Using NEGATIVE SPACE for Unique Photos with Impact (VIDEO)

There’s one sure way to take your photography to the next level: Shoot images with a totally different look from those you’ve captured in the past. You can do this by switching up the subject matter, trying a different technique, or composing images from an unusual vantage point—either high or low.

The video below demonstrates another way to capture images that will stand out from the crowd—by using negative space to capture minimalist photos with a sense of mystery and drama. This tutorial comes to us from the Photography Course YouTube channel—a pioneer in free online photography training and education.

Instructor Taya Iv demonstrates how easy it is to use this powerful technique in less than five minutes. She discusses camera settings, composition and more. By following her advice you’ll able to direct a viewer’s eye to exactly where you want it to go, and give you photos a compelling sense of “atmosphere” or emotion.

Iv says, “This is a very simple approach, but it can have a very big impact on your work.” She notes that this style is similar to shooting images for book covers, except that you’re not constrained to a vertical orientation and you don’t have to worry about type placement or other graphic elements.

This technique works great whether you're shooting indoors or outside, and the lesson is illustrated with a number of powerful photos to give you a some inspiration. As you’ll see, the first step is finding an interesting subject in an isolated space. This can be a beach scene with a lonely shell or starfish in the sand, an empty field with a featureless sky, or just about anything else that grabs your fancy.

She explains that a few minor distracting elements or textures behind your subject won’t spoil the effect, as long as you use the widest lens aperture available to minimize depth of field. She demonstrates a number of other ways to get the job done, including what she refers to as “flat lay photography.”

This technique is also very effective for shooting indoor portraits against a bright window that’s covered with a semi-transparent curtain. Ivy has a few other tricks up her sleeve, so take a close look and start visualizing things differently today.

This video is episode #25 of the “52-Week Project” that’s full of other interesting techniques, and we encourage you to click on this link and explore.

Be sure to check out a tutorial we posted in a similar vein to this one, explaining a simple method for capturing unique nature and wildlife photos.