Negative or negative space Is the part of the image that is free from the image. It sits around the main objects, helping them to stand out. We’ll give you some tips on how you can use negative space to take your photography to the next level.
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As you advance in photography, you will begin to explore concepts that go beyond simply pointing the camera at remarkable objects. And working with negative space is one of the common techniques, the correct use of this tool will allow the viewer to tell a truly impressive story.
And although a lot is known about the use of negative space in photography, it is not very easy to master it. What does this term actually mean and why should you use this tool? Let’s talk about how you can use negative space in photography.
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What is negative space in photography?
In the shots of many aspiring photographers, you may notice too many “main” subjects that are difficult to keep track of. Negative space addresses this problem and refers to the area surrounding the main subject in photographs.
Many people usually think that negative space is just an empty background. However, things are not so simple. You can use multiple objects as negative space, including walls, fog, sand.
Negative space can be used in various types of photographs. For example, it can be portraits, landscape photography or urban architecture photography.
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Why should you use negative space?
Now that you know a little more about what negative space is, let’s see why you should use it in your photos. Below we outline three main reasons.
Negative space makes your main subject stand out
Lack of white space in your image can work in some cases. If you, for example, do street photography in Moscow, New York or Tokyo, you may well want to capture the chaos you see.
However, more often than not, the abundance of objects and events in the picture only confuses the viewer. And your story will be watered down or blurred as a result.
Negative space isolates your main subject and subtly tells the audience what you are asking for attention. This makes it much easier to convey the desired emotions.
Negative space expresses scale
Remember how you stood on top of a cliff and experienced awe at the power of nature and its scale. If you want to capture a moment like this, then you need to convey the appropriate emotion in the photo. Negative space is a great way to showcase scale.
Your images can be more memorable for viewers
A common misconception among beginners is that the most memorable photographs must include a beautiful landscape. But that doesn’t always work. It is known that the brightest images are those that reveal a certain story well.
If you are wondering why people are not paying attention to your photos, then the reason may be an overabundance of objects in your photos. Negative space won’t necessarily make you more visible, but at least it will help you show others what caught your attention.
Negative space will make your images clearer, it will help them grab the viewer and stay in their memory longer.
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How to use negative space in your photography?
So, we’ve discussed some of the main reasons that make you think about using negative space in your photography. Let’s move on to the next important question: how do you put this technique into practice?
Below, we’ll cover four ways to use negative space in your photos.
Use a wide angle lens
Whenever you photograph, it is important to think in advance about the most suitable lens for that particular photo shoot. And if you want to include negative space in your photos, then you should consider using a wide-angle lens.
What is a wide angle camera lens, you ask? Generally speaking, this is any lens with a focal length of up to 35 mm. The range available will depend on your camera manufacturer, but there are many options anyway.
Capturing negative space with a wide-angle lens is easy because the camera doesn’t bring the subject as close as, say, an 85mm lens. As a result, you can get more background in such a picture.
Use a wider F-stop (f-number)
Using negative space in your photography will require both technical and conceptual thinking. In addition to choosing the right lens, you will also have to think about the settings that you intend to use in your camera.
To make the main subject stand out, use a wider aperture on your camera. This will make the subject more focused in relation to the background.
When changing the F-stop, it’s worth remembering that you will need to compensate for the ISO and aperture in order to adjust the exposure the way you want.
First, decide what you don’t want to see in your photo.
Of course, it’s important to know what you want to see in your photos. However, it is equally important to think about what should not be in your picture.
Regardless of your location, you can probably tell that there is at least one thing in the environment that I would like to remove from the image. Yes, you can remove an unnecessary object at the post-processing stage. But it will take less time at the moment of taking a real photo.
Before you start photographing, take a walk and observe your surroundings. Once you’ve figured out what will be redundant in the photo, you can start thinking about the ideal story and the necessary formatting for your photo story.
Don’t ignore the background
Having fewer things in the background of your photo doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the background. It will take up most of your image anyway, which means it will also become an important part of your message to the viewer.
One of the important points to keep in mind is color. The tones you use will tell you whether you want to convey a joyful or sad mood, any photographer should pay attention to studying color theory.
It’s also worth remembering that negative space doesn’t have to be flat. For example, you can use trees and water if you think they can help shape the story of your painting.
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Negative space is a powerful tool to enhance your photography
Negative space Is a great way to share stronger stories. It’s important to learn this technique if you want a more minimalist style. You can use negative space both inside and out, and it can also work in conjunction with other photography techniques, such as the rule of thirds.
Now, after reading this article, you will have a basic understanding of the use of negative space in photography. Feel free to grab your camera and start practicing and creating!