Chapter 5: In Order to Eat Meat
In order to earn money
Xu Yinrong put the ten photographs on the table, and took off his presbyopia glasses to look at He Bai, asking, “Which one do you think is the best?”
He Bai rubbed his face to let himself look more spirited in spite of the headache from his hangover. He looked over the photographs one by one, raised his hand, hesitated for a moment, before pointing the picture in the upper right corner of the bus driver, “This one.”
“Why do you think that is?”
“Just a feeling.”
“What kind of feeling?”
He picked up the picture with the bad lighting and skewed composition, looked at the fine wrinkles on the corners of the dark brown eyes of the driver in the rearview mirror, and answered him while recalling the feeling that he had when he took the photo, “I just felt… that the look in his eyes was really good. After taking the picture, the feeling I had in my heart was just that- that with this look in his eyes, the whole picture just felt like it came to life. I felt very satisfied, very happy.”
Xu Yinrong’s eyes moved a little, and continued to ask, “Why were you happy?”
“Because I recorded a moment that was worth remembering.” The feeling of chaos caused by his hangover gradually disappeared. His mouth unconsciously turned up, with the dimple on his left cheek showing up, “When I saw this photograph, my mind unconsciously flashes through the time that this driver was both relieved yet apologetic for bringing inconvenience to his passengers because he was trying to avoid hitting a puppy. His eyes in that moment… were very kind. This is the only photograph in these ten pictures that let me have an urge to put it away in an album, and leave it for me to look back on my memories when I’m old.”
“Uh-huh.” Xu Yinrong, with a faint smile on his face, nodded, “Not bad. You can take a break next week.”
He Bai couldn’t keep up with train of thought, “Take a break?”
Xu Yinrong nodded, leaning over to take out a roster from his drawer, turning to the page that had He Bai’s name on it, and using a red pen, he crossed out the score of zero, changed it to 95 points, closed the roster, and waved at him to leave, “I’m giving you a week off. Now go, take a nice break. It’s better for young people to drink less- it’s bad for your body.”
He Bai’s eyes lit up as he looked at the roster in his hands. After he changed his grades, he stood up excitedly and gave him a bow, and said while smiling foolishly, “Thank you, Professor! Professor, you’re really the best!” After he finished saying that, he took the camera to run away, scared that he would regret his decision and change his grades back.
“That little brat…” Xu Yinrong shook his head, but the smile on his face grew bigger without him realizing it. He picked put his phone, calling his good friend, “Hey Lao Jiang- do you still remember that good seedling that I told you about last time? He’s made some real big progress…”
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For the first time, He Bai was praised by Professor Xu. He happily went to the back street to eat a meal of meat, and then with an extremely good mood, brought all of his possessions with him to go to the famous wedding photography street in B City.
He thought about it for a long time, before finally deciding on a both quick way to make money that would also take into account his major- editing photographs!
A photographer who couldn’t edit his pictures well, was not a good chef in the kitchen. One perfect picture definitely had the shadows of people tweaking it in the later stages. As a photographer who mainly took photos of the scenery, his photoshop skills couldn’t be said to be at the top-notch, but they were still pretty good. Those blue skies, clear ocean water, gorgeous colors of the rainbow, birds flying away after being startled in the forest… He could also choose not to edit them, but as long as you edited them properly, a photo that was 80 points could immediately change into a photo worth 100 points! Even though he leaned more towards, and was also better at, taking landscape pictures, and the amount of editing he did on portraits couldn’t match up to the amount he did on those of scenery, he had more than a decade’s worth of experience on everyone else. As long as he was willing to learn and to practice, it would be more than enough to cover his living expenses.
He adjusted the camera back to his side, looked up at the elegantly decorated photography studio in front of him, and stepped inside- this studio gave out the best pay, so he decided on this store!
“Good afternoon, welcome to Saint Elephant Photography. Is there anything I can help you with?” The lady at the front desk stood up from behind the table, smiling both politely and sweetly.
“Hello. ” He Bai squeezed out the dimple on his left cheek, returning her a friendly and harmless smile, “I’m here to apply for the job. I saw the ad posted at the door, saying that you guys were recruiting a person to edit photographs.”
The lady at the front desk blinked a few times, discreetly looking over his unstylish hair, and his obviously cheap clothing. Her gaze finally stopped at the camera bag hanging at his waist, barely maintaining the smile on her face, said, “Thank you for choosing Saint Elephant. Please wait in the lounge area. I’ll go ask my colleague in charge of supervising recruitment.” As she said this, she gestured for him to enter the small rest area to the right of the door.
He Bai looked in the direction that she pointed, thanked her politely, walked to the rest area, sat down, and touched the camera bag at his waist. Even though the lady at the front desk’s gaze was discreet, how could he not notice it? In this day and age, people depended on clothing to make the man, huh.
Ten minutes later, a serious looking middle aged woman stepped out in her high heels, looked He Bai up and down, furrowed her brows, and asked directly, “Did you bring any samples of your work?”
The other person was straightforward, so He Bai was naturally also very straightforward.
“Yes.” He got up, took out a stack of photos from a pocket in his camera bag, and used two hands to hand them over, “The original pictures is on the top, the edited version is on the bottom, and there are a total of five sets of pictures. Please take a look.” Since he decided to apply for the position, he was naturally prepared.
The pictures were all very new. They should have just been developed not too long ago. The top-most photograph was that of a lake, letting people’s eyes light up when they saw it. Li Ru thought that the original photograph was something that the other party just downloaded of some photographer’s work, and only scanned it roughly before not looking at it anymore, and put all of her attention on the edited picture below it.
As a result, she was immediately floored.
It was still the same photograph of the lake, but the colors were a lot brighter, the contrast between light and dark was also thicker, and she didn’t know how the lines of the water were edited, but it was immediately made into the main subject of the picture. A photo that was originally only a little interesting, instantly became eye-catching, making people not able to help themselves but to take a second glance.
She quickly put the original photograph next to the photoshopped picture, and with this direct comparison, you could tell that there was no competition.
“You…” She raised her head to take a look at He Bai’s young face, wanted to say something but swallowed it down, and quickly lowered her head to finish looking at the other four sets of photos.
All of them were photographs of the scenery, a lake, garden, nine-bend corridor, a swan returning at night, and the forest at sunset. The original photographs were already great by themselves, but were amazing after being edited. Even if it was her, she couldn’t edit better than this. It wasn’t that the other party’s technical skill was that great, but that the person editing the photograph was able to accurately grasp the focus and soul of the pictures of scenery. He used a kind of force that was able to touch the hearts of people, and brought out just how beautiful and vivid these pictures were.
It was really too good- it let people hold their breath unconsciously.
“All of these were edited by you?” She calmed down her excitement, looking at He Bai, “How come there aren’t any portraits?”
He Bai took notice of the change in her attitude, smiling with more friendliness. He said straightforwardly, “I’m better at photographs of scenery. I haven’t photoshopped as many portraits, so the effects aren’t as good as these.”
This sincere attitude, coupled with his young face and pleasant smile, succeeded in making Li Ru’s strict face soften a bit.
“You’re still young, and having a preference is normal. You can slowly make up for that later.” Li Ru said, and seeing there wasn’t even a glass of water placed in front of him, took a stern look at the lady at the front desk, before gently saying to He Bai, “My name is Li Ru, the director of the design department here. The pictures that you edited are great, but I still need to confirm the level of your editing skills for portraits and advertisements. Is this okay?”
She’s actually a director? Was there nobody else working today? Was it really necessary for a director to interview a part-time photograph editor?
Thinking this in his heart, he still put on an expression of happy surprise. He took Li Ru’s hand, shook it reservedly, before releasing her hands and nodding forcefully, “Of course, of course. My name is He Bai. Thank you, Sister Li, for giving me this opportunity!”
The slightly intimate address immediately drew the distance between the two people closer. Li Ru saw through his cute careful thoughts, smiled at him, and also started to have a more intimate attitude. He gestured for him to come with her to continue the interview inside. Then, walked in front of the front desk lady to stare at her angrily again.
After being warned twice through her angry glares, the lady at the front desk was too scared to even move. After she brought the young man wearing the cheap clothing into the room, she took a small sigh of relief, and used her hands to give herself a pat on the face, “The director is so scary, I have to pay more attention in the future…” But that young man’s photography editing skills were really good huh, he could even make that director use that kind of tone when talking to him.
Leaving the front desk to go further inside, there was a big hall. In the middle of the hall, there were some desks and chairs, with all different kinds of props lying around, and there were stairs directly leading to the hallway on the second floor in the corners of the room. Looking up, the rooms on the second floor were all open, with people leaving and entering nonstop, like they were all busy doing something.
“The company has recently gotten work from a TV station. There isn’t enough staff on hand, so it’s a little crazy around here.” Li Ru saw him look around, explained the situation in as few words as possible, before bringing him across the hall towards a corridor, pushed open the small office to the left, turned on the computer, and said, “The photographs that we need you do edit are on the desktop. It’s divided into two folders- one is for portraits, and one is for advertisements. Editing two of each would be enough, and you can take as long as you need. Use this landline to call me when you’re done- this is my business card. It has my number on it.”
She spoke very fast- He Bai guessed that she still had things to do, so he quickly took her business card to show that there were no problems, and then sat down in front of the computer.
Li Ru saw that he knew not to waste time talking, and got a better impression of him. She personally went to the water dispenser to get him a glass of water, before putting it down and walking out with light steps.
After confirming that there was only him left in the office, He Bai relaxed his body, rubbed at his face that had gotten a little stiff from smiling so much, took off his camera bag, and opened the editing software while taking a drink of water. He found the folder of portraits on the desktop, and double-clicked to open it.
All of the water that he had just drank was spit out. He quickly put the glass of water down, and picked up the keyboard that had been drenched in water. Then, he pulled out several tissues from the tissue box on the corner of the table, to wipe away at the wet screen. Looking at the piles of photos belonging to Di Qiuhe, the expression on his face twisted for a moment.
How can it be this guy again! Why can’t he just go a day without seeing a picture of this guy? Why couldn’t he!
He unwillingly wiped the keyboard and mouse clean, grabbed the mouse, and pulled out the photos from the folder. He tried to find a picture that was of another person, but his efforts were fruitless, making him so angry that his hair was almost standing on its ends.
What the hell? How come even when I apply for a part-time job as a photography editor, I still have to be ravaged by this guy’s pictures? Can things still go on?
After staring at the table for a while, he took a deep breath, and drooping his shoulders as a sign of compromise, grasped the mouse again.
Forget it. In order to eat meat, in order to make money, he would just edit them.
Di Qiuhe took off his sunglasses, sitting idly on the sofa in the rest area of Red Guest Photography, which was located on the opposite side of Saint Elephant Photography. He took out his phone, opened Q University’s Campus Network, and selected the place that showed goods that he had already bid on.
Transaction Progress: The Seller did not respond.
He squinted his eyes, using a hand to hold up his chin.
Right now, it was two o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Was that guy taking an afternoon nap, or was he playing games? Or maybe he was holding his camera running around on the streets, pretending to be a “pup”arazzi or a fortune teller?
He furrowed his brows at the thought of this. Recalling the “selling price: 10,” a trace of evil appeared between his gentle brows.
Or maybe… that guy ran to “coincidentally” meet with other Film Emperors, and then tried to continue scamming other people of ten yuan?
“How do you have the free time to come over here?” Jiang Xiuwen put a cup of coffee in front of him, sat down opposite him, leaned back on the sofa, folded his legs, raised his chin, and rejoiced at his misfortune, “The pitiful Film Emperor who was blocked, what’s wrong? Do you not have any money to eat, so you ran over to my place to mooch off of me?”
Di Qiuhe took a glance at him without any emotion, and snorted.
“I really should let those people who are tricked by you to take a look at the way you are now. What ‘gentle and amicable, elegant gentleman,’ more like ‘mean-spirited, wolf-hearted.’” Jiang Xiuwen said annoyed, mimicking the way he held his chin and reaching a leg out to kick him, “How’s it going with you trying to get my dad to agree?”
Hearing him mention this, Di Qiuhe’s expression became serious. He furrowed his brows, “It’s still the same result. Uncle Jiang thinks that I’m too young, and that my looks fall too much towards the handsome side, to be in line with the character for that role.”
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