woensdag 14 januari 2015
This fine portrait of beautiful Iris posing in Pearle bifocals from the 1980's concludes her second photo shoot.
The famous poet Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) from Norway once wrote this:
"The spectacles of experience, through them you will see clearly a second time"
Ibsen's statement is a probably a metaphor but it's a good description of the second photo shoot with Iris. It's my experience that the second photo shoot is easier for a model than the first. The only inconvenient was the cold in the garden but a warm cardigan can do miracles.
Iris, once again it was a pleasure to do a photo shoot with you. We simply picked up the thread as if it was only yesterday. This time we concentrated even more on the large frames of the 1970's and 1980's as this style suits you by far the best. It was amazing to see you posing in eight pairs by Silhouette. You made each pair look as if they were your own glasses. In retrospect, we should have chosen for a photo shoot featuring only Silhouette glasses. That would have been a novelty in the project, Food for thought.
What impressed me most in your posing is the directness and credibility of your eye contact. The strength of the lenses seemed to have no influence on the quality of the eye contact. You even handled fairly strong cylinders with apparent ease and that is much harder to deal with than a wrong Rx. Your first photo shoot was excellent but this new shoot is even better.
(to be continued)
Pearle has been a well known optician's chain for decades. The bifocals shown here by Iris have the inscription "Pearle Vision" so apparently they had their own designers as well. Whatever the case, these are striking glasses and a good choice to finish this wonderful photo shoot.
Glasses: Zenni 628534 (out of stock)
[L: -11.00; c-1.25 v / R: -11.50; c-1.25]
Most photos in this series did not come out sharp enough to be posted here. A pity as the posing by Iris was wonderful. Anyway, here is a consolation price. These green cat eye glasses are fitted with lenses in the prescription of my life partner Nel, five times stronger than the model's own prescription.
dinsdag 13 januari 2015
When Iris saw these black hipster glasses on the selection table, her first reaction was "They look exactly like my old glasses!". No doubt they do - this is a variant of the frame that finally put an end to the retro era in 2010 (sigh of relief). Zenni has the nice habit to pick up trends (or the memory of bygone trends) and add a twist of their own. The first hipster glasses were all black but Zenni chose to manufacture this frame with arms in bright colors. It was an instant hit and the frame kept disappearing and reappearing in their catalog, sometimes with new frame numbers. If I'm not mistaken, it's now number 270218 but there may have been a slight modification to the frame shape.
The arrival of the black hipster glasses is a story all by itself. All of a sudden, the streets started filling with them and while welcoming the change, I wondered "where's the fountain head?" Last year, this question came back in an all night talk with my mentor in photography. Being half my age, Quin knows everything about the works and impact of modern media. His explanation was that "someone somewhere" saw an old picture of Buddy Holly (1936-1959), a pioneer of pop music. The Holly picture spread on the web and it made such an impression that everyone started looking for his glasses. The industry picked the signal up immediately and off you go....
This is my favorite portrait of beautiful Iris in large, striking purple glasses made by Zenni two years ago. Immaculate posing and a good vantage point. Note the fairly modest power rings. Wide rectangular frames tend to create mighty power rings. Apparently wings can fly on their own steam without additional help from strong power rings :). The glasses don't look like minus eight.
Two "en face" portraits of Iris posing in large cat eye glasses by Zenni. Unfortunately, the frame was sold out within a few months (mid 2013) and it never returned in their catalog. The glasses were featured in my photo shoots with Osi and Sohaila during a stay in Ireland. Judge for yourself if the frame is too wide. It was designed for ladies with a large PD while Iris has an average PD. In my view, the parts of the frame that are sticking out at the sides have the quality of bird's wings.
A photo shoot concentrating on the large frames of the 1970's and 1980's would not be complete without a large rimless pair so I brought along several rimless glasses. Iris chose this pair made by Flair around 1980. The glasses were featured in only two or three photo shoots, the first of which was Rachel (012), five years ago. They were also used during the catwalk at the opening of one of my exhibitions. The lenses have only a very mild Rx but substantial cylinders. The effect of the axis of the cylinders can be seen in the shape of the model's eyes. It would have taken only a couple of minutes to remove the glare from the lenses but here it's just a lively decoration so why not leave it there? The bright dots and the stripe are caused by the way the flashlight is bounced by the oblique segments in the rims of the lenses.
At this point, the dark and the cold wind were becoming a bit problematic for most of us so we decided to move to the alley where Iris did her first glasses portraits ever.
maandag 12 januari 2015
The final portrait in a series of seven, showing Iris posing in Sferoflex glasses from the 1980's with cataract lenses. Iris was the first model posing in these very strong glasses in a standing position. A fragment of the model's right hand can be seen, seeking support against the shed wall for balance. Thank you so much, Iris, for your willingness to participate in this unusual experiment!
Concentrated posing by Iris in Sferoflex glasses from the 1980's with lenticular lenses. It has been a while since a pair of cataract glasses was featured in my photo shoots. It's quite difficult to take satisfactory pictures of models posing in cataract glasses. In fact, this is the first series ever that came out well. Several models (e.g. Farishta 141, Hiska 183, Marieke 076-077) volunteered to pose in cataract glasses but the vast majority of these early attempts only produced severely cross eyed looks. The models really looked handicapped and my photography project is not concentrating on that aspect. My target is to show that a lady can look good, even in very strong glasses. This series of Iris posing in cataract glasses may be a matter of luck with the PD of model and glasses.
Having to switch glasses constantly must have been an inconvenient for the first owner of these Sferoflex glasses. My collection hosts about a dozen cataract glasses and three of these have bifocal lenses. One pair has a bifocal lens and the other lens is single vision. It was probably a matter of weighing the pros and cons between one pair of bifocals and switching two single vision pairs.
Along with three other pairs with cataract lenses, these glasses were acquired in a friendly charity shop in Wales. One of the other pairs was probably used for reading by the same lady who bought these Sferoflex glasses in the 1980's. If so, she used the Sferoflex pair for long distance.
"Hey Mr. Photographer, this is funny. I see you upside down. Are you trying to impress me?"
"Not at all, Iris, I did not move since the previous picture"
"Will I see everything upside down in these?"
"No, all you will see is a massive blur, just like you saw through the myodisc glasses we used last summer. You will be fine if you hold on to something for a bit of stability"
"Mr. Photographer, I never saw such glasses in my life. They look incredibly strong. Poor lady. Was she able to see properly through these glasses?"
"They took a long time getting used to but in those days there was no alternative. Nowadays they get implants after cataract surgery and that's why you don't see people wearing these glasses anymore"
Silhouette Symphony, opus eight....
Here is an excellent portrait of Iris posing in the same frame 1145 as the previous series. The only difference is the size of the frame (135 here, 130 in the previous series) and the Rx of the lenses. These glasses were featured in only one preceding photo shoot, with a very pleasant freelance model called Bianca (050) in 2011. No doubt, this pair was made for an elderly lady, given the +2.75 reading add in her bifocals.
My photography project is not just about frames but also about the effect of prescription lenses. If you compare these portraits with the previous series, you will notice a different "feel". The same gorgeous model, the same tasteful Silhouette frame.... but lenses of +3 have an entirely different effect than lenses of -3. It would be too simple to call it just a matter of eye size.
This portrait of was edited in black and white for a bit of additional nostalgia and also to highlight the wonderful posing by "Silhouette Lady" Iris.
The only down side of these Silhouette glasses is the lens choice by their first owner. It seems like the lady in question spent most of her money on the expensive frame, leaving no budget to add an anti-reflective coating on the lenses. This resulted in an overdose of glare and lots of additional editing time. It turned out impossible to remove all the glare here but this portrait is included to do justice to the marvelous posing by Iris.
A consistent and excellent characteristic of Iris' posing is the superb eye contact with her honored photographer. A real ambassador for glasses, even when looking through lenses with cylinders that are absent in her own prescription. Cylinders can be notoriously awkward, more difficult to handle than a wrong Rx.... but not for this extraordinary model!
Silhouette Symphony, opus seven....
Frame 1145 must have been a bestseller for Silhouette during the mid 1980's. My collection hosts at least five examples of it, in different colors and sizes. Most of these glasses were shown in earlier photo shoots but not often. This has to do with the Rx of the lenses and not with the quality of the frame.
The only model who posed in the glasses shown here by Iris was a highly experienced model called Carla (072), five years ago. She had a prescription with a fair bit of astigmatism and these Silhouette glasses gave her almost perfect eyesight. In passing, a word of thanks is due to Carla for her recent donation of a couple of her glasses which are of no use to her anymore after undergoing laser surgery.
Another delightful portrait of lovely Iris in Silhouette glasses from 1988. Iris was not born when these glasses were made but she would have made a perfect model for the brand if she had been at the right place at the right time! Anyway, there is always a second chance....
The first owner of these fine Silhouette glasses from 1988 was probably a lady in her late forties but the frame really suits a young face as well. However, there were few young people who could afford a pair of Silhouette glasses as the frames were rather expensive.
zondag 11 januari 2015
Taking this series of portraits called for precision work from both model and photographer. Here Iris is showing a most peculiar effect of the magnifying lenses. Most of her left eye is hidden by the centrifugal power of the lens and by rim of the glasses. However, a full image of the model's left eye is visible, projected by the center of the lens. I had seen this peculiar effect a few times before but never managed to take a satisfactory picture of it. The dark background is instrumental in producing the effect in a clear manner. I was quite pleased when seeing this highly unusual portrait. Thank you so much, Iris, for your patience during this series in the red Silhouette glasses!
These Silhouette glasses were acquired in Germany some ten years ago. They were featured in only one previous photo shoot, with Bonnie from Ireland who could see fairly well through the lenses. Longsighted models are a minority and in fact, only two of my (so far) 62 models had a substantial prescription for long sight. Iris only saw a massive blur through the lenses and it speaks for her qualities as a model that she managed a series of beautiful, credible portraits in these glasses.
Silhouette Symphony opus five....
These glasses were made in 1979 and characteristic for their time. The high frame is straightforward but the shape is elegant at the same time. Note the immense difference in Rx between this pair and the preceding glasses shown by Iris.
This Silhouette frame from 1993 is striking but the first owner of these glasses made them even more remarkable by the lens options she chose. The lenses have a pronounced yellow tint which is an unusual choice. The lady in question must have been at least in her fifties as she needed a reading add of +2.50. The left lens is single vision and only the right lens is progressive. Perhaps the lady was well beyond her fifties and in that case, she may have chosen this unusual solution to prevent stumbling or even falling. Iris was posing standing upright, in spite of the blur seen through the lenses. But the alley where this part of the photo shoot was taken offered her the opportunity to grasp something with both hands whenever necessary. Anyway, she was not bothered by anything. Good!