vrijdag 7 juni 2013

Sohaila 132

This great portrait of Sohaila in contemporary myodisc glasses (Rx -16) concludes her photo shoot which brought marvelous posing from the very start till the very end. Sohaila is the 43th Lady behind Crystal Veil.

Looking back at the history of this and the previous weblog, there were two occasions where a model really raised the standard of the project. Carla did this in 2009 and Melissa set a new standard in 2011. Now Sohaila manages to "raise the roof" once again. What the photo shoots with these three models had in common was my awareness of an overwhelming presence in front of my camera.
In a newspaper interview (2009) Sohaila was asked to describe herself in three words. Her answer was: "independent, eccentric and passionate". Then she added, "I'm one for making and obeying my own rules, so it really annoys me when I'm told what to do". These qualities come forward in her video clips as well. Having said this, it's only fair to say that Sohaila took directions quite well during her photo shoot. Eventually, it was team work between a highly professional model and her driven amateur photographer with his giant collection of vintage glasses. The same goes for the selection of the glasses. I did the first selection, then Sohaila chose the glasses, but she also kindly agreed to pose in half a dozen myodisc glasses upon my request.

Sohaila. Total control. Each portrait felt like an authoritative statement at the moment it was taken. At times, I felt a witness rather than a participant. All seemed to go by itself. Only the third party involved in the Sohaila photo shoot - my tripod - had problems when trying to catch up with the speed.

What struck me during the photo shoot with Sohaila was the combination of the apparent ease in the posing and the very speed of it. Sohaila posed in 27 pairs of glasses. In other words, she changed glasses 26 times. Her photo shoot yielded 165 portraits. My camera revealed that the final portrait was taken 33 minutes after the very first portrait.
My average is between 150 and 200 photos per hour. I reckoned that this was fast. This is done on purpose. Most is done by instinct. Go with the flow. Don't think twice, it's alright. Looking back, there was one photo shoot done at double speed. Last winter, with Marieke in her gala dress in the frost and snow. The experience came handy for the photo shoot with Sohaila.

Her professionalism was there during the arrangements for the photo shoot as well. When Sohaila received my message with the time, date and meeting place, she simply wrote, "Yes, agreed. See you there". No last minute phone calls or anything. After seeing Sohaila's exciting video made in Fleet Street, London, some friends were highly septic about the chance that it would actually come to a photo shoot. But she was there, right time, right place.

A word of thanks goes to Colm and Deirdre, owners of the  hospitable "Ulysses" B&B in Bray where this photo shoot took place. And Deirdre, thanks for the drinks!

Sohaila, in my dictionary it was an epoch making event to work with you! I also enjoyed our talks in the restaurant afterwards. You said this was your last regular photo shoot for a while. Your plan was to focus on pregnancy shoots for the next five months. You also talked about maybe getting too old (at age 25) for the modeling and about all the self discipline needed to stay in condition and shape to do the jobs. Being four months pregnant, doing a photo shoot in prescription glasses was not a bad idea. Call it an "unplugged and seated" concert by a hard rock band.
You gave me a glimpse of a world that was never in my mind when I started my project. This was the acquaintance with a different league. I hope the two vintage frames are to your liking. But above all, I wish you a happy pregnancy and a beautiful, healthy baby. After all, that's more important than a thousand photo shoots.

Sohaila 131

This warmer version of the previous portrait is added here for comparison. Sohaila is reflecting on the pros and cons of both versions. See which version you like best....

Sohaila 130

The highly unusual combination of a yellow frame and opaque grayish lenses called for some experiments during the editing. In this version of the portrait, the aim was to put additional focus on the frame.

Sohaila 129

Sohaila prefers big and chunky frames so these yellow glasses fitted well into that category. Yellow is a highly unusual frame colour, especially when combined with grayish lenses.

Sohaila 128

These modern myodisc glasses have been in my collection for a couple of years but they were not used in any of my previous photo shoots. I brought them over to Ireland with Sohaila in mind. The quality of the lens material is mediocre and there was so much reflection in the lenses that the position of the model's pupils was sometimes a matter of guess work. A lot of editing went into this - the quality of posing by Sohaila was superb and it would have been a pity to leave this portrait out.

Sohaila 127

Glasses: Gan Aimh (myodisc lenses)
[L=R: -16.00]

Sohaila 126

One of my favourite portraits from this myodisc section of the photo shoot. The posing, especially the askance look, is marvelous. Thank you, Sohaila!

Sohaila 125

It's interesting to compare this portrait with those of Sohaila posing in blended myodisc glasses. One might argue that Formlenti were made for showing whereas Lentilux was made for hiding. This goes especially for the carrier lenses. The play of the light in the carrier lenses is intriguing but beautiful. The lenses are minus ten, more than twice the model's own prescription. The credible eye contact is yet another example of excellent posing by Sohaila.

Sohaila 124

A fine portrait of Sohaila posing in what must have been very expensive glasses when bought by their first owner. The big, white frame is beautiful and the Formlenti myodisc lenses put an extra accent on the shape of the frame. I am convinced that the first owner of the glasses made a deliberate choice for these expensive Formlenti. High index lenses were already available in the late 1980's. Wonderful posing indeed. Sohaila does full justice to these striking luxury glasses - and vice versa!

Sohaila 123

There are three types of myodisc lenses. In the previous four series, we saw Sohaila posing in "traditional" myodiscs and in blended myodiscs. Here she shows the third type, called Formlenti. This was an invention of the early 1970's. The difference with traditional myodiscs is that the carrier lens follows the shape of the frame. This is an elegant solution and it adds an element of luxury to these white glasses by Christian Olivier.

Sohaila 122

Glasses: Christian Olivier, late 1980's (Formlenti myodiscs)
[L: -8.50; c-1.50 v / R: -10.00; c-1.50 v]

donderdag 6 juni 2013

Sohaila 121

An extreme - but not really "over the top" - portrait of Sohaila posing in ultra heavy leopard glasses with traditional myodisc lenses, Rx -25. Note the double image of the model's eye make-up: tiny in the "bowl" and magnified in the carrier lens. A thumb rule is that each minus diopter makes the image of the eyes 2% smaller. If so, these glasses reduce the eyes to half their real size. The balance between eyes and lips is changed here in extremis. Still, this is a credible portrait because of Sohaila's marvelous posing, against all odds. Great!

Sohaila 120

When Sohaila went through the fifty glasses lying ready for selection, she all of a sudden spotted these giant leopard glasses. "What is this?!". I told her that they were glasses for extreme myopia. Sohaila has an open mind so she kindly agreed to give these extreme glasses a try. The poor lens quality and the lack of a good anti-reflective coating makes these giant leopard glasses a challenge at photo shoots. Not as bad as the black Feizai, but still. Anyway, three out of five portraits taken show the model's eyes and pupils, which is more than I had bargained for. Note the clear position of the central "bowls" which only take 40% of the glass surface. These are the only glasses in my collection in which the carrier lenses are bigger than the bowls.

Sohaila 119

Glasses: Gan Aimh, from China (myodiscs)
[L=R: -25.00]

Sohaila 118

In spite of the use of myodiscs, the lenses in these Feizai glasses from China are half an inch thick.
Blondie once had a hit called "Heart of glass". This portrait could be called "Wall of glass"!

Sohaila 117

These myodisc glasses by Feizai are definitely big and chunky so they traveled with me to Ireland and Sohaila was ready to give them a try. Although made just a few years ago, these are traditional myodisc glasses. The only problem is the lack of anti-reflective coating. This makes it next to impossible to take portraits in which the model's eyes can be seen, especially during an indoor photo shoot with mediocre light conditions. Nevertheless, this portrait came out in an acceptable manner and it did not require attempts at cosmetic surgery. Hat off for Sohaila who just kept on posing in a superb way!

Sohaila 116

Glasses: Feizai (myodiscs)
[L=R: -20.00]

Sohaila 115

The same portrait as 114, with additional editing by soft focus, creating the tunnel vision effect once seen by the first owner of these glasses, a German lady in the late 1980's. This portrait was used as preview for this photo shoot but repeated here for comparison with portrait 114.

Sohaila 114

Superb posing by Sohaila in nameless Lentilux (blended myodisc) glasses from the late 1980's. There is a sense of real focus in her look. None of the weird effects in the lenses is a product of editing. The position of both "bowls" and their surrounding carrier lens can be seen clearly. In between a horn shaped "half moon" can be seen next to the model's right eye. Note the reflection of  the inner corner of the model's right eye at the base of the "horn".

Sohaila 113

The same portrait as 112, first overall softened, then put into soft focus with a smaller (clear) central field than in portrait 111. Again, this may be very near to what the first owner of these blended myodisc glasses saw in reality. One can easily imagine her visit to the optician who made these revolutionary glasses for her. The first look in the mirror - wow.... no more extreme "cut in" effect at the sides. Then looking in the mirror from a slightly different angle, seeing all the weird image distortions. Finally, standing up (no doubt, with an empty wallet) and trying to cope with the narrow field of view and the peripheral ghost images. My first sighting of a lady in blended myodisc glasses was in Kufstein, Austria, in 1988. She did not look shy or visually impaired at all, proving that the adaptation process can be successful.

Sohaila 112

Concentrated posing by Sohaila, showing these blended myodisc glasses from their flattering angle. Even so, the light effect near the corner of the model's right eye gives a clue that there is something the matter with these glasses. The same goes for the elongation of the make-up at the corner of her left eye. This is caused by the magnifying effect of the carrier lens. The unusual light effect under the model's left eye is caused by the blended myodisc lens and it's often seen in portraits like this.

Sohaila 111

Another experiment with additional "soft focus" editing, simulating the limited field of vision experienced by the first owner of these blended myodisc glasses from the late 1980's. The focus of the viewer is right in the center of the portrait, halfway between the right side of the model's nose and the right corner of her mouth. In comparison with portrait 109 I had to enlarge the field of view a bit so that both eyes were still within the "bowl" of the camera lens, if only just. My guess is that the first owner of these glasses had a field of view somewhere halfway this portrait and portrait 109.

Sohaila 110

Impressive posing by Sohaila in blended myodisc glasses, Rx -16 / -19. There is no way of telling that these are not her own glasses. She seems to be watching something near the horizon. Good modeling requires imagination and also a sense of abstraction. Sohaila has both qualities in glorious plenty.

Sohaila 109

This intriguing portrait of Sohaila gives a fair impression of the effects seen in real life by the first owner of these glasses. Compared to the previous portrait, there is only extra step in editing: I applied the "soft focus" function and experimented with the amount of soft focus and the diameter of the central part which remained in focus. Portraits of ladies in blended myodisc glasses may be fascinating to the viewer, but let's not forget that it's a handicap if one has no alternative for these glasses in daily life. Sohaila was not bothered by the tunnel view through the lenses. The Rx of the bowls is five times her own prescription so all she saw was a massive blur. Hat off for the introspective style of posing by Sohaila. Great!

Sohaila 108

Sohaila showing the position of the bowl in front of her left eye and the surrounding carrier lens. Note the way the carrier lens around the right eye plays its tricks with the model's make-up.

This portrait is taken by a camera with "perfect eyesight". In the next portrait we see the same portrait, taken by a camera with a limited field of view, not unlike the view permitted by these blended myodisc glasses....

Sohaila 107

These nameless glasses from Germany are considerably stronger than the preceding Flair glasses. As a result, all the unusual effects created by the blended myodisc glasses shown here by Sohaila are even more pronounced than in the previous series. Here we see that the central bowl is smaller and the surrounding carrier lens is thicker. The transition zone is quite pronounced.

Sohaila 106

Glasses: Gan Aimh (Lentilux)
[L: -16.25 / R: -17.25; c-2.00 o]

Sohaila 105

Another fine portrait of Sohaila showing the transition between bowl and carrier lens from the other side.

When walking from the station to the B&B, I tried to prepare Sohaila for the unusual aspects of a photo shoot in prescription glasses. I said something like, if you compare the average photo shoot to a hard rock band, this is going to be  an "unplugged and seated" concert.

An experienced musician herself, Sohaila had no difficulty with the switch. Good!

Sohaila 104

Here Sohaila has moved her head a bit further to the right, showing the effect of the light on the transition zone between the bowl and carrier lens. The position of the bowl in front of the model's left eye is indicated by the brownish shadow. Note the double image of the corner of the model's left eye.

Sohaila 103

Highly concentrated posing by Sohaila, showing the position of the central bowl that seems to put fire into the reappearing air balloon.

Sohaila 102

Sohaila bows her head down ever so slightly. The air balloon in the previous portrait has made way for this image of a very narrow, tilted half moon.

Sohaila 101

Sohaila showing a feature unique to blended myodisc glasses: the "half moon" between the (here invisible) bowl and the surrounding carrier lens. Actually, the half moon looks more like an air balloon. Its dark colour is in fact the tiny image of the model's hair. It's one of the intricacies of blended myodisc glasses that the shape of the half moon keeps changing with the slightest movement of the head. This was quite fascinating to watch in real life. I only had a handful of such sightings. Ladies in blended myodisc glasses were always white ravens and I have not seen any in years. My video clips on You Tube (user name: Lentilux) show three models moving their heads slowly, showing the fascinating visual effect.

Sohaila 100

Upon my request, Sohaila moved her head slightly to the left. The difference with the previous portrait is a dark incision near her left temple. The "cut in" effect is only partial because of the gradual transition between "bowl" and carrier lens.

Sohaila 099

Seen "en face", the advantage of Lentilux over traditional myodisc glasses is immediately clear. There are no visible power rings and there is no "cut in" effect. The first owner of these Flair glasses was a lady with an already high myopia (minus eleven) during the 1970's. High myopia tends to be progressive and her next glasses were a nameless pair, fitted with the new blended myodiscs. In the late 1980's (at Rx - 13) she switched to blue Silhouette glasses, fitted with the latest invention, high index lenses. These lenses are thin but the problem of power rings and "cut in" effect was back. Besides, peripheral vision was not great either. So after yet another increase in the early 1990's, she bought these beautiful Flair glasses with blended myodisc (Lentilux) lenses, Rx -14. Sohaila shows the glasses almost the way their first owner must have seen herself in the mirror. Only the changed balance between eyes and lips gives away that these are quit strong glasses indeed.

Sohaila 098

For the final section of her photo shoot, Sohaila kindly obliged to pose in half a dozen glasses with myodisc lenses. The "Ladies behind crystal veil" project is not just about frames but also about lenses.

Here Sohaila poses in the most beautiful glasses from my collection, made by Flair over twenty years ago. The frame is beautiful and especially suitable for blondes. The lenses are blended myodiscs (also called  Lentilux). This was an invention from the early 1980's. It's aim was giving extremely shortsighted people an alternative for the traditional myodisc glasses.

A myodisc lens consists of a central "bowl" (with the visual  correction required) and a surrounding carrier lens which is usually plano or magnifying. The traditional myodisc glasses were often seen in the streets of my native Amsterdam until contact lenses became widely available in the late 1960's. Somehow, ladies in myodisc glasses seemed to be a bit shy when I looked at them. Perhaps this had to do with the fact that myodisc lenses were only used when ordinary lenses became too thick to be fitted in glasses. Call it a visual stigma. Blended myodisc lenses brought a more attractive alternative in an aesthetic way. The down side was that the gradual transition from "bowl" to carrier lens further reduced the field of view. Also, it took quite a while to get used to the ghostly images caused by the transition zone between bowl and carrier lens. The remedy was looking straight ahead and turning the head in the proper direction.

Sohaila 097

Glasses: Flair, early 1990's (Lentilux)
[L: -13.00; c-1.00 v / R: -14.00]

woensdag 5 juni 2013

Sohaila 096

Tall is beautiful when it's about modeling. Strong is beautiful.when it's about posing in prescription glasses. This portrait of top model Sohaila concludes the section in which she poses in well chosen glasses from my contemporary collection. Time for the finale of this photo shoot....

Sohaila 095

Sohaila showing a wooden detail on the arms of these giant Zenni glasses. Again, superb posing through lenses of minus eight. The model's own prescription is just below minus four.

Sohaila 094

A beautiful "en face" portrait of Sohaila - again, the eye contact is superb. Excellent posing indeed.

Sohaila 093

A fine black and white portrait of Sohaila in 1970's style. The eye contact is great. There is no way of telling that these are not her own glasses.

Sohaila 092

These giant Zenni glasses were acquired last year. When my partner Nel first saw them, she could not believe that the glasses were brand new: "They look exactly like my big glasses in the seventies!". Indeed, the glasses have a strong 1970's feel about them although the frame material is definitely modern.

Sohaila 091

Glasses: Zenni 1101
[L=R: -8.00]

Sohaila 090

Another fine portrait of beautiful Sohaila in modern cat eye glasses by Zenni.

Sohaila 089

A beautiful, classic portrait showing an excellent match between model and glasses. The posing by Sohaila is second to none. She looks really stunning in these giant cat eye glasses.

Sohaila 088

In their heyday, most of the cat eye glasses were of average size. Half a century ago, a giant pair like this by Zenni would have caused a sensation. In the present days, it really stands out because of the classic frame shape. Note the tiny glittery dots on the front of the frame. Nice!

Sohaila 087

These giant cat eye glasses by Zenni are a recent arrival. They seemed to fit well within Shaila's preference for big, chunky frames so the glasses were packed for my journey to Ireland. Note the perfect way the frame follows the model's eyebrows.

Sohaila 086

Cat eye glasses had their heyday from the mid 1950's until the early 1960's. Several attempts were made to give them a revival but so far, in vain. So here is a portrait of Sohaila posing in a nostalgic setting.

Sohaila 085

Zenni 6206
[L=R: -8.00]

Sohaila 084

Another fine portrait of Sohaila in giant Zenni glasses, Rx -8.00

Sohaila 083

A beautiful portrait of top model Sohaila in extravagant green glasses by Zenni. She had to handle the glasses with great care as the frame (made of a material much like PVC) is cracked.