I love colors and textures and everything about my work as a photo painter – but sometimes you have to let white space speak. And that is what I am exploring in this blog.
Let White Space Speak
How Am I Defining White Space?
For the purposes of this blog, my definition of white space is any part of the image that does not have a color. This is rare in my work so it has been quite fun to explore.
Creating A Mood With White Space
When I captured a photograph of a lone magpie sitting on top of a tall pine tree, I knew exactly the look I wanted to achieve with it. Lots of white space to mimic the fact that the magpie appeared to be sitting on top of his world.
Somehow, the magpie seemed lonely but in control, staring down over his domain looking for potential food. ‘In Search of Summer Pickings’ perfectly captures that feeling and what makes it work is the blank area.
Enhancing Architecture With White Space
When I took the original shot of these ‘Hove Rooftops’ I had a different plan than exploring low colour and white space. But as I looked at the wonderful rows of chimneys I knew that I had to remove the wonderful colors that took the viewer’s eye away from those bits of architecture.
By darkening certain areas and allowing others to become white, the emphasis in the image is on those glorious chimneys and the black down pipes provide stability for the piece.
Changing Perceptions With White Space
By shifting from use of color to enhancing tonal shades of grey and allowing white to breathe in an image you can change the perceptions of an item. I have achieved this here with a piece of antique gardening equipment.
This is one part of the equipment, the handles and cogs and wheels for what is an antique hedge cutter. By minimizing color, using dark tones and enhancing the empty space, this becomes an interesting object to look at. It reminds me of Steampunk which is why I have called it ‘Antique with Aspirations Towards Steampunk’.
No More Color?
I have said before that I am ‘seduced’ by color! I won’t be turning my attention to producing just black and white or low color images as a general rule. But I have learnt a lot by playing with the idea of white space and will apply that to my work in future. However, I have to leave you with something colorful don’t I?
So here is ‘With the Sun On Your Face’. And it makes me happy, I hope it makes you happy too.
This article was originally published in 2017 but updated and republished 1 May 2022.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!