vrijdag 24 juli 2015
This fine portrait of lovely Mirjam posing in blended myodisc glasses marks the end of a wonderful photo shoot. Mirjam is the 64th Lady behind crystal veil.
A word of thanks goes to Ton, the present owner of the former ice cream factory, for the repeated use of his premises. Much appreciated!
Dear Mirjam, you are not fond of long speeches so I will try and keep it short. It was a real pleasure to work with you. Doing a photo shoot was a new experience but it took just a few minutes to get into your stride as a model.
What struck me is your ability to manage a natural, credible look in strong prescription glasses. The direct eye contact in your "en face" portraits is second to none.
It's always interesting to compare a new model's looks "off scene" and in front of the camera. Many of your portraits are consistent with your facial expression in daily life. Several other portraits have a touch of sweet melancholy that is "unlike the everyday Mirjam" but all the same, very attractive.
You took instructions quite well and this yielded many beautiful portraits. However, in my opinion your main talent is free style posing.
After finishing this photo shoot, you remarked that modelling is hard work. Indeed t is, especially during a first photo shoot. But you managed bravely and with splendid results. The quality of your posing is amazing and so is the variety in it.
It was a wise decision to do the photo shoot in one hour, just before your tank was empty. We agreed to do another one hour shoot in the near future, so that the other selected glasses can be used. An outdoor location would be nice. I look forward to that.
Thank you, Mirjam, and till next time!
It's easy to imagine the delight felt by the first owner when she collected her new glasses and had a first look in the mirror. No cut in, no power rings.... The tiny "half moon" image next to the model's right eye is another characteristic peculiar to blended myodisc lenses. The half moon is the image of the model's dark hair, surrounded by the carrier lens that catches the light.
Blended myodisc glasses create fascinating pictures but they are really at their best in motion. Six video clips were made at the opening of my first photo exhibition with "Ladies behind crystal veil". Ten models gave a brilliant catwalk performance at the opening and Mirjam was one of the catwalk models. My life partner Nel has a prescription of minus twelve. She can be seen wearing this pair of blended myodisc glasses on You Tube (user name Lentilux).
Here Mirjam is showing some other special effects created by the blended myodisc lenses. The abrupt 90 degree angle under her right eye is caused by the transition between bowl and carrier lens. By contrast, the lens in front of her left eye shows no sign of "cut in" and there are no power rings either.
Two versions of the same portrait, edited slightly different to show the light effects in the blended myodisc lenses. The central "bowl" with the prescription for high myopia produces a shade while the surrounding positive carrier lens catches the light. Conditions were not easy for Mirjam because of the intense flash light from my camera so we abandoned the experiment after taking nine pictures.
Change of tapestry.... Our plan was to do the photo shoot in two parts: in the garden at night, and the next day in the ice cream factory. Unfortunately, a malfunctioning camera soon forced us to stop our experiment in the garden. We went into the living room and Mirjam posed a few minutes for me in glasses with blended myodisc lenses. Next day, the same pair was used again in the ice cream factory (photos 66-68). I was under the impression that the photos in the living room would be no good. It later turned out that five of them came out well and these are posted here as an encore performance.
donderdag 23 juli 2015
This is my favorite portrait of Mirjam in the ice cream factory. Fantastic posing with a soft touch of melancholy. Again, the eye contact is as natural as can be. You'd swear that she is quite shortsighted and wearing her everyday glasses. Nobody would believe that this is her first photo shoot ever, but it's the truth.
Another great portrait of lovely Mirjam in blended myodisc glasses made some five years before she was born. The quality of the posing is second to none. One does not get the impression that Mirjam is staring into a massive blur. She makes the viewer believe that she is really looking at something that just caught her attention. Once again, hat off for this talented model!
Blended myodiscs were a great invention of the 1980's. Much more pleasing to the eye than the traditional myodiscs. No sharp demarcation anymore between the central "bowl" with its correction for high myopia. The new lens type was called Lentilux in Germany and it seems to have been more popular there than elsewhere. The first owner of the glasses shown by Mirjam was probably one of the first ladies in blended myodiscs.
High myopia tends to be progressive and the German lady in question was no exception. My collection hosts four of her glasses, covering a time span of fifteen years. She was minus eleven in the late 1970's and minus fourteen in the early 1990's. The down side of blended myodiscs is the narrow field of view and the lady switched to the newly invented high index lenses after a few years. Apparently this choice had its down sides as well and the lady bought a new pair of blended myodisc glasses after four years.
Enough talk about the history of lens technology.... Big compliment to Mirjam for her excellent posing in blended myodisc glasses!
These nameless glasses were sent to me by Stefan from Bavaria, one of my favorite photographers. Minus twenty is still a mighty strong prescription but after the previous two portraits, the size of the model's eyes is back to more realistic proportions. Part of this has to do with the fact that the lenses are 50% thinner and this enabled Mirjam to push the glasses close to her eyes.
Fortunately, Mirjam did not give me the frost. Instead, she embarked on a brief voyage to the land of extreme myopia. Aside from the incredible blur, it's amazing to look through binoculars from the wrong end. Some of the model's amazement is visible in this extreme yet credible portrait.
These are the strongest minus glasses in my collection. The lenses are biconcave myodiscs, well over half an inch thick. The carrier lens is minus eight and the central "bowl" is minus twenty-nine. The amused look on Mirjam's face is priceless.
"Shall I indulge this photographer.... or shall I give him the frost?"
Splendid posing by Mirjam in contemporary cat eye glasses by Zenni. The only difference with the classic cat eye glasses from the late 1950's and early 1960's is the frame size.
Large glasses only came to the foreground after the Love Summer of 1967, with the invasion of flower power and the hippie scene.
"Ah, the years gone by
make moist the eye"
Fine posing by Mirjam in the first of four contemporary purple glasses by Zenni. During the selection process, Mirjam noticed that it was impossible to check her looks in the mirror. Minus eight is simply too much for a model with good eyesight. As Mirjam liked the warm, deep purple color of several frames, she wisely left the aesthetic assessment to her photographer.
woensdag 22 juli 2015
This portrait of Mirjam is edited in black and white. Light conditions in the former ice cream factory were far from ideal. The builders were busy and there was a lot of dust in the air. To speed up the procedure, all the photos were taken in a standing position without using a tripod. As a result, the original portrait was lacking the definition required. But there is a way to add sharpness to photos like this. First transfer the image into black and white, then apply the function that is normally used to add contrast and stronger color. The trick does not always work but in this case the portrait came out fine.
The answer may be that real dependency does not fit into the world of fashion. I read that glasses are called "strong" as soon as the lenses are thicker than the frame, This "en profil" photo shows Mirjam wearing glasses with -8.00 lenses. Strong but by no means extreme. Taking this portrait was precision work from both model and photographer. Thank you, Mirjam!
Needless to say, Zenni also caters for the black hipster style that finally put an end to the rather dull retro era in frame design. When this revolution was seen in the streets five years ago, I felt relief, just relief. The monotony of the new wave in fashion might lose its impact soon, but anything was better than what was dictated during the 1990's and 2000's. Five years later, the streets are still full of girls sporting black hipster glasses. High time to reflect on the question: what created this revolution in the first place? During a long discussion over a bottle of Jack Daniels, my mentor in photography came up with an interesting theory. He is half my age. His line of thought is that pictures of the late Buddy Holly somehow spread on the social media super fast and everyone wanted a pair of glasses like his. Readers are invited to come up with alternative theories....
Early roots explained. But let's get back to the theme in this section of the photo shoot - contemporary glasses with lenses of minus eight. What I like about Zenni is that they produce frames that toy with the main styles of the past, but with a twist of their own. The olive green glasses shown here by Mirjam are clearly inspired by the airy, giant style of the mid 1970's. But the shape and the color setting is quite different from what was seen in the streets just before the Christian Dior revolution in 1976. Dior did use the color setting shown here, but their frames were solid and even massive. Isn't it grand that a blend between both styles was created almost four decades later by an on line glasses company in China?
From the lyrics of my song "Crystal Veil":
"And thanks to you, Gran, for once making me see
How your world could be pushed back.... or attracted to me"
My fascination with girls and women in glasses started back in 1956. My Gran was an eccentric lady with mood swings. She could be outward and social, then all of a sudden she "closed herself up like a fan" (Suzanne Vega in her best song, "The queen and the soldier"). My Gran had lots of hats and lots of glasses. One day in a restaurant on the top floor of a high building near Central Station in my native Amsterdam, I grabbed my courage together and asked her why she used all those different glasses. Instead of answering, she took me to the window of the restaurant and invited me to put on a couple of glasses that she always carried in her handbag. Gran then asked me to describe what I saw through both pairs. One was for long distance, around -1.00. The other pair was for reading, around +1.50. I was six years of age and my parents had never allowed me to even touch their binoculars. What my Gran gave me in the restaurant was trust in the first place. It was my first experience with the mysterious world of optics. Somehow I got the impression that she used her glasses for long distance to push the world away from her, and the reading glasses to draw the world towards her. Magic tools.... All of a sudden, I thought that my Gran was a magician. During the next weeks, I spent time to watch other women in glasses - were they magicians as well? It all seemed to fit. Unfortunately, my Gran died in 1960 of heart failure, on a boat to the USA. A few years later, I learned the principles of optics and understood the real function of glasses - but the fascination for girls and women in glasses remained the same.
In the upper photo you see Mirjam "pushed back", looking through glasses for short sight. The lower photo shows the model "drawing the world towards her", looking through glasses for long sight. Circle closed, after half a century....