donderdag 13 december 2012

Lucy 273

This wonderful portrait of Lucy showing the impressive power rings in contemporary Zenni glasses concludes her photo shoot on three locations in the old part of Amsterdam. The photo shoot only lasted two hours but we liked the change of scenery and above all, the warm surroundings at the third location, City Optiek.

First of all I wish to thank our guest from England whose arrival gave me the idea to squeeze a photo shoot into my schedule of care tasks for my brother Guus who was terminally ill. Our guest definitely added a friendly and sometimes vigilant contribution to the photo shoot. I am also grateful to him for the donation of another half dozen fine glasses to my greedy collection.

A word of thanks is also due to the friendly staff of City Optiek, Vijzelstraat 51 in Amsterdam, for allowing us to use their beautiful shop for the final part of the photo shoot. I can highly recommend this shop to customers seeking a pair of glasses beyond the contemporary and the mainstream. or

I also thank my good neighbour Joke for her technical assistance. Much appreciated!

A special word of thanks to Lucy who kindly agreed to do this photo shoot in Amsterdam, knowing well that  it might be canceled because of my brother's condition. Just like last year, it was a pleasure to watch Lucy during the selection process of the glasses for the outdoor locations. A good photo shoot is teamwork and although by far the youngest member of the team, she did a splendid job in front of the camera and also during the "après shoot". Big compliment for her stamina when braving the cold when we worked on the outdoor locations! A photo shoot on location calls for more confidence than a shoot in familiar surroundings and although this was only her third photo shoot, my hopes were high after her fine contribution to the catwalk in Germany. To say the least, I was not disappointed!

This photo shoot is dedicated to the memory of my late brother Guus who sadly passed away on November 19th, only a week after this photo shoot. Guus and I were lifelong best friends and he knew everything about my fascination with glasses since the mid 1960's. He was amused when I took up the "Ladies behind crystal veil"  project but he soon became really interested and he was always asking if any new shoots were under way. Two years ago, he attended my first exhibition in Enschede and he can be seen in the video clips of the catwalk, standing next to Charlotte who so far has been my only model with a significant hyperopia (+5). The photo shoot for our guest from England was planned well in advance and Guus kept asking me about the exact day. Unfortunately, on the day of the actual photo shoot his condition had detoriated so much that he was only able to nod yes when I told him that we had enjoyed a short but nice shoot. A few days after his death I awoke from a crystal clear dream (or vision) which was both scenic and comforting. Guus was floating through the galaxy, guided by two gorgeous young ladies in long dresses. They had pronounced cheek bones and their faces had a peculiar but striking bronze patina. Guus looked around in sheer amazement, just like he did when we arrived on the top of a high mountain. No worries, no pain, no fright.
Dear Guus, wherever you are now, I hope that you have a telescope ready to watch my next photo shoots and do send me a telepathic sign of approval if the fruits are up to standard!

Lucy 272

Another fine portrait of Lucy in modern Zenni glasses with split arms. Aside from the good posing and the  powerful effect of the strong glasses (-13 / -12) I was pleased with the model's beautiful "swan neck" from this vantage point. Sometimes it's a photographer's duty to kneel down for his model and here it was well worth the effort!

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Lucy posing at the warm side of the shop window of City Optiek. Another wonderful portrait with a natural feel to it.

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Lucy posing again in contemporary glasses by Zenni with a Rx just over twice her own prescription. There is no way of telling that these are not her own glasses. Hat off for Lucy!

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An almost majestic portrait of Lucy's image in one of the mirrors of the beautiful City Optiek shop. The vintage Silhouette glasses show themselves well in the somewhat dimmed light.

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Mirror mirror.... Lucy posing again in the Silhouette glasses from the late 1970's in the hospitable shop of City Optiek, Vijzelstraat, near the Munt Tower in Amsterdam. The glasses in my collection have the advantage that the model can judge their effect without pressing their nose against the mirror :).

donderdag 6 december 2012

Lucy 267

Lucy showing the intricacies of the lenses in the black and scarlet Zenni glasses. Note the double image of the scarlet inside of the arms, through the lens but also through the side of the lens which is about half an inch thick. A veritable wall of glass....

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A close up portrait of Lucy posing in Zenni glasses with split arms. The frame is now out of stock. A pity!

Lucy 265

During her first photo shoot Lucy posed in the tortoise shell version of this striking Zenni frame, fitted with lenses near her own prescription (-6.00). She liked the glasses so here she poses in the black and scarlet red version of the same frame, fitted with -12.00 / -13.00 lenses. This pair was previously used in my photo shoots with Petra, Jolien, Léonne, Melissa, Claudine, Claudia Allegonda and Nel.

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Glasses: Zenni 3390
[L: -13.00 / R: -12.00]

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Lucy posing in a beautiful pair of Silhouette glasses made in the late 1970's for a German lady called Renate. The frame has no serial number. The glasses were featured in in my photo shoots with Margriet, Léonne, Christien and Bianca. They were also used by Farishta during the catwalk at the opening of my exhibition in Nordhorn, Germany.

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Glasses: Silhouette, late 1970's
[L=R: -7.00]

During the last six months the terminal illness of my brother Guus limited my options for photo shoots as it was never really possible to fix a date with a new model in advance. I hoped to do some preparatory field work in old Amsterdam to make sure that we had one or two indoor locations available in case of rain but nothing came of it because of the situation with my brother. During the walk from his home to Central Station where I would meet Lucy and our guest from England I passed one of the best optician's shops in the city and decided to ask them if we could come to them for a part of the photo shoot. City Optiek is located in the Vijzelstraat near the Munt Tower and they have been kind of special to me during the past four decades. Their shop has a tasteful interior and they always have glasses for sale with a scope far beyond the fashion of the year. They always have cat eye glasses, regardless of their popularity. My request was met with a positive reaction so when Lucy and our friend from England were shivering from the cold after the shooting at the first locations we headed for the City Optiek shop which was only five minutes away. In the meantime their friendly staff had checked my weblog and the shop was "ours" as there were no customers. After doing over fifty photo shoots this was the first time in an optician's shop (the catwalk in Germany took place on the doorstep of Friedag Augenoptik). We all enjoyed being out of the cold and in ideal surroundings for a photo shoot in prescription glasses. The only problem was the reaction of the flash light in my camera but this photo came out fine.

woensdag 5 december 2012

Lucy 261

Glasses: Furla, mid 2000's
[L: +1.00 / R: +1.25]

This portrait of Lucy was taken in a restaurant near the Rembrandtsplein where we had an Italian meal and (needless to say) talked about glasses. Lucy excused herself for putting her contact lenses in - she only wears glasses in the early morning and late evening - and, apologies accepted, she kindly agreed to pose in another pair of glasses presented to me by my generous assistant. Note the different "feel" to this portrait compared with all Lucy's portraits in minus glasses. This picture came out fine but alas, the same thing cannot be said about the food that was served to us. Lucy commented that modeling is hard work indeed and she is right!

Lucy 260

My assistant from England is a generous man, especially considering that he is a glasses collector just like me. A couple of years ago he kindly donated a part of his collection to me and one of the glasses in the parcel from England was the "Amanda" pair featured in my subsequent photo shoots with Hiska, Astrid, Nel, Karen and Jolien. Astrid also chose the "Amanda" glasses for the catwalk at the opening of my exhibition in Enschede (see You Tube Lentilux). This time he surprised me with half a dozen more glasses and Lucy decided to try two of them during the photo shoot. This pair by Tommy Hilfinger was just one diopter below Lucy's own prescription so the glasses gave her fair eyesight.

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Glasses: Tommy Hilfinger, early 2000's
[L: -4.00 / R: -4.00; c-1.00 v]

Lucy 258

After completing this series of Lucy in the 1970's Menrad glasses the three of us agreed that enough was enough. Our friendly assistant from England had no coat with him and he was certainly a candidate for either a generous stimulant or at least an indoor location. Lucy had cold hands, especially her left hand was half frozen. Her court photographer was still very much in his adrenaline rush but decided to be a pure democrat. So we left the picturesque bridge and headed for the third location, with a glorious series of pictures in our pocket.

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These Menrad glasses from the 1970's were previously used in my photo shoots with Clarine, Farishta and Lettie (2009 / 2010) and it's great to have them back in circulation. Lucy's posing in these favorite glasses is wonderful. No need for further narrative so I will leave you in the pleasant company of Lucy for a while. Enjoy!

Lucy 248

Menrad was another popular brand in the 1970's. Like Metzler, they avoided extravaganza and they followed fashion rather than dictating it. However, in my opinion this pair of Menrad glasses stands out and it was Lucy's favorite pair during this photo shoot. A young lady of taste! The lenses are a touch below the model's own prescription. This gives a mellow feel to many of her portraits, compared with the previous series in the red Metzler glasses that were above her prescription.

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Lucy posing in the second pair of glasses from the 1970's on the bridge of Kloveniersburgwal and Raamgracht in the old part of Amsterdam.

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Glasses: Menrad, 1970's
[L: -3.50; c-1.00 h / R: -4.50; c-0.50 o]

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These classic Metzler glasses were also featured in my photo shoots with Astrid, Caroline, Farishta and Nel.
Caroline who has about the same prescription as Lucy recently sent me half a dozen of her old glasses. A gesture much appreciated. Unfortunately the glasses arrived just too late to be included in this photo shoot with Lucy.

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Some more "time machine" pictures of Lucy in the red Metzler glasses from the 1970's at the bridge of the canals Kloveniersburgwal and Raamgracht in the old part of my native Amsterdam.

dinsdag 4 december 2012

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My assistant from England was pleasant company for Lucy and here Lucy is exchanging some funny remarks with him.

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When Lucy put up the Metzler glasses she said that she could see quite well through them. Long live the supple eyes of youth! This also contributed to the natural feel of these portraits.

Lucy 238

Another fine portrait of Lucy in the 1970's Metzler glasses. The whole series came out quite well, showing that it's good practice to allow the model to select the glasses for her photo shoot.

Lucy 237

The series with the two pairs of glasses from the 1970's was done on the second location of the day, on the bridge on the corner of two canals: Kloveniersburgwal and Raamgracht. This spot has not changed since my student days in the 1970's and it was easy to imagine myself transported back in time when taking this series of photographs. Lucy definitely adds something special to the nostalgic feel of this series. Great posing job!

Lucy 236

Until the late 1960's the client's natural eyebrow line was regarded sacrosanct by opticians and glasses designers. The 1970's brought a drastic change. Big frames became fashionable and the extra space taken by the glasses created an eyebrow line all by itself. Here the rounded eyebrow line is further accentuated by the bright red color of the frame. The effect is both mellow and pronounced at the same time, changing the aspect of the model's face in a way one would never guess when seeing the glasses as an object in the shop. Lucy was absolutely right when she selected these glasses for her photo shoot. I bought the glasses at the "Waterlooplein" flea market during the 1980's. My guess is that they were made shortly after 1975, the year when Christian Dior achieved a revolution in eyewear design by using clear, basic colors (blue, red, green) for their bold frames. Metzler was always a trend follower and they zoomed in behind Dior, designing and manufacturing glasses for the crowds that wished to follow fashion without embarking into extravaganza.

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Lucy posing in the first of two pairs from the 1970's. These red glasses were made by a German company called Metzler.

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Glasses: Metzler, 1970's
[L: -7.50 / R: -5.50; c-2.00 v]

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Gorgeous posing by Lucy in modern glasses by Zenni, Rx -8.00. One of my favorites from this photo shoot!

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"Hi there, Mr. Photographer! Are your hands just as cold as mine?"

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Lucy in an almost identical pose as seen in her portraits 214 with the Nina Ricci glasses and 221 in the Hans Winkel glasses. In my photo shoots I often try to show not just the effect of the frame but also some of the effects of the lenses in the glasses. Here the lenses are too strong to produce a small image of the house numbers in the background. The power rings are in the way but they add an effect of liveliness in their own right.

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Lucy studying the street number of the apartments on the first floor. We were using their stairs for the first part of the photo shoot. The owners and their visitors did not mind our peaceful disturbance.

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Lucy posing in another recent arrival from Zenni. Note the nice decoration on the side of the frame.

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Glasses: Zenni 2608
[L=R: -8.00]

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Another example of lovely posing by Lucy in striking blue Zenni glasses. The shape of the frame is reminiscent of glasses that were seen in the streets of Amsterdam in 1964, at the very end of the cat eye era.

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Lucy smiling at my "assistant". A friendly glasses collector from the UK attended her photo shoot and his kind personality definitely contributed to the outcome of the day. It was the first time I invited anybody to be present during a photo shoot but Lucy did not mind. Our guest was also helpful by being alert so that nobody would disturb our work.

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Lucy has a prescription of -5.50. During last year's photo shoot she encountered no problems with the -8.00 lenses in the new Zenni glasses so we gave some of the new arrivals a try.

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These striking blue Zenni glasses came in just after my photo shoot with Daisy in Flanders. Apparently they sold well and now they are already out of stock. A pity!