Take a tip from the old masters. Photographer Chris Ceaser on the essential art of composition.
On Friday September 23 professional Landscape photographer Chris Ceaser gave a highly entertaining talk to Ilkley Camera Club. Chris came to the club from Filey in Yorkshire but was born in Rotherham. In 2010 he became an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. He is an award winning photographer at both national and international level.
The focus of Chris’s talk was on the art of composition and what makes a great photograph. He began by stressing the importance of getting the best image possible in camera and doing as little processing as necessary. “Operating the camera is relatively easy but arranging the elements of a scene is much more difficult”, says Chris.
“It’s how we interact with the environment that is important, We are trying to achieve balance. It can take a while to get that beauty in the viewfinder. What is in and what is out is critical”
Rule of thirds is a much debated rule, and while there were some who thought it was outdated, Chris recommended it as a good way of organising the content of a picture.
Chris showed many examples of images illustrating the choices to be made about what to leave in and what to leave out. “What do you want to show people, where do you want the viewer to look?” he asked. “We need to decide on what are the key elements in the scene and where we are going to put them. We are taking the viewer on a journey through the picture.”
Leading the eye is important, Chris advised the members. He used paintings by Canaletto and Constable to show how flow and leading the eye to the center of the picture can make it much stronger. “Start in the foreground adding weight and then lead to the center.”
Ilkley Camera Club is currently meeting on Friday evenings at 7.30pm. Some meetings are held at St Peter’s Church Hall in Addingham and others on Zoom. For more information visit the Club website at ilkleycameraclub.co.uk or their Facebook page, facebook.com/ilkleycameraclub