DogShotz Photography | Project52/Week3/"Negative Space"

Project52/Week3/"Negative Space"

January 20, 2017  •  9 Comments


Indianapolis IN 




Hey there and welcome to week 3 of the Pet Photography 52 Weeks Project! This week's theme for the blog circle is "negative space".  

Negative space defines and emphasizes the main subject of a photo, drawing your eye to it. It provides "breathing room", giving your eyes somewhere to rest and preventing your image from appearing too cluttered with "stuff". It doesn't have to be empty space (it could be flat color, low texture, a subtle gradient etc.) but it should not have so much detail as to compete with the subject. Words that can be used to describe images composed using negative space are: simple, elegant, balanced and calming. It is a style of photography that I love! Incorporating it in pet photography requires one to pause and really pay attention to exactly what makes up your background and how that can be used to draw all the attention to the dog.

Initially I thought I would use a big open blue sky as my negative space. However, here in Indianapolis we have had snow flurries, freezing rain, sleet, and today just plain rain with a sprinkling of dull grey skies. I was really hopeful for fog too but that didn't materialize. While I did attempt some outside shooting my results were lacking in light so I brought my challenge inside. Lol, this exercise really made me appreciate the need to declutter some of the rooms in our house!

My images are of our rescue pups, Bruiser and Teddy.  These were taken with natural light on our stairway landing. I chose it specifically for the light and the monochromatic look I was after. I used a shallow depth of field (f2.8) in order to blur the background & better define the contrast between both dogs and their surroundings. While I like these images I think if the landing was just a little wider it would have afforded me the perfect amount of negative space to balance against the size of each of the dogs. Maybe just another foot to the right....

Nikon D750, 24.0-70.0 mm, f2.8 @44 mm, f2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO100


This boy melts my heart these days. At 6 he follows me around like a puppy dog always wanting to be a part of whatever I'm doing. Up to this point he has always been a bit of a firecracker. He still has his moments but now they make me laugh and appreciate him all the more.

Something I would like to do this year is to be more in the moment with my photography. It sounds cliché but working with shelter dogs can be quite frenzied and rushed. I have found that if I am unhurried and more thoughtful about what I am trying to capture in my images the results are so much more compelling. This is really important with adoption images. Looking for the negative space this week caused me to take a step back and really look at the whole picture. I am more likely to pause and take this into account in a much more meaningful way going forward than if I just went through the motions w/o purpose. So thank you 52 weeks project!

Now,  please head over to Elaine Tweedy of I Got The Shot Photography, serving Northeast PA and surrounding areas for the next 'negative space" feature in the blog circle!


Until next week,



DogShotz Photography 


Loving the natural light that you captured! Beautiful images! Beautiful pups - love that 2nd image and the "soulful" eyes - great post!!!
These are clearly faces that need to be smushed and smooched. SUCH CUTIES! Love the images. Perfect examples of the theme.
Pavlina Sanborn(non-registered)
Bruiser and Teddy are so cute! I too thought to do the outside, wide shot but instead challenged myself inside. Great clean negative space, nice work!
Blue Amrich(non-registered)
These are all so sweet! The negative space works really well with your colors and composition. Beautiful work!
Judy Babinski(non-registered)
What cuties! Great use of negative space.
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