Creative Use of Negative Space for Impactful Photo
The area of a photograph that is not taken up by the subject(s) is known as negative space. It can also be called “empty space” or “white space,” and it has a big influence on the balance of the image.
Negative space can be used to provide an attractive contrast to the main subject(s) and direct the viewer’s eye to them. It is also used to establish a sense of depth, as well as a feeling of simplicity and minimalism. When the subject(s) occupy only a small section of the frame, the image can be either imbued with a sense of peace and tranquility or the intense visual tension.
Overall, negative space is an important compositional element in photography, and its creative use can lead to photographs that are visually engaging, balanced, and aesthetically pleasing.
This was shot in a foggy morning at Nick’s Cove, California. The negative space above and below the pier, creates minimalistic composition, conveying the sense of peace and tranquility.
This was shot in cypress swamps in Louisiana. The dark negative space around the frame naturally showcases the brightly lit trees in the center.
This was shot in backwaters of Kerala, India. The negative space around the fishermen, creates a simple composition, focusing viewers’ eyes immediately on the fishermen.
This was shot in Li River, Guilin, China. The vast negative space of color and contrast that occupied by the wake, creates an intense visual tension on the tiny speed boat at the bottom of the image.
“I just wanted to thank you for another wonderful class. I have to confess that each week when I read the new assignment, my first reaction was mild panic and a deep certainty that I would not be able to produce anything worthwhile that fit within the parameters you had set. But before I knew it, the ideas started to flow, and I quickly became obsessed (no, that isn’t too strong a word!) with exploring the possibilities. I can honestly say that the photos I produced in response to your assignments are among my favorites. Thanks for bringing out a creative side I didn’t know I had!”
“Thank you so very much for this course! It’s allowed me to take the blinders off and present my images for what I want them to be without being a slave to the “reality” of the camera. I would also add that in conjunction with your printing course, this has been the most useful course I’ve ever taken. Your notes are more than comprehensive and your comments and critiques are direct, clear, and always directed to the improvement of the art.”
” I want to thank you for this class and for your patience and availability to answer all of my questions. I have learned very much through this class. I have used LR in the past, but mostly for editing images. I now have a better grasp in the organization of my images, an even better understanding of editing images, and an understanding of the value of presets. I still have a lot to learn, but this has put me on the road to be able to improve my photography. Again, thank you! ”