Assignment No2 | Simplification & Negative Space

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance all things are attainable” – Thomas Fowell Buxton 


A new week a new assignment. This week we were set to photograph a further 4 images however this time we would focus on including negative space and simplified images. Images with ‘negative space’ are designed to draw your eyes to the main subject of the image instead of feeling that your eyes are scattering all over it. Negative space will give the image a more natural balance which is usually why they can be more appealing. Simplification is also very similar to negative space because it too is drawing your eyes to whats necessary in the image. What you see is pretty much what you get! 

In our lesson we were introduced to more photographers and their work and also a few familiar artist popped up.

  1. First off we have an image called Heron by Keith Carter. We were introduced to his work last lesson however this week his work really took my attention. Personally I think Carter is surrounding the heron with a dark negative space. This gives the image a eerie and mysterious atmosphere and is something I’m wishing to try. If I was to photograph something similar I could certainly alter and edit the colour and contrast to pick and choose what type of vibe I want send out.
  2. Next we have Silent World by Michael Kenna. His image too has a mysterious atmosphere to it even though it is the opposite to Carters darker work. The difference being this image is certainly taken at a long distance therefore the amount of negative space is much greater. I certainly like the idea of a landscape image in extreme weathers and will consider giving this a try.
  3. Again we have Arnold Newman with his image of the famous artist Willem de Kooning. This image shows the simplification of Willem looking directly at the camera. Although this image is a little unusual to a ‘normal’ portrait image we are still drawn to Willem instead of the rest of the image. I really like Newman’s work because he seems to concentrate on the talent or the art that the person has and showcases that rather than the person. I will certainly be looking back at his work again and potentially trying my own pieces similar to his.
  4. And lastly we have Behind the Gare St Lazare by Henri Cartier Breton. It shows the simplification of the man running. It shows shows the relationship he has will the ground and you can see this is his reflection in the water. It is truly a simple piece but many questions can be asked behind it. Why is he running? Where is he going? Who is he? And the simplicity is we do not know.


This week I’d not really had many ideas jump to mind therefore I certainly fished around and kept my eye out for anything worth taking pictures of. However I was certainly liking the idea of something similar to Keith Carters with negative space being a black or darker shade therefore I think I was looking at more stills photography controlled by my own lighting and again seeing what ideas worked and what didn’t work.

Learn to wait, things always fall into place” – Unknown 

To be continued… :)(:


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