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Negative Space

Lesson 48 from: Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

48. Negative Space


Class Trailer

Your 10,001st Photograph


Camera Gear


Piece of Gear We Always Forget


Be a Storyteller


Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject


Cae Study - Why Are Zebras Black and White Striped


Photograph What You Love


See the Extraordinary in Ordinary Things


Lesson Info

Negative Space

negative space is the area around the subject, the subject sometimes being referred to his positive space. Now the term itself is a little misleading, as correctly used negative space defines your point of interest and creates a balanced composition. So what do I mean by correctly used? Well, toe Answer that question. Let's look at some examples where it's been used badly in this image. The subject is positioned to close to the edge of frame, which creates an imbalance. This image shows the opposite. Too much space. The viewer is left wandering aimlessly, wondering what the point of the photo is. The skill, then, is defining what is too little on what is too much as usual. There's no right or wrong answer. As you have heard me say many times throughout this course, It depends on the story you want to tell. One of my favorite wildlife subjects is bears, and this is one of my favorite images of a bad your notice. There's a lot of negative space. In fact, it makes up half the frame, but i...

n this example, when you compare the amount and shape of negative space, you'll see it perfectly balanced by the positives base made up by the Bear on the Rock. This is a spirit back on my story, which is that of an apparition emerging from the ether, is clearly defined by the way I've used positive and negative space in the composition. And here's another example. I usually avoid photographing wildlife from the high viewpoint. However, on this occasion the aerial view of the negative space it creates work perfectly. First, it gives the image context straightaway. We know the crocodile is in its natural habitat. Secondly, it frames the shape of the crocodile. So in this example, the negative space has made sure the unusual angle doesn't create an abstract image and has defined the visual narrative. Negative space is an important element in composition, but assessing how to use it effectively can be hard to define. Often I find it's more feeling than a mathematical formula. When I was starting out and activity, I found useful was looking at how other photographers and artists used negative space and then practicing those observations. When I was out in the field off for a while, I found I was using it instinctively. So the best advice I can give is practice, practice, practice no

Ratings and Reviews

Edmund Cheung

Perhaps the style of presentation and simple, short, and direct messaging does not "jive" with some; but others may really love this. Yes the production of each episode is stylized and perhaps a bit formal (like a TV Show?), but there is something to be said about it. Perhaps this is not meant for professional photographers? I think of myself as decent amateur / high level photographer. I found lots of great nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from this. Especially when I an in a rut for creativity. Yes I have heard all these concepts and ideas before. BUT it is always great to hear and see a different way of presentation and voice. Please do NOT take the naysayer reviews as the end all. You should judge for yourself and watch a few episodes. If the style and content click for you, I would highly recommend this course.

Kai Atherton

While I am perhaps more advanced in my photography then this course. It is always great to be able to go back to fundamentals and remind ourselves of the basic principles, and even camera function. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and Chris's other. It is a great motivational jumpstart when lacking fresh creative idea's.

Abdullah Alahmari

Thanks a lot to mr. Chris Weston This course is great and It is a 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 course for me. Beside the other course ( mastering the art of photography ) both courses are Complementing to each other and highly recommended.

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