Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ideas For Composition: Negative Space


This is the 3rd article in this series. To read the other articles: (1) Framing, (2) Diagonals (4) Backgrounds (5) Multiples.

Negative space is any area in a photograph where there is NOT an object. You can have a lot of negative space, or very little. Both effects can be useful and harmful. In a photograph where there is too much negative space, the main point of focus can seem lost. In reverse, a photograph with too little negative space appears to be crowded.

The placement of negative space is also an important decision. A photographer must decide if the negative space is better to the left or right of an object, or above or below it. With moving objects, you generally want the greater negative space to fall before it, in the direction the object is moving. This gives the appearance that there is somewhere for that object to go.

Crescent Moon

My Little Beach Umbrella

Dendrobium Orchids


Sunset, American Coots

Negative space needn't always be empty space. It can be large areas that are out of focus, or a large expanse of something, such as water or sky. It is also an effective way to isolate your subject, thereby drawing the viewer's eye to a single object.

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Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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