vrijdag 29 mei 2015
This fine portrait of Nadya in strong cat eye glasses marks the end of her extraordinary photo shoot. Nadya is the 63rd Lady behind Crystal Veil.
It was great to visit Cyprus, not just as a tourist but also as a photographer. The atmosphere on the island was nice and friendly. I intend to do more travelling after my retirement in October.
A word of thanks goes to my life partner Nel who kindly agreed to spend a day in Limassol, enabling me to do this photo shoot.
Another word of thanks goes to Rami for his assistance during the photo shoot, including his role as body guard when some youngsters were trying to interfere with the photo shoot.
Another appreciative word goes to Nadya for adding a final touch to the editing of a dozen portraits shown in this documentary.
Nadya, it was quite an experience to work with you. I had high expectations after seeing your great portfolio. It's safe to say that you are an even better model and actress in reality. Good company as well. It was a pleasant afternoon, with fine results and a friendly atmosphere. You managed to keep a lovely balance between professional posing and informal portraits. When the photos appeared on my PC screen, it was immediately obvious that there was a story line to accompany the visual part. Some photo shoots just have that quality. I shared the outline of the story with you and your positive feedback was invaluable.
The story is fiction but some elements in the dialogue are taken form our talks during the actual photo shoot. One such element is that you don't have a pair of glasses yet. There is no need to worry about becoming dependent on glasses. You only have a very mild myopia and it's highly unlikely that it will get worse in the future. It tends to stabilize in the mid twenties, regardless whether you wear glasses or prefer to cope without them. Another element is that you are a very busy young lady, not only in the story but also in real life. I hope that the final script is to your liking.
Nadya, I wish you a glorious continuation of your modelling career and lots of success in your further exploits. And keep dripping good looks!
Lord Lentilux produced a CD with a black cover and handed it to the young lady.
"Here is a little present for you. It's a solo CD recorded ten years ago. The title track is the song you just heard me singing"
"That is sweet. I will listen to it at home. I am not a musician myself but you certainly wrote a catchy song. It's still in my ears. You could have a hit with that song if you'd write a nice arrangement"
"When I wrote the song, I heard the arrangement in my head. But that's not on the CD. Just my voice and an old 12 string guitar. As it happens, an old friend from school surfaced recently. He made many recordings of me in my early days as a singer-songwriter. He always insisted that there was a hit potential in my songs. I gave him this solo CD and he is now looking for suitable musicians in England. We have plans to record a few of my old songs with a band. The only problem is that I don't hear myself anymore when I'm singing. My ears were damaged after a bad concussion and there is a constant noise in my head. But it's my intention to give it a try"
The young lady put the CD in her bag and then looked at her photographer.
"You have all the ingredients at hand to create a revival, Lord Lentilux. You really don't need me to achieve that. All I can say is, go for it. But let's return to these blue cat eye glasses. They are fantastic and really, I am feeling as if they have been on my nose for ages. Completely natural. No big deal. I feel confident and beautiful"
"I can see that. You certainly look confident and beautiful, Nadya. But there is more. You are a clever young lady with many talents and enough determination. I'm sure that you can fulfill your dreams and aspirations, even without glasses if you change your mind"
"Can we go for another walk before your Lady arrives? You could tell me more about that trick. What was the name again, GOC? I would love to wear these cat eye glasses a bit longer. It will be hard to part with them"
"Yes, let's do that. I can get you a free pair of cat eye glasses in any prescription you like. This blue frame if it's still available, or a frame in the same style. I know several people who are quite knowledgeable about GOC and they can help you with the practical details"
"That sounds great, Mr. Photographer. How about one more portrait and then we'll hit the road"
donderdag 28 mei 2015
"The song is already there. It's called Crystal Veil and it goes like this"
Lord Lentilux started singing
"Let me tell you the tale of your small crystal veil
whenever you feel you look tragic
Shop windows, a frame and your eyes are the game
Well, to me it just adds to your magic"
"Is that all? Please continue if there is more"
"Whether minus eleven or a gentle plus seven,
at daytime you play with illusion
While at night, no more bogus, with eyes out of focus,
in heaven, you lead to confusion"
Lord Lentilux stopped, grasping for breath. The young lady did not speak. She had a far away look in her eyes, just as if she was listening to the rest of the song.
"If you like this song, I have a little present for you"
"Another line of thought, Mr. Photographer. You were telling me about the daughter who said to Lady Lentilux that nobody in town was wearing strong glasses like hers. And you jumped in, telling the daughter that there are many women with a much stronger prescription. Is that really true?"
"Yes, absolutely. I read somewhere that there are far more extremely shortsighted women than men. Science is still trying to explain why. About one or two percent of shortsighted women have a higher prescription than Lady Lentilux. But the vast majority uses contact lenses"
"Imagine the potential if they would suddenly decide to wear their glasses in public. It would add a new dimension to the streets. It might even create a hype if someone finds a way to promote it"
"Well Nadya, I have vivid memories of what the streets looked like when I was a child. There were many girls and women in myodisc glasses and I was fascinated by their looks. This was before the arrival of contact lenses so there were no alternatives if you happened to be extremely shortsighted. But most of them were shy when you looked at them"
"And what style did they wear? Cat eye glasses like this blue pair?"
"Cat eye glasses were highly fashionable in those days but the frames were much smaller. Oversize glasses only arrived when the hippie scene and flower power took over. But at the same time, contact lenses arrived and that was the end of myodisc glasses in the streets"
"I'm trying to imagine streets filled with women in extremely strong cat eye glasses like this blue pair. All you need would be some trendsetters, really. Perhaps a successful solo artist"
"Or an all female rock band, all dressed up in the same style, and sporting myodisc cat eye glasses"
"That's it, Lord Lentilux. Brilliant. That could create a hype. And you could equip them with some of your magic glasses. Didn't you mention earlier on that you had a bit of a career as a musician yourself?"
"I never made the choice to become a professional artist but I was told time and again that the potential was there. I made half a dozen records, first on vinyl and later on CD. None of these made it to the charts but it was great to work with some artists who had been in the charts"
"You should write a song about the beauty of ladies in strong glasses"
"Be prepared for a shock...."
"But let's go back to a bit of posing, Mr. Photographer"
"Always at your service, Nadya. Yes, this is grand"
"Another question. Glasses seem to be a taboo in the modelling world except for the rare occasion when a model is invited to pose in empty frames for the industry. Why is that? I may know the answer but it would be good to hear your opinion on the matter"
"Well, far be it from me to make statements about the psychology of photographers. I don't consider myself a photographer, not even a bad photographer"
"False modesty. Naughty naughty.... I can see how focused you are behind your tiny camera. You are one of the fraternity"
"Alright, but a black sheep at best. No technique whatsoever"
"Forget about the technique. Concentrate on the psychology, that's your strong point. My question was, why the taboo on glasses in the modelling world? Nowadays, the streets are full of girls and women in prescription glasses"
"That is true ad I'm delighted with the recent turn of affairs. But if you observe your sightings with care, there is something lacking in the streets"
"Go on. I'm all ears"
"Girls and women in strong glasses. Somehow it stops at say minus five or six"
"And that's exactly where you come into the picture if you would care to do so"
"I will chew on that one. Thank you for the hint"
"There may be lots of models waiting for you across the universe"
"You were talking about my honors title as a lady behind crystal veil, remember? But your Lady is the real ambassador. I could see that her glasses are quite strong but she was not bothered by that at all. There was nothing handicapped about her. To be honest, I clean forgot about her strong glasses within a minute. I hope you don't mind me asking this. Was she always that confident?"
"I can only speak about the past seven years. When I met her, she was down to earth, but not really confident about her glasses. I had the impression that she was not sure whether I would like a lady in such strong glasses or not. Of course, I reassured her straightaway when she mentioned her bad eyesight. I simply told her that I liked her in glasses and that was it. But I clearly remember one occasion, a few months later, when one of her daughters threw at her that nobody in town was wearing such strong glasses. It's one of the few moments she stood head down, avoiding eye contact. She said, that is true. Of course, I jumped in and told the daughter that there are many women with much higher prescriptions and that there was nothing extreme about her mother's glasses"
"And what made your Lady change her opinion? What gave her the confidence I saw?"
"Good question. Looking back, I think it was encouragement and support. A gentle push from my side. We did a bit of a photo shoot using vintage glasses around her own prescription, just for fun. But she was enthusiast when she saw the pictures. It seemed as if she saw new horizons. So many styles that suited her. Then I started ordering new glasses, fitted with lenses in her own prescription so she could assess the effect of modern frames on her looks. Before we met, she never had more than one pair of glasses because they were so expensive. She really gained confidence as soon as she had several pairs. I don't need to tell you how important it is for a woman to have a choice in the morning. Outfit of the day and all the rest of it"
"So the way she saw it, her glasses were the only non-optional element in her wardrobe when you met her. And she felt limited, is that it?"
"Yes, I think so. On the other hand, perhaps not quite now I come to think of it. On our first date, she excused herself for a moment and when she came back, she was wearing a different pair of glasses. I was surprised and made her a huge compliment. She was in yet another pair of glasses at our second date. And another surprise at the third date, again a different pair. And then she revealed her secret. It was really the same pair of glasses but each time fitted with clips in different colors. All she needed to do was click on a new clip and off you go. You should have seen the triumph on her face when she showed me the trick with the clips"
"So your Lady was not really limited in her choice when you met her. But that does not answer my question. What gave her the confidence later on?"
"Well, it had to do with the size and shape of the frames. The trick with the clips was nice but the shape and the size of the frame was always the same. Nowadays she can experiment with every style under the sun, the same way she does with her outfits"
"So I take that your advice to me would be that if I decide to get myself a pair of glasses, the best way is to buy several pairs instead of just one pair"
"Food for thought. You told me that these blue cat eye glasses are the perfect pair for me. And it really felt that way. In fact, it still feels that way. To be honest, there is a bit of a shadow hanging over me, Lord Lentilux. I already feel sad about the prospect of having to part with these cat eye glasses. And now you are telling me that there is no such thing as the perfect glasses. Help me out if you can"
"Well, Lady Lentilux always has a favorite pair but she uses several other pairs if she is in the mood for variation. You could do it the same way"
"You will be pleased to hear what makes the difference. It was the huge impression your Lady Lentilux made on me. She is so confident and sparkling with energy. Really amazing for a lady of her age. And the best part is that she was not dressed up or anything. She was all natural. Simply herself. Not impressed by anything"
"Well, well.... I'm certain that my Lady will be delighted to hear this when she arrives to pick me up"
"You look stunningly beautiful in these glasses, Nadya. They are the perfect pair for you. And may I add, you look more confident than ever"
"Thank you. That's exactly how I feel right now. You saved the best for the last"
"It's amazing, really amazing. I wonder what made the difference"
"That went fast, Nadya, real fast"
"Yes, much faster than in the previous glasses with this prescription. It's fantastic. Just as if my eyes were anticipating or recognizing the prescription as something familiar. It really went all by itself. I can't wait to hear from you how I look in these glasses"
Lord Lentilux handed a pair of large cat eye glasses to the young lady and she gave him the square purple pair back.
"Here is the final pair I was talking about earlier"
"These cat eye glasses look amazing. May I ask, how strong are these?"
"They are in the prescription of Lady Lentilux. Around minus twelve"
The young lady put the glasses on with great care. It took her eyes just a few seconds to adapt themselves to the lenses.
woensdag 27 mei 2015
"This is even better, Nadya, with the wind in your hair. It's perfect imperfection"
"You said that before. It sounds contradictory but it isn't"
"Strong glasses are all about perfect imperfection. Opticians and glasses brands have not discovered that yet"
"You mean the photos in the windows of optician's shops?"
"Yes. The models are great and the photographers are professionals in their field. But something essential is lacking. It's just as if they are only trying to sell half the product they are advertising"
"Perhaps they prefer to sell dreams to their customers. All the beauty industry is about that, or at least parts of the industry"
"Ah, of course you are a well aware of that, after all the years of modelling"
"Apparently you don't have the ambition to show the optic branch that they should go for a different approach. Is that right?"
"Yes and no. Perhaps I will, some day. It would be food for a nice discussion if they would open their eyes. Selling dreams is not my thing. I'd prefer to show a reality that is more beautiful than dreams"
"Well, if you decide to go for that discussion one day, I may volunteer to join you in my role as an ambassador"
"It would be my privilege and honor, Nadya"
"Forgive me for saying this but in a way, you are selling dreams as well"
"Punch on the nose but accepted. You mean our talk when we went for that short walk. The only difference is that I'm not selling anything to you"
"Not literally, no. What you are doing is subtle and it has a similar effect"
"No, I would not call it that way. That would be harsh and ungrateful. But there is an element of addiction in those magic glasses of yours. See what happened to me during the process. You tickled my curiosity, even though I always avoided to buy myself a pair of glasses. And within a few hours, I felt tempted to become a lady in strong glasses"
"You still can do that if you practice the little trick I mentioned during our walk"
"I will consider that. But somehow I doubt if it would give me the same feeling of protection. There is a fake element in that trick. In a way, you are an illusionist, Lord Lentilux"
"Shall we stop here or would you like to try the final pair of glasses/"
"No, please don't get me wrong. I enjoyed our experiment. Still do, in fact. I feel no disappointment but yes, I have mixed feelings. You see, I would like this thing to last forever. But that is impossible once you are gone"
"Well, I am not disappearing from this planet and we can keep in touch. Next pair?"
"This is excellent, Nadya. The depth in your look is back"
"And what about my looks in these glasses?"
"The frame provides a rather severe aspect but you manage that great. You could go for a walk in town and nobody would question if these are your own glasses. May I ask, does it feel that way for you as well?"
"Absolutely. It's fantastic to feel protected by these magic glasses"
Lord Lentilux handed the young lady a solid square pair of glasses. She gave him the Christian Olivier pair and he put it in the pocket of his jacket.
"That went fast, Nadya. To be honest, I did not see any adaption process at all"
"How strong are these glasses?"
"Minus eight. You posed in several glasses of minus eight before"
"Perhaps my brain recognizes the minus eight straightaway"
"There would be no need for you to enroll, Nadya. You just qualified yourself for the honor's title"
"Meaning that I can call myself a Lady behind Crystal Veil for life?"
"Yes. Being a lady behind crystal veil is an ambassadorship"
"I would not mind if you'd make that public"
"That can be arranged. We should keep in contact and I can let you know as soon as there is a publication. But what about checking if you can repeat your new qualification with a new pair of glasses?"
"You could start an entirely new university which focuses on just one honor's degree, for female students"
"The Crystal Veil university.... The thought never crossed my mind. But I doubt if any government would accept the scientific background. It's really only trial and error. Some day, perhaps"
"I would definitely enroll. An honor's degree makes a good impression on any curriculum vitae"
"Do you mean like this, Mr. Photographer?"
"Exactly. This is perfect. The posing is second to none but the expression in your eyes has reached a new level. There is more depth, a new dimension. And the luxury glasses are the proverbial icing on the cake. Now you are a real lady behind crystal veil"
The young lady turned her face away from her photographer and his camera. There was a long silence. Then she said
"May I ask you a personal question, Lord Lentilux?"
"Of course you can. I have no secrets whatsoever. Secrets make life more complicated and I even believe that they can shorten a person's life. But there is no scientific proof for that"
"Excuse me if this does not sound polite, let alone appreciative. You introduced yourself like a Lord and I can recognize some of that in your speech but not in your image. In my dictionary, you look like a tramp. And I have the impression that your image is not a matter of neglect but a deliberate choice. May I ask, what makes you tick?"
"Don't worry, Nadya, I am not insulted. Umpteen people mentioned the tramp image before you did"
"It's good to hear that. I feel rather ashamed but there was no other way to bring this up. And I am anxious to know what makes you tick. Remember I told you about what makes me tick"
"OK, I will explain it to you briefly. As a child, I grew up in a castle. Servants, winter holidays in St. Moritz with a chamber orchestra playing at our dinner table and all the rest of it. Even as a young child, I felt like living in a bubble. Then the whole thing collapsed and the castle was sold. We were poverty stricken. living on emergency food my parents bought during the Cuba crisis. The threat of a nuclear war. But my parents always kept up their appearance and they expected the same from their children. And that put me in a terrible dilemma. In short, I decided to keep as far away from money as possible. I had seen what it can do to people, even to sensible people. I went my own way, leaning on what I felt were my own assets. Creativity in the real sense and a fascination for all things beautiful by nature. I lived up to that ever since and without any doubt or regret"
Another long silence followed. Then the young lady said
"You are genuine, Lord Lentilux, really genuine. Somehow I felt that straightaway when you interrupted my thoughts at the Old Port. You are an inventor and your product is fascinating but not yet fit for the market. And you don't seem to care. It's so contrary to everything I was ever taught. Can you give me a bit of advice? What does it mean for my own ambitions?"
"Shall we start with your ambitions as a model? Please straighten your back, give me a fine pose and we will take it from there"
"I like that phrase about the midden time machine and the enigma, Mr. Photographer. Our talks are almost as interesting as the glasses and their effect on how I feel"
"And how do you feel right now, Nadya?"
"To be honest, a bit sad because of what you told me during our short walk. I was hoping that it would be quite simple for you to transfer the magic to me"
"Believe me, I would do that if I could"
"Can you describe how I look in these glasses, Mr. Photographer?"
"Different than in most of the other glasses. A bit crisp, a bit edgy. Interesting"
"Are these glasses vintage?"
"Yes, they were made in the eighties"
"So I am younger than these glasses.... Well, that may explain the different look"
"Fashion never comes back quite the same way. You look great but slightly enigmatic because of the hidden time machine"
"Well, it's an honor that you trust me with these priceless glasses"
"I saw how you handled all my glasses with great care"
"They were a bit more difficult for my eyes to adjust to, but now everything is perfect"
"Ah, there are cylinders in the lenses and that can cause some delay. I told you about that before"
After a short walk, Lord Lentilux and the young lady returned to continue the photo shoot. She handed him the square black glasses and he produced a strikingly beautiful white pair.
"This is one of the real gems in my collection. I thought you might like to give these glasses a try"
"You are right. This is a beautiful frame and the lenses look special. Why do they have that rim? Is it decoration or does it have a function?"
"Good question, Nadya. Yes, the rim has a function. It reduces the thickness of the lens"
The young lady handed the glasses with great care when she put them on.
"Thank you for being so careful with these priceless glasses"
"Were they expensive?"
"They were, for their first owner. She could have bought a nice second hand car with the money"
"It wonderful to see you so radiant, Nadya. Shall we try the next pair?"
"So fast? Can't we take a short walk? There are a few things that need to be discussed. What can I do to keep this magic going on after you leave the island?"
"A short walk is fine. We can discuss the options in private and return here to try the next pair"
Next day, same time.... Lady Lentilux went shopping after receiving some hints from Nadya.
"Hi Mr. Photographer, good to see you. No suitcase this time"
"There is no need for that. I have the glasses in the pocket of my jacket. Here is the first pair"
The young lady put on the glasses straightaway.
"Encore performance.... Allow me some more time before you start snapping. My eyes seem to be a bit slower than yesterday"
"Ah, you forget that the adaptation process went faster as we progressed. When you started with the first strong glasses, it took your eyes some time to adapt"
Lord Lentilux and the young lady walked back into the bar and joined the company of their partners.
The suggestion about doing a brief photo shoot at the Old Port got the blessing of Lady Lentilux. All of a sudden, Lady Lentilux said
"Nadya, are you aware that you are still wearing those cat eye glasses? If I'm not mistaken, you kept them on when you left the bar and you had them still on when you returned. It's amazing how natural you are doing everything with these glasses on"
"To be honest, I clean forgot that they still are on my nose. But I will now take them off"
Lord Lentilux joined their conversation and asked
"Nadya, how about one or two more portraits in these cat eye glasses?"
"Sure. Oh, excuse me. My cell phone...."
"Anything wrong with this outfit? I was under the impression that you liked both outfits"
"I like both but it would be nice to recreate at least a part of what I saw at the Old Port. And besides, if you are considering strong glasses as an option for the future...."
"Let me guess. You mean that strong glasses should also look good when I combine them with outfits for my spare time?"
"No problem. I have an excellent washing machine at home. Now shall we do one more pose and then return to the bar? It's getting a bit chilly"
"It's grand that we are thinking in parallel lines, Mr. Photographer. May I ask, what is your schedule for tomorrow? More shopping for Lady Lentilux? If you have some spare time tomorrow, we could meet here again and do a photo shoot with the glasses used at the Old Port"
"I will discuss the option with my Lady. But I doubt if we could recreate the situation. Remember that those glasses did not bring the real magic"
"You certainly have a point. May I ask, did you bring more strong glasses to Cyprus?"
"Yes, a few, including another magnificent pair of cat eye glasses"
"It would only take half an hour. where are you staying?"
"In Pissouri. Lady Lentilux agreed to pose for me in a couple of newly arrived glasses. But if we can meet at the Old Port tomorrow, I have one request"
"And that is?"
"I would like to take pictures of you in today's first outfit"
The young lady stood up and walked out of the bar in a confident way. Lord Lentilux followed her with his camera.
"This might be a nice spot for a few pictures, don't you think? I thought we need at least a few outdoor photos. Looking back, it's a pity that you only started taking pictures after we landed in the bar"
"Ah, I did not want to scare you off. But there may be another solution"
"That sounds interesting, Mr. Photographer. And I like what you said about the Marilyn Monroe look. But right now, I have a request"
"Anything that's within my powers"
"I would like to pose outside for you in these glasses for a few minutes"
"Great idea. We will do as you suggest"
The young lady looked up and it was clear that she had a new idea in mind.
"We need to talk before returning to our partners. But first tell me how I look in these cat eye glasses"
"Fantastic, Nadya. There is a touch of the Marilyn Monroe style. Please don't move. Keep looking at the camera. I see an interesting detail" (SNAP)
"May I ask, what detail was the detail that caught your attention?"
"If this picture comes out well, you will recognize it straightaway. The glasses produce a shade on your outfit. The shade shows the cat eye glasses like from an aerial photograph. I can even see that the lenses are sticking out a bit. The rims are a bit thicker than the frame"