I think it is a very effective tool, and one that I now look to create, rather than happen upon by perhaps not lining my shots up exactly as I wanted them.
If you know and photograph horses, you know that most of them are as curious as cats. So they will eventually investigate. Normally, we might add the negative space in front of the animal to showcase an area they can "walk off into," but in this case, the negative space shows the area Friday covered to get to me, the place where he wanted to be. So it isn't always about leaving space in front. Not if you are telling a story, and not if you understand the thought process of some horses. Now, if Friday were running in a field, I might have left the negative space in front of him, because I would have wanted to show where he was running to next. In this particular case, he wants to be standing still, and even more than that, he wants me to have a cookie. But I did not. And even if I did, I would never hand feed him. We don't hand feed treats to horses in my world. They get plenty of treats, but in their buckets. This way they can't later confuse my hand with a treat machine and try to nip at it.
I do like the angle in this. It was later in the afternoon and there was no snow. I added that to the photo. It was a relatively dreary day and I had only this horrible picture taker cell phone with me. I would have liked to have had an off camera flash.
Last Saturday, I took Billie to work with me. I am lucky to be able to take a dog to the office, and Billie has read the office etiquette manual and has that nailed down, so she is very good at keeping me company. I decided to devote some of my lunch hour to grabbing a photo of Billie that would showcase negative space. There were a few things I didn't count on.
I work at a Nature Center, so we are really out in the woods. It's very hard to be treeless in this setting, but I don't mind trees so much. I think this one is kind of gnarly. That branch stretched out like a tentacle, it seemed to go everywhere.
The background was naturally blurred by the lens, Billie stayed put, and I left quite a bit of negative space to her left.
Because of gnarly tree, I tried one more shot.
I do think it is important to plan out where you want your negative space to show up. Negative space is another tool to help you bring more attention to a subject, but it also can be used to tell a story or send a message. You see it used quite a bit in advertising. Open a magazine and thumb through to see how many different photos you can identify with negative space.
I've seen many different takes on this application, and hopefully, you will too, by continuing onward through this week's very large blog circle! Start with Pavlina Sanborn Photography, serving Southwest Florida, and make your way around the circle until you are right back here again. If you hit a blog link snag, come back later in the day. Most snags are repaired by blogsters within several hours of the initial "go live" postings. Happy Friday!