Hot Polka Dot
2Aug/11

How To Tuesday: Photography Composition Part II.

Continuing our photography lesson from last week, today I'm going to talk to you about the compositional importance of negative space and leading lines. These two concepts are not exclusive to photography, but prevalent in all visual arts.

When I think of negative space the first thing that pops into mind is a specific painting that I viewed years ago at the Art Gallery of Ontario during a high school field trip. It's called Dancers Practicing at the Barre by Degas. Negative space is defined as the relatively empty space surrounding the subject of focus. In this case the two dancers seem to be shoved into the top right corner and the rest of the space is taken up by blank floor or wall. This might appear curious, but in doing so Degas is enhancing the importance of his subjects and making his composition dynamic. You would think that all that negative space would make the painting unbalanced because all the weight is in the top right corner. In fact the plainness of the wall and floor balance the detail in the figures.

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