What is (and is not) "Negative Space"? (And how do you use it.)

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Goethe
Goethe Senior Member • Posts: 1,256
Re: What is (and is not) "Negative Space"? (And how do you use it.)

stevo23 wrote:

Goethe wrote:

Barry Twycross wrote:

There's a challenge being judged now for "Negative Space". I'm not sure my concept of negative space is the same as many of the entrants.

This question is not specifically about the challenge, but the concept in general.

What, to you, is negative space?

What, to you, is not negative space?

How do you effectively use it in a photo?

How do you feature it in a photo?

Some negative space photos of mine over the years.

a journey into negative space on the temporarily flightless wings of dark birds

The question to ask is not "how do you use negative space" but "how does the negative space in a given photo contribute to the goal?"

But if the goal of the photo is negative space then thinking how to use it, how to create it, is integral.

I feel that if a person things, "I need to learn how to use negative space", they are likely not focusing on the primary aspects of composition and will be unlikely to use negative space well.

Negative space is not entirely about composition per se. Composition is always sort of a finalization tool in an image, and negative photography is no exception. Negative space is more of a primary consideration in which you are looking for shapes rather then textures. Blankness, nothingness, voids...these must be visualized and recognized in the landscape before composition even comes into play.

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