When I was in college, I had just enough room in my last semester schedule to take Intro to Photography. It was the basics of manual photography, using only black and white film. I remember a lot from the class, but composition always sticks out in my mind. We didn’t cover the rule of thirds, but we did talk about lines: how to draw people into the photograph.
When I set about composing my shot, I look for lines. They help provide depth and assist in creating a three-dimensional look to a two-dimensional product. In the case of this photograph, I used the long, parallel lines of this dock in Pawleys Island, SC to help create that three-dimensional depth.
Composition isn’t usually a quick process. I spent a decent amount of time setting up about 30 different shots on this particular evening and came out with only one that I really liked. And that’s ok. The point is, to take your time, experiment, look for leading lines and other elements to make your composition more interesting.