maandag 18 januari 2016
donderdag 14 januari 2016
As usual, there is a fierce competition going on between the 220 glasses that were selected. Each of them is eager to undertake the journey to but alas, another selection will be made soon. There is only place for 150 glasses in the horse driven caravan that will bring the expedition to Gallia.
Preparations for a short visit to Gallia are well under way. The Logistics Department is working almost round the clock, selecting suitable models for photo shoots in prescription glasses. The same goes for the Department of Aesthetics, in charge of the selection of glasses for each model. Rumors have it that the photo shoots will take place in a quiet village called Lutetia.
vrijdag 8 januari 2016
Encore.... The preview photo is repeated here as Mirjam's expression tells the answer to the invitation in the word of thanks. Translated into music the answer sounds like this:
"Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see....
Que sera, sera"
Mission accomplished. Thumbs up.... A slightly tired but satisfied looking Mirjam is marking the end of her excellent, varied second photo shoot.
A word of thanks goes to Irma for her tireless catering work. The delicious hot Dutchies fortified us halfway the photo shoot.
Special thanks go to my life partner Nel for her continuing support of the project. In retrospect, 2015 was not a prolific year for photo shoots. Lots of extra energy were needed to round up my activities at work. Also, the preparations for the cultural festivities on the day of my retirement took far more time than anticipated. Three days after my retirement, we received bad news about my daughter Daphne who is now undergoing chemo therapy in her fight against breast cancer. It was Nel who recently gave me a gentle push in the back, urging me to do new photo shoots. A weekend trip to France is already booked and if all goes well, it will yield an interesting photo shoot with two excellent models. Further plans include casting calls for photo shoots in England and Ireland. Thank you, my love!
The excellent oil painting seen in the background of many photos was made by an established artist called Miriam Vleugels (not to be confused with model Mirjam).
Dear Mirjam, it was a treat to work with you again! Thank you for jumping in and of course, for the wonderful posing. Again, I was impressed by your ability to render natural, credible looks in glasses with a huge variety of prescriptions. It was interesting to hear your comments during the selection of glasses for the photo shoot. You have a keen eye for frame styles that suit you. This was clearly inspired by the many compliments you received for your looks in vintage glasses from Denmark. As we speak, a great pair of Zenni glasses is on its way to the Netherlands. If you like any of the modern frames you used in the new photo shoot, give me a shout and I will order them for you. Any novice GWG deserves a choice in the morning, not just with her outfit but also with fine glasses that match the outfit and mood of the day. I hope that you will find the new photos inspirational when it comes to frame choice. There are several styles that suit you perfectly. One final remark: it was wonderful to see you display your talent at free style posing again. Great! Thanks again - and let's try to find a date for another (brief) photo shoot with the 20 glasses left from your selection.
donderdag 7 januari 2016
These cat eye glasses did not suit my beloved Lady Nel but they were subsequently featured in four photo shoots (Juliette 153, Sandra 204, Farishta 736, Iris 353). Here Mirjam gives them a try and may I add, to great effect. The green colors of the frame blend perfectly with the chestnut highlights in the model's hair and there is nothing wrong with the size and shape of the frame. The Christmas tree in the background is not out of sync either. Benevolent "Zendaklos" left town several days before this photo shoot so Mirjam and I enjoyed a quiet atmosphere - except for the cries for attention from the invisible second model. This is fine posing, Mirjam, thank you!
The vast majority of contemporary glasses in my collection is fitted with lenses of minus eight. There are two reasons for this choice. One reason is that minus eight is a photogenic strength for portrait photography. Enough to show the effect of the lenses, but just within the range of sightings in the streets. Lenses in glasses look milder in portraits that they actually are in real life situations. Another reason is finance. Minus eight is the upper limit of lenses fitted by Zenni without charging additional money. This limit is often much lower with their competitors and that's why I stick to Zenni. Besides, their frames are more varied and often nicer than what is offered elsewhere. So far the choice for -8.00. However, occasionally I order glasses fitted with lenses in the prescription of my Lady Nel if a frame might suit her. Here Mirjam is posing in one of these stronger glasses.
The main theme in the new photo shoot with Mirjam was her practical interest in frame shapes that suit her face. However, there was a recent arrival from Zenni that simply had to be brought along, if only for a good laugh. Fair play to Mirjam, she volunteered to pose in what must be the craziest glasses ever made by Zenni. Asymmetry ad absurdum.... About a year ago, there was a smaller, bright red version in the window of an optician's shop in Germany. So far, I never saw a frame like this in the streets.
Model Pip is in no need of glasses and besides, my collection hosts no frames suitable for her PD either. It was heartening to watch Mirjam taking care of the second model. It yielded fine, natural portraits like this. "Real life" captures in which the glasses are absorbed rather than highlighted.
A technical note about the Zenni glasses in this series: the lenses are -8.00 but they have plano fronts. In all probability, their staff chose this option so that the glasses could be folded up neatly for the journey to the Netherlands. Big compliment to Zenni!
Allow me to introduce the second model to you. Her name is Pip and she is no less than a Sacred Cat of Birma. Quite a distinguished young lady. A precocious young lady as well, already in heat before her first birthday. I'm afraid we are unable to supply her with a suitable male companion so the next best remedy is to give her constant attention. Her condition had one advantage - she kept remarkably quiet when these photos were taken.
Mirjam was unable to assess her looks in these Zenni glasses because of the strong lenses. The frame blends nicely but in my opinion it's a few steps behind the glasses I recently ordered for her. Mirjam simply kept posing as if she saw everything perfectly. Looking towards the white ceiling is a helpful trick to produce a credible portrait in glasses way beyond one's own prescription.
These pale purple glasses by Zenni arrived last summer, just in time for the photo shoot with the "Mona Lisa in glasses". Farishta did a splendid job and she even chose the glasses for use in daily life. It made sense to bring the glasses along as Mirjam might be interested in the style as well. To my delight, Mirjam relied on my advice and decided to give the glasses a go during her new photo shoot.
During her first shoot, I was impressed by Mirjam's talent for a free style of posing. Her portrait photography is great, but she really shines when given the opportunity to move in various positions during a photo shoot. This series further testifies to that. Equally striking is the model's direct eye contact with her honored photographer. There is no way of telling that these are not Mirjam's own glasses. Hat off for Mirjam!
"Mr. Photographer, how do I look in these glasses?"
"Fantastic, Mirjam. You make them look as if they are your own glasses. Perfectly natural"
"And what about the frame?"
"It suits you well but in my opinion, it's one step behind the previous glasses. The frame is slightly more present. Perhaps it has to do with the color. But feel free to disagree when you see the photos"
"More posing in these?"
"Mirjam, I'm never pushing any model towards a frame. But seeing your looks in this pair, it's tempting to order it for you. Wouldn't it be nice to have two pairs, each in a different style and color, so that you can choose which glasses suit your outfit of the day?"
"Mr. Photographer, I am unable to see myself in the mirror. The lenses are far too strong. But your kind offer is under consideration"
There is a touch of the cat eye style in this Zenni frame. The general effect is timeless and trendy at the same time. The size is perfect for Mirjam's face and the frame is not dominating her looks"
"You look stunning in these glasses, Mirjam. Absolutely perfect. What a match"
These Zenni glasses were ordered six years ago and they were an instant hit among my models. No less that 14 models posed in them and some models chose these as a fee, for use in their daily life. The latest model posing in these glasses was the great Simona during her epic night shoot on Bray Beach ("Queen of the night" series). Soon afterwards, the frame went out of stock but I dug it up for Mirjam as she was looking for shapes and sizes that might suit her. A nice quality of this frame is that the lenses look less strong than they actually are. The quality of posing by the lovely model has the same effect. Great!
Back in 1973, Amsterdam was a less money driven city with a substantial influx of hippie tourists who brought a holiday feeling to us. Fashion was roughly divided in four categories and this was also present in the four main categories of glasses seen in the streets. Left wing students in denim uniform wore small metal glasses. The hippies were often in large metal glasses. Conservatives still clung to glasses in the style of the early or mid sixties. Young executives and wealthy ladies were wearing the large modern plastic frames. There was hardly any transition between the four categories. It was as simple as that.
I was a student at the University of Amsterdam which had (and still has) most of its buildings in the old part of the city. It was fascinating to watch the contrast between the four categories in the streets and I remember checking if there was anyone wearing the striking Silhouette glasses from the advertisement. Alas, no sightings, not even an empty frame in an optician's shop window....
Thirty years later, a friendly optician in Austria allowed me to go through some boxes for charity. It came as no surprise to me that there were quite a number of Silhouette glasses in the boxes, mainly from the 1980's and the 1990's. And all of a sudden, I discovered the early Silhouette glasses shown here by Mirjam. The other Silhouettes were great but the early pair really made my day....
Around 1973, an eyewear advertisement in a Dutch magazine drew my attention. It was an initiative of a national organisation of opticians. The message was that cat eye glasses and the small, compact frames of the mid 1960's were completely outdated and needed replacement by the modern, large glasses. The models in the accompanying pictures were instructed to look confused or depressed in the outdated frames, and put on an excited or at least happy face in the modern frames. Needless to say, there were no lenses, not even plano lenses, just empty frames. Even in those early days as a glasses collector, I felt that it was rather silly to use empty frames in an advertisement, especially in what was supposed to be old glasses that had to be thrown out. One of the most striking new frames in the advertisement was the Silhouette shown here by Mirjam but in a different color.
This fine portrait of lovely Mirjam as a Lady behind Crystal Veil deserves a larger format. The Rx of the lenses is "only" -4.50 / -5.50 but the thickness at the sides is a full centimeter. Imagine the wall of glass used by my lady partner in the late 1970's with her stronger prescription....
At this point, Mirjam and I decided to continue her photo shoot in the warm living room. The wine had only a short lived positive effect on our cold limbs :).
Here Mirjam is showing the peculiar light effects created by the "split" sides of the thick lenses in rimless glasses from the late 1970's. Saving the money for the additional work on the lenses meant that my partner and I were "saved" from these light effects.
Huge rimless glasses were a short lived hype during the late 1970's and here is a fine example of the style. My then life partner and I bought almost identical pairs in 1978 but neither of us was quite happy with the rimless glasses. There were no high index lenses in those days. In my case, the major difference (four diopter) between both lenses created instability as the strong lens was considerably heavier than the mild lens. My partner had a prescription of minus six and she was not happy with the remarks about the thickness of her lenses. We did not have the money to get the sides of the lenses faceted. There were two ways to reduce the problem. The cheaper solution (seen in the glasses shown here by Mirjam) was to have the side of the lens divided in two segments under an angle of about 120 degrees. The luxury alternative was to have the sides faceted like a Crystal Veil but the additional cost was well beyond our means. Anyway, it was worth a try....