Photo Composition. Negative space photography.

Author note: Thanks to Cee and her Photo Challenge ‘Simplicity’ for the inspiration for this post about photo composition.

I’ve never wanted to be the one in the limelight.

I was the kid who whispered the funny line to the class clown who then screamed it out and got all the accolades. However both of us were smiling. 🙂

Nothing bad about negative space photography.

I’m definitely not one to oft dish out photography tips. I am a student not a teacher of the beguiling artform that is photography. However across two decades of travel I have learned a few things that I am certainly happy to share.

I am also at peace with the fact that I’m not that great at getting the stand alone, one-off ‘money shot’ photograph. Rather I try to construct a narrative using multiple images to tell a story. (This post Why I think photography is like a patchwork quilt is all about that approach). You see there are normally two sides to every story aren’t there. Yin and Yang, light and shade. The devil in the detail.

The world would be a much less interesting place, at least I think so, if there was no nuance and everything we cared about was front-and-centre.

The photographs I include below I hope demonstrate that “dear old Watson” is just as important as Sherlock Holmes.

Photo composition tips. Negative space photography

The photo composition of the images directly below (and feature image above) use the line-of-sight of the subject to lead the viewer’s eye.

photo composition

Negative space photography

photo composition

Ephemeral moments.

Transitional images. Existing only for a moment, or a finite amount of time as captured.

Negative space photography

Negative space photography

photography tips
Livorno, Italy.

In the image of the balcony I originally thought ‘Damn if only those tress weren’t there’. But as I looked more I thought they actually aptly told the story of an Italian summer resort town shut down for the season. Leaves gone, shutters closed.

I’ve seen the light.

Like all photography incredible light can lift a photograph of pretty much anything. So even better when your subject happens to be beautiful as well.

Negative space photography
Zadar, Croatia.

photo composition tips


I'm passionate about travelling, music, photography, blogging, 'Social Anthropology' (the posh term for people-watching) and creating content. I travel to learn and observe to understand. My dream day would look something like this.... A bottle of red (or two), fresh baguette (or two) & wedge of Camembert (or two), a balmy Paris September eve spent people-watching in fine company on the banks of the Canal St Martin.

12 thoughts on “Photo Composition. Negative space photography.

  1. Great set of images Saxon – agree with you totally on the space aspect – I often like to compose images , especially portraits like film stills in landscape rather than portrait and with lots of space – simplicity is king! 🙂

    1. There is so many aspects to photography that can be changed or experimented with. It’s just finding the blasted time to try then all! Thanks for your comment Jane as always.

    1. Thanks Haylee. I forget to take this type of composition most of the time. Hopefully doing this post will remind me. Another thing I forget to do is take photos from different angles such as down very low or up high. It can give a great new perspective on subjects. I might rustle up a post on that at some stage. Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

      1. You’re welcome 🙂 Yes, those are also great angles to take images from. I’m getting better at looking at compositions in this way, but the cropping tool also works wonders!

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