Composition is an area of photography that I think is too often sloughed off with the comment: "Whatever works." And that's true....but being consistant with achieving that which works should be a highly regarded skill. I've learned volumes from my wife, a painter, about various kinds of perspective, weighing and placing values, leading the eye, fine tuning areas of local contrast etc. that are anything but the consequence of happy accidents. This forum, in fact, dwells far more on the technical aspects of film and developers etc, than on matters of composition and printing that affect the final outcome to an equal or greater degree. So...among the many books that take on the subject, I recommend "Black and White Landscape Photography" by John and David Collett (Amherst Media, Inc.) as a decent volume worth reading. Your specific concerns are addressed therein as are many (but not all, unfortunately) quotidian elements of successful composition that every photographer should understand well enough to even be able teach should the occasion arise. Good luck!