Extreme Negative Space

Streetshooter

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pdh,
The bottom image is a good play with Negative Space. Why? Because it makes it totally ambiguous. The image leaves us wondering what is going on.
The smudge on the lower right teases us with it's reality....
 

pdh

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thanks ... and, ah yes, the judicious use of sensor dust ... :)

a friend said of this image "almost as if pressed in a book" ...
 

Gwendal

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not sure where this fits in the negative space canon... but its a pic that does work for me... it also falls into the area where the act of taking a photo and discovering an image overlap... this wasn't the photo i intended to take...actually not sure what photo I was trying to take... but the image does have something that i can't quite put my finger one that makes me smile

K
Ditto on that - not sure why, but this really is a wonderful shot !
 

flash

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I'm not saying any of these images aren't any good. Many of them are wonderful. But many of them are not what would be technically described as "negative space". Having a small subject or focus of interest doesn't mean negative space.

For example, the two shots above of the flowers. I really like both of these (although I'd process the lower one differently), but neither are an example of negative space. In both the subject and details extend well beyond 1/3 of the frame and in some cases there is detail in half the frame. The dog one is the same. Great use of timing and juxtoposition, but not negative space. There's just too much to look at. The cars are the same (although I still want the Alfa :) ). Too much space in the image with something there to be called negative space.

This is not negative space.

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This is...

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In the scheme of things I suppose it's not really important, unless of course you were using these images to demonstrate what negative space is, or you entered them into a competition that showed off negative space.

Mostly though, I'm just pedantic about this sort of stuff.

Gordon

p.s. As for the OP's images. I really like the first one, but I would, again, process it differently and crop it to give it more power.
 

Narnian

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Thanks! I've been in forums for several years and this is the first time I have seen it.
 

Djarum

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I'm not saying any of these images aren't any good. Many of them are wonderful. But many of them are not what would be technically described as "negative space". Having a small subject or focus of interest doesn't mean negative space.

For example, the two shots above of the flowers. I really like both of these (although I'd process the lower one differently), but neither are an example of negative space. In both the subject and details extend well beyond 1/3 of the frame and in some cases there is detail in half the frame. The dog one is the same. Great use of timing and juxtoposition, but not negative space. There's just too much to look at. The cars are the same (although I still want the Alfa :) ). Too much space in the image with something there to be called negative space.

This is not negative space.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


This is...

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


In the scheme of things I suppose it's not really important, unless of course you were using these images to demonstrate what negative space is, or you entered them into a competition that showed off negative space.

Mostly though, I'm just pedantic about this sort of stuff.

Gordon

p.s. As for the OP's images. I really like the first one, but I would, again, process it differently and crop it to give it more power.
I disagree.

Most articles I've read on negative and positive space don't make a distinction on what the background is, and thats the way I've always viewed it. In both photos you've posted, both have negative space. In general, most photographs have some sort of negative space. This is the space around the subject. In many cases, what defines a good photo is how the composition of the subject relates to the negative space. Both of the photos you've posted use negative space very well.
 

Narnian

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I kept trying to read it as "Outstanding Person" and apply it to myself but it never quite worked ...
 

flash

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I disagree.

Most articles I've read on negative and positive space don't make a distinction on what the background is, and thats the way I've always viewed it. In both photos you've posted, both have negative space. In general, most photographs have some sort of negative space. This is the space around the subject. In many cases, what defines a good photo is how the composition of the subject relates to the negative space. Both of the photos you've posted use negative space very well.
And you're entitled to. In the first of my images I see the sky as a subject (or rather complimentary subject) and a contributor to the image. It's a photo of a group in wild weather (and it was wild). the sky contributes to the image in a positive way. This is positive space. Take it away or change its colour and you change the way the subject relates to the background. In the second image changing the tone will not change the subjects relationship to the rest of the image. Negative space. All it does is push you toward the subjects.

In the car shots, you can clearly make out that these are the bonnets of the cars. They assist in you being able to recognise that these are in fact the front end of motor vehicles. They are positive space. They actively contribute to the description of the image. In the flower shots the sky is negative space but as they don't take up even 1/2 the image they're hardly extreme.

I don't expect anyone to agree with me. That's just what I was taught many years ago.

Gordon
 

Streetshooter

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Gordon,
It's not about agreeing or disagreeing.
What we have is a variety of opinions or better, approaches to a problem. The method that we as individuals solve this problem, is what is really interesting.
It's interesting because we even see the problem differently.
This is what makes art unique. The fact that each has a formula for seeing and resolving a problem to achieve a desired result.
After, it's the result that we are judged by not the problem.

I think there exist many different formulas here to get the result and that is what is interesting.
I think John, (op) had a good idea exploring a common problem.
The issue, as always is, if we dissect an image into anything other than content and intent, we then disregard the result.

I don't make images thinking about things like positive/negative space. This is not to say that I am not aware of the mechanics of that issue.
I think in terms of content and intent.
Everything else is a part of the formula that should be assembled before making images.

Gordon, your not seeing things wrong at all but then again, neither is any one else.
Lightroom/Aperture....Oly/Panny...17/20 etc...
It's all the same.
At the end of the day, the image will speak for us and itself.
 

Djarum

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I think John, (op) had a good idea exploring a common problem.
The issue, as always is, if we dissect an image into anything other than content and intent, we then disregard the result.

I don't make images thinking about things like positive/negative space. This is not to say that I am not aware of the mechanics of that issue.
I think in terms of content and intent.
Everything else is a part of the formula that should be assembled before making images.
SS,

You've touched on a subject that might even require further discussion in a different thread: content and intent.

All,

On the issue at hand, I think this is similar to putting a title on an image. Talking about negative space in using it or using more of it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense to me. When evaluating an image, its about how negative space interacts with the subject or positive space. It is not about whether the negative space works or not, its about if the image in its entirety is a good image.

To be more clear, jhob is using large areas of negative space in his images. On one hand, we could evaluate an image based on whether the negative space was used well or not, but I know when I look at photos...or even any sort of art, I don't evaluate an image based on how well a particular element is used. Rather, I evalute the image based on all the elements that make up the image.

I by no means am any sort of authority on this. Heck, I do mostly architecture and landscapes. So my thoughts here are worth a penny at best.
 

Streetshooter

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Let's keep in mind that John posted this thread as an experiment.
If you study his gallery you quickly see he has NO issue with negative space, content, intent etc. So, bearing that in mind, if the posted images work or not is really irrelevant.
He is experimenting and this has struck a chord with most of us.
I agree with DJ that a discussion on "Intent & Content" should be started.

It's nice to see the responses and thoughts from so many members.
 

jhob

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Indeed, it was posted as an experiment/discussion point - a concept that I, and others, are exploring.

What I am discovering in my own images is that it is more about the areas of the image that are the subject rather than the areas that are not the subject, and in using expanses of blank or effectively blank areas conveys a sense of being lost to the subject. To me the images take on a more reflective tone.

In viewing the images of others I see quite different emotions conveyed and the compositions tend to be very graphic and simple.

I've found it useful to concentrate and explore a particular concept as it has given me a deeper understanding of how I can use that concept in the future to signify the intent rather than being the intent in and of itself.
 

Djarum

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Indeed, it was posted as an experiment/discussion point - a concept that I, and others, are exploring.

What I am discovering in my own images is that it is more about the areas of the image that are the subject rather than the areas that are not the subject, and in using expanses of blank or effectively blank areas conveys a sense of being lost to the subject. To me the images take on a more reflective tone.

In viewing the images of others I see quite different emotions conveyed and the compositions tend to be very graphic and simple.

I've found it useful to concentrate and explore a particular concept as it has given me a deeper understanding of how I can use that concept in the future to signify the intent rather than being the intent in and of itself.
jhob,

I understand what you were/are wanting to do. We all experiment by concentrating on different elements of an image. I also believe that the rules of photography are ment to be broken, too.(This assumes that we subscribe to those rules or believe that there are rules).

I guess what I am saying however is that when I look at images, I don't look at them based on just that element or how well that element is used. I look at the entire image.

The images in your gallery are quite nice.
 

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