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Both of these photographs are very well done and show your understanding of manipulating depth and motion. In your first shot you isolate the white ball by allowing the background to fall out of focus. However, you don’t blur the background too much that we loose the context of the shot. It is very important to know when to get rid of the background and when to keep it for context. This can be difficult to do if you don’t understand aperture very well but you’ve done a great job of showing your understanding.
In your second shot you’ve also done a great job of showing you know how to manipulate motion. However, creating the illusion of motion requires a very steady hand. Since your shutter will need to stay open later to compensate for the dark night and the motion you will need to keep your hand very still or use a tripod.
When I looked at this photograph initially I really enjoyed it. However, when I enlarged it I could see the fuzzy lines that are created by subtle camera shake. The point of creating motion is to show motion as it relates to “static’ elements in the photograph (such as buildings, doors, windows etc). When you’re picture is enlarged to its maximum size the audience can see that there was slight camera shake which leads to a slight blurring of the overall picture.
It is not terrible and by no means does it ruin the picture, but it looks unintentional and therefore on a subconscious level camera shake is often regarded as a “mistake” by your audience. It’s seen as a distracting element that takes away from the professionalism of the photograph.
Night photography is difficult even when you’re not trying to create the illusion of motion. Most photographers avoid night photography for this very reason. However, this is a challenge that many photographers find an interest in. I would recommend either using a tripod or using some type of stabilizing object to rest your camera on while you take the picture. The difference in results will be subtle, but it will make a big impact on the professionalism of your work.
Other than that, both photographs are very well done! Keep up the great work and keep the assignment submissions coming!