I love grainy high contrast images so when I present one, it’s a deliberate choice… not because the image is crappy lol. Some people seem to view photographs with blinkers on… a set of rules in their head… all grain is bad, all high/low contrast is bad etc What a narrow field of vision! If it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.
I don’t think there’s any hard and fast rules, just guidelines. The guidelines are useful… but so is your gut instinct. It’s your art… own it! Simple as that. :)
PS Some things do not work… ever… like slightly crooked horizons!! I hate crooked horizons!! :)))