Negative Space Landscapes

A few of my experiments with negative space in landscape shots:

Goodbye Koh Mook / Nikon N8008 / Fujifilm C200

Goodbye Koh Mook / Nikon N8008 / Fujifilm C200

My first departure from the good ol’ rule of thirds in framing landscapes came with the above picture when I noticed how including a lot of sky added a feeling of expanse to the composition. The large sky exudes vastness while the sliver of land grounds the photo and adds just enough context.


Tapee River, Surat Thani, Thailand / Nikon N8008 / Fujifilm C200

Tapee River, Surat Thani, Thailand / Nikon N8008 / Fujifilm C200

The river alone wasn't very interesting, nor were the houses and shrubs behind it. But a little bit of both and a lot of sky made the photo more interesting by changing the emphasis. Now the photo wasn't about the river, but expanse. This was shot on my (then) brand new Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF-D. This was also when I first realized that a wide-angle lens is not at all necessary for landscape shots.


Koh Lampu Bridge / Nikon N8008 / Fujifilm C200

Koh Lampu Bridge / Nikon N8008 / Fujifilm C200

Warm and pleasant. The vignetting of the corners creates a natural looking gradient of blues to the sky, adding more dimension to the negative space.


Stonehenge / Nikon N8008 / Kodak UltraMax 400

Stonehenge / Nikon N8008 / Kodak UltraMax 400

Stonehenge is usually shot closely cropped to display the arrangement of the stones. Those compositions are about its impressive structure. The vertical orientation and negative space on top of the stones on this shot helps convey the mystical nature of Stonehenge.


Ishinomaki, Japan / Nikon F4 / Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Ishinomaki, Japan / Nikon F4 / Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Amy and I went to volunteer in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, Japan. Ishinomaki was one of the hardest hit areas during the 2011 Japanese tsunami. This part of town was barely touched. The water level permanently rose a meter since the landmass you are seeing sunk a meter during the earthquake.

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