C5 Positive/Negative; Figure/Ground; Notan







It’s your turn! This exercise
deals with how positive/negative, figure/ground or notan relationships can be discovered nearly anywhere.

Details: Find several images that were unintentionally taken or were just poorly composed to begin with. Crop into (meaning to trim away the excess, typically after enlarging) your photos so as to reveal a balance between positive and negative shapes. This may involve losing your photo’s meaning or importance, but not to worry. We’re just dealing with space and shape at this time.

Rotate the image if need be. Crop even further if necessary. Try to end up with a composition where positive/negative (or figure/ground) forces feel equally balanced.

To expand on its meaning, Notan amounts to space not being considered a mere accident or byproduct, but something that actually can be part of a greater pattern or system of objects. See if you can discover that way of thinking through this exercise.

When you’re done, share: Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.

Back to: Exercises in Unity & Composition > C_ POSITIVE/NEGATIVE SPACE