It's week 31 of my personal photography project and the theme is "negative space". The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition and I'm a big fan of it. I like the subject in my images to have room to breathe. I feel like they can look crowded if the borders of the frame are too close to them so negative space is something I use quite often during my portrait sessions. Here are a few examples below.
When Atheena struck this pose, I quickly moved my position to place her in the lower left of the frame because she's looking off to the right we need to see some negative space to follow her gaze. The flowers made a nice border at the bottom so the image needed some headspace above to give it that open field feel, the bit of sky peeking through the trees helps give the image some airiness.
Here's an image from a recent session, even though he's looking right at the camera, I placed Oreo to the right of the frame and left a lot of negative space to the left to show off the texture of the grass.
Here's another example of leaving negative space for the subject, my own dog Ginger, to gaze out of the frame. Look at the difference between these two image; which one is more visually appealing to you and which one creates tension?
But I prefer even more negative space for this particular composition because the grasses add so much texture and Ginger's gaze is strongly out of the frame, this is the final crop that I decided on (but I still don't know what she was looking at!).
Negative space isn't just for outdoor photography, it can be a strong compositional element in studio photography as well as you can see in the image below. The young border collie puppy has a laser stare on the ball. The image would not be as powerful if we cropped it in. It would just be a puppy with a ball. The negative space gently takes the viewer by the eye and implores them to really look at the subject's expression and intent in the image which makes it have more impact.
And sometimes negative space simply enhances the subject, in this case holding it in a sea of darkness which provides a sort of calming effect on the viewer as he or she contemplates the subject and his expression.
Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. Penny Whistle specializes in both natural light and studio photography providing pet, couple and engagement, family and high school senior portraits as well as corporate headshots and commercial photography in her studio located in old town Carrollton as well as out on location in Coppell and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.