Photo humour plus a challenge.

As yesterday was a quiet day, I thought I would have a play with some photos for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Negative Space. The negative space is the unoccupied space around the positive space, the positive space being the subject of the photo. Now you are a probably thinking that a positive and negative make a negative, and I’m sure this is true in photography too, but overdosing on the negative in photography breaks that rule. You’ll see. In photography, harnessing the divergent properties of positive and negative space can create cohesion – a sense of calm, peace, contemplation, isolation and scale. Distraction and busyness are the enemies of positive. Hence I let these adjectives be my guide in selecting photos for this challenge. Of course, everything is relative and the relative can really complicate the selection process, especially if you have a mind as busy as mine. I’m speaking from experience, or lack thereof.

However, one question remains. Does a negative and a negative (ie. a huge overdose of negative) make a positive? Let’s see where this goes.

I’ve gone for a calm white-on-white theme here. The generous block of white negative space helps to anchor the busy flower.

Unsurprisingly, when I looked through my archive I had a great many bird photos. Surprisingly few of them fit the negative space brief. Here’s a bird photo (or a landscape?) taken by my True Love that fits well with the adjectives of quiet and peaceful.

Now here is a photo I took recently. It has a lot of negative space but there could be two subjects here – the tree branches, which are magnificent in my opinion, and the crimson rosella. However, the branches would be nothing without that bird, don’t you think? So maybe, the two objects are one subject? In other words, two positives make a positive, then the positive and the negative …. My head spins. So I’ll rate this photo as contemplative.

Now you will remember that distraction is the enemy of the negative, or positive, or something like that. Here is a photo of lacewing minus a distraction I edited out after first publishing this article with the distraction included. I’m undecided whether that improves the photo. Gosh, I dislike not being able to make decisions! I guess that is one of the joys of photography. Decisions, decisions.

Now for the landscape photo. It has a lot of dead negative space. The sky and the few features on the land are relatively nondescript. There is no obvious subject but there is a story. The sense of despair is palpable. The sense of isolation is tangible. That which is missing is the subject.

I do go on. I found this challenge an interesting and worthwhile learning experience. So many photos that I thought might fit the brief, didn’t. Thanks go to Amy for hosting this week’s challenge (see her link at the top of this article) and for her choice of topic. It really made me think.

Kind Regards.

51 thoughts on “The Positives And The Negatives

    1. Thank you, Su. It was wowed when I saw it up there in that tree.
      And thanks too for the compliment on the landscape. I had dismissed that shot prior to this challenge, but when I started thinking about the negative/negative question, it kind of stuck out.
      Parts of eastern Australia have had good rainfall in the last few months. A bumper grain crop is forecast!

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  1. Wow you’ve got my head/ brain spinning Tracy. Great selection. I love the branches and rosella, what I really like in this one is the red against blue and position on that magical third. I covered the red, fuzzy branch and actually I liked it without the distraction. How’s your weather down there? Spring has sprung beautifully, so far, up here…🌸🌺🌼

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    1. Hi Pauline, sorry about head spin. πŸ™‚ I love the crimson being beautiful too.
      I have some issues with the red branch too. It looked quite nice on the big computer with the nice screen but on my phone, it has issues. Can’t win.
      The weather has been brilliant (except for Sunday). 21c tomorrow. Heaven. How are you finding spring temps? I’m looking forward to your garden photos at the end of the month.

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  2. You did a great job with those, Tracy! I especially liked the white flowers with the white background. I would have thought that the flowers would get lost in that background, but they didn’t. It made for an arresting picture.

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    1. Thank you so much, Amy. I enjoyed this challenge very much.
      Now for the hard part, I apologise for not letting you know before now that my name is not actually Teresa. It is Tracy. Basically I answer to anything, except mum (according to my children). πŸ™‚ I’ve often been called Teresa in the past. Tracy is a derivative of Teresa, which actually stems (pun intended) from the Greek verb to harvest. Love that. Suits me I think.


  3. A very nice selection of images that fits well to this weeks theme. The picture with the red bird is special and I like it very much. The branches make the photo even more interesting and maybe the picture would have been great even without the parrot.

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  4. That crimson rosella caught my heart! Your reflection about positive and negative space perfectly echo mine – it’s definitely something I should learn more about! My normal approach to photography is point and shoot – no beforehand thinking whether the proportions or angles are perfectly aligned, or if there’s enough empty space to counterbalance the occupied one. πŸ˜„


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