I’m not that familiar with Christof Nieman’s work but I occasionally use his website to educate myself. I first saw his work in ‘Abstract’ on Netflix illustrator’s back in 2017 (I date my notes) and I’ve stumbled over his name intermittently ever since.
You might think that his televisual advice to ‘Be a much more ruthless editor, and be a much more careless artist’ would suit my style of photography very well. Take tens of photos and brutally select just one. Of course, I don’t follow this advice and so I have more than 100,000 active photographs in my Adobe Lightroom and Apple Photos databases.
So in effect, I am carelessly ruthless which is not at all what he was advising.
I was thinking about and writing notes for a different journal entry and wondering what photo I could use as eye candy for the post. And I came across Grey Squirrel. I’ll publish the other soon but meantime the dilemma of illustrations is in front of me and I’m making it the subject for today.
You may not like the one Grey Squirrel picture I kept. Except that there are many versions, including one that I propose as a scarf design. So I thought I’d post them all here with a little explanation.
An original shot, taken from inside with window reflections across the tree. The squirrel decided to move as I lined up the shot and this was the best. But 1/25th of a second was too long for a handheld camera to freeze him on a very dull day.
You might like the contrasting architectural geometries and the overlain natural, random patterns as much as I did. But how do you male the most of them and convey what interested you in the first place?
Should they be strong colours or monochrome? And what shape, aspect ratio enhances the image?
Or you might come back to the photo a decade later and decide it would make an interesting design on a soft scarf.
By the way, I captioned the scarf design Uxbridge Grey as a minor joke. The average colour of the image is #666b6f which is computerese for mid-grey. The squirrel was grey, the skies were grey and I was alone in Uxbridge in a grey mood.
I concluded that reductive, ruthless editing may be easier than finding the careless artistry I’d like to wear around my neck.