Rule of Space

In this video we’re concluding the last of our rule series in visual composition with what is commonly known as the Rule of Space.In motion picture production this is often referred to as Lead Room.

What The Rule of Space is visually is simply a technique when you want to apply motion or activity in your visual composition.The Rule of Space involves using negative space in front of the subject to imply a conclusion of the subject moving toward that space.

We’ll look at several techniques for achieving compositions based on the Rule of Space in the video tutorial.

It is important to understand as we conclude the “rule of” series that these are simply techniques of analyzing what is happening in the picture visually. They are not laws that must be followed hard and fast.

My point in teaching these concepts, however, is to raise an awareness when creating a visual composition. If you get in the habit of analytically looking at pictures and then analytically looking at your own work – this is where change starts to happen in order to improve your own skill as a photographer. You’re in charge of making your own decisions in order to make a better picture. Sometimes this involves adhering to these rules in a classical sense – other times it means avoiding them for effect. But either way it is for you to decide.


  1. says

    Many thanks for this series Ted.
    For me it’s about learning all these compositional tools / rules – which then give you options to express your imagination / vision.
    Great show, I’m passing the word onto my photographic friends.
    Kind Regards