Quote Originally Posted by Ole
That makes perfect sense to me. The few times I've tried to think of composition, lines, thirds, golden sections and so on, the pictures suck.

But looking closer at the few really good pictures I've made, all the rules of composition are there. I just wasn't concious of it when I took the picture.

And that makes it difficult to discuss, I guess...
I think many people have an intuitive sense of what makes a good composition, and therefore what constitutes the 'rules', (without them needing to be acknowledged as or called 'rules' at all). Which doesn't mean discussion with others can't be helpful, and suggestions may inforce or break so-called 'rules'. Rules are useful either for schools of artistic thought and practice that want to keep to certain conventions, or they are for people who actually struggle a bit to get a successful composition visually. But they do need to be considered with care - maybe to come with a user safety warning .
Cate