Serendipitously discovered the Digital Photography Tips.Net Site which offers a smorgasbord of topics to peruse. Amongst many other easy to read hints "the rule of thirds" was explained, demonstrated and then gently challenged:
"... After spending a whole page convincing you of the benefits of the rule of thirds, yes, now I want you to break them. But not every time! The rule of thirds will produce better photos in about 80% of situations. But stretch the rule a little. Imagine the grid is divided into four rather than three. And sometimes (not often!) it really is better to have the focal point in the center of the photograph...."
10 Top Photography Composition Guidelines
1. The rule of thirds
2. The Golden Section Rule apparently can be confused with the rule of thirds, but there are geometric differences.
".....As the Golden Section is found in the design and beauty of nature, it can also be used to achieve beauty and balance in the design of art. This is only a tool though, and not a rule, for composition. The Golden Section was used extensively by Leonardo Da Vinci. Note how all the key dimensions of the room and the table in Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" were based on the Golden Section, which was known in the Renaissance period as The Divine Proportion...." source: Phi and the golden section in art
Those with a mathematical mind may like to use the Golden Ratio Calculator for any future design projects ! Actually I'm wondering if its beginning to all sound a tad contrived. Using mathematics, a system of order to compartmentalise a creative pursuit ? Not convinced, but the aim is to maintain an open mind.
I will include more as I learn more