52 Frames: Week 27: Negative Space!!

 Less is more. This week’s Negative Space challenge is what those words are all about. Make your composition’s subject stand out by ensuring you eliminate clutter, distractions and sometimes even a background.

Peony in monochrome

Many minimalistic photography images have a great deal of negative space to isolate the subject. There are tons of genres and ideas that would make for very compelling shots – architecture, landscapes, portraits, food photography, abstracts and so much more. Think about the story or emotion you’d like to convey to your viewer and compose your shot after taking some time to think about it.


We’re looking for clear, un-cluttered images where the space surrounding the main subject or idea enhances your shot by taking the viewer’s eye straight there. That little bit of extra space allows for breathing room and leaves no doubt as to what the main point of interest is.

Alone with bokeh

There’s magic in negative space, when used wisely, so think, breathe, shoot…


  • Zoom with your feet: Move around to get the best composition for your photo.
  • Different shooting angles: Because everything else is simplified in your frame, you have more license to “break” the rules of typical composition, for example where your subject is placed in the frame, or where they are looking.
  • Find your background first: Go on a hunt for a red brick wall, or a blue garage door, then place your subject in front of it.
  • Balance: Use the negative space to balance out the main subject. Don’t go overboard with the negative space, making it hard for the viewer to understand and absorb the main focus point of your shot.
  • Shoot wide open: That dreamy, creamy bokeh is a great way to simplify your subject’s background, and keep the frame more minimalistic.
Negative space with daisies

I would have loved to use some of the shots I took at Crete as they would have suited this challenge perfectly, but no, still I think they are great examples of negative space.

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