So a friend and I were walking around a gallery a little while ago, looking at the art on the walls and judging whether or not it actually was art. I don't have a great art education (that may or may not be an advantage) but I did learn the basic rules of composition: rule of thirds, using directors, creating tension with diagonals... And I was attempting to explain why some things worked, and some didn't. My friend could have cared less about the rules; he only knew what he did and didn't like.
I was looking at my oldest son's blog earlier today (he is a photographer too, and a really good one) where I saw he had posted the following quote:
"Whether visual art is good or bad is in the eye of the beholder and a matter of opinion. Whether or not an effort is art at all is defined by indisputable laws of composition."
A nice summation, I think. If you disagree, have at it.