Lens-Artists Challenge 114 – Negative Space



“Like a tree that grows stronger with more branches and roots, you need to find more and more ways to be inspired.”

Yiannis Kouros

This week Amy challenges us to illustrate the photographic concept of “negative space”. Typically I am much more prone to “fill the frame” but agree that negative space is quite a powerful photographic tool. In addition to making a capture that emphasizes a primary subject, we can also create the effect in post processing. My opening image is an example of that concept. The original image was  a rather boring one. By concentrating on the negative space and using a bit of creativity, I was able to achieve a better result.  I much prefer the final, edited version for its simplicity and abstract quality.



“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”

Victor Hugo

So too, the capture above. Once again, the final result was not my original concept. As we evaluate the results of our efforts in photography sometimes we need to look beyond what the camera has captured to see the potential of an image. In this case, the conversion to B&W combined with isolating the subject using negative space, resulted in a much-improved image.

Palouse, farmland, shadows


“No race can prosper until it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”

Booker T. Washington

Unlike my first two images, negative space was an important part of my intent on the Palouse image above. One of the most captivating aspects of the area is the wide expanse of farmland in every direction. While the small, rather run-down farm was key to the image, I also wanted to show its relationship to the land around it. The dramatic contours of the negative space helped me to create the feeling I wanted to capture in the image.

two, calves, flowers, yellow


“For one moment, quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”

Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

In the image above the two adorable little calves are surrounded by beautiful flowers. However they are clearly the subject of the capture with the flowers playing a secondary role. As such it represents the concept of negative space not as empty per se, but rather as complimentary to the primary focus of the capture.



“Look at a tree, a plant. How still they are, how deeply rooted in being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.”

Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes negative space is intuitive as we compose our images, other times it appears as we process our results. Shining a light on its power will hopefully help us all to become more creative. Thanks to Amy for challenging us to focus on the concept, helping us to move further forward in our efforts as photographers and artists.

We look forward to seeing your responses to Amy’s challenge. Please remember to link them to her original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists TAG to have them appear in our WP Reader section. As always, we thank you for your support and participation and hope you’ll join us next week as we present Challenge #115 here on Travels and Trifles. Until then, have a wonderful week and please remember to stay safe out there.






130 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge 114 – Negative Space

  1. Enjoyed your post, as always, especially Wide Open Spaces and your header (very creative!) Like you, I tend to want to fill the frame so it was nice to take a step back and look at our photos in a different light. 😊

  2. Thanks for the chuckle this morning, Tina. The cows look like they are questioning what going on.
    Their faces are delightfully cute. Your selections are awesome. The first is magical. I could see that
    one on the cover of a poetry book. The wide-open field photo is unique for me to see. We have green, green, green all the time.
    It’s refreshing to see another perspective on the landscape. Five-star photos this week, Have a wonderful week … Be Safe
    Izzy 😎

  3. Very nice images for this weeks challenging and fun theme. The first photo is like a piece of art, yet simple but maybe that’s why I like it. The WIDE OPEN SPACES is amazing, lovely soft colors and a fantastic scenery while the calves are so delightful!

  4. Hi Tina
    The Hugo quote was a top takeaway – I have heard it before by the way it was inserted
    into the post was nice.
    I also agree with the way negative space can
    complement aspects and like how you provided Examples and mini lessons –
    My favorite Photo is the branches

  5. Pingback: Beautiful Great Blue Herons – The Eyes Have It (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 17) | Babsje Heron

  6. A great variety of images for the challenge Tina and there are so many ways to play with negative space. I especially love your photo of the two calves 🧡

  7. Amazing images, as usual, Tina! The Palouse made me come back to it several times – the skies are awesome, and the colours. I also very much love the branches – would love to hang that one on my wall. Excellent all.

  8. I wondered about the application of the concept of negative space as you used it with the calves. I’m not sure if I feel it truly is negative space, but I understand the interpretation. I especially like that first edit. It’s very Zen-like in its feel.


  9. Gorgeous photos, Tina. I appreciated the tutorial, too. It helps my search for photos to post for this challenge. BTW, I took the liberty of using your fabulous leopard picture as the inspiration for my post, Cinquain Poetry: Audacious Photography, today, credited to you, of course. I hope you don’t mind.

  10. Having lived on a small farm near Pullman, WA, your Palouse photos always pull my heartstrings!
    Sorry I was unable to participate last week, just too much happening with the fires and hazardous air conditions here – but I’ll be back!

  11. Very interesting challenge and this is something I have not given thought to previously. Your photos are marvelous. I love the wide open spaces. Beautiful! and the two calves are so appealing.

    • Thanks so much Anne, glad you enjoyed. It’s a really interesting challenge I think. I’ve seen images you’ve used before that show you use the technique, even if unconsciously. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  12. These are beautiful negative space images, Tina. the Palouse image is just breathtaking… I scrolled up and down several times, really enjoy this series. I feel I have learned so much about negative space in photography here from you. 🙂

  13. Terrific examples of negative space, Tina. You really highlighted a variety of images where negative space really has an impact. The Palouse image and those adorable calves are my favorites this week!

  14. Really loved “Branches” and Sweet Grass To Be”! And…the contrast of the sky against the farmland…Always look forward to your wonderful creativity, Tina!

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