vrijdag 24 mei 2013
This spontaneous portrait of Osi posing in make-up glasses concludes her epic photo shoot. Osi is the 42th Lady behind Crystal Veil.
My sincere thanks go to Terry Moylan, archivist of Na Piobairi Uilleann, for his kind hospitality and for the permission to use the NPU headquarters for a part of this photo shoot.
"Very elegant and statuesque". "A raven beauty but above all, a warm personality". "A positive energy that could easily melt the ice cap of Antarctica". These are only three qualifications of Osi, received from people who saw her portraits. Allow me to add a few more qualifications. The whole gamut of expression - serious, classic, with an occasional touch of melancholy, a bit of spice, a lot of playfulness, depending on the situation. Patience when this was required. In short, gorgeous posing. Acting capacity. A great, natural spontaneity. Improvisation talent. Fun to work with, and the best of company. And all this united in one young lady.
As soon as we started the photo shoot, it was immediately obvious that Osi was really motivated, but in a pleasant, relaxed manner. There was no rush. All I knew was, "this is going to be good, this is going to be really good". During the second part of the photo shoot, something extraordinary happened and it deepened the impact of Osi's excellent posing on me. I felt transported in time, seeing the young wife of a pharaoh from ancient Egypt. Then back to the 21st century. An alternative librarian. Quiet, bordering to serene during the posing in extreme glasses. Spontaneous freestyle dancing at the very end of the photo shoot.
Osi, your portfolio says that your style is slightly undefinable because you have not tried to brand it yet. May I give you a bit of advice? Don't hurry with the branding. Extra focus on certain aspects could easily narrow down the full gamut of expression which is so remarkable in your posing. You also write in your portfolio that you look up to Tyra Banks and that you would like to develop the same qualities that you admire in her. May I add that you have some unique qualities all of your own. Young as you are, I feel that you are well on the way to become a role model for others in the field of modeling.
After returning home from Ireland, I could not wait to see the photos. When the portraits started to appear on my computer screen, all of a sudden my vision was clouded and the tears streamed down my cheeks. I was so happy, and not just about the quality of the portraits. It felt like being back at the happy picnic shoot in the park. The whole atmosphere was captured in the portraits. I have done sixty photo shoots but this - the tears - never happened before. It's the biggest compliment that I can give you.
Osi, thank you so much for a wonderful day, never to be forgotten!
A portrait photo shoot in prescription glasses is a rather static affair compared with the average photo shoot. The make-up glasses provided Osi with monovision so she was able to do a lively dance routine in the basement of the NPU headquarters. Another fine, spontaneous moment captured!
My first date with my partner Nel on June 14th, 2008 took place on a rainy evening. We met in front of an Irish pub and and after an hour it was time for a change so we headed for a second pub. Nel stopped, took off her glasses and cleaned them, saying "I have bad eyesight". She held her tiny Zenka glasses only a few inches from her eyes during the cleaning process. I simply said, "You have lovely eyes and the glasses really suit you well". After our relation was well established, I often saw her when she was adding make-up, her nose almost pressed to the mirror. This seemed not very practical so when the first anniversary of our relation was near, I selected these make-up glasses from my collection and brought them to Nel's optician. The lady checked the prescription of her client and I ordered the proper lenses for close work. Nel was surprised when she opened the present and she started using the make-up glasses. But it's hard to change the routine of a lifetime and after a another year she gave me the make-up glasses back so that they could be used in my photo shoots. Rachel (150), Farishta (581) and Jolien (120) posed in them. The make-up glasses traveled with me to Ireland and Osi was keen to give them a try. The lenses are around minus nine. Here Osi is showing the considerable difference in size (circa 20%) between her "naked" left eye and her right eye behind the lens of the glasses. Note the second image of her left eye in the tilted lens. Nice!
Needless to say that taking portraits in these extreme glasses calls for a lot of navigation and patience. When I finally told Osi that she would be "released from this monster" after this portrait, she produced a smile. Thank you Osi, for your stamina during this extreme section of the photo shoot!
The absence of anti-reflective coating makes it a real challenge to produce portraits showing the "Snowy Princess" glasses. Seven Dutch models posed in these glasses. Hiska (203), Farishta (416), Nanda (135), Marleen (273) and Petra (338) can be seen on my first weblog. Freelance model Bianca (167) and my life partner Nel (329) posed in the "Snowy Princess" for the present weblog. In many of their portraits, the position of the eye pupils is really guess work as so much is obscured by the overwhelming glare in the lenses. Knowing this, I looked for a place in the NPU headquarters where the reflection of the light would be minimal and we ended up in the basement of the premises!
After posing in two pairs of Lentilux glasses, Osi kindly met another request from my side. These white glasses are fitted with traditional myodisc lenses. The position of the central bowls is clearly visible. Note the double image of the model's right eye in the bowl and in the magnifying carrier lens that surrounds the bowl. At minus 25, the "Snowy Princess" glasses belong to the extreme category in my collection.
These blended myodisc glasses by Trend were sent to me by Martin from Cologne, Germany. The frame is beautiful but I'm still puzzled by the unusual way the lenses are fitted in the glasses. The lens in front of the model's left eye has the "bowl" in a considerably lower position. There are only two explanations that make sense. Either the lenses were fitted this way to compensate for the absence of a prism or they were simply fitted in a wrong position. As a result, it's even more difficult to take satisfactory portraits. Here the lens in front of Osi's right eye catches the light quite well while the other lens looks a bit dim.
Blended myodisc glasses were always white ravens in the streets. By the time of their invention there were alternative solutions for extreme myopia. After the introduction of high index lenses, the Lentilux glasses almost disappeared and I can only remember a handful of sightings. Note the contrast in the light between the half moons between bowl and carrier lens next to the model's eyes.
Another fine portrait of Osi posing in blended myodisc glasses from the late 1980's. The contrast between the bright light in the magnifying carrier lenses and the shades in the central bowls is yet another characteristic of Lentilux. This section of the photo shoot was really a matter of trial and error as I aimed to show the weird light effects in an effective way. Thank you, Osi, for your patience during the process!
Traditional myodisc glasses were a fairly common sighting in my childhood days in Amsterdam. Back in the 1950's there were no contact lenses, let alone lasic surgery or IOL implants. Everyone with extreme myopia was wearing myodisc glasses. I clearly remember that ladies in myodisc glasses always seemed a bit shy when one looked at them.
The first time I saw a lady in blended myodisc glasses was in Kufstein (Austria) in 1988. I was unaware of this new invention but the effect was fascinating. The lenses changed their aspect with every slight movement of the lady's head. The lady did not look handicapped or shy at all. Magic glasses....
My photo shoots are not just about frames but also about lenses. Osi kindly agreed to pose in these blended myodisc glasses. Here she is showing a characteristic feature of Lentilux: the "half moon" between the bowl and carrier lens, next to her left eye. Another characteristic of Lentilux is the way the carrier lens plays its tricks with the model's make-up. It took us quite a bit of experimenting to produce this portrait and we finally succeeded in the basement of the NPU headquarters.
Blended myodisc glasses (also called Lentilux) were an invention from the early 1980's. Just like the earlier myodisc glasses, these lenses consist of a central "bowl" (with the necessary correction for extreme myopia) and a surrounding carrier lens. The difference with the early myodisc lenses is the gradual transition between the bowl and the carrier lens. The down side is the even more reduced field of view but the advantage was aesthetic. Seen "en face", there are no power rings and there is no "cut in" effect. The model's eyes appear about one third smaller than they are without glasses. My collection hosts half a dozen of these ultra rare glasses. This nameless pair was made in Germany in the late 1980's.
These blended myodisc glasses were supplied by Martin from Cologne, Germany and they were featured in many of my photo shoots. Conny (184), Gita (257), Hiska (196), Margriet (069), Lettie (161), Farishta (396), Marleen (241), Petra (189), Nel (285), Jolien (189) and freelance models Leonne (147), Connie (109) and last but not least, Melissa (277). Here Osi joins their ranks in the library of the NPU headquarters. Note the half moon next to the model's left eye and the weird way the positive carrier lens plays its tricks with her right eye.
Osi posing in a way that shows both past and present, seen from the perspective of her court photographer. Most of the body of the historic set of uilleann pipes can be seen in the background. To quote the master piper and story teller Seámus Ennis (1919 - 1982) from Finglas, North Co. Dublin:
"Ah the years gone by
make moist the eye".
You may wonder what's there in the background between the books in these portraits - well, it's one of half a dozen uilleann pipes that are on display in the NPU library. When Osi and I arrived in Henrietta Street, archivist Terry Moylan (we have known each other since the Dark Ages) kindly gave us a tour through the building so that we could choose the best locations for the photo shoot. Needless to say, we admired the early 20th century pipes on display. The names of their makers were all too familiar to me - Rowsome, and O'Meally to mention just a couple of them - and it was a fusion between past and present to me. The same goes for the whole week spent in the Dublin area. During most of my umpteen visits to Dublin since the late 1970's it was all about traditional Irish music. This was my first stay in the area that arose from the totally different perspective of a photographer doing photo shoots with models posing in prescription glasses.
When Osi and I met at Bachelor's Walk near O'Connell Street Bridge in the heart of Dublin, we were chatting away from the very start and I felt really at ease in her sparkling company. One might say that she brought out the best in me during the day. The last association I could think of was that of Osi as a librarian. But life is full of surprises and here she poses in a library. Many models do photo shoots in libraries but their photos are often in a slightly "risqué" style in which the glasses are just a playful gimmick, brought in for a bit of contrast. No such thing here. The glasses are real and there's nothing naughty about the model. In fact, Osi manages a beautiful style of posing with an "in depth" eye contact second to none.
These bold Zenni glasses have been in my collection since the very start of the photography project in 2009. No less than fourteen models posed in them and the most recent model was Douce in the summer of 2011. The glasses have been out of stock for ages and it does not look as if they will ever come back. A pity! The frame is magnificent and ideally suited for "the bold and the beautiful". My guess was that they might suit Osi and that she might like them. To say the least, I was not disappointed.
donderdag 23 mei 2013
Here is the "finale grandioso" of this series in the gold and silver glasses. Superb posing by Osi indeed. It's as close as I could get to the "Pharaoh's Wife" line of thought.
This beautiful portrait ends this section of her photo shoot. High time for the "big guns" from my collection....
Glasses in ancient Egypt? Let's suppose - for a moment - that Von Däniken was right after all, or at least partially right. My little bit of fiction would be that a black pharaoh somehow re-established contact with the alien visitors that once may have landed in Egypt, a millennium or five earlier on. Suppose that his young wife was gradually developing myopia and suppose that the visitors used prescription glasses. Suppose that the worried pharaoh asked the aliens to send him a spacecraft filled with prescription glasses and that his grateful wife started wearing them. If so, it's possible that she herself was depicted in glasses on sculptures that are so far undiscovered. The Black Pharaohs did not reign for long and they are not very well documented. So far my line of fantasy that started when I saw Osi in the white transparent Zenni glasses and in the gold and silver glasses shown in this series.
Glasses in ancient Egypt? The key to the answer may be found if one considers the controversial theory in two books written by Erich von Däniken in the 1960's and early 1970's ("Chariots of the Gods?" and "Gods from Outer Space"). His theory was given some scientific legitimacy as scientists Carl Sagan and I.S. Shklovskii had written about the possibility of paleocontact and extraterrestrial visitation claims in their book "Intelligent Life in the Universe" (1966). Von Däniken carried the idea several steps further, arguing that there are many unsolved mysteries in archaeology. The rather sudden construction of pyramids and knowledge of astronomy on continents that had no means of mutual communication. He also pointed at many ancient sculptures that seemed to depict spacecrafts and creatures very reminiscent of the Apollo astronauts who first landed on the moon in the late 1960's. I read his books shortly after they were released. If my memory serves me correctly, Von Däniken's theory is that sometime between 10.000 and 5000 BC aliens from a different solar system landed on Earth, stayed there for a while, taught our ancestors some of their knowledge and then headed home again - wherever home was. Much of the excitement about Von Däniken and his theories faded away after the Apollo mission to the moon ended.
These gold and silver glasses were featured in four previous photo shoots: with Brigitta (062) in 2009, Astrid (082, first shoot) and Nanda (030) in 2010, and finally with freelance model Connie (009) in 2011. When Osi started posing in these glasses, my thoughts returned to what I had seen when she put up the white transparent Zenni glasses. All of a sudden, the "Pharaoh's Wife" was back!
These beautiful gold and silver colored glasses caught Osi's fancy straightaway when she saw them. They were made in Italy, probably around 1990. The mild add in the progressive lenses indicates that the glasses were bought by a lady in her early or mid forties. A lady with taste, it may be added.
In the introduction of the previous series I mentioned how the white Conquistador were given to me by a friendly collector from the UK. Here is the story of another contribution. These playful red and white metal glasses were kindly presented to my collection by Carla, the first "Lady behind Crystal Veil" with a rich history of photo shoots and catwalks under her belt. Carla was the fifth model who posed for me in 2009 and it was a memorable evening, extensively documented on my first weblog. It was the first time I witnessed a total transformation as soon as she was in front of my camera. Pure magic! A year later, Carla stole the show during the catwalk at the opening of my first exhibition of portrait photography. During the second round of the catwalk, she appeared on ultra high heels, wearing a beautiful pair of myodisc glasses (Rx -14) by Flair. Her own prescription was -2 and she made no use of GOC (Glasses Over Contacts). The catwalk is very well documented in a series of video clips on You Tube under my user name Lentilux. A few months after the catwalk, Carla paid me a visit and she said she had a present for me. Out of her bag she took two pairs of glasses with a lovely story attached to them. In the late 1980's she started dating with a young man called Andreas and their first date was going to the cinema. The lights went out and the movie started. After a minute or so, Carla and Andreas dared to look at eachother and lo and behold, all of a sudden they were both in glasses! When they got married, they made a promise that these two pairs of glasses would always remain together, come what may, as a symbol. Shortly after the catwalk (where I met Andreas and one of their daughters as well) the couple decided that the house was too full and a lot of stuff had to be cleared out. They then decided that the two pairs of glasses should become part of my collection. I was quite honored and within a month, both glasses were featured in the first photo shoot on the present weblog, with a model called Karen who had nearly the same prescription as Carla and Andreas had in the late 1980's. This pair by Rodenstock were Carla's first glasses and they were later featured in my first photo shoot with Jolien. Last month, I squeezed Carla's glasses in my hand luggage for the flight to Ireland to give them another chance. Osi liked the glasses and here she is posing in a nice "pensive mood" style. A romantic story indeed....