I have a little formal art education, and I have to say that some of the things I was taught very early about compostion have been helpful to me all along. I might have figured them all out on my own, but I believe composition is about expectations, and having some of that laid out for my by the more experienced artists was a nice jump start. As viewers who have seen tens of thousands of images, we "expect" to be presented things in certain ways. If we think about those in a systematic way, we might realize there are ways to use the expectations of our viewers to our artistic advantage.
When I was young, I was passionate about painting. One time, I deliberately composed a painting of a nude to impart a sense of illicit voyeurism on the viewer. I built a canvas of unusual proportions, defined the negatve spaces in a speciifc way, etc. At the show, I discussed my results with other trained artists, and just some folks who walked in casually. I got a sense that my compositional tricks worked exactly as I had intended. That gave me a lot of artistic confidence. Very valuable, essentially academic exercise.
So I love to read about composition. You never know how someone else's thought process might give you a new way to see. Living in Japan for three years, I tried to understand how Japanese artists approached composition from a different cultural background from my own. Among many other things I learned, I decided that we are strongly influenced by the manner in which we read. For example, in the west, we usually read from left to right, and from top to bottom. Think about that the next time you look at classical Japanese art. Think about how you might tell a more interesting story, just by telling it in a different direction. If I "teach" that to some young photographer, will that turn them into an "artist?" Perhaps not. But, it might get a technician interested in becoming an artist. Who knows?