N E G A T I V E - S P A C E

Let’s do something different today and talk about negative space in photography.

Negative space is something I use in many of my compositions as it helps focus in on the subject(s) of the photo. Many photographers use it to portray a sense of loneliness or isolation, but it can also give a sense of importance, or highlight an achievement (eg. a lone athlete holding up their trophy).

So what is negative space? Technically, it’s the space between or around your subject(s). In the images above, the negative space is the sky. Your eyes are automatically drawn away from negative space and onto the subject of the photos - which in the above are two buildings I found interesting. In the images below, the negative space is the water and surroundings, while the subjects are the swimmers and surfers. Think about it. Did you first look at the water or did your eyes move straight to the people?

The human brain and your eyes love simplicity, and negative space gives them that eye candy they want. In photography, and many other arts, negative space is exaggerated to really highlight the subject - and damn does it look good! (see below). That’s why you see it used so often in magazines, posters, and on the walls of “artsy” shops around the city. The best part about it, is it’s one of the easiest techniques in photography to play around with.

So next time you are out for a stroll with your camera, be it an DSLR
or phone, think about using negative space to make that insta photo really pop out in your grid.


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