Negative Space in Photography (5 Ways to Use Negative Space in a Photograph)

Today, we are gonna talk about using negative space to turn an average photo into an outstanding one. Negative space, sometimes referred to as white space, is a concept that’s been used in art, design, architecture, and sculpture for hundreds of years. It’s equally useful in photography. So let’s check it out.

Negative space is the area surrounding the main subject in a photograph that is left unoccupied. Put simply, negative space is the area that surrounds the main subject in your photo (the main subject is known as the “positive space”).

For example, the bird in this image forms the positive space while the sky is the negative space

Negative space defines and emphasises the main subject of a photo, drawing your eye to it. It provides “breathing room”, giving your eyes somewhere to rest and preventing your image from appearing too cluttered with “stuff”.

How to Use Negative Space in Your Photography

1. Frame in-camera

The best way to use negative space is to adjust your composition while shooting, until the positive and negative spaces in the scene feel well balanced against one another. 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.

2. Sense of Scale

Negative space surrounding your main subject can portray a sense of scale/size to the viewer. The further back you are from your subject, the smaller they would appear, achieving a greater atmosphere, with a completely different ambiance. This works perfectly when standing next to large structures and buildings.

3. Depth of Field

Shooting with a wide aperture (low f-number) can easily help you create negative space around your subject. Take these flowers for example. An out-of-focus, green background can be pleasing when capturing flower photography, as it is what you would expect to see. Be sure that there are no distracting elements in the background as this can take the simplicity out of the shot.

4. Filled up Negative Space

We usually think of negative space to be large plain areas of sky, grass, or water, for example. But this is not the only way to show negative space in an image. The negative space in an image does not have to be a blank area or white space. Things can be in the negative space area, but they should never be the main subjects. eg Here the objects in the negative space are there, but they don’t draw your attention at first glance. Instead, they push your eyes to the area of positive space first.

5. Adjust in post-processing

Another way is to go through your old pictures and reedit them in Photoshop or Lightroom, experimenting with different crops to see how they affect the overall feel of the shot. This is a great way to learn how to use negative space, and it’s amazing how a small change in composition can make a big difference to the effectiveness of a photo.

Using negative space is an easy way to create beautiful, minimalist photographs that hold a dramatic impact. Having large spans of empty space can really draw the viewer in.

I hope you liked my blog. Do let me know your suggestions and thoughts in the comments section. Thank you!

Also Read – Rule Of Space in Photography






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