Tag Archives | space

5 easy composition rules to improve your photography: #4 embrace negative space

the use of negative space is a simple tool to highlight the simplicity or beauty of an object in a photo

Negative space, sometimes referred to as white space, is a concept that’s been used in art, design, architecture, and sculpture for hundreds of years.

what is negative space?

Put simply, negative space is the area which surrounds the main subject in your photo (the main subject is known as the “positive space”)

By allowing plenty of negative space (areas of your photo with nothing in it) you emphasize the main subject of the photo and automatically draw your viewers eyes to it.  By providing this “breathing room” and giving your eyes somewhere to rest, you prevent your image from appearing too cluttered with “stuff”.  When used properly, negative space provides a natural balance against the positive space in a scene and adds up to a more engaging composition.

When used properly, negative space provides a natural balance against the positive space in a scene and adds up to a more engaging composition.

but this is the opposite of fill your frame!

It sure is!!  To determine if negative space will work for your image, adjust your composition until the positive and negative spaces in the shot feel well balanced against one another. Be generous with the amount of empty space you leave, and don’t feel you have to cram something interesting into every square centimetre of the frame.

Now, not every image is meant to work with the compositional techniques of filling your frame or embracing negative space.  And don’t be fooled into thinking that your negative space has to be white – just try to balance a simple and uncluttered negative space with your positive.

here I’ve used a black negative space to emphasize the pale pinks and greens of the buds

a simple image with negative space surrounding the subject
image by Magdalena Roeseler

notice here how your eyes are drawn to the man’s face and how the negative and positive space are nicely balanced?
image by Jason

Looking for the other installments in this series? You’ll find #1 the rule of thirds here and #2 framing here. Post #3 fill the frame can be found here.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

What do you think of negative space? Do you use it often? Share some examples in the comments if you like.

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inside my camera bag

This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for forever, so finally I am sharing with you (most) of what is inside my camera bag and where I work.

my gear & bag

canon eos 7dii and 550d

  1. Canon 7D Mark II: it was an agonising decision to go with this camera body, as I’d been contemplating purchasing a mirrorless camera for their (light) weight.  In the end, though, the 7D won out as I already owned Canon lenses and didn’t want them to collect dust.  Plus the 7D is excellent in low light, which makes it the perfect camera for photographing events in the school hall.
  2. Canon 550D: my original baby.  I pushed this unit to its limits before upgrading to the 7Dii.  Now it’s the camera that my son picks up to practise his photography with and the one I loan to friends when they need a larger camera than their phone.  It’s still in perfect working order and I always have this one charged and ready to go when I’m on a shoot – just in case!

canon camera lenses

  1. Canon EF-S 55-250mm: one of the original kit lenses that came with my 550D, the zoom mechanism is completely flogged out because this was my go-to lens for a long time.  I keep it in my bag because it comes in handy for photographing sports days at school.
  2. Canon EF-S 18-55mm: the other kit lens from my 550D.  It doesn’t get used all that often anymore.
  3. Canon EF 50mm 1.8: the nifty fifty. This is the lens that lives on my camera now.  I had a hate/hate relationship with it for a long time as I struggled to find its focal sweet spot, but in 2015 I made the decision to leave this lens on my camera until I mastered it.  It’s the lens I favour for photo shoots, although I’m hoping to upgrade to the 1.4 soon (ideally, I want the 1.2, but don’t know about the price!)
  4. Canon EF 85mm 1.8: I purchased this lens with the intention that it become my go-to lens… Hasn’t happened yet, so I’m thinking of doing what I did with the 50.  Put it on my camera until I master the sucker!
  5. Canon EF 100mm 2.8: I *love* this lens.  If I’m having a particularly rough day, the 100mm goes on the camera and I go into the garden exploring the world in miniature until I calm down.

speedlite 270EX II

I keep a Speedlite 270EX II in my bag as well.  Again, I had every intention of learning how to use it, but preferring to photograph in natural light, I’ve just never really had the need to master the flash.  It’s on my to-do list for this year, though.

blackrapid camera strap

I don’t know how I managed without my Rapid Strap before I bought it!  Lovingly called the Sniper-Strap, I purchased mine after attending a Love Your Camera workshop with Angie Baxter and seeing hers in action.  Since then I’ve bought one for Daughter’s camera as well.  Why do I love my strap so much?  It slings across my body and takes all pressure off my neck when I’m wearing my camera.  I can (and have) literally have my camera on my body all day without it being a nuisance.  Best money I ever spent!

camera accessories

  1. spare memory cards: formatted after each use and ready to go when I pick them up.
  2. lens pen: to keep my lenses and camera body clean and free of gritty bits.
  3. blower pen: great for blowing dust and grit off.

kelly moore camera bag

All of my gear (plus bits and pieces I’ve purchased and never really used… can you say Gary Wong diffuser?!) lives in my Kelly Moore camera bag.  It helps keep the dust off of everything when it’s not in use and protects it when I travel or am at a photo shoot.  It all lives beside the Mercedes I got for my birthday a few years back (the real thing was a tad expensive), and my 2 red hippie camper vans (because one day I’m going to own one and travel around Australia in it!).

my space

photography by tasha chawner work space

This is where I work. I made the decision to purchase an electric standing desk last year because I find that sitting puts too much pressure on my back.  I have a Human Tool Balance Spot anti-fatigue mat that helps to keep me upright and moving and alleviates the pressure on my feet when standing for long periods.

  1. I run a Dell XPS 8700.  It’s a couple of years old now, but still (mostly) working a charm.  Has the odd hiccup, but runs Lightroom (my photo editing software) easily and efficiently.
  2. I moved over to a Wacom Intuos pen and touch tablet a number of years ago.  I use it instead of a mouse as it allows me finer control when editing photos. I still have a touchpad mouse on my keyboard, as every now and again I come across programs that won’t play nice with my tablet.
  3. my Big Picture planner from Design Aglow.  I’ve customised my own weekly to-do list, but love having everything in this folder and at my fingertips.
  4. my Paperblanks journals.  One is for my jewellery design sketches. The other two are used for keeping photography tips and notes, and for sketching out poses for photo shoots.
  5. my creative matra’s for 2017: ‘I am one with the creative flow of life’ and ‘I capture the beauty of life in my art’. are my creative goals for 2017.
  6. my alter.  I keep a Ganesh and Krishna statue at my work space and an amethyst, rose quartz and clear quartz crystal.  They’re there to help me calm and remind me to engage in self-care.
  7. my glasses.  Can’t see sh*t without them anymore, so I need to know where they are at all times.  This is their permanent home when they are not on my face!

So there you have it.

my gear, my bag, my space

I’d love it if you would share a link to photos of your workspace if you have one.  I love being a little voyeuristic and peeking at how others set up their spaces.

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#twpp: ‘composition – space’

black and white photo of trees in the mist

I hadn’t intended for this photo to end up as my #twpp photo for the weekend, but I was quite pleased with how it turned out, so here it is!

It was the view at the end of the street, as I drove to work on Friday morning.

the mist had concealed the hill

and looked surreal with the trees silhouetted.  I parked, told the kids to scoot on ahead of me and walked back to take this photo.

a reminder to have my camera with me always

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The Weekend Photo Project: ‘composition – space’

weekend photography project prompt - space

Space can be positive (white or light) or negative (black or dark), open or closedshallow or deep and two-dimensional or three-dimensional.
Sometimes space isn’t actually within a piece, but the illusion of it is.
~what is the definition of space in art?

i don’t know that i’m really aware of space when i’m taking photos

I’m pretty sure that when I was starting out I was more aware of it – having to stop and think about where to position my subject in the frame.  Now it’s more instinctual.  I can look at what I want to take a photo of and know where it should be placed in frame to achieve the best shot.

Our eye is naturally drawn to the subject in a photo, but the space around the subject is equally important.  Often referred to as ‘negative space’  it helps to tell the story and build the emotion.

it’s purpose is to help you make a better picture

Confused?

Here’s some reading on the use of space in photography to help you out:

Keen to share your space photos with us?  Here’s where to do it!

Facebook:  Create an album (title suggestion – My Weekend Photo Project) and upload your photos (and don’t forget to add the hashtag #twpp now that FB does hashtags).  You can make your album public so that anyone can have a look at your photos or you can share your photos with me over on my biz page.

Your blog:  Upload your photos to your blog and share them with the wide world.  Leave a link here so that others can follow the snail-trail.

Flickr:  Share your photos at The Weekend Photo Project.

Pinterest:  If you’re on Pinterest create a board for your weekend photos.  Don’t forget to add the tag #twpp so that others can search for them.  I have a The Weekend Photo Project Pinterest board that I’m going to invite people to pin on.  If you’d love to be involved, follow the board and I’ll send you an invite!

Instagram: Snap a photo with you phone or i-device and upload your photo to Instagram.  You’ll find me here on Instagram.  Don’t forget to add #twpp to your caption.  Proceed to share!

Twitter: Use Instagram, link to your Pinterest board or your blog.  And remember to add #twpp as your hashtag.

Anywhere else you like: I’m sure I’ve left out others ways of sharing, so leave a comment below and let everyone know where your photos will be!

Be sure and leave a comment below to let me (and everyone else) know where you’ll be sharing your photos.  Visit other peoples photos.  Like them.  Comment.

and please, share The Weekend Photo Project – the more people we can get involved, the more fun it will be

Don’t forget that the prompts are open to interpretation – there is no right or wrong photo – just the photo you make of your world as you see it.

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{beautiful to me} Paper Crane Mobile

Found at an intriguing blog called The Selby – where Todd Selby photographs creative individuals in their personal spaces – this paper crane mobile belongs in the home of Cheri Messerli and David Rager.

I’d love to create one for our home… kids and Mum project for the winter holidays maybe…?

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Posted in: beautiful to me

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