Sounds a bit critical, but to me, composition is the single-most important element of a photograph. This particular image was composed a few times, while I balanced atop these piers, making subtle movements with the tripod, even moving to different piers (trying not to get wet), until I achieved the composition I was looking for. Then, ONE exposure was made of it, on a single sheet of film.
Putting the camera in the right position is everything...well not everything, but it's critical. Take the composition of Carolina Beach I (below), for example... That little nubby guy there. The one that juuuuust creeps into the frame of the final image below. Too much of it would be a distraction at the bottom of the frame. Had it not been included, there would be a visual void in its spot, and the first piling on the left would feel too close to the edge of the frame.
Without getting into a light quality discussion, camera placement, combined with lens choice is...well...everything in black and white photography. We can't rely on the beautiful colors of a sunset like this one to salvage wonky, unbalanced compositions.