I am starting to see this new brand of BS popping up here and there. It's been around for a while, but seems to be getting some traction these days. It's the new Rule of Thirds, the quick route to Good Composition, and consists of two quite different sets of ideas smashed pointlessly together, to produce something that looks like Science, but is not.
First, a quick review.
Gestalt Psychology is a Thing, it comes with a theory of perception. It's a descriptive theory, not an explanatory one, and it's largely concerned with how we mentally organize what we see. There are ways that we group things. If we see several people, all aligned in space, we perceive "a line of people" sometimes, rather than one person, and another person, and another person. There's a bunch of ways we perform this grouping activity. Things which look similar, or which are close together, or which are aligned in space, and so on, we tend to lump into a collection which we perceive as a single entity (while, of course, simultaneously perceiving the members of the collection, usually). There's also some business about perceiving Things as distinct from Backgrounds.
All this stuff is illustrated by pat and simple line drawings, but it's obvious to any thinking human that it translates only loosely to the real world, and to representational art. You may or may not group things or perceive a certain arrangement of things according to one Law or Another, in reality.
Dynamic Symmetry is also a Thing. Jay Hambidge wrote a book about this in the early part of the 20th century, and it seems to be the usual "I will draw lines all over paintings and Unlock The Secrets Of The Masters" nonesense. It does emphasize the use of diagonals for organizing pictures, which seems to perfectly reasonable. The rest I am unsure of, but it looks a bit woo woo. One thing is clear, there are enough lines and enough choices for lines, that any picture can be made to roughly fit some grid or another. It "explains" all pictures equally badly.
For samples see this thinly veiled ad on PetaPixel, but appropriate google searches will turn up a lovely array of hocus-pocus.
Gestalt Psych and Dynamic Symmetry haven't got anything to do with one another. The first is concerned with how people actually perceive things, the second is a set of organizing principles based on grids drawn on a rectangular frame. This does not prevent bozos from smashing the two together.
Gestalt lets bozos scribble on paintings and show how the girl's eyes are lined up with the tree in the background and the biscuit on the table. Therefore, according to the Law of Continuity, we'll group these things together. There! That's why the picture is so good!
Wait, what? No, we probably don't group the tree and the eyes and the biscuit together, and anyways even if we did, why would that make it good?
Oh, well, because the line formed by the eyes and the biscuit and the tree also fall along one of the innumerable diagonal lines we can draw based on Dynamic Symmetry, so, there. It's good!
Wait, what? Why does that make the picture good?
None of this shit is worth anything, absent artistic intent.
Rules, ideas, methods, ideologies, and religions of composition all teach us -- at best -- how to produce certain effects in a picture. Usually they don't even do that. But let us suppose they do. The issue then becomes to use the effect to support some artistic effort. Composition is, at best, a set of tools. Simply sawing up wood with fine japanese pull saws and gluing it all together at random with the very best hide glue and planing the result with english hand planes is not going to produce furniture. You've got to have a goal in mind, say, a chest of drawers, and then use the tools to produce that. Otherwise it's just a bunch of chunks of wood glued together into a pile.
Ultimately, you gotta have some ideas and you gotta have some taste.
Suppose you have a group of people waiting, and you wish to emphasize the sense of waiting. You might position yourself and the camera to cause the people waiting to fall into a line, a roughly diagonal arabesque traced across the frame. By aligning the people, you make it look like "a line of people" rather than "this person, and that person, and the other person". Gestalt theory informs us that this is possible, and even gives some cues for how one might accomplish this visual trick. But you know it already, because Gestalt theory merely describes how you perceive things.
Now, knowing about it consciously isn't going to hurt you any, so it's possibly a little helpful to read a little about this stuff.
Merely aligning the people doesn't do anything except, maybe, cause the viewer to see them as a group. By so grouping them, however, your artistic intent might be realized, which is the point the Gestalt Psych Dynamic Symmetry crowd seems to miss. By making the grouping an arabesque gently draped across the frame you might create a sense of balance and grace. By shoving the line of people roughly against one side of the frame you might create a sense of unbalance and unease. Depending on your goals, one or the other might work.
It's just another effort at Design and Composition According to Simple Rules You Can Learn And Apply, of the sort that is so beloved of the camera enthusiast. If I just read one more manual, surely, I will be a mighty artist?