A few words by some of the greats and a little video by one of the greats.
It's short and really worth a watch.
And some words by some of the greats.
"When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision. Following rules of composition can only lead to a tedious repetition of pictorial cliches.
" - Edward Weston
"There are no rules and regulations for perfect composition. If there were we would be able to put all the information into a computer and would come out with a masterpiece. We know that's impossible. You have to compose by the seat of your pants.
" - Arnold Newman
"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
" - Ansel Adams
"And in not learning the rules, I was free. I always say, you're either defined by the medium or you redefine the medium in terms of your needs.
" - Duane Michals
"There are no shortcuts, no rules.
" - Paul Strand
"Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried!
" - Bill Brandt
"I came from the outside, the rules of photography didn't interest me...
" ...... a photograph can look any way. Or, there's no way a photograph has to look (beyond being an illusion of a literal description). Or, there are no external or abstract or preconceived rules of design that can apply to still photographs.
" Garry Winogrand
and maybe my favorite which gets directly to this thread
" ......so called “composition” becomes a personal thing, to be developed along with technique, as a personal way of seeing."
- Edward Weston