Lesson 11 – Negative Space

One way of making sure your composition is strong is to pay attention to the positive and negative spaces.

The primary subject of your photo, a person, building, toy car, whatever, is the "positive space."

Negative space is everything else. Something you see in a lot of photography is things sticking out of heads, wires across the scene you didn't see when taking the picture, and so on. This is just from paying so much attention to the subject that photographers forget what is in the background or surrounding the subject.

Exercise: take pictures of three different subjects outside. Doesn't matter what they are, a person, a car, a building. While taking the picture, don't worry about the subject, just pay attention to what is around and behind the subject.

Use the background to compose the shot - for this exercise, the actual subject is not important. If the background is not working for you, move around until it is - zoom in or zoom out to change perspective, get low, or go higher. Whatever makes the background a pleasing photo.

Next Lesson: Pick a Subject

5 thoughts on “Lesson 11 – Negative Space”

  1. Take your photgraphy even further after exploring the classes here - sign up for the Photography Masterclass Click Here!
  2. Thanks ,,it really help us to improve our photography skill & find out the mistakes we had done earlier in our photography…

  3. Thank you so much for the outlining of this subject – it is great to have the support to get the understanding of a subject

  4. Sir, i learnt a lot from ur lessons ,i hav a small problem that i’m not able to solve.When i’m making movies my camera makes movie for 10 seconds then after it shows that movie recording has stopped automatically,plz help me sir ,im using Canon 600d

    1. Video is not really the area we cover on this site, but at a guess I’d suggest checking your memory card is fast enough to do video – some cards are too slow to take a lot of video. It should be a Class 6 or Class 10 – or say at least 48X on it.

      Hope that helps.

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