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What an incredible first assignment. If this is how you start out I can’t wait to see how you progress.
Let’s look at both the beast and the beauty photograph and try to understand why we are drawn towards the beauty photograph more.
For starters, color simplicity and color organization are two elements that photographers often ignore, but you’ve taken into great considering in your photograph. Painters think for countless hours on their color pallet. However, for various reasons photographers and filmmakers often ignore color theory. However, by incorporating and understanding how to use color pallets in your photography you’ll be sure to make your photography stand out.
In your beauty photograph your colors are various colors of the gradient of brown and white. The photography is monochromatic with strong white tints in some sections. This makes the photograph easy and pleasurable to look at. The colors enhance rather than distract from the overall tone of the photograph.
You’ve also managed to use depth to your advantage. The layers in the photograph are subtle, but they are nonetheless visible. Your depth of field starts to fade as the photograph fades off into the background. This helps add a sense of depth to a photograph which helps promote its 3 dimensionality. It also closely mimics the way the human eye sees and this makes it look less like a digital, 2 dimensional snap shot.
In short your use of color control, patter, depth, shape and simplicity have all added greatly to your photograph. You’ve done a wonderful job with this shot.
Let’s now discuss your “beast” photograph for a moment. The photograph isn’t bad, but there are some blunders. The composition is simple and the 4 walls of the photograph are clear of any distractions, but it’s a little flat (lacks depth) and suffers from some lighting glare which looks unintentional.
However, the idea of using a mirror to show something interesting above the object is quite creative. Although you need to experiment with what to put in the reflection. Be creative and experiment.
Overall, great photograph. You’re off to a great start!