Interesting technical exercise, much better that way that anything I could ever do. Shooting through the ice hole is also interesting, I have done some work like that, but not in a composite.
However, the line about not wanting things to look photoshopped was hilarious. I can't get the quote right now because of the way LuLa blocks chunks of content now if I load more than one article at a time in tabs, so I may have the context wrong. That's what I remembered making me laugh, not in a mean way, but in a way that I could recognise myself saying/doing that and not getting that I was disconnected because I was so wrapped up in pursuit.
I have not seen an iceberg look like that. It was turned into something more suitable for the cover of a fantasy novel, more like a jewel that people fight over. Very beautiful but not an iceberg to me. Real ones are somewhat harmless seeming, like clouds. They aren't always really so (just ask the Titanic), but there's a certain jocundity about their bobbing out in the water. I have film photos of one that looked like an overstuffed chair out in a bay off the Newfoundland coast, they invite the viewer to anthropomorphise a bit.
The technical manipulation, into something else, removes a sort of truth about it. I see that temptation in my own work to go with what looks "zowie", and sometimes have to sit back and consider whether that impression is shallow and short-lived. A lot of perfect photos I've seen look at first like they need adjustment or look dull. The reticence to impose anything on a photo makes for a better long-term relationship, IMO.
I'm still working with that balance on my own shots, coming back to them after they've been out of sight for a while to gauge my own response more cleanly.
But I don't sell or compete, so it's mostly to please myself.