A “happy accident” is an interesting experience for a photographer. While we like to project an aura of technical know-how, the truth of the matter is that good photography is measured in fractions of a second, which leaves much to chance. So when you get a result you didn’t expect, and it’s better than what you were aiming for, an unusual sense of accomplishment is felt. You get the thrill of taking a good photo but the dread of possibly being asked how you got the shot. Or worse: asked to try to get the shot again.
Robb’s picture above is a great “happy accident” photo. It’s a double exposure, which is when two shots are taken on the same film frame (see more examples in our Flickr pool). For obvious reasons, it’s a difficult shot to get right and is prone to the happy accident phenomenon.
Robb’s photo works so well because the two shots align perfectly; the tower in the second, bright shot, fits exactly in between the towers of the first darker shot, giving the Cathedral a castle look. As well, the brightness of the two shots contrast just right and it requires the viewer to take a moment to realize it’s a double exposure (at least, that was my reaction). All around good job! And fear not, I will not ask for it to be done again.