So, here it is! My very first Leica picture! Now: smooth, beautiful bokeh (this photo jargon term refers to the blurred quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photograph) is one of the famous features of the Leica images, and I take it as my aim right from the beginning, playing with the depth of field of my pictures (in a very extreme fashion in this my very first shot!). I then made a similar photo with my iPhone 7 Plus:
Only months ago, Apple added a special bokeh feature to their Photos app in a new portrait picture mode, which I used for this shot. But you see: those blurred figures simply seem to become smoke, while, in my Leica shot, they remain solid-like (and with nuanced colors and textures) nearly all the way to their edge. I also found grosser distorsions in the iPhone rendering of this portrait bokeh effect (for instance, the edge of a foccused tree leaf, when examined in detail, gets invaded by the blurred area behind it), although you can expect improved performance with future updates. Your iPhone's rendering of such bokeh can, nevertheless, appear sort of attractive, as is the case with the general look of its images. See this picture I took back in May:
Still quite 'smoky', though. No: flat smartphone photography, no matter how superficially good-looking, is simply unable to do pictures with the richness of this one I took yesterday with the Leica TL:
When I first saw it, I fell instantly in love: not big Japanese plasticky mass-production, but small German solid aluminium craftmanship (alas!: the production of the TL lenses is partly japanized, though, which is what, while still expensive, makes the purchase affordable anyway!); sleek, clean, minimalist, simple operation... I loved it on the spot!
The page "the returner: back to the future" is being updated with the recent addition of a new video (the story of the murderous ectoplasm attacking me back in late April), the 15 year compilation (2002-2016) of my Asian detour and, now, a totally refurbished (and frankly much much better, much more engaging) new version of my "multimedia curriculum", which I present here and has already been added to "the returner...".
Because the blog is less a place for unflinchingly insisting on the honourable theme subject of a website and more a freer space where the blogger's soul can shine with less hesitation too, here I allow for a little conceit of my own...
Only a tiny fraction of the pictures shown here have been taken by myself. The authors that I can now recall are my father (Luis Ayllón), my elder brother (Juan Luis Ayllón), our 10+ year travel companions (Ana Ballesteros and Pilar Sánchez), my younger brother (Fernando Ayllón), my dearest old bosom friend (Ángeles Canzobre), my Tibetan Studies' PhD mate (Mara Arizaga), Chinese staff of my workplace whose names are unknown to me, long forgotten Chinese and Korean students of mine, a few strangers and a machine! All of them helped to shape the last 15 years or so of my life and to unfold this video-presentation.
It all began as a mere coincidence finding a book on colour design for the web at the bookstore. (I have long wanted to learn something about colour, which I barely understand at all!). I got frantic for a week, buying and reading several books, plus downloading and trying apps, all about the use of colour in design. I realized that my website, although... "interesting", was also kind of dull. It needed a graphic designer!: myself!
I designed a colour palette: a base colour, two main colours, three accent colours. The site has changed dramatically!, it looks crispier, more attractive, while retaining the somehow sophisticated overall quality I still aim for it to convey.
Last, also by mere chance, I discovered that I had been totally misunderstanding the instructions of my website plattform (Virb) about the size format of the photos in the headings of several pages!! Several more days of frantic activity ensued, re-designing this facet of the site, which is critical for an efficaceous presentation.
It totally looks different, and for the good!
If last year was the birth of ths site, 2017 is the redesigning year, where it begins to enter maturity...
I have lately been super-busy designing and implementing a watermark, and the task of re-uploading to the site its pictures, now with the watermark on, has begun and will continue in the coming days/weeks.
So here you see the name of the site's URL, plus the little blue-violet thingy (the logo mark of myself, Fran Ayllón): very much like a true logo for the site. The watermark is actually the combination of this logo with the Creative Commons badge.
I have nothing to protect (you are warmly invited to re-use and transform the images), but I like the idea of, if you wish, signing. This is a signature that, yes, does represent myself, but, more importantly so, represents a vision and a project hopefully deserving of credit. I am only asking for a little sense of fair play.
I had totally neglected this aspect until, a couple of weeks ago, I discovered a beautiful blog on roughly Norse historic-cultural matters, valkyrja.com, which also surprised me as being made with an aesthetic look quite similar to that of my crafthumanitas.is. Valkyrja's very finely watermarked photos were an inspiration.
After several months building up this site, in these days of November my life is taking an unexpected turn as I am truly becoming a blogonaut!!
To jump to the infinite abyss of the outer blogospace feels both exciting and scary! It brings me back 14 months ago to the Australian great barrier rift. I will never forget the emotional tsunami that invaded me at the very moment of dropping off the boat for my first session of sea diving ever.
Yes, I had been to the sea many, many times. But then, all of a sudden, I found myself floating in the vast expanse of the open ocean, far away from the coast, lost in the infinitude. It was overwhelmingly scary!
But this only lasted perhaps for ten or twenty seconds, after which, diving there was one of the most fascinating experiences of my life.
Just something like that I feel these days leaping in the blogospace. But I know it is right the thing to be done! Here I go, blogonaut Fran Ayllón, into one of the greatest adventures of my already quite long life!