I fielded a phone call this morning from a photographer who wanted to buy a simple thing – a reflective umbrella – for a simple purpose – to reflect light…but who converted this entirely sensible idea into a descent into madness.
He had apparently viewed a video clip on You Fool Tube and thought that it represented real life. Another photographer had used a reflective umbrella and so he decided that if he got two of the ones that are just right and did the same thing he was going to succeed.
Trouble was none of the 25-or-so umbrellas for sale in the shop were the same as the one on the video. Some were too small, some too large, some too much like an umbrella… I don’t think we were helped by the fact that he did not know whether his flash head had an umbrella holder and the important shoot was today and he didn’t have time to come in and…see what I mean about descent?
Well, he did have time. And he did come in, and his flash did have an umbrella holder – but none of the umbrellas were right. None of them had the You Boob Tube seal of approval. Fortunately it was on closing time so I got to leave before either he killed himself or one of the staff did it for him. I shall inspect the carpet on Monday to see if there is a dark stain – don’t ask me what I am hoping for because it would reveal my flawed character…
Note for the non-photographics: Umbrellas enable you to reflect light or – if you are Gene Kelly – to sing in the rain.