The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

This week’s Lens-Artists Challenge, hosted by Amy focuses on negative space in  photography.  My understanding is that negative space is the area that, by definition, you aren’t necessarily supposed to focus on. Negative space is the lack of clutter surrounding the main subject that allows us to focus on the main subject.

The photo below was taken at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

This is the I have no idea what this flower is flower. It was too hot that day to bother with reading the description.

In the photo below taken at Marche Jean Talon in Montreal there is very little negative space but what little there is enhances the bulbs of garlic.               

I’ve found that for me negative space not only draws the eye to the subject but the space itself can often be pleasing as in the photos below.

This is a Chilean version of the I have no idea what flower this is flower. Taken at SF Botanical Garden


This egret was taken at a pond near our house. Why do egrets always look pissed off?

But what did I know? I just took pictures and saw negative space when I pulled them up on the computer. The photos below were taken in Downtown San Francisco.

Old and new


A bar, a restaurant and a umm…Is this symbiosis in business?

Look at that effect I thought.  Looks kinda cool. 

After that I tried shooting my photos with the intent of creating negative space. The photos below were taken in my yard.                 

Cora’s orchid

The blue behind the Bird of Paradise is our pool cover.

Sometimes the negative image is just right there in front of you as in this photo taken at the Montreal Botanical Garden.                     

Sometimes you see possibilities in an image and you turn to a little editing to enhance the effect.  The photo below was taken at a fruit stand in Montreal. The shelves originally showed up very dimly and so I helped them along and eliminated them.

Fruit stand – Montreal

And sometimes you turn to a lot of little editing as in the photo below.  The building below has fascinated me for years and it took until this year to finally stop and take photos.  The Sentinel Building, completed in 1907, is a style called a flatiron.

Sentinel Building. S.F.

I didn’t even realize that the effect was actually a thing. Well, of course it’s a thing. I just didn’t know that the thing has a name. You learn something every week. So thank you Amy.

To see Amy’s excellent work and those of other lens artists stop by her site by clicking HERE.

Negative space. Cool stuff.

22 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge 114 – Negative Space

  1. Amy says:

    What a remarkable set of images for this week’s theme! The details of these flowers, wow! Yes, the space itself is very pleasing via your lens. The opening image of the egret is a stunning capture. The photo of the waterlily leaves is my favorite, perfect composition besides the beautiful shape, curves, and colors of these leaves! Thank you, Paulie!

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Amy. I have a few different views of those waterlilies. It was one of those rare instances when you actually see the real potential, see the print in your mind’s eye before you’ve taken one shot.

  2. Tina Schell says:

    Learn something new every day, right?! Excellent examples. Just because we don’t know it’s name doesn’t mean we don’t see and appreciate it, right?!

    1. Paulie says:

      Exactly. Sort of like those flowers that I can’t identify.

  3. Leya says:

    very interesting gallery, Paulie. Love your egrets and special flowers!

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you so much. I just discovered the egrets in a local pond a few weeks ago when I was out for a run and took a new course.

      1. Leya says:

        Sometimes a surprise is surprisingly positive!

  4. Teresa says:

    These are wonderful takes on the topic. Such vivid colours too. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Teresa. Much appreciated.

  5. Alison says:

    Fantastic editing ..and great photos

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you so much Alison and thank you for visiting.

  6. M.B. Henry says:

    These are amazing – I absolutely love that first flower from the botanical garden!

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you. If you ever make it up here try to put The Botanical Garden on your itinerary.

  7. JohnRH says:

    Excellent photos. VERY well done. The flowers are my faves. I like the green building too.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you John. A little trivia on that building. It’s clad in copper and white tile. The building was owned by the Kingston Trio and then sold to Francis Ford Coppola who still has his offices there. Coppola also opened a little eatery in the ground floor called, appropriately enough, Cafe Zeotrope (after his film company).

      1. JohnRH says:

        😱 Who knew! Well, you did. 😎

  8. Prior... says:

    Paulie – I like your understanding of negative space and keep learning as I visit posts this week’
    I like the originality of your photos also

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you so much. I appreciate the kind words.

  9. Rupali says:

    Fantastic shots. The flower from SF botanical garden is very special.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you so much. The entire garden is a very special place and the two flowers I included in my post are singular examples.

  10. brenda says:

    The image created at the San Francisco Botanical Garden … I love the colors and repeating pattern.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Brenda. I definitely need to make a return visit this autumn. The garden is ever changing with the seasons.

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