Happy Accidents: Double Exposure Features All the Elements of Nature


Photograph taken by Yoojay and used with permission.

Happy accidents–It’s an idea and an incident that many film photographers are familiar with when shooting film. Double exposures, light leaks, overlapping frames…these are film camera “misdeeds” that would probably be frowned upon by other photographers but are celebrated imperfections in the film community. To us, these imperfections are a fact (sometimes, a way) of life. It’s a occasion that we look forward to, revel in, and even, at times, seek.

To us, scanning negatives has never been so fun until we discover that we accidentally double exposed a portrait with a landscape scene or we realize that a light leak had slashed clear across the frame, perfectly masking the subject’s fact…

Or really, when we realize that we have double exposed a silhouetted landscape shot with a close-up of water droplets because we had completely forgotten that we started (but never finished) rewinding the roll in our Nikon F3. It’s exactly what happened to Redditer and fellow film shooter Yoojay, whose interesting color and black and white images you can find in his Reddit feed. Last week, Yoojay got a nice little present after picking up his negatives from the lab.

“I took what was the last shot on the roll (the sun and clouds, frame 36) and pushed the rewind button on the bottom of the camera but got distracted before actually rewinding the film. Two days later I forgot I had done that and thought, “One shot left, I guess I’ll just finish the roll,” and took the photo of the droplets on the window. It made for a pleasant surprise when I picked up the film from the lab.”

Pleasant surprise, indeed. All the elements of nature – water (droplets), fire (sun), earth (trees), air (clouds) – seem to converge in this one shot, with dark hues of reds and blues providing a rich backdrop. It’s truly double exposure at its finest, accidental or not, and we’re glad that Yoojay took the time to share it on Reddit.

If there’s such a thing as a perfect example of an imperfectly perfect shot, then this is it. It’s definitely one of those happy accidents to be celebrated and has already inspired a good number of photographers on the social network platform. We hope it’ll inspire you as well.