Explore negative space
Use negative space to capture landscapes with dramatic compositions
Your Nikon’s sensor is a blank canvas onto which you can position your subject wherever you like. The typical approach is to fill the frame, but sometimes it might be more effective to leave certain areas empty.
We call the empty parts of a frame ‘negative space’. This is typically anywhere that is either lacking in detail, blurred or otherwise plain and unformed. By contrast, the ‘positive space’ in an image will be areas of interest, such as your subject or other notable details in the frame. Just because the rest is ‘negative’, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
If we affect the balance between positive and negative space we can produce strikingly
The key is understanding how space can change the mood. It’s about knowing when to back off and use space to tell the story
bold compositions, especially if we intentionally overemphasize the negative space. The key is in understanding how negative space can change the mood. It’s about knowing when to come in tight on something important, and when to back off and use the space to tell the story.
Take our lighthouse scene here – if we fill the frame with the lighthouse the emphasis is on the shape of the structure, but if we pull back and include the empty wide expanse of beach and sea, we can emphasize the sense of isolation to create a more sombre – and perhaps more meaningful – picture.