Chapter 17: An Opportunity
Translator: Sissy That Walk
Lihu Park, as the name implied, was a park which was built around Lihu. For this time, B city TV station choosed to shoot commemorative photos for the new hosts here for two reasons: one for it was set in a quiet and beautiful environment here; and the other for it was….cheap to book here.
“The TV station has booked the west side of the lake for two days and set up isolation belt. Some colleagues have already been there for setting the scene.” Lin Rui, another member of photo retouching group moved the equipment outside while explaining. Seeing that He Bai lifted the heaviest box directly, he could not help raising his hand and patting He Bai’s shoulder, and said: “Don’t force yourself. If it is too heavy to move for one time, make it two times. I will accompany you. You can still grow a little taller at your age. You need to pay more attention for this. Don’t press on your bones.”
The hand that patted on the shoulder was very gentle, it was an considerate gesture in a polite manner. He Bai took a look at slightly thin body of Lin Rui and the heavy equipment in his arms, and then looked at Ma Qun who was taking light props cloth in his hand in the front of cars. He Bai’s dimples on his face changed from shallow to deep quickly. He reached out to help Lin Rui to lift the equipment and said: “It’s ok. I can lift it. I just had my 21st birthday. My height might not grow anymore. But look at your glowing face, any good news at home?”
Lin Rui couldn’t help but show a smile on his face after he heard the question of He Bai, and replied: “Not a big deal, but just my wife finally gives birth to a girl for me after so many years.”
“Girl is good, she will be close to you. Congratulations to you and your wife.” He Bai looked at the face of Lin Rui with very infectious expression of happiness, he wanted to take photos of Lin Rui, but due to the box in his hand, he couldn’t reach take the camera, so he whispered ‘what a pity’ in his heart.
Lin Rui and He Bai chatted while walking towards the photography destination. Having a topic, their relationship became close quickly. They quickened their steps unconsciously and left other people behind far away.
After looking at Lin Rui and He Bai, the driver who walked beside Ma Qun smiled and shook his head, pokinges Ma Qun, “Mr. Lin must be talking about his daughter again. That guy will definitely dote on his daughter in future. He Bai has good temper so that he has the patience to listen to those long-winded parenting talks.”
Ma Qun staggered a little after being poked by him. The expression of Ma Qun was not good, but he concealed it quickly, and said with smile, “He Bai is a good person, but not sure how long he can work in Saint Elephant. After all, he is just a sophomore student, not mature or perseverant.”
“Why he is not mature and perseverant? I think he is good. Moreover, he will be a junior student next semester and he will graduate soon. I feel that Ms. Li also wants to keep him in Saint Elephant. Ms. Li asked us to persuade him to come this time. She wants to know his photography skills. It looks like the top management is ready to train him into a photographer.” The driver gossiped what he heard from others with a sigh, “it is good to be a photographer, earning more with good development prospects awaiting. He Bai has good ability and is driven to learn. He will certainly have a bright future. It is true that as in the Yangtze River waves urge waves, so the younger generation excels the old generation.”
A listener might perceive an unintended meaning in what was said. Ma Qun frowned and there emerged a sullen look in his eyes.
‘As in the Yangtze River back waves urge front waves, so the younger generation excels the old generation.’ At present, his uncle was the best photographer in Saint Elephant. The meaning of the driver was that his uncle was like the front wave that will be beaten on the sand beach by the newcomer? And uncle had promised to train him to a photographer. He felt grieved that He Bai emerged suddenly and was taken seriously by Li Ru and robbed resources that were supposed to be his.
The shoot scene had already set up by the lakeside. The colleagues who came here first rushed over to them and took over the equipment after seeing them, and guided them for other works.
After busy work for half an hour, the scene setting was completed. The car of the TV station was coming by and a group of young people got off the car.
“Makeup team and costume team, please get ready. Where is leader Ma? Somebody go to the car and ask leader Ma to come here.” A management staff shouted with a loud voice.
Ma Qun came out from the crowd and took the job of asking leader Ma to come.
With that being done, there was nothing that He Bai could help with. He retreated to the periphery of the crowd and watches the working staffs lead the young people into the temporary makeup shed. He found and talked to the driver, and then he took the camera and walked around the lake, not far from the shooting place.
The sunshine was just pleasant, and the water ripples were floating on the lake gently. Suddenly, a white dove entered the camera. It bypassed the weeping willow, flied over the gallery of the lakeside, and landed on the top of the pavilion in the center of the lake. After grooming its feathers with its peak, it flapped and filed into the woods not far away.
He Bai pressed the shutter button gently. He smiled and checked some lake scenes that he just took. Seeing the shooting began, he walkeds back quickly.
On the white swing chair, a beautiful girl leaned obliquely, holding a book in her hand. She raised her head and closed eyes. It seemed that she was feeling the warm sunshine caresses her face.
“Good, good state, hold on, relax your shoulders and smile a little sweeter.”
A middle-aged fat man who was wearing cotton and linen tribal clothing was holding the camera around the girl to shoot. He guided the staffs beside to adjust the lighting board from time to time.
He Bai looked at all these things with a novel perspective. His eyes focused on the middle-aged fat man who was filming, and finally fell on the girl. A breeze blowing by lucky coincidence, it swayed the skirt of the girl. He was touched and held his camera to capture the scene that the girl bowed her head and fondled her skirt.
“The wind is blowing. Everyone, please pay more attention.” The photographer put down the camera, guided the people of costume team to adjust the clothes and hair of the girl. He frowned slightly, “there is just a few hours of good natural lighting, everyone, please hurry up.”
The crowd responded and sped up their action.
“He is Ma Xingtong, the team leader and Ma Qun’s uncle. He has been invited to shoot covers of four major fashion magazines, top player in the game.” Lin Rui explained to He Bai in a low voice. He Bai did not know since when Lin Rui was standing behind him. After seeing Ma Qun gave a bottle of water to Ma Xingtong during the shooting, Lin Rui paused and talked in an even lower voice, “He, Ma Xingtong does not have children, so he loves his nephew, Ma Qun. He intends to cultivate Ma Qun as his successor. Ms. Li is satisfied with you. Although Ms. Li and leader Ma are old friends with good relationship, anyway, you shall pay more attention.”
He Bai tried to digest these words. Finally, he understood where the strange attitude of Ma Qun came from and he appreciated Lin Rui in his heart for the explanation. However, there were many people around at this time. He couldn’t say much about it, so he nodded to show understanding, indicating that he would pay more attention.
Both of them reached tacit understanding, neither did they talk anymore, nor moved forward. They just stood on the outside and watched people inside busy working; and then went to help to move the equipment at appropriate time when the scene changed.
When inspiration came occasionally, He Bai would also hold his camera to capture and shoot the young hosts, quietly done, he tried to be unnoticed.
At lunchtime, the food truck ordered by the TV station arrived on time. People gathered together to have lunch. He Bai still did not go to crowd center. He squatted outside and talked to Lin Rui about parenting and experience of retouching. Ma Qun, who took him here and talked fair-sounding, now seemed to have suddenly forgotten him. He only followed Ma Xingtong around, leaving the two in the corner.
Everyone continued their work after lunch. Four hours later, the shooting finally came to an end.
“Take a break first, everyone. Then, put your things away and we will continue tomorrow.” Ma Xingtong put the camera away, and wiped his sweat on his forehead. He made command after looking at the weather.
Ma Qun came up and offered a bottle of water considerately.
“You have good performance today.” Ma Xingtong took the water and praised Ma Qun. He smiled and said, “We do not have a tight shooting schedule tomorrow. I looked at your photos which you handed to me last time. They are good. I can let you try tomorrow.”
Ma Qun’s eyes sparkled after he heard this, nodding in a hurry and promised that he would do a good job.
Seeing them act like this, all the people know that Ma Xingtong was paving the way for Ma Qun. Thus, they made compliment and encouraged directly or with implication.
Lin Rui was still standing in the periphery. He frowned and said with doubt, “it is not right. Ms. Li said if the shooting progress is fast, you can follow and have a try. Why is it Ma Qun now? Didn’t Ms. Li talk to leader Ma in advance?”
“Perhaps so,” He Bai pressed his shoulder and patted to appease him, he meant to stop Lin from going forward to confront Ma Xingtong, and said, “Not a big deal. He might forget. It is also good that we can take rest. The work of shooting is so tired, with big pressure. It is not as comfortable as chatting with you about parenting.”
Lin Rui pushed He Bai’s head resignedly, and shook his head, “hey boy, as a man, how can you always hide for rest. If it is your opportunity, you shall seize it. Do not let those dirty men take advantage of the loophole.”
This was a little straightforward. He Bai smiled, showing dimple on his left face, and said carelessly, “Thanks for your instruction. However, not everyone cherish this kind of opportunity. For me, although I want to be a photographer, my main task is to study now. I come to Saint Elephant for earning tuition and living expenses, not for other purpose.” Furthermore, that uncle and nephew were clearly in a league. They had tacit understanding to ignore him. He, as an outsider, did not want to ask for troubles.
It meant that he was not going to stay in Saint Elephant for long. He planned to leave after he earned enough money, and did not care about the opportunity that was snatched away from him. Lin Rui looked at He, so young and childish, Lin was speechless for a moment. Then, he shook his head and smiled, “You are right. Students do have to focus on study. As for the ostensible obedience of Ma Qun today, leave it to Ms. Li after she comes back from business trip.”
There was another car of TV station coming when people were ready to pack things up and go back home. Two girls got off the car in a hurry, followed by a person in charge.
“Sorry, sorry, we are late. Please do us a favor and help to take photos for them.” The person in charge said that while taking the girls towards Ma Xingtong. His forehead is beamed with sweat due to the heat and he explained hastily, “Mr. Ma, these two girls need to go out of town tomorrow to shoot a program. Their photos must be taken today. Sorry for making you work again, I will buy you dinner tonight.”
A trace of displeasure flashed in the eyes of Ma Xingtong. His eyes fell on his nephew for a moment and an idea came up. He replied diplomatically, “You are welcome. It is no problem to continue shooting, but the sun is going down. There is not enough time if we shoot them one after another. We need to shoot them at the same time. ” The person in charge nodded quickly, “It’s ok, we follow your instruction.”
“Do not worry. I have a situation here.” Ma Xingtong handed him a bottle of water and continued, “Because it is the work out of the plan, so we did not make preparation. I am the only experienced photographer here. Besides me, there is only a new comer who can take photos. But I can ensure that the new comer is skillful, but just lack of experience. Thus, for these two girls, who follows me for shooting, and who follows the new comer?”
All people present remain silent after they hear this.
The people of Saint Elephant remained silent because they knew Ma Xingtong was really the only photographer who could take photos today, while the new comer who could take photos as mentioned by Ma Xingtong shall refer to Ma Qun. However, the photographic skill of Ma Qun was……doubtful …
The employees of TV station who came here to help remained silent because for these two girls, one girl had close relationship with the old host, Haoge in the station; the other had background reputedly, however, they did not know who it was behind that girl. Anyway, neither of them could be offended. Thus, it was a big problem to decide.
He Bai also remained silent because one of these two girls was Liu Huanhuan, who betrayed Niu Junjie.