The positive impact of ‘Negative Space’

What is Negative Space'

Negative space is a concept that's been used in art, design, architecture, and sculpture for many years and can bring a new creative edge to many photos, sometimes turning an average photo into an outstanding one.

Negative space is simply the area surrounding the main subject in a photo, it can give your photos an entirely different feel, and create an atmosphere that a photo of the same subject filling the frame will lack. The absence of content does not mean the absence of interest, in fact negative space often adds interest as it can draw the viewers eye and place a stronger emphasis on the subject, be it a person a flower or an interesting graphic.

I love to use negative space, and the opportunities are endless, the following are some of my images that I hope will inspire you for your own photography.

NegSpace-02
Negative space also provides a little 'breathing room', giving your eyes somewhere to rest and preventing your image from appearing too cluttered with unnecessary detail, all of this adds up to a more engaging composition.
NegSpace-03

How to use Negative Space

Mastering the use of negative space can take a little time and practise, probably because we're so used to focusing on the main subject in a scene that it can seem strange to treat it almost as an afterthought. However, doing so will make you consider each element in your scene more carefully, leading to much stronger compositions
NegSpace-04
Be generous with the amount of empty space you leave, and don't feel you have to cram something interesting into every square inch of the frame. It's amazing how a small change in composition can make a big difference to the effectiveness of a photo..
NegSpace-05
NegSpace-06
NegSpace-07
Getting the balance right between your subject and the amount of negative space can be tricky and of course is rather subjective, but it's something you'll get better at with time and practice.
NegSpace-08
NegSpace-09
NegSpace-10
NegSpace-11
[do action="tl-linktocurriculum1"] [/do]
2017-05-29T16:22:15+00:00

2 Comments

  1. Ian Crowson October 24, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Some excellent examples here. I must try to apply this technique myself. I love the BW portrait of the man.
    Ian Crowson

  2. Bernie October 24, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Thanks Ian,

    Do you mean the close up of the older guy? That was taken at one of my ‘Off-Camera flash’ workshops at a local camera club.

    I was very pleased wit it too.

Leave A Comment

Discover the pros' favourite lighting trick
Natural Light Portrait tip e-document
         This one quick tip will change the way you take portraits - forever!

Your information will not be shared to anyone.