Being passionate and caring about the subject you photograph is paramount to producing images that captivate your viewer. Although technically perfect images may lack the essence of the subject; they may fit all the rules that photographers impose on an image but the life isn't there. It's a good idea to learn the basic rules of photography if you're just starting out, but understand that the rules don't apply to every subject in every situation. Sometimes, as my friend Linda Nickell says, you just wing it and go with the emotion of the moment.
I've spent over 20 years photographing the forests, mountains, and grand vistas of British Columbia, I've developed an emotional attachment to this land that goes beyond photography. I call it a protectionism. My philosophical approach to these areas is to experience them with reverence and respect; the photograph is incidental. Once the camera comes out, can I capture the spirit of this area, after all, I am the visitor. Am I doing it justice and allowing the viewer to experience the same emotions I did when I saw it.
Once this approach is developed I believe we produce better images that have a deep spirituality to them.