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Examples Of Positive Space In Photography

Joaquimma Anna April 25, 2023
Positive space in photography is an important part of creating an aesthetically pleasing image. It refers to the area within an image that is the main focus of attention or design element. This can either be a vibrant color, striking shape, or detailed texture. Positive space helps to draw the eye and communicate a specific message to viewers. Through this article, we will explore how different elements can create positive space in photography and provide some examples of how it’s used in creative compositions.

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Examples Of Positive Space In Photography

Photography is a powerful tool that can be used to communicate messages, stir up emotions, and capture moments in time. Positive space, also known as the subject or main focus of a photograph, plays a crucial role in determining the impact and effectiveness of an image. In this article, we will explore some examples of positive space in photography.

Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is one of the most popular genres of photography. It focuses on capturing the natural beauty of landscapes and outdoor environments. Positive space in landscape photography can be used to create depth and perspective in an image. Including a foreground element such as rocks, flowers or trees can help create a sense of scale and distance.

For instance, Ansel Adams’ iconic photograph “Moonrise Over Hernandez” shows a vast landscape with a small village at its center illuminated by the moon. The village serves as the positive space in this image, drawing the viewer’s attention to it while complementing the surrounding landscape.

Portrait Photography

Portraiture is another popular genre that focuses on capturing people’s images using different setups such as studio lighting or natural surroundings. In portrait photography, positive space refers to the area around the subject that complements them without detracting from their presence in the image.

For example, Steve McCurry’s portrait named “Afghan Girl,” taken for National Geographic Magazine’s cover captured Sharbat Gula’s piercing green eyes against soft light coming from outside her tent located at a refugee campsite when she was just 12 years old made her famous around the world despite being photographed through an old analog camera without technology aids like modern cameras.

Product Photography

Positive space is essential when it comes to product photography, where the main objective is to draw attention to the product’s features and benefits. In this genre, the product is usually placed in a neutral background that allows it to stand out, highlighting its key features.

A good example of positive space in product photography is Apple’s product pages, where their products are showcased against white backgrounds with little to no distractions. The simplicity and focus on the products, enhances their sleek design and functionality.


In conclusion, positive space plays a vital role in photography, regardless of the genre. It helps create depth, highlights subject matter, and draws attention to a particular element. Understanding how to use positive space effectively can significantly improve your photography skills and help you create more impactful images.

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