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Project 52 Week 39: “Negative Space”

I’m a huge fan of shooting with a wide aperture.   The majority of pet portraits I take are at F/2.2 or F/2.5.  I also prefer prime lenses over zoom.  I will grab my 50 or 100 mm over my 24-70mm lens.  Now that I’ve confessed my preferences, I enjoyed this weeks 52 Week Pet Photography Project’s lesson on “Negative Space”.  This is something I continuously try to work with in ways that will best enhance my photographs!

Negative Space is defined as “the space in a photograph that is not your main subject”.  It’s all that “other” stuff!  I’m a bokeh addict – if I can get that perfect “blurred” background with the right amount of space to make my subject look amazing,  I’ve succeeded!

Our assignment this week was to make 3 images framed in 3 different ways concentrating on the amount of negative space.  I set out with my always cooperative model, Kota, for this lesson.  I would have loved to have shown you some beautiful fall colors for this assignment, but unfortunately autumn is taking it’s time this year.  Your stuck with never-ending greens!

This first image is how my eye wants to naturally see Kota and the scene.  When I have her facing one direction, I automatically add some negative space to the direction she is facing.



This next photo cropped much tighter.  There isn’t much negative space.  I put her in the center of the frame.  (she was taking a break from looking at the camera)  The less negative space makes the portrait more intimate and gives a stronger connection with the subject. Well,  normally I would believe that.  We don’t look like we are connecting much here 🙂



The last photo I intentionally added more negative space.  I think this would work with a much prettier background. (Imagine: oranges and reds of autumn!)  I think the larger amount of space makes the viewer wonder, “hmmm… what does she see?  A squirrel?  A coyote? What is she smiling at?”  There is a bit of storytelling going on.


Oh.. a last minute add before posting!  I headed back outside with the princess and added some fake leaves in the trees – a pop of color for your visual enhancement!!!  And yes, a smile!



Negative space is something I enjoy working with and make a habit to pay attention to.  Some photographs look much more appealing with the negative space, while others do not require it.  How we use it as a photographer will impact what our viewers actually see and the emotion that ties to it.  Thank you for stopping by this week!  Continue on with our 52 Week Pet Photography Blog Circle.  Click on the link and next up is Elaine with  I Got The Shot Photography, Northeast PA Pet Photographer.  Enjoy!!!

4 thoughts on “Project 52 Week 39: “Negative Space””

    1. Thanks, Kelly! I don’t mind the green…. but it’s just long overdo for some nice colors out here! Ready for a change 🙂

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