Negative space is a positive thing. 🙂 It’s critical to building an appealing photograph. The best photographers have learned to make the most of negative space – and to avoid “dead” space. There is a big difference between the two. In my photo above the sky can be considered negative space. It is not the subject of the photo… but it’s important nonetheless. In the photo below – taken from the same spot – there’s a lot of dead space. Does the open field on the lower left add to the photo? Does the clear blue sky add anything? Do they help define the subject? I’d answer “no” to all these questions. The photo is ineffective at best… and that’s because it’s mostly dead space. What is my subject? Perhaps the blue mountain in the distance. The leading line on the right draws me toward that element… but the open field and the empty sky do nothing to highlight it.
When you are creating new images, think about how the space around your subject contributes to the photograph. Dead space can kill a photo, but negative space can enhance it.