Negative Space

Negative space, is not exactly a new invention, for centuries it has been used in art and architecture to describe the surrounding area around the main object. When looking at the many published photos it seems to be an area people do not understand or take into consideration. It is sin not to, while it applies equally to photography. Changing the though process, use negative space proactively will transform your compositions and be a decisive factor toward taking those breathtaking shots.

Our trip to Rømø in rain was as rewarding

 

Why is it so hard

Our brain is very convinced on what we see, very little visual feed is needed before our brain lies to us, telling that we are seeing a good image, Unfortunately these preconceptions distort the way we view a scene and leads the false impression that our photo is good, where as a fact it is not. When well balanced, negative space is the counter balance, and emphasizes the main subject of the photo, leading the eye, taking the lid of your perception, and giving space to your expressions.

It also counters you photos being too busy, and appearing too cluttered with “stuff. But remember it is tricky; it is not just about adding space, it is about getting the right balance. It is not an area you learn thought a blog or a book; it has to come in with practice and time, a lot of time.

Heading out

When composing your photo, strive for a photo where thee negative and positive spaces balances well against each other, be greedy, make sure to include more than plenty of surrounding empty space, the subject you have your focus on doesn’t have to take up all the space of the photo. If you get to much negative space it is easy to crop it away.

I have more than once had the pleasure to link to a true artist and friend Johan Rastenberger, here is his “Robert & Lina” illustration of white space/negative space

Taking it further, don’t be frustrated

Succeeding with negative space takes time; personally I look at it as a road I’ll never be able to walk to the end. Focusing on the main subject in a scene comes so naturally, and including negative space is contrary to what we have learned. Considering negative space will make you consider each element in your scene more carefully, leading to much stronger compositions.

11 thoughts on “Negative Space”

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