What is negative space?
Here are some examples....
A black and white photo shows negative and positive space (the subject) clearly.
There is negative space between them and around them. I placed them at the bottom right to create tension. Can you read a dialogue here?
The paving in this image is negative space.
The lines fall diagonally which, together with the shadow, and placing of the subjects creates balance and movement.
The image below is the same subject but not as good composition, can you see why?
The couple's shadow falls outside the frame of the shot.
The tension is lost, it seems unfinished, messy.
The vast expanse of paving criss-crossing over the canvas (negative space) draws your eye towards the skateboarder.
Draw a 3 x 3 grid over this image, the skateboarders chest is bisected by two of the lines.
This is the rule of thirds. Key parts of an overall image look best at the intersections of these lines.
Introducing another person changes the dynamic. What story is this now telling?
How does negative space work with colour images?
This photograph shows the flowering habit of this plant. Each flower is distinct from the other, created by negative space helped by using a blank background. This would be more difficult to achieve in a garden setting. But there are ways around this.
This image was published in The Garden (RHS).
The grass becomes the negative space here.
This photograph featured in The Simple Things.
This is the most technically tricky shot of the bunch. Negative space is created by setting a wide aperture rendering most of the foliage out of focus. Except the rose and also the leaf, which becomes part of the narrative of the image.
This photo appeared in Gardens Illustrated.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.