woensdag 24 maart 2010
Glasses: pince nez, between 1900 and 1930
[L: -5.25 / R: -6.50]
This nostalgic portrait concludes this memorable
photo shoot. Five years ago, Conny was the model
for the sleeve photo of my solo CD "Crystal Veil"
and it's great she is back as a true "Lady behind
Conny, dear friend, I can't thank you enough for
your tireless posing in the whole gamut of eyeware.
Antique, old, more recent and modern, from
"average minus" to myodiscs.... it did not make
any difference. You are wonderful in all styles!
These 1980's style Metzler glasses have high
index lenses, neatly covered by the round frame
which is thicker near the arms. In some of the
preceding portraits in myodiscs, the mirror only
served as part of the navigation process. Here,
the right lens is almost exactly in Conny's own
Rx, so this check of her looks in the mirror is a
Conny in beautiful 1990's Trend myodiscs,
showing another interesting feature of Lentilux
lenses. Here, the sunlight is projected on the
model's right cheek, creating a visual extension
of the frame. This fascinating effect only
appears in portraits with Lentilux glasses
Conny in beautiful 1990's Trend myodiscs
and pearls. The lenses are Lentilux, but the
transition zone between bowl and carrier
lens is more abrupt than in the preceding
lenticulars. There is a considerable difference
between the vertical position of the bowls
as well. I don't know why they were made
that way. The glasses look as if they were
hardly ever used when I got them. Two
features in this portrait are worth mentioning.
The model's right eye looks smaller than her
left eye and this may have to do with the
central position of the right eye within the
corrective bowl and the peripheral position
of the left eye. The same effect can be seen
in many portraits of previous models in
Lentilux glasses. There is also a partial "double
eye" effect, due to the peripheral position of
the left eye from this angle
Conny in recently acquired lenticular glasses
from Germany. Their Rx is considerably stronger
than the preceding myodiscs and as a result, the
effects of the Lentilux system are more prominent
in these portraits. This goes especially for the half
moon and the abrupt transition near the model's
A question I asked myself several times during my
photo shoots is about esthetics in myodisc portraits:
where is the limit between beauty and a freak show?
I admire the art work of Stephan and Sandra from
Augsburg ("Planet Myopia") and the open hearted
way Sandra talks about her change in attitude towards
wearing myodiscs in everyday life. She emphasizes
that it's not the amount of diopters that counts, but
self confidence. And I do beleive she is right! Even
in the -20 to -25 range, many of her portraits are
quite attractive and she may be called a role model
- or ambassador- for other extreme myopic ladies
This beautiful, sunny portrait of lady Conny in
Lentilux myodiscs is one of my favourites.
Note the absence of power rings and cut in
effects in this "en face" portrait. The first owner
of these extreme glasses must have been quite
pleased when she saw herself in the mirror for
the first time
Glasses: nameless, mid 1980's (Lentilux)
[L: -11.50; c-1.00 v / R: -12.00; c-1.00 v]
Conny in another pair of Lentilux glasses from
the same source as the Flair glasses in her
portraits 170-175. This mid 1980's frame
is considerably higher and as a result, the
corrective bowl does not reach the bottom
rim of the frame. The carrier lens has a plus
Rx and therefore it "folds back" and does not
stick out from behind the frame. The erratic
play of light and shade is another effect of
Lentilux, absent in alternative solutions.
The first owner of the glasses was definitely
a lady of taste, experimenting with Lentilux
and high index glasses which can be seen in
some of my previous photo shoots
dinsdag 23 maart 2010
These beautiful Lentilux glasses only conceal
their secrets when seen almost "en profil".
The transition between corrective bowl and
carrier lens can be seen in front of Conny's
right eye. The positive carrier lens in front of
the left eye is playing tricks with the model's
make up. The effect is quite lively when seen
in motion. Lentilux was a fascinating invention.
The major disadvantage may have been the
distortion of the image when the first owner
of the glasses looked towards the rims of her
glasses. The frame of these 1990's Flair
myodiscs is really lady like and flattering,
especially for blondes. Thanks, Conny, for
posing in them to great effect!
The "Ladies behind crystal veil" project will
have an exposition in an art gallery in September.
Art or not - a favourable comment was given when
the arrangements for the exposition were made:
"The portraits are quite natural and they show the
models the way they really are in everyday life".
This is certainly what I intended when this series
of photo shoots started. It's also a counterweight
against the "intrusive" effect of glasses that are not
my models' own glasses and that have a Rx that
differs from the model's own Rx. Before starting
the project, I carefully studied the great work of
Alain from Paris. In his fascinating website "High
Myopic Girls" he creates girls that "exist and don't
exist" at the same time.
In my own project, I take a few steps into Alain's
approach, but the vast majority of my portraits
remains closer to the lady as she is in everyday life.
The obvious tension between natural model and
formula can be seen in my portraits as well, but
in a milder way.
Doing these photo shoots is a massive learning
process. I enjoy experimenting without overdoing it.
My aim is a playful subtleness.
These thoughts ran through my mind when I saw this
lovely and above all, natural portrait of Conny in
"alien" Zenni glasses with a Rx three diopters above
and below her own Rx.
The beauty lies in the contradicition - and yes, that's
what art - or at least a part of it - is all about.
I hesitate to call this an art project, it's only a mild
contradiction in most of the portraits - so let's keep it
at "mild art" for now....