I wonder if you remember MacGyver. Or were you too young to remember? Both and Speedy and I remember him quite fondly — me, because I was in love with the brainy character and Richard Dean Anderson‘s rugged good looks; Speedy, because before there was Brad Pitt, he kinda fancied he looked like MacGyver.
Anyway, MacGyver’s best asset was his ability to make use of just about anything within sight and within reach in order to solve whatever problem he was faced with. He could improvise contraptions with his Swiss army knife, duct tape and whatever was lying around (I should mention that to this day, Speedy still has a collection of Swiss army knives as well as rolls of duct tape which he keeps in his closet).
So, there’s this glass angel figurine that I wanted to take a photo of. Of course it needed a dark solid mass behind it to create an effective contrast so that the transparency wouldn’t get washed out by objects in the background. Now, I didn’t have any of those contraptions and accessories that professional photographers use. Did that mean I wouldn’t be able to take a decent photo of the figurine? Think like MacGyver — what was available?
I looked around me and two feet away was Alex’s brand new black T-shirt with the yellow print that says “What is the speed of dark?” A little farther away was E.T. — you know, the two-and-a-half-foot high stuffed toy that Speedy gave me last year for my birthday. Time for some MacGyver-inspired improvisation.
Solution: Get E.T. and lay him face down on the coffee table. Arrange the black T-shirt, print side down, so that part of it is flat on the table’s surface and part covers E.T. Place the glass figurine on T-shirt covered table. Presto! I had an all-black background. Note that E.T. was an integral part of the set-up because there had to be a dark elevation behind the glass figurine.
O, ‘di ba, effective?