Something of a hodgepodge of links to things I've found worth a read in the last couple of weeks.
First to New Zealand, and Tony Bridge has a great post about the use of rules in photography and camera club judging. I've suffered from this experience a couple of times in the past. The trick I think is to get a deeper level of understanding - go beyond the superficial 'tips and tricks' aspect of the various photographic rules and understand what they are really about. Then, you can use or ignore them with some understanding of what you are trying to achieve. Along those same lines, Merlin Mann is something of a reformed version of his former trickster self and is bemoaning the sea of tips and tricks out there. He's come to realise that getting to a level of deeper understanding actually requires work. For photography, you have to take and look at a lot of pictures, to get to grips with what composition is about, not just read some books. The focus of 43Folders has switched towards more of a creativity bent, so is getting more intriguing, as it moves away from the productivity porn.
Mark Hobson has been waxing on about the process of developing vision, and if that even means anything, on the Landscapist. I like that Mark typically goes deeper into these notions than the conventional wisdom. Another fine discussion on deeper ways at looking at photographs can be found in this Daily Critique from The Mindful Eye. Craig does a great job of breaking down the more interesting aspects of how rhythm and relationships can be used within a composition to make the parts relate to the whole.