“I’m filling in all the negative spaces with positively everything.”
– Edie Brickell
Negative space may tend to suggest 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 and color. 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.
This type of composition emphasizes 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.
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.
This 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.
This is the space in the composition that is typically the background. It usually doesn’t attract very much attention and is, in most cases, the intention of the photographer. It is used to define or contour the positive space.
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.
Negative space photography can evoke a sense of wonder, mysteriousness, and peacefulness. The viewer will have a greater connection to the object if the photo has no clutter, visual distractions, and a multitude of colors.
You may be presented with opportunities to create negative space photography more times than you think. It’s all in how you visualize or train your eye to look at things.
For example, a few years ago, I stood at a popular lookout overlooking an iconic rock sitting in the Atlantic Ocean in Eastern Canada. It was early morning, and some fog had rolled in, covering most of the impressive structure. The woman standing next to me at the lookout observing the same landscape turned to me and said, “It’s so sad, we’re driving by today, and I wanted to get a photo of the Percé Rock, but it seems like it won’t be possible.”
She left disappointed that she didn’t get her shot.
I stood there for a long time afterward examining the fog and the way it draped the rock like a heavy blanket. I thought that this was one of the most amazing things to happen that day. I felt so lucky to be there at that exact moment to capture the wonder unfolding.
Sometimes a small shift in perspective can make a huge difference.
Negative space is absolutely not blank space. If you think of it this way, you will have difficulty seeing the opportunities that you will be presented with. You want the negative space to be the main focus of your photograph, and it will hopefully evoke strong feelings.
We are trained to follow some basic composition rules, like the rule of thirds, for example. However, with negative space photography, these rules mostly don’t apply. Your imagination is what rules the composition in negative space photography.
However, there are a few things to remember and consider if you want to achieve this type of photography.
Fill your composition with the negative space. Try to put minimal distracting objects in your composition. Texture or solid colors are great elements to use in negative space photography. Use the texture or color to fill in most of the composition.
The object should be secondary and placed somewhere that is usually not primarily capturing the eye of the viewer. Placing the subject somewhere in the corner of your frame will frequently provide you with a good result. Try to balance the negative space with the white space so that it flows.
A good rule of thumb is to put twice as much negative space than positive space in the composition.
Try to avoid shallow depth of field when doing negative space photography. This is so that neither the object nor the negative space in the photograph is blurry.
When you look at things differently and step outside of the traditional rules, you will find many great opportunities to create some unique shots. Look at a scene and try to create your own story.
Negative space photography is an excellent way to expand your skills and your photographic eye. So remember, less is sometimes more.
The post Tips for Using Negative Space in Photography to Create Stunning Imagesappeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sandra Roussy.
More ideas and images of Negative space like mentioned above:
Read this carefully, as you will quickly find out that this information is for DSLR camera users. As of this writing, I don’t know of any Cell phone cameras that even have this feature. But, what I hope this will do for those who are taking all their photos with their cell phones, is for you to quickly realize what you might be missing by not having a good DSLR camera. There are times when I take photos, that I can change my ISO setting in my camera and quickly realize how grateful I am to have this camera and not just a cell phone camera. Please read through this and learn about this amazing feature so you can step up to a DSLR Camera.
This article is very well written about how “ISO” can make such a big difference in your photography. The article was written by: MORRIS SCJOMIN for Picture / Correct and I am very excited to share this article:
When you as a photographer—amateur or professional, analog or digital–practice your craft or hobby, you will at one time or another become acquainted with the three letters ISO. If the camera does not get enough light onto the sensor or film, the images will be too dark.
To correct this you can set a higher value on the ISO. All photographers are dependent on light and lighting conditions can be very variable at different locations or times of day. The ISO value is for that reason an important tool that allows the photographer to be able to work effectively in many different lighting conditions.
ISO value has influence on the shutter speed and aperture for any photo shoot. Deep in the rain forest, to a concert or a moonlight walk, where there is little light available, it will by using this tool will be possible to get excellent pictures without using a tripod. This is one of the reasons why the digital cameras has made it much easier to be a photographer.
ISO Indicates the Sensitivity of the Image Sensor
With ISO (International Standards Organization, previously known as ASA), we mean how quickly a film or digital sensor is capable of recording light. An image sensor set to ISO 100 requires twice as much light to achieve a normal exposure, as when the sensor is set to ISO 200.
In order to get twice the light the shutter speed must either be doubled (e.g., from 1/60 to 1/30 seconds) or the aperture must be opened up a whole f-stop (e.g., from f/5.6 to f/4).
That may not sound like a good idea to have to double the shutter speed so that we risk blurring the picture? Why doesn’t we always set the ISO speed as high as possible (e.g., ISO 1600) to obtain the fastest possible shutter speeds?
Higher ISO Values Produces More Noise
The downside of raising the ISO number is more noisy images – in the film world, this is a bit more romantically known as grain.
High ISO Entails Several Drawbacks
It is not just noise that increases with increased ISO settings. There are actually three “problems” that occur: increased noise, reduced sharpness and reduced contrast ratio.
The last two problems are usually marginal. The decrease in the sharpness of the increased noise that hides the details. Reduced contrast ratio refers to the ability to see details/nuances in the shadow areas as well as highlights.
Is Noise Always Negative?
People often tend to have a hard time telling the difference between images with low and high ISO speeds and very large prints. Therefore, it is difficult to choose which you prefer – a little “noise” doesn’t always disturb the picture. It may even bring a little feeling into the photo.
Different Cameras Provide Different Levels of Noise
Now you may think that you do not recognize this at all – when you test high ISO settings on your camera, the pictures may seem to be very noisy, much more noisy?
Yes, the noise is very different between different cameras and it has been an enormous development in recent years. If you have a compact camera, the risk that your images even at ISO 400 looks like ISO 3200 in other cameras. But if you use a modern digital SLR, you should be able to get great pictures even on ISO 800 and maybe even at higher ISO speeds if your camera allows it.
The problems we have these days when we assess the digital images is that we would look at them maximum zoomed in on the screen. However do not forget to relate to the possible noise you see to what size you actually use the image. Honestly, how many images to print larger than A5/A4?
How High ISO Should I Tolerate in My Camera?
Test your camera! Take a picture of the same motif with different ISO settings and print or send images to the photo lab. The most challenging is to shoot indoors in a low light setting. To try different ISO settings in daylight gives surprisingly comparable results, it is in low light conditions the major problems occur.
This is What You Gain by Increasing the ISO Settings
Now I have spent the whole article to explain the potential problems of raising the ISO. Let us finally turn to the issue and look at the opportunities provided by changing the ISO value.
By Raising the ISO Setting, You Can:
– Speed Up the Shutter Speed.
It is common to have problems getting fast shutter speeds when taking pictures indoors at night (= reduced risk of image blur). Although you may have opened the aperture to the max, you may even have to raise the ISO as high you think the quality will allow.
– Reduce the Aperture Setting.
Instead of changing the shutter speed, you can choose to reduce the aperture (for example, from f/4 to f/5.6) if you need a greater depth of field.
– Try a Combination of Both.
For example, if you raise the ISO setting from 100 to 400, you have doubled the ISO value in two steps. This allows for faster shutter speeds combined with reduced aperture, like going from 1/30 to 1/60 sec. (= 1 step) and f/4 to f/5.6 (= 1 step).
Is it Possible to Lower the ISO Setting From Time to Time?
The most common is that you want to increase the ISO value, but if there is a lot of light in the scene it can be justified to go the other way. Here are three examples:
You want to shoot a stream and use a slow shutter speed around half a second to get good-looking motion blur in the water.
Here you must set the camera at lowest ISO. If the minimum aperture is still not enough, you must use a gray filter that reduces the light inlet.
You want to shoot with wide aperture to get the short depth of field on a sunny day. You have chosen the A/Aperture Value setting (Auto Aperture Priority) to get to choose f/2.8 aperture while the camera determines the shutter speed for you. The problem is that your images are overexposed at all times.
A large aperture (comparable with a large pupil) on a sunny day means fast shutter speeds. Most cameras cannot capture images faster than 1/4000 or 1/8000 seconds, which may be too slow for the ISO number you selected. If you can, try to reduce the ISO to 100 or 50. If it is not enough, the only choice left is to buy a gray filter for the lens, which removes some of the sunlight.
You try to shoot indoors in a low light setting and has set the ISO at max, you have selected a large aperture and still think that the shutter speed is a bit too slow. You now turn on the flash and take the shot, however you notice that the picture becomes too bright. Despite the fact that you reduce the flash power all the images appear to be heavily overexposed.
In extreme situations, the lowest effect of the flash can be too strong for the scene along with your choice of a high ISO number. The only opportunity to use flash in such a situation is to lower the ISO until you notice that the image becomes darker and then start to increase flash power again. From there, you will try to aim for a good balance between the ISO and the flash effect.
About the Author:
Morris Scjomin (dslrlensauctions) has been a professional photographer for over 10 years, practicing exclusively in the field of portraiture, still life, and documentary images.