It’s Week 39 of professional pet photography blog circle Project 52 and our continuing exploration of “The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographers” by David DuChemin. This week we are working on images with negative space. Negative space is the space in an image that is not your main subject, but it doesn’t mean that that part of the frame is devoid of objects. The goal of images with negative space is to draw the attention to your main subject. For this week, we were supposed to create three images of the same scene with varying degrees of negative space. The first was to be how our eye naturally sees it; the second, with an expanded use of negative space; and the third, one with much less negative space. Unfortunately, I was so excited to take pictures at a new location, I completely forgot what I was supposed to be doing other than the part about creating images with negative space. So, I ended up cropping in post production to get the negative space. But first, I’m going to tell you about this fabulous location I discovered!

Earlier this week, I just happened to come across a post on Facebook from the page Only in Ohio. They had a post linking to their website talking about this “magical” tunnel of trees in Sugarcreek MetroPark. I was even more excited when I found out this park was only about 40 minutes away in Bellbrook! Since the BF had the day off, we packed up Mr. Bojangles and headed to the park. (Paco stayed home, because he doesn’t like to walk much and the final destination involved a trail over a mile in length.) Once we arrived at Sugarcreek MetroPark it was a matter of heading in the right direction to find the cool tree tunnel (fortunately, the BF was an experienced trail map reader, so we found our destination with no problem.) 

Before we got to the tree tunnel, however, we stopped to see these ancient oak trees called “The Three Sisters.” These oak trees are over 550 years old! Unfortunately, one of the three sisters is no longer standing, but two of them are and one is right by the trail, so it’s easy to see. We stopped for some pictures with Mr. Bojangles and the “Big Sister” oak tree.

While visiting the sisters, we met a wooly worm. You can see him (or her) in the lower right-hand corner of the above picture. However, he also had his own photo opp.

After our visit with the Three Sisters it was off to find our intended destination, the Osage Orange Tunnel. This tunnel of Osage orange trees was planted in the late 1800s to serve as a farm fence. The trees branches arch over the trail and the side where their trunks are is like a wall of trees. It was a really cool spot and one I definitely intend to visit again. So here are my images for this week’s assignment of how my eye naturally sees it, then the more negative space, and the less negative space images.

As mentioned, these were cropped in post to indicate the different levels of negative space. Of the overall images, I like the first and the third ones better than the second, because I like having the heavy anchoring branch at the top of the image.  This next image, however, is my favorite one taken there for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of how Mr. Bojangles is positioned. He looks more alert and less annoyed with me. LOL!

And, since we went on this excursion with the BF, we had to include him in the pictures; so here he is with Mr. Bojangles at the Osage Orange Tunnel. As you can see, with the addition of the tall human in the frame, the negative space is filled more significantly than with just a tiny dog.

To see the positives of negative space, check out what Darlene with Pant the Town Pet Photography, serving MA and NH, has for us and then around the rest of the blog circle until you end up back here.

If you would like to book a custom pet portrait session in your home or other favorite location, use the hot pink “BOOK NOW” button to the right of this post (at the bottom or your screen on mobile), send us an email to suzi [at], or give us a call at 513-288-1650 in the Greater Cincinnati area or at 650-382-3242 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We are currently booking our limited edition Fall mini sessions for Saturday, October 29. These sessions are just $135 for up to two dogs and include an 8×10 print and a digital social media image. We’ll also have a variety of special, event-only items and packages to choose from, so give us a call or send us an email as soon as possible as appointments are limited!

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