Improve Your Photo Compositions With Simplification and Negative Space

Both Mozart and Debussy said that music is the space between notes, alluding to the fact that sound is meaningless without silence to contextualize it. There is of course a visual analog, and considering and incorporating it carefully into your images can vastly improve the impact of your compositions.

This is an older video from Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography, but I thought it was an especially good talk about something that isn't mentioned enough when we speak about composition. I find simplification and negative space to be insanely difficult to master (I still pursue them constantly in the music I write), but so utterly compelling when done successfully. And as Forbes walks us through some examples, I think it becomes clear why minimalism can be so powerful: the subject is represented with such stark clarity that the impact of the image is exponentially stronger. In practicing such compositions, I truly believe that shooting in black and white is a great help, as color is one less major variable to deal with and the geometry and structure of the resultant photo becomes clearer. Do you have any minimalist images? Share them in the comments! 

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