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Great assignment. You’ve done many great things to enhance this photograph. Let me begin by pointing out some of the highlights of this assignment. In your first photograph you’ve centered your main object and you’ve included numerous distracting elements in your background. It’s not necessarily that the background themselves are distracting, but that they are poorly composed and framed. You’ll notice the 4 walls of your photograph cutting off your secondary objects at inopportune places.
However, in your second photograph you’ve narrowed down your photographic interest. The main object still remains the same but the composition and framing are completely different. You’ve removed any secondary elements that didn’t enhance your visual story and you’ve replaced them with secondary elements which do enhance your visual story.
For example, the lighting in your second photograph is spectacular. The side lighting is hitting the plant in such a way that the texture of the plant is exaggerated. The small “hairs” on the plant’s stocks are highlighted and these help create an interesting tonal imbalance which makes the image appear more dramatic and high contrast. I really like that effect.
You’ve also blurred your background and foreground and kept your focus in the middle of the photograph. This is unusual and interesting.
You’ve also simplified your colors. In your first photograph you have an assortment of colors, in your second photograph however, you’ve limited your color spectrum which has enhanced the look of your picture.