A Guide to Negative Space in Photographs - ShopJeanPhotography.com

A Guide to Negative Space in Photographs

This week's theme for our 52 Week Photo Challenge is Negative Space.

What is Negative Space in Photography?

Negative space is the empty space around the subject of a photograph. It can be a solid color or texture, or simply an uncluttered area of the frame. Negative space is a powerful tool for creating minimalist, impactful images that draw the viewer's attention to the subject.

How to Take a Negative Space Photograph:

To create negative space, you need a simple subject. This is because negative space emphasizes the subject by removing distractions. A complex or busy subject will compete with the negative space, and the effect will be lost.

For example, a flower against a plain background, or a person standing in a vast, empty landscape.


Composition is key when it comes to negative space. You'll want to position your subject in a way that creates a pleasing balance between positive and negative space. For example, you might position the subject to one side of the frame, with negative space on the other side. Or, you might center the subject and surround it with negative space.

A Wide Aperture

Using a wide aperture (a low f-stop number) will create a shallow depth of field. This will blur the background, making the subject stand out and the negative space more prominent.


Minimalist Location/Background

When shooting outdoors, look for minimalist settings such as an open field, a clear sky, or a body of water. When shooting indoors, consider using a plain wall or a seamless backdrop.

Lastly, don't be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives! Have fun with this challenge and I can't wait to see what you come up with! 


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