Negative space refers to an image with empty space around the subject matter. It occurs when a photograph of a person, place, or item does not fill the entire frame. The subject is only a portion of the picture, leaving the rest of the image blank.
Negative space brings an image into balance. It provides contrast. It provides beauty. It can also force attention onto a subject. When there is nothing else to look at in a picture aside from the subject, the eye is drawn to the right location.
Here are a few photographers that show the beauty in negative space:
1. Chris Burkard
Chris Burkard is a photographer, speaker, and director with over three million Instagram followers. He commonly posts photographs of mountains, cliffs, beaches, and trees with negative space made of sand, water, sunshine, and clouds. He prefers to focus on imagery with a focused subject matter as opposed to complex images.
2. Jim Zuckerman
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One of the iconic photographs of Europe is this idyllic scene of Hallstatt, Austria. I am planning a new photo tour that includes the Dolomites of northern Itay as well as selected beautiful places in Austria (planned for May, 2020), and this is definitely one of those places. What's interesting about this shot is that when I was there, one of the houses in the center of the composition was under renovation. The entire facade was covered in 2 x 4's, and that made the shot less than perfect. So, not to be outdone by reality, I photographed the facade of a house in another part of the village and then pasted it over the construction mess. Fixing problems like this is one important reason why knowing only Lightroom isn't enough. It's too limiting. Photoshop is the program you need to understand. I shot this with a 24-105mm lens, and my settings were 1/50, f/11, 200 ISO, and I used a tripod.⠀ ———————————– www.jimzuckerman.com⠀ ———————————– #Hallstatt #Austria #loves_austria #travel_drops #photooftheday #nakedplanet #awesomeearth #theglobewanderer #ourplanetdaily #earthpix #travelawesome #beautifuldestinations #discoverearth #earthfocus #roamtheplanet #fantastic_earth #landscape_captures #nature_perfection #exceptional_pictures #living_destinations #earthcapture #travellingthroughtheworld #tlpicks #passionpassport #Besteurope #living_europe #europe_vacations #topeuropephoto #ig_europe
Jim Zuckerman has been featured in hundreds of publications, has written twenty-two books on photography, has been included in photo exhibitions throughout the country, and teaches online courses about photography. In one of his series on composition, he speaks about the importance of using negative space in his work, which consists of wildlife, castles, and cathedrals. He commonly zooms out on his subjects in order to capture the nature behind them, whether that is a sky or blades of grass.
3. Jimmy Chin
Jimmy Chin is a National Geographic Photographer with nearly two million Instagram followers. He is also a professional climber, mountaineer, and skier, which is why a lot of his photographs use snowfall as negative space to emphasize the subject of the photo.
4. Lizzie Peirce
Lizzie is a photographer with over forty-thousand followers on Instagram. She also runs her own YouTube channel that contains an enlightening video about the positive effects of using negative space when composing photos. She explains that the technique basically breaks down into snapping a picture with a lot of empty space in it. She goes on to explain how negative space helps the subject shine through because it is clean and uncluttered, which decreases the chances of distraction.
5. Theron Humphrey
Theron Humphrey is a photographer with over one million Instagram followers. He embarks on cross-country trips in order to take stunning photographs in new locations. He has used negative space in a lot of pictures taken of himself (and his dog!) on beaches and in the desert.
6. Paul Nicklen
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When you spend so much quality time both above and below the ice with charismatic and vulnerable species like emperor penguins, you get emotional when they are given protection. Several years ago, more than 650,000 square miles of the Ross Sea around Antarctica (an area the size of Spain and France combined) was protected under The Commission of the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (#CCAMLR), an organization that works to conserve and protect wildlife that inhabits the Southern Ocean. This year’s CCAMLR annual meeting has already started, and members from 24 nations and the European Union have the opportunity to move forward three proposed Marine Protected Areas: Eastern Antarctica, the Weddell Sea, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Marine protected areas remain one of the most crucial tools for sustaining ecosystem health and curbing #climatechange. I'm looking forward to hearing positive news come from these meetings. #TurningTheTide with @CristinaMittermeier, @Ladzinski, @Andy_Mann, @ShaneMooreFilms, @CraigWelch, @PattersonImages, @rodolfowerner @antarcticsouthernocean @sealegacy
Paul Nicklen is a contributing photographer to National Geographic with 4.7 Instagram followers. His account is filled with breathtaking photographs of sea creatures (with water used as negative space) and arctic animals (with snow and ice used as negative space).
7. Dylan Furst
Dylan Furst is a photographer and filmmaker with one million Instagram followers. He has posted dozens of snapshots of nature using mist, fog, and trees as negative space. His use of the technique assures that the subject matter pops in every single picture taken.
8. Hannes Becker
Hannes Becker is a photographer with over one million Instagram followers who specializes in the outdoors, adventures, and landscapes. He has photos of open roads with sunsets as negative space, mountains with fog as negative space, and cabins with the water as negative space.
9. Adam Senatori
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Lake Nebagamon, WI / A maple leaf jackpot. 🍁 Maples provide the best fall colors, imo… greens, yellows, reds. Best leaves for napping on too. That’s it for my fall colors / northwoods sojourn. 5 days and 1,100 mi crisscrossing Wisconsin. Happy trails! Thx @TravelWisconsin ✌🏼 – #sponsored #TravelWI #fallcolors #beautifuldestinations #keepitwild #getoutstayout #takemoreadventures #wondermore #forgeyourownpath #nomadstories #alwaysgo
Adam Senatori uses negative space in most of his photographs. One of his most recent pictures shows himself in a giant pile of leaves (which acts as negative space surrounding him on all sides). He also posts frequent pictures of nature, zoomed out far from the subject in order to capture the full beauty of the background.
All of these photographers are unique, but they have one thing in common. They are each capable of showing the beauty in negative space!