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How to Use Negative Space to Create More Powerful Photos

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

How to Use Negative Space to Create More Powerful Photos

When you take a picture, it’s likely that you focus on your subject, or your positive space. But making use of the negative space can make your photo that much more powerful.

Negative space refers to the parts of your photo that surround your subject and other objects it. It can refer to a plain white background, the sea, the sky, and more. This article will explain how you can use negative space to make the most of your photos.

Emphasize the Subject

You can emphasize your subject by using a shallow depth of field and a plain background. Alternately, you can use a deeper depth of field so the background blurs and the subject pops. Either technique is ideal for playing with negative space, so your subject stands out.

Use Compositional Balance

The composition of your photo can make all the difference in making it appear powerful. You can play with the rule of thirds placing your subject on one side of the photo to give the negative space presence. You can also put your subject in the center of the photo, so they provide balance.

Produce a Sense of Scale

Negative space can be used to produce a sense of scale making objects look smaller or larger. For example, if you take a shot looking up at an object with a lot of negative space around it, it will loom large. If you shoot down on the object and include negative space, it will look smaller.

Introduce Movement

If you are showing movement in your images, negative space can be effective in bringing it to life. So, let’s say you are taking a picture of a person riding a bicycle or driving a car. If you put some negative space in front of it, the viewer will get a sense of motion so they can anticipate the subject moving forward.

Create Mystery

If used correctly, negative space can be ominous. For instance, you can take a picture of just about any object silhouetted against a sky or another expansive background. The contrasting images will add mystery and drama to your shot.

Shoot From Different Perspectives

If you take a lot of photos, you will begin seeing angles in almost everything you shoot. If you combine them with the right perspective and negative space, the shapes will really stand out. This effect will be especially eye-catching if you shoot from very low or very high. It will bring out the texture of the objects you are taking photos of and produce an abstract style.

The right use of negative space will make your shots stand out. Now that you know how to use it effectively, you can work on getting terrific photos. Which of these techniques will you be using the next time you’re out in the field?

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