Less Known Composition Rules, Notan

Well I have covered the main composition rules for photography, but there are three more which are often forgotten.

The first is Notan

What is Notan?

Notan is said to be negative and positive space. Light and dark working together to create a whole, the yin and yang of a high contrast image.

A lot of the time with HDR images the creating on Notan is forgotten as we open up the shadows and loose the true negative space in an image.

A perfect example of negative space is a silhouette.

To use Notan, we need to make shadows actual shadows instead of dark, light areas.

A great way to see the Notan in an image if you have Photoshop is to use the Threshold adjustment layer. It will show you the black and white in the image.

A beautiful example of Notan was provided by one of my Photography Dash students, Mona Nissen

 

Notan
Composition rule Notan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AboveĀ is an example of the black and white areas of an image that helps to create the Notan effect

We can see the actual Notan effect by going to Photoshop and in the adjustments select Threshold and you will see the black and white and the composition it creates.

Notan

This helps to show you why the first image works so well. We don’t consciousl see the Notan effect, but it still creates a strong image when we use it.

 

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