A viral photograph capturing a chaotic scene of drunken New Year's Eve revellers has been compared to a Renaissance masterpiece. But the Manchester, U.K.-based freelance photographer behind the photo says he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

"I didn't do anything, they just fell into the right places," Joel Goodman told CTV News Channel on Tuesday.

The photo features a man who's been tackled by police, while nearby another man lounges on the road, belly exposed, reaching for a beer.

 

"He makes the picture," Goodman said of the man in the blue suit.

Moments before snapping the photo, Goodman said a fight had broken out among New Year's Eve revellers and police came rushing over from across the street. In the process, they knocked over the one man, but his beer remained intact.

Goodman has been photographing what he describes as "the nighttime economy" – mainly pub and club goers – in Manchester as part of a documentary project.

He said on certain days of the year, including New Year's Day, newspapers are particularly interested in his photographs.

But Goodman said he wasn't prepared for the reaction following this particular photograph.

"It's slightly overwhelming," he said.

"I'm a news photographer so…I take some pictures, I file them, and I move on to the next job. Usually that’s the end of it," he said. " It's incredible that such a reaction would come from one of my photos, I'm delighted."

The photo has inspired some Twitter users to turn the picture into their own works of art.

Goodman said he understands the interest in the photo.

"It's lovely that it comes together like that," he said, adding that photographers look for moments when things "fold together in the right way."

Goodman said from his knowledge, everyone in the photo has been heard from, "and everyone is OK."