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Wonderful first assignment. You’ve done many things with this photograph to help enhance the composition between the beast to the beauty. You may have done some of these things without even knowing it, so it’s important that we analyze both what we like, and we dislike about the photographs.
Let’s start with your “beat” image. The image is actually fairly well composed. You’ve incorporated color simplicity by limiting your color palette to blue, brown, beige and white. You’ve used the use of lines (i.e. the floor and walls) to help draw attention to your main subject, and your photograph more or less abides by the rule of thirds. From a composition standpoint, the thing that I feel is missing in this photograph is depth. Because of the placement of the objects and the way your scene is lit, there is no depth or texture. This gives the image a very flat, 2 dimensional feel. Although there is some distance between your foreground and middle ground, the lighting flattens the layers and strips the image of it’s texture.
What’s interesting about the second image (i.e. “beauty”), is that even though it fully lacks any sense of real depth (i.e. there is no foreground, middle ground, background, or a shallow depth of field), the image because of the pattern looks 3 dimensional. With this photograph you’ve made pattern and color your two primary elements. The photograph is predominantly monochromatic with it’s primary purpose to showcase a pattern.
You’re off to a great start!