Lens-Artist Photo Challenge – Negative Space

This week for the Lens-Artist Photo Challenge, Amy invited folks to share images of negative space in photography. Amy shared this: Negative space is the area around the main subject of your photograph. This space is empty or unoccupied. Spencer Cox at Photography Life explained it this way: Photos with high amounts of negative space are: empty, subdued, peaceful, calm, and isolated.


Isn’t it fun to talk about negative space this week?

Here are some more thoughts to add to this rich discussion – as we all learn and grow when these themes come our way 🙂

The negative space (in a photo or printing) lets us breathe and pause – like margins in a book or like a pause during conversation – the negative space can give us some (visual) room. 

However, sometimes the negative space brings us into the photo – around and into the subject, and then deeper into the composition. 

Sometimes the negative space is a VERY active part of the energy and movement of the entire photo.

We all see and feel the impact of the negative space – even if we cannot put it into words.

The negative space can work with the subject and other elements to allow us to experience something – it can be calmness and peacefulness – OR it can be an engaged and “pulled in and around” vibe too. 


1) The hotel wallpaper fills the negative space in this flower photograph. (These were birthday flowers, by the way – from earlier this year – and they were from a California cousin of mine). However, notice that the negative space also has the dresser line and angle. This could be viewed as part of the subject – our still life of flowers in a ceramic travel mug. However, the line and angle in that lower left – and the darkness of the wood – allows the wallpaper to glow a bit – and then the corner is contrasting with the rounded flower to the upper right – you can almost see a line through the photo from the lower left to the upper right. Then the stem lines also have harmony with the dresser line. I also like how the center of the left purple flowers has a similar color to the yellow-green flowers right. 
here are the flowers without the dresser – and I think it has a much different vibe. What do you think? 
2) The negative space here would be the sky. And again, I feel as if the negative space adds to the energy and movement of the photo. The white lines in the sky seem to radiate – and their soft, organic feel add a nice contrast to the straight lines and geometrics in the building, sidewalk, and pole. The organic shapes in the sky also helped me feel some of the organic shapes found in the weathering of the bricks and wood 
3) The negative space here also lets us feel some hotel wallpaper. This time, the stripes of a neutral wallpaper allow this cowboy figure to stand out. The corner of the wall gives us depth – and then the negative space also allows us to feel the shadow – with the arms and lasso – drawing the eye back to the subject. 


These next two photos remind me that a slight change to the negative space can CHANGE the energy in a photo. Let me know what you think: 

4 A) – The Negative space here is top heavy – make that  – the negative space is “top light” — as the clear blue sky fills the upper part of the frame. There is an “up and away” vibe. 


4 B) The Negative space here fills the right – and then we have the white corner upper left and white in the corner lower left.   The sky here in this photo is only a little different from the first one; however, the energy is totally different. I think this photo of the helicopter is less calm then the first – and this one has more of a “coming in for a landing “feel.” Hmmmm == just thinking. And it can be fun to ponder different elements – so thanks Amy. 

Care to join in with the Lens-Artists? Here are the links:




















61 thoughts on “Lens-Artist Photo Challenge – Negative Space

    1. Hi – well thanks a lot and I am learning so much this weekend with the various entries for the theme of negative space 👍🏼😊
      -also – notice the flowers are rather a thin bunch – I shared half the bouquet with my cousin’s elderly neighbor ! Just had to– 😉


  1. I think the second helicopter shot has a more calm feel because there isn’t so much else in the photo. Am I being negative? LOL! Is that your sculpture? We have some western sculptures and my parents have many of them. Happy Sunday, Yvette.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janet – not negative at all – because it is all so subjective – eh? And it is “all how we look at it” and I could change my mind next week – plus sometimes the way we “read” a photo or feel it – well we can be “primed” from our day or from what we have recently done – and so then coming to a photo can change depending on that frame of mind –
      And no ma’am – that sculpture was one of maybe 25 sculptures at a hotel – they were well made
      Happy Sunday to you also

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful set of images of negative space, Yvette. Well captured and explained that help us appreciate these beautiful images of the flower arrangement, sculpture, old building, and helicopter.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad this theme works for you. I really have learned so much from our participates. Thank you for your support,Yvette. It means a lot to me. 🙂


    1. Hi – cheers to the flowers and I loved your pro tips for food photos – that was really well
      And a top tip for me was
      Pick good surfaces what’s under the plate matters, while marble, wood and fabric are great, you’re concreate patio could be even better”
      And would just add to maybe even think about using signature backdrops or signature vibes to develop identify and brand – or not
      – but thanks for sharing the link

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very cool choices for this challenge. In the flower photo, I think the negative space is more accented in the second shot. Cropping is a great tool for images like this. It can change the whole vibe of the photo. The helicopter one can be cropped so many ways!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much and appreciate the feedback – seems many folks like the second photo of the flowers better as well

      And I am not that into cropping but sounds like you have a lot of experience with it

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great teaching post Yvette. I like the flowers better in the first post. It seemed more impressive. I preferred the second helicopter shot. I think the building detracted from the first shot. I loved the explanation of the shadow on the wall being part of the negative space. Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marsha – your comment was nice to read – and I keep learning so much but it is also fun to share a few things I have picked up over the years.
      I know smthe helicopter shits were not very different – but I guess we can all see things a bit different and maybe accentuate small parts – hope your week is going well

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In cropping the two vases of flowers, I have to tell you that what stood out for me was seeing that flower head drooping and I couldn’t seem to get past that image to see beneath it. The upclose helicopter was unique but my favorite was the flowers.


    1. Thanks Linda
      And I was truly just exploring – I know the helicopter photos are not that different at all!
      And the droopy flower cathedral my eye too! The flowers also make me smile because getting back in touch with a cousin – someone I did not connect with since late 80s – that was really special

      Liked by 1 person

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