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Digital art passed off as real scud clouds over Sydney

Image was originally created by digital artist and photographer Brent Shavnore in 2020


Claim: A picture shows “skud clouds” over Sydney, Australia.

Fact: The picture is an artwork created via digital manipulation by artist and photographer Brent Shavnore. It was first published in December 2020.

On 25 April 2023, Facebook page ‘Science Hub’ posted a picture (archive) claiming to show scud clouds over the Australian city of Sydney. The post was captioned as follows:

“Skud clouds over Sydney. How awesome.”

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check used reverse image search tools to ascertain the source of the picture and found it, using some keywords, on the Instagram account of Brent Shavnore, @shavnore.

Shavnore describes himself as a “digital artist specializing in digital restorations, dreamy landscapes, [and] seascapes”, according to his Facebook page, where, too, the image in question is available (archive).

He is also a storm-chaser — someone who shares “a first person view of the power and destruction that takes place during one of these storms” to help and warn people — as well as the founder of Operation Shavnore, “a disaster mission dedicated towards helping people in disaster zones”.

The bottom half of the digital manipulation in the viral picture, on the other hand, is a real shot taken by photographer Taras Vyshnya in 2018. It is available on stock photography websites such as Adobe Stock, Alamy, Shutterstock, and iStock.


Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 30-day period from 29 March 2023 to 28 April, using the search term, “Skud clouds over Sydney. How awesome.”

We found almost 60 Facebook posts with more than 57,500 interactions.

We also came across the image here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here on Facebook. It was also shared here, here, here, here, and here on Twitter.

Conclusion: The picture is not real. It is an artwork created via digital manipulation by Brent Shavnore and was first published in December 2020.

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