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09/17/2002 12:14:02 PM · #1
I would like to see every one (after the challenge is over of course) comment on their entry and tell what you were trying to show and how it depicts "negative space". Also how you think the negative space is a "WOW".
09/17/2002 12:40:26 PM · #2
Hmm, that could provide some interesting insights on everyones perceptions of negative space...

Maybe we could all learn something, too. Good idea' - )
09/17/2002 12:55:43 PM · #3
Originally posted by Frank Beckman:
I would like to see every one (after the challenge is over of course) comment on their entry and tell what you were trying to show and how it depicts "negative space". Also how you think the negative space is a "WOW".

The negative space does not have to be a "wow"!!! The negative space should emphasize or create the "wow" OF THE IMAGE!

That is my interpretation and I'm sticking to it!!
09/17/2002 01:17:02 PM · #4
Originally posted by pnicholls:
Originally posted by Frank Beckman:
[i]I would like to see every one (after the challenge is over of course) comment on their entry and tell what you were trying to show and how it depicts "negative space". Also how you think the negative space is a "WOW".


The negative space does not have to be a "wow"!!! The negative space should emphasize or create the "wow" OF THE IMAGE!

That is my interpretation and I'm sticking to it!!
[/i]

Both interpretations are close enough for me. Here's the statement on this challenge:

'In a photograph, the space around the object is just as important as the object itself. Use this surrounding space to create the wow of the image. Your negative space shot must be taken this week (9/9-9/15).'

For me, this topic is a difficult one on so many levels. I tried using a "strict interpretation" and scored well only those that I felt used '...surrounding space to create the wow of the image.'

Then I found that I had rated a pitifully small number of photos well. Ooops. I felt something had to give, so I'm gonna loosen up a bit and include photos that emphazise the use of negative space to strengthen the image. (Also wonder from minute to minute if I'm getting this 'negative space' thing at all... Is it just me or is this a tough one to score? ' - )
09/17/2002 01:21:22 PM · #5
I have never given so many 8s and 9s before! I also gave a couple of 10s. I thought a great many interpretations have been wonderful and I have thoroughly enjoyed going through this week's submissions.
09/17/2002 01:35:31 PM · #6
McMurma,

As a teacher, if I give an assignment and it is clear by the results that most of the students did not understand the assignment or subject I grade them according to the normal criteria anyway. It doesn't, after all, teach them anything to give them high marks for poor results.

Whether or not I let the grade carry forward to their average is negotiable, but in this case irrelevant because our averages here are merely for fun/growth.

HOWEVER, I also re-address the topic. I think the original idea of this post (people to define their own negative space) is a good one because it created an opportinity to learn from our mistakes/failures. I also would like to see (and will do my part to hunt down) some references to online and offline teaching material regarding negative space. Perhaps then we could do an additional challenge (down the road sometime) on negative space and judge our own improved understanding.

May seem like lots of work, but after all, what are we here for?
Dawn
09/17/2002 01:55:11 PM · #7
Dawn, doesn't it say something about the teacher if most of the students misunderstand the assignment? I don't think it's really our fault if we don't understand NS because it really wasn't explained all that well even when people tried to get help on it.
09/17/2002 01:57:15 PM · #8
Dawn,

Don't get me wrong. I'm still rating according to what I feel "best" meets the challenge. In fact, I've doled out more 10's this week than any other to "reward" those that I felt got it right. (At least as far as I understand it. And remember, I'm having a tough time with this myself and almost dont feel qualified to rate this challenge!)

I just felt after initally voting that I was being too harsh. So I loosend up, just a bit, and broadened my interpretation of negative space and how it relates to this challenge. (Does this mean I've already learned something!)

But to do it again later...

I'll have to think on that one. I have a headache right now :)

PS. I'd love to check out any info on using negative space you can find. I've read a lot on this and am still confused on some points...
09/17/2002 02:01:57 PM · #9
Originally posted by indigo997:
Dawn, doesn't it say something about the teacher if most of the students misunderstand the assignment? I don't think it's really our fault if we don't understand NS because it really wasn't explained all that well even when people tried to get help on it.

Indigo,

Yes, it does, which is why in a classroom setting I would revisit this topic. Since we had no teacher in the dpc setting, I am recommending that we make teachers of ourselves and contribute to the general knowledge by opening an ongoing dialogue on negative space that consists not only of our own opinions, but also of references to documentation (online of printed) enlightening us on the concept.

It was by no means a criticism; only a suggestion. I'm always looking for an opportunity for growth.

Dawn

09/17/2002 02:03:29 PM · #10
DPchallenge.com isn't our teacher in thise case. They are simply presenting a challenge that we have the option of participating in. There is tons of literature available on the net on Negative Space.

//www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=negative+space+photography

This isn't a "homework assignment," in my opinion... it's like extra credit :)


JB
09/17/2002 02:07:24 PM · #11
My redneck self believes that there is no cut and dried definition of negative space when it comes to art and photography. I believe that studying it's meaning will even complicate it more and open new ideas of what it means.

Therefore, revisiting it later could produce a much larger variety of interpretations that we have now :)

From what I see in this challenge, there have been several themes to the interpretaiton.

1 - void space in the image (completely black/white or other solid color)

2 - empty space in the image (space where something should/could be, but not void space)

3 - references to 'negative space' without actually showing it.


09/17/2002 02:08:59 PM · #12
Originally posted by mcmurma:
Don't get me wrong. I'm still rating according to what I feel "best" meets the challenge. In fact, I've doled out more 10's this week than any other to "reward" those that I felt got it right. (At least as far as I understand it. And remember, I'm having a tough time with this myself and almost dont feel qualified to rate this challenge!)

Mc, I think I DID misunderstand you. I thought you meant more in a sense of "I had 3 tens and a bunch of fives, but I felt uncomfortable not having my normal bell curve, so I adjusted the scores to fit my expectation of what I feel SHOULD BE the representative body of work here."

I was disagreeing with THAT principal, meaning I think if you vote and you think there are no photos that deserve a 8 or 9, you shouldn't give any.

As for bumping up to tens because "Yes! They understood better than the rest!" I can relate to that. I often feel that way in a classroom. I try not to give into it and to vote based on the standards I have set, but in this case the standards are simply 1=BAD, 10=GOOD. Guess that could mean: "Good! Someone finally understood what is meant and represented it fairly well!" I have absolutely no criticism of other people's voting methods. I think we're each entitled to our own, so my commentary here is merely conversational.

:-)
Dawn
09/17/2002 02:18:18 PM · #13
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
From what I see in this challenge, there have been several themes to the interpretaiton.

1 - void space in the image (completely black/white or other solid color)

2 - empty space in the image (space where something should/could be, but not void space)

3 - references to 'negative space' without actually showing it.


John,

If we were sitting at the poker table I'd have to say: "I'll see your 3 and raise you 20."

It does become more confusing the more you look at it. Funny how art does that sometimes ' - )

* This message has been edited by the author on 9/17/2002 2:17:00 PM.
09/17/2002 02:19:23 PM · #14
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
My redneck self believes that there is no cut and dried definition of negative space when it comes to art and photography.

Well, I agree in that I think there is NOTHING "cut and dried" about art, but I think there are certainly some accepted art world opinions on the matter.

I believe that studying it's meaning will even complicate it more and open new ideas of what it means. Therefore, revisiting it later could produce a much larger variety of interpretations that we have now :)

That may be, and I am open to that. The difference will likely be that they will be informed interpretations, where this week, many have openly said that their interpretation was a shot in the dark, ...guesswork, an attempt made with limited knowledge. Additionally, we would be more informed as voters -- at least those of us who choose to participate.

Dawn
09/17/2002 02:29:47 PM · #15
Overall, I've been grading kinda harshly. So many photos looked forced... negative space to show contrast. While the photo may look nice, I think it's cheating the challenge. I wish I could have submitted what I was thinking of submitting, so I'll tell you what it was and you can reply with your thoughts...

Photo in landscape mode, black and white. In the bottom left forground in sharp focus a bottle of prescription drugs. In the right background in sharp focus a girl, smeared makeup from crying, staring at the bottle, arms crossed. The two subjects seperated by more than 50% black space. The idea was to illustrate the turmoil the young lady has with drugs. The negative space represents the internal conflict.... to take the bottle or not.

Sounds good to me, but who knows if I was able to pull it off. I see the image pretty clearly in my head. Hmmm.
09/17/2002 05:26:39 PM · #16
From the comments I've received, a new aspect of confusion surrounding the subject of negative space has become apparent. Some people seem to believe that negative space in a photograph is necessarily a '3-dimensional' thing, that you can't have 2-dimensional negative space right up there on the picture plane. I disagree with that assumption. I think negative space was reasonably well defined in the challenge statement and that you should give the photographer (read me) the benefit of the doubt.

* This message has been edited by the author on 9/17/2002 5:28:33 PM.
09/17/2002 05:35:51 PM · #17
This is almost a rant, but I think I wrote it out pretty good previously, so I am going to repeat myself here.

"It isn't about blank spaces, it just happens that negative space CAN be displayed that way. It's more in the idea of emphasis and how a non-subject can add emphasis to your subject, almost to the point where your non-subject "is the subject". "

I have looked at about half the photos in this week's challenge. I see lots and lots of blank space, but it's not about blank space. Go back and look at Esher's work, huge in negative space, small in blank space. (In my own defence.....it doesn't have to be blank to be negative) Thank you.

Frank, I agree with you. I would like each photo artist to "explain" their negative space and the Wow part. Have you ever sat in on the first day of a solo artist's exhibition? The artist patently explains each piece, so a fuller appreciation can be gained from their work. This goes back to an old thread asking that the artist's comments be included. I would suggest two sets of comments, one of tech details about set up, etc. (hidden until after the challege week) and the other to "explain" their work. It would be best if it were displayed low on the voting page, so those that want to ignore this information can, but some photos are good, but too abstract to "stand alone". I think this challenge needed an artist's explaination.

Blast away, I've got my helmet on.
09/17/2002 05:59:06 PM · #18
Originally posted by Swashbuckler:
...I would suggest two sets of comments, one of tech details about set up, etc. (hidden until after the challege week) and the other to "explain" their work. It would be best if it were displayed low on the voting page, so those that want to ignore this information can, but some photos are good, but too abstract to "stand alone". I think this challenge needed an artist's explaination.

Blast away, I've got my helmet on.


Maybe Blast Off! I've never seen a valid reason to keep the explanation hidden while allowng the comments to be seen by the photographer (during the voting). Either keep it all hidden or let it all show. If anonymity is required instead of just encouraged, then let's have a penalty for someone who deliberately "reveals too much" in their explanaton...
09/17/2002 06:22:30 PM · #19
I think you can tell the right brain art folks from the left brain accounting folks a lot in these discussions.

Art folks says "it is what it is"

Accounting folks say "it is what I SAY it is".

:-)
09/17/2002 06:31:41 PM · #20
with the challenge being "Negative Space", i can certainly see having too little NS --- is it also possible to have TOO MUCH ???
09/17/2002 06:54:41 PM · #21
Originally posted by bamaster:
I wish I could have submitted what I was thinking of submitting, so I'll tell you what it was and you can reply with your thoughts...

Photo in landscape mode, black and white. In the bottom left forground in sharp focus a bottle of prescription drugs. In the right background in sharp focus a girl, smeared makeup from crying, staring at the bottle, arms crossed. The two subjects seperated by more than 50% black space. The idea was to illustrate the turmoil the young lady has with drugs. The negative space represents the internal conflict.... to take the bottle or not.

Sounds good to me, but who knows if I was able to pull it off. I see the image pretty clearly in my head. Hmmm.


Sounds good to me too. I was thinking along similar lines (not the drug thing, of course) but I couldn't manage to do what I really wanted to either.

09/17/2002 06:57:24 PM · #22
Originally posted by spiderman:
with the challenge being "Negative Space", i can certainly see having too little NS --- is it also possible to have [i]TOO MUCH ???
[/i]

I think yes. If there's so much that it detracts from its own effectiveness. The photo has to not only HAVE negative space, but make interesting USE of it.

Dawn

09/17/2002 07:52:49 PM · #23
Then I must be a "middle" brainer. I often ask "What is it?" I don't care what it is, but I do desire understanding.
{[ lots of backspacing]}

I must be crazy. My left brain wants a clue to the artist's perspective. My right brain likes purdy pictures. I listen to the right side. (I'm right handed after all)

Originally posted by hokie:
I think you can tell the right brain art folks from the left brain accounting folks a lot in these discussions.

Art folks says "it is what it is"

Accounting folks say "it is what I SAY it is".

:-)





* This message has been edited by the author on 9/17/2002 7:55:01 PM.
09/17/2002 08:26:24 PM · #24
Originally posted by Swashbuckler:
Then I must be a "middle" brainer. I often ask "What is it?" I don't care what it is, but I do desire understanding.
{[ lots of backspacing]}

I must be crazy. My left brain wants a clue to the artist's perspective. My right brain likes purdy pictures. I listen to the right side. (I'm right handed after all)


I say you might not get a clue or maybe you are getting a clue but you can't see it (say it ain't so!!).

I think folks are predisposed to a way of thinking and they tend (tend..not always will) lean to their predispositions.

That may be great or very bad for the photographer.

I wish most folks would come to a photo WANTING to love it..look at it like a cool seashell or interesting insect they found on a walk along a seashore or in the woods. Look closely..examine the interesting things within the photo...and think.."Cool..somebody actually touched this digital space and put their veiw of that moment here for me to look at. Very cool"
09/17/2002 09:58:17 PM · #25
Here comes my 2 cents into the pot...

This debate about what is and isn't negative space would be like discussing "Which shade is really red" for a challenge to shoot something red. Some folks might say "If it's not cherry red, it's a 1" while others will bash anything that is not blood red.

It should be obvious from all of the discussion that there is no easy definition for "Negative Space", so unless someone can come up with a universally agreed upon guideline in the next 4 days or so, perhaps we should all vote assuming that the artist might just have the right definition and that it's us, the voters that could be wrong...

But that's just me :)
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