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How To Use Space In Photography

Joaquimma Anna April 27, 2023
Space is one of the most fundamental elements of photography, yet it can often be overlooked when creating a photo. When used correctly, space can be used to guide a viewer’s eye through the image and create mood and emotion. In this article, we will discuss how to use space in photography to its fullest potential. We will cover topics such as composition, depth of field, leading lines, and negative space. By incorporating these principles into your photos, you can drastically improve your results

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How To Use Space In Photography

Space is an essential element in photography, and it can make or break the composition of an image. Understanding how to use space in photography is crucial for every photographer who wants to create visually pleasing and compelling images. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to use space effectively in your photography.

Negative Space

Negative space is the area surrounding your subject that doesn’t have any noticeable features or details. It’s often referred to as “empty space,” but it’s far from empty when used correctly. Negative space can add depth, contrast, and balance to your composition, making it an essential tool for photographers.

Using negative space can help draw attention to your subject by providing a clear contrast between the subject and the background. It also helps add a sense of scale by providing context for your subject.

One famous example of negative space used effectively is the iconic Apple logo shot on a white backdrop. The simplicity of the image makes it memorable; there is nothing else but the logo and white backdrop which provides negative space that emphasizes its design.

Symmetrical Space

Symmetrical space refers to images where both sides are identical or almost identical, creating a sense of balance and harmony in your composition. Symmetrical compositions often use reflective surfaces such as water or mirrors to create this effect.

A great example of symmetrical photography is Yoko Ono’s “Sky TV,” which depicts an equal split between sky and ground reflected on a large mirror visible from all angles equally

Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds is one of the most basic principles in photography that you should know about if you want to improve your composition skills. Essentially, it requires you to divide your image into thirds both horizontally and vertically, creating nine equal segments. The rule of thirds recommends placing your subject on one of the intersections of these lines or aligning it with one of the lines.

The great advantage of this rule is that it gives depth to the photograph, guiding the viewer’s eye over the image, and giving them a sense of where to look next. It also adds balance to your composition by avoiding distracting elements in the middle of your frame, making it easier for your audience to focus on your subject.

A famous example is Steve McCurry’s iconic photograph “Afghan Girl,” which is composed adhering to The rule of thirds.

Depth Of Field

Depth of field refers to how much or little you have in focus between the foreground and background. Controlling depth of field can help add depth and context to your images.

A shallow depth of field can help isolate your subject from their surroundings by having a blurred background, making them stand out more. It’s often used for portraiture photography or anything where you want all attention focused only on one element. A deep depth of field involves having everything in focus but at different distances which can make for a compelling landscape photograph.


Using space effectively in photography allows you to create visually engaging images that capture people’s attention and leave a lasting impression. Negative space can make an image look clean and minimalistic, symmetrical space adds balance and harmony, while using The rule of thirds provides structure throughout your composition that guides viewers’ eyes around an image. Additionally, controlling Depth Of Field enables photographers to add context when focusing on specific subjects.

Incorporating these techniques into your compositions will allow you to take better photographs at any level or genre; however, remember photography is an art form, and there are no hard rules. Sometimes it’s necessary to break the rules to create something truly unique and amazing.

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Learning how to use negative space in photography took me a while when I was starting out as a photographer and I get asked about it a lot so we made this photography video to explain. Negative space can enhance a photo and give it peace. It also helps the viewer know where to look and what the image is all about in a way that’s more gentle and …

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