Wonderful first assignment. This is exactly what we were looking for. Your first image has a lot of technical and artistic problems that are corrected in your second image. Let me begin by pointing out the issues in your first photograph. A great way to learn is by knowing how to identify what you don’t like in your work and not repeating it.
For starters, your window is “burnt out” (also referred to as “blown out”). Digital cameras more so than film cameras have a difficult time handling a wide tonal range. Different cameras have different “latitudes” or “dynamic ranges”. We’ve actually written about it on our blog recently here:
That blog post will teach you what to look out for in future shoots.
Secondly, the 4 walls of your first photograph all have distracting elements sticking out of them. This is called “amputation” and it is likely the most common problem facing photographers. As much thought needs to be put into what makes it into the 4 walls of your photograph, as to what gets excluded. Amputation often occurs because the photographer is too focused on their primary object and is neglecting to pay attention to the areas around the 4 walls of the photograph. In your first image you have windows, electronic kitchen appliances and even a small sliver of an object on the bottom right corner. All of these partial objects distract from what the image is supposed to be about.
These issues however, are all remedied in your second photograph which is simplified and to the point with great control over lighting and clean edges. Great job on your first assignment!