A Weird yet Powerful Photography Composition Rule - "Leave Negative Space" to shoot Great Photographs

In one of the recent blogposts, I talked about filling the frame works well as a compositional tool. Now I am going to tell you that doing the exact opposite works well too. Leaving a lot of empty or ‘negative’ space around your subject can be very attractive. It creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism. Like filling the frame, it helps the viewer focus on the main subject without distractions. Negative space may make you think about something that is not good. But negative space in photography is also often referred to as white space or minimalism photography. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s truly a unique technique to try out in your photography practice.    Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Simplicity and Minimalism

In one of the recent blogposts, I talked about filling the frame works well as a compositional tool. Now I am going to tell you that doing the exact opposite works well too. Leaving a lot of empty or ‘negative’ space around your subject can be very attractive. It creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism. Like filling the frame, it helps the viewer focus on the main subject without distractions. Negative space may make you think about something that is not good. But negative space in photography is also often referred to as white space or minimalism photography. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s truly a unique technique to try out in your photography practice.


We sometimes tend to fill our compositions with lots of objects, shapes, & colors. When we talk about negative space, it’s the opposite that rules. The final image is mostly composed of blank or neutral space, and a small portion of the composition has an actual object in it.    Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Isolate the Subject in your photograph

We sometimes tend to fill our compositions with lots of objects, shapes, & colors. When we talk about negative space, it’s the opposite that rules. The final image is mostly composed of blank or neutral space, and a small portion of the composition has an actual object in it.


While we talk about negative space, let's also understand what defined positive space. Positive space is the area in the photo that attracts the viewer’s eye. It’s the main subject that commands attention in the composition. This is usually where the eye goes first.

While we talk about negative space, let's also understand what defined positive space. Positive space is the area in the photo that attracts the viewer’s eye. It’s the main subject that commands attention in the composition. This is usually where the eye goes first.



Negative space is the space in the composition that is typically the background. It usually doesn’t attract very much attention but there to support positive space or make positive space richer. It is used to define or contour the positive space. In above photograph, all the dark spaces are enhancing the light hitting these trees. Imagine I crop it and remove the majority of dark parts. This photograph may not be as interesting or I would say, it will be pretty boring. So that's how negative space enhanced positive space.     Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Fill The Frame

Negative space is the space in the composition that is typically the background. It usually doesn’t attract very much attention but there to support positive space or make positive space richer. It is used to define or contour the positive space. In above photograph, all the dark spaces are enhancing the light hitting these trees. Imagine I crop it and remove the majority of dark parts. This photograph may not be as interesting or I would say, it will be pretty boring. So that's how negative space enhanced positive space. 


The composition which makes good use of negative space, emphasises the subject in the photo and also adds a unique value to it. This type of composition is powerful and when done correctly, can take your photography from ordinary to truly impressive.    Le me take an example of above jelly fish photograph to explain how much space to keep around your subject. How much empty space to use can depend on the strength of your main subject and how dramatic you want the image to be. Generally, the more powerful your subject, the more space you can include around it.    Related Blogpost - Creating High-Tone Effect in Portraits using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom || Post-Processing Tips

The composition which makes good use of negative space, emphasises the subject in the photo and also adds a unique value to it. This type of composition is powerful and when done correctly, can take your photography from ordinary to truly impressive.

Le me take an example of above jelly fish photograph to explain how much space to keep around your subject. How much empty space to use can depend on the strength of your main subject and how dramatic you want the image to be. Generally, the more powerful your subject, the more space you can include around it.


In negative space photography, the photographer uses the space that is usually not the primary focus and uses it to fill in most of the composition. The negative space commands more attention than the positive space and creates a unique perspective. It also adds definition and can create strong emotions.    Related Blogpost - Quick-Tips to click Great Selfies with your Phone Camera


In negative space photography, the photographer uses the space that is usually not the primary focus and uses it to fill in most of the composition. The negative space commands more attention than the positive space and creates a unique perspective. It also adds definition and can create strong emotions.



This photo has a bird with blue sky, which is using this sky as negative space. The bird is obviously the main subject but I have left plenty of space filled only by sky around it. This focuses our attention on the bird itself while giving the main subject ‘space to breath’. The composition also creates a sense of simplicity. There is nothing complicated about the scene. It is a bird surrounded by sky, that is all. I also used the rule of thirds to place the bird to the right of the frame.    Related Blogpost - Tips to click Great People Portraits with your Phone Camera

This photo has a bird with blue sky, which is using this sky as negative space. The bird is obviously the main subject but I have left plenty of space filled only by sky around it. This focuses our attention on the bird itself while giving the main subject ‘space to breath’. The composition also creates a sense of simplicity. There is nothing complicated about the scene. It is a bird surrounded by sky, that is all. I also used the rule of thirds to place the bird to the right of the frame.


It can be a little daunting at first when you begin to do negative space photography. Not all attempts will be successful. There are opportunities to create negative space photography practically everywhere around you. You have to know how to observe and apply a few techniques to achieve amazing negative space masterpieces.    Related Blogpost - Understanding & Observing Lighting conditions is critical step to create Great Photographs

It can be a little daunting at first when you begin to do negative space photography. Not all attempts will be successful. There are opportunities to create negative space photography practically everywhere around you. You have to know how to observe and apply a few techniques to achieve amazing negative space masterpieces.


Using negative space in your photos is one of the easiest ways to achieve simplicity in your compositions. Including large expanses of empty space helps your subjects stand out, creates natural balance and evokes strong emotions in the viewer.      Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Change your 'Point of View' in Photography


Using negative space in your photos is one of the easiest ways to achieve simplicity in your compositions. Including large expanses of empty space helps your subjects stand out, creates natural balance and evokes strong emotions in the viewer.      Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Change your 'Point of View' in Photography

Using negative space in your photos is one of the easiest ways to achieve simplicity in your compositions. Including large expanses of empty space helps your subjects stand out, creates natural balance and evokes strong emotions in the viewer. 



It’s often the space around your subject that gives the shot more interest, so bear that in mind next time you take a photograph.    So it's important to think whether filling the frame with your subject would mean the context would be lost. If the answer is yes, and the context of the surroundings is important in telling your story, take a few steps back and include the space around your subject.    Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Use Frames

It’s often the space around your subject that gives the shot more interest, so bear that in mind next time you take a photograph.

So it's important to think whether filling the frame with your subject would mean the context would be lost. If the answer is yes, and the context of the surroundings is important in telling your story, take a few steps back and include the space around your subject.


Negative space is a concept that’s been used in art, design and architecture for centuries and photography is no exception. Using negative space can help turn an average photo into a truly outstanding one. It can bring creativity and emotion to your photos, as well as help you tell a story with your image.

Negative space is a concept that’s been used in art, design and architecture for centuries and photography is no exception. Using negative space can help turn an average photo into a truly outstanding one. It can bring creativity and emotion to your photos, as well as help you tell a story with your image.

One way of simplifying the scene is to get close and fill the frame with your subject, but another technique is to include a lot of space around the subject. In order for the composition to be simple, that space would need to be uncluttered, such as a large expanse of sky or a plain wall. Above photograph shows large sky space with beautiful colors with that tiny plane flying up.

One way of simplifying the scene is to get close and fill the frame with your subject, but another technique is to include a lot of space around the subject. In order for the composition to be simple, that space would need to be uncluttered, such as a large expanse of sky or a plain wall. Above photograph shows large sky space with beautiful colors with that tiny plane flying up. 

By placing your subject within an uncluttered scene, you are simplifying the composition of your image. This focusses the attention directly onto your subject, giving that subject more power within the image. In above photograph, clutter of negative space is surpassed further through shallow depth of field.

By placing your subject within an uncluttered scene, you are simplifying the composition of your image. This focusses the attention directly onto your subject, giving that subject more power within the image. In above photograph, clutter of negative space is surpassed further through shallow depth of field. 

In one of the recent blogposts, I talked about filling the frame works well as a compositional tool. Now I am going to tell you that doing the exact opposite works well too. Leaving a lot of empty or ‘negative’ space around your subject can be very attractive. It creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism. Like filling the frame, it helps the viewer focus on the main subject without distractions. Negative space may make you think about something that is not good. But negative space in photography is also often referred to as white space or minimalism photography. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s truly a unique technique to try out in your photography practice.    Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Simplicity and Minimalism

In one of the recent blogposts, I talked about filling the frame works well as a compositional tool. Now I am going to tell you that doing the exact opposite works well too. Leaving a lot of empty or ‘negative’ space around your subject can be very attractive. It creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism. Like filling the frame, it helps the viewer focus on the main subject without distractions. Negative space may make you think about something that is not good. But negative space in photography is also often referred to as white space or minimalism photography. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s truly a unique technique to try out in your photography practice.    Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Simplicity and Minimalism

In one of the recent blogposts, I talked about filling the frame works well as a compositional tool. Now I am going to tell you that doing the exact opposite works well too. Leaving a lot of empty or ‘negative’ space around your subject can be very attractive. It creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism. Like filling the frame, it helps the viewer focus on the main subject without distractions. Negative space may make you think about something that is not good. But negative space in photography is also often referred to as white space or minimalism photography. There’s nothing bad about it. It’s truly a unique technique to try out in your photography practice.    Related Blogpost - Photography Composition Rules - Simplicity and Minimalism

Another interesting article on using Negative Space in Photography : iPhone Photography School


Comments

Trending Post Today !

Travel & Music || Enchanting Himachal and its Charming Songs

3 Fantastic stories from last 3 months of Pandemic to share how serious Amazon is about it's value 'Customer Obsession'

Chamera Hydroelectric Project near Dalhousie @ Himachal Pradesh

Travel & Music - a brilliant photo for each song, a memorable song for each photo - Part 3