Photo Daily: The Negative Space of Snow

The Negative Space of Snow ©2013

The Negative Space of Snow ©2013

I was speaking in yesterday’s blog post about how snow reduces the world to the most basic monochrome lines and shapes of black and white. Snow can also create the most beautiful negative white space in composition.

For the artistically challenged, negative space usually refers to the space around and maybe between the subject and the edge of whatever it in inhabiting. It’s one of the primary elements of composition. Negative space is an important design concept in anything ranging from Japanese Gardens, who use the word “ma” to describe it, to advertising, where space is left for the words or logos that try to sell you something.

For me, negative space is a way to balance out the elements in my photography. Balancing out the elements of heavier visual gravity than those without. That’s one of my favorite things about black and white photography, composing frames that feel they have some balance to them, even when one of the elements is the absence of anything.

Thinking of it in those terms, even the worst snowstorm can actually be nothing at all.

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