Learning Simplification & Negative Space

Starting out on this assignment I thought yes this is easy, but the more I thought about it the more I complicated the relatively simple brief.

What I knew…

Simplification is to reduce as much in the frame as you can to leave only the essential elements of the image, as minimal as possible.

I found the Arnold Newman – Stravinsky portrait that we were shown in class the clearest in explaining simplification, below is the original and then the cropped version which shows how when taking everything else out of the frame and only leaving his head and shoulders and the top of the piano makes a much more powerful composite. There is also negative space in this image with the area behind the subject but I think it stands out more for simplification.

Negative space being the area which surrounds the main subject (positive space) and even though the space is empty and classed as negative it adds emphasis and impact to the main subject more so than if it was filling the frame.

There was so many images that I could have referenced to for this but in the end I chose the one below purely because I liked it, the colour looks like an old polaroid, and the sky almost looks like it could be under the sea….negative space but so much in it 🙂


The only time I had spare to work on this assignment was a day when I was stuck at home, unable to go out because my son was poorly. So I had to work with what I had around me, at first I was blank but then realised I had endless options. I found the negative space images easy to do but slowed down on the simplification ones because I found that my negative space images could also fall into the simplification category also and I would of liked a separation between them.

I will add my images in the production section of this blog…..so if you don’t mind making your way over there please 😀