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My Student’s Work: The Use of a Vanishing Point and Negative Space

Two of several lessons I give, both in my online class with the PPSOP and my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the globe, deals with Vanishing Points and Negative Space. It’s about taking these elements of visual design  and using them to take you photography “up a notch”. The above photograph is one I show to my students as an example of both appearing in one shot.

These two elements are found on my ‘Artist Palette’ along with: Perspective, Tension, Light, Color, Texture, Pattern, Line, and Form.

Briefly, a Vanishing Point consists of parallel lines that begin somewhere behind the camera, and converge at a point on the horizon.

All photos are made up of Negative and Positive space, and in my class and workshop, we deal with that Negative Space that ‘defines’ the Positive Space and gives it substance.

Vanishing Point and Negative Space

Birka, one of my online students living in Moscow, Russia went out to “make a picture” with a Vanishing Point in it, and also use Negative Space to define the Positive Space. In the above photograph, she did just that. The white columns on the left form a Vanishing Point that leads the viewer to the two people walking in the middle of the frame. The Negative Space I’m referring to is that space that surrounds the two people, defining them. If it weren’t for that Negative Space between the people and the shadows on both sides of the columns. they wouldn’t be what I call a “quick read”; in other words, they wouldn’t look like two people walking.

This is how important Negative Space and a Vanishing Point are in taking our imagery “up a notch”.

Great shot and great job Birka!!!


Let people know you saw it here!
    { 3 comments… add one }
    • Dawn January 4, 2012, 12:03 am

      One of my favorite Birka shots!

    • Birka January 9, 2012, 1:39 am

      Dawn, Joe,

      Thanks 🙂 , this is one of my favorites as well!

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