Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Learn composition by example: Negative space

If you have been following this blog, you may remember a series of short posts about basic composition techniques in the Art-iculations category. These were written for beginners by a beginner (moi). My Flickr friend Rick (word artist), a very accomplished photographer with a brilliant sense of composition, has embarked upon a similar series for the Flickr group Learn Composition by Example, providing far more information and examples than I did. His first five posts, on leading lines, on layers, on borders, on framing, on triangles, and on anchoring were blogged earlier herehere, here, herehere and here. His seventh post appeared last weekend, tackling the subject of negative space as a compositional technique, with 19 photographs as illustration of his points (also to be found in his blog), ranging as usual from the most basic to the advanced very subtle uses. For this topic I have picked a shot by my Flickr friend aftab (You walk with me), which Rick commented on as follows: "An intriguing double instance of negative space here. The obvious one is the space in the top portion of the image, where emptiness provides a vertical balance to the action and truncated foreground. The second instance of negative space is the rock-strewn emptiness the man and boy are moving towards - the space for direction. This double space, with the subjects, create quite a serene image." Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

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