Brenda’s A Photo Study: Rule of Space

This is my attempt for Brenda’s A Photo Study: Rule of Space.

Ted Forbes, in Rule of Space, said, “The Rule of Space is simply a technique that creates a sense of motion, activity or conclusion in your composition. It simply involves creating negative space that relates to your subject.”

He also said (in his video), “Negative space is a space with very low activity… The rule of space is to balance your subject with this negative space.”

I took this first photo while walking on the Douglas Trail. I had my phone ready to shoot soon after I arrived and kept it ready for a long time, but after seeing many gray or black jackets passing by, I put my phone away. And guess what?

The next photo was shot by a frozen lake. Ice was already melted on some part of the lake. These two guys must know something that I don’t.

One cold day we managed to go out to take some sunset photos.

The last photo was taken a couple of years ago. I miss that little girl who didn’t care if there was a camera pointing at her or not. Do parents really have to teach kids how to pose in front of cameras?

Thank you for visiting my blog.


About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
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18 Responses to Brenda’s A Photo Study: Rule of Space

  1. brenda says:

    I love the image of the young girl. Each of your images seem to reflect Ted Forbes discussion of movement or the invitation to image movement via the young girl’s gaze, the focused camera, the guys driving on the ice (fear, anxiety…I can hear the ice begin to crack 🙂 ), and the jogger. Thanks for much for joining me on this photo study…it means a lot to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Brenda. I was going to thank you at the end of the post, but forgot ;-( I got up early today for an online LamRim class, so I was sleepy 😉 Thank you for allowing us to follow you.
      It’s interesting that some rules seemed so simple and I was pretty sure I knew all about it, and yet after spending time studying it, I was always be able to learn something new. This kind of experience makes me humble.
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The second image looks really interesting for the pure white background…

    A frozen lake is something we could only imagine, for people from the tropics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Sreejith. It was after I came to U.S., I saw snow the first time, so I understand what you said. Even now, when I step on a frozen lake, I worry about my safety. 😉
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rupali says:

    I have to admit that I read again about negative space as I could not remember.
    All iamges are very different from each other presenting a story line but in the first image can the trees express positive space?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Rupali. Sorry for the late response. Sometime I am so lazy; I don’t like being lazy, but when I am lazy, it is so hard get out of that lazy mood.
      I thought I understood the negative space well, until I saw Ted’s examples. But when I heard he say, “Negative space is a space with very low activity…”, then suddenly it made some sense to me. Then I read your comment, I had to think about this again…
      Is it possible that as a photographer (or an artist), we can define the negative space in our photo anyway we want? For example, the first image… to be honest, at first, I wasn’t going to include this photo because I didn’t see a negative space, but it does have “low activity space” so I throw it in and I was hoping someone would say something about it ;-). Anyway, the first image, as a photographer, I can “make” those trees a negative space, by blurring them. Otherwise they are more of positive apace than negative even though low activity. Hmm… I hope this makes sense to you. I learned a lot from your comment. Thanks.
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Definitely so. That is an important aspect in any visual art.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Inese. More and more I see the connection between photographing and visual art. (Or I should say it is a part of visual art? 😉
      Have a great day.


  5. I too love the last image .. in fact they are all fabulous! Clever girl .. No kids are naturals ..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful images. I love them. And thanks for sharing so much info on the rule itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. neihtn2012 says:

    That last one is superb! That cute little girl is perfectly captured.

    Liked by 1 person

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