ever. Ever. Wonder after wonder. Story after story. A brilliant group and group dynamic, combined with a willing, daring and caring crew from @northsailing was a match made in heaven. It was all ours for the taking. Ot was a hard knock getting back to the world after a really nice digital detox, but so thankful for the switch off. The clarity that comes from this is unrivalled.
There’s much more coming up, so stay tuned for an array of Arctic gems. #silentarctic #greenland
The post shared to Reddit simply as “Greenland” was one of two parts of Shutter’s original post on Instagram. The first image was the same photograph, and the second slide was video of the same arctic ice and ship from a slightly different vantage point. Looking at the clip illustrated the totality of the “Greenland” image’s elements, showing how the first photograph was taken and that it is indeed real.