Photography Ideas -- Creative Use Of Negative Space

RSS Author RSS     Views:N/A
Bookmark and Share          Republish
If you find yourself looking over this article, it's likely that you are interested in some good ideas for photo projects. So long as you are going to be investing some time on a photo project, why not choose a project that develops your photography skills. This short article presents one particular skill, negative space, which you can use for a photography project that can help to develop your skills.

Negative Space

Any image is composed of three components:

Frame: The image is surrounded by the frame. Essentially, the frame sets the boundaries of the image.
Positive Space: The positive space is composed of the objects that the image is all about. Put simply, it is the main subject of the photo.
Negative Space The space between the positive space and the frame.

When composing photographs, many people are inclined to think primarily in terms of the positive space. Put simply, they think mainly about the main subject of the photo. The negative space, that surrounds the positive space, receives very little thought. If it receives any consideration at all, it is more of an afterthought. This is not the best way to compose an image! When correctly used, the negative space can serve two very important functions:

First: The negative space can help tell the story of the positive space. That is, it helps to define or characterize the positive space.
Second: The negative space can make the positive space stand out.

The negative space can function to help define the positive space by providing detail about the positive space. As one example, a photograph may display part of a bridge. However, there may be few details that offer any suggestions of where the bridge is located. Is the subject that forms the positive space in a crowded, urban park or in a forest? We can not tell from the close-up. The positive space of the image can only be better defined with more details. Now, imagine that the photographer chose to zoom out. In that case, some of the environment around the positive space would be seen (perhaps, the adjoining environment was a beautiful mountain location). This would create a negative space that helps to define the positive space.

While using a negative space can certainly strengthen an image, there is one thing that ought to be avoided. The negative space must never be permitted to overpower the positive space as this would serve to deteriorate the image. For instance, in this example, the negative space might be rendered to some degree out of focus so that it won't compete with the positive space.

The negative space can also help to make the positive space stand out. This is due to the fact the negative space can help to control the attention of a viewer. It does this by helping to lead the viewer's attention to the positive space. To make the negative space more effective at focusing the attention, all unproductive detail must be removed from the negative space. Making the negative space contrast in some manner (e.g., in tone, color, or pattern) with the positive space is another way to make the positive space stand out.

So the moral of the story is that each of these two spaces has to be thoroughly considered when an image is composed. In simple terms, photographers need to pay as much attention to the negative space as they do the positive space.

Just remember, paying attention to the negative space helps produce better photos.

How About a Photography Project

So, are you ready to set up a photography project? Why not produce a portfolio of images with negative spaces that function to strengthen the images?

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this article functioned to get you moving on a photography project. However, there is much more that can be learned.

Are you ready to review some more photography ideas? To discover many other great ideas, visit Useful Photography Ideas.

Report this article

Bookmark and Share

Ask a Question about this Article