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.
On Thursday after dropping my wife off to work, the doggo and I decided to hit up Glebe Foreshore (well mainly me, Tama is happy for whatever)for some essential exercise and photography.
It’s been a while since I’ve taken any photos around Glebe. Funny enough, this was our first neighbourhood when we came to Australia in 2012. We lived in a tiny shoe box of a granny flat, which meant most of our time was spent outside said flat. I always loved walking up (/down?) Glebe Point Road to the foreshore, with a skinny cap in hand - I know, psshh skinny?! Don’t worry I’m more cultured now. I think I had my Nikon D90 with a trusty kit zoom lens at that time. Looking back it may seem like life was a lot easier in 2012, with the 2020 plague and all, but really there are always hurdles to get by. This year is a big one affecting us all, but like those in the past we will make it through. :)
Yesterday I likely shot the exact same subjects I shot in 2012, but after
taking so many photos over the years I couldn’t even begin to remember what I have and haven’t shot. Out of the quick little snaps between ball throws and barks with Tama, I chose the two posted above. Simplicity was the
theme today, and maybe it should be our goal for the weekend. Calm down
all the external, forget about missing out on all your regular weekend
adventures. There’s no need to worry about juggling a busy schedule of work, exercise, events, and meet-ups. No need to constantly post your best life on insta to one-up your friends and followers. Take in the quiet of our current situation and surroundings, because there’s gonna be at least 90 more days of it (probably more). Read a book, watch a movie, or play some video games. Forget the guilt. Exercise can start again on Monday.
Stay safe :)
It’s happened. In NSW if you go outside for any reason that is not deemed “essential” (see 16 essential reasons on ABC News here) you can get fined up to $11 000 or put in jail for 6 months. If the police are feeling nice, they can just give you an on-the-spot $1000 fine. Technically, this means Bondi Beach sunrises are off the table; although, I can probably bring my dog and play it off as “exercise.”
That’s an adventure to try later.
Today the goal was to see what I could photograph around the neighbourhood while out for a walk with the doggo. It was hard. Not only because I’m very OCD in the way I plan my photography (planned location, composition of shots, time of day, etc.), but because most people intrinsically find the place/neighbourhood they spend most of their time boring. Also I suck at street photography.
I ventured out twice today with a goal to shoot black and white images in
the morning, and colour images in the afternoon (gotta keep it interesting).
Going through my shots this evening I found that aside from colour/no-colour, they had (un)intentional themes. The morning photos (including the blog title image above) promoted a somber and dark feeling; nobody around, outdoor gyms fenced off, and signs telling you to leave. I’m sure people are feeling more and more isolated and depressed, and sadly I think these photos captured some of that in this current climate of lockdowns.
The afternoon photos were almost the exact opposite. They were full of
colour, people, and happiness. They promote the idea that even during
times like this, there is hope and resilience among us.
Regardless of lockdowns, toilet paper shortages and health emergencies, the sun will keep shining and the world will continue to spin on. Things will go back to normal. Enjoy the little things that make you happy day-to-day. Acknowledge, but push aside the things that make you sad. Oh, and stop watching the news every 3 seconds!