Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim
The reason that I discuss gear more than art is that it's easier.
True, that.

Gear is concrete. It's physical. It's quantifiable and describable.
Some would disagree, but I take your meaning.

How do you describe what is beautiful? Really, you can't. You can show people... but you can't tell people.
"Shall I compare thee to a summer day?"

Seems like some folks have managed to convey nearly-universal concepts of beauty using the written word. Some might say that they are even more beautiful, because they cause the reader to construct what they think is beautiful in their own minds. A photograph or a painting might be beautiful to only a certain segment of the population and repugnant to another.

How beautiful was Helen of Troy? If we knew with certainty what she looked like, many might find her unlovely. But we know a war was launched over her (in the story), and in our minds, we create a woman whom we do think of as beautiful.

When I see a scene that looks photogenic... I just feel a certain way. I don't think about it in a rational sense. I get out a camera, I explore possibilities, and I shoot. I move the scene around in the viewfinder (or move the camera around the scene), play with lenses, play with filtration, based on my instincts. Eventually I usually get what I was seeking when I first saw the scene.
What are these rules of composition? To me, they are not arbitrary or made-up, they are attempts to describe common experiences - how things 'look photogenic' to use your term. So if you are following your instincts, surprise, that's where the rules came from to begin with. They are merely a way of attempting to codify what we all seem to experience - a time-saver, a shortcut to wisdom usually gained only by hard work and experience.

It might be interesting to watch me do this... but I doubt it would be interesting to read what I wrote about doing it.
Some do, some teach. Many are the writers about photography who are criticized not for what they write, but for their supposed lack of photographic ability.