Great shots that show what this assignment was all about: Simplification and photo enhancement. As far as the technical aspects of the assignment go you’ve got it right. However, I would have liked to see a wider variance in the shots. Maybe in your first shot you should have been pulled back a little more to make it look more ‘ordinary’ or unorganized. I wanted to see a stronger contrast between the two photographs. However, what you’ve done is correct; this is just my personal opinion.
Secondly, in your second photograph you’ve used very “formal balance”. This means that your main object was placed dead center in the middle. If you folded this photograph in half and then looked on both sides of the line the fold created you’d virtually have a carbon copy of each side. While this form of balance can be interesting with some more complex object, often “informal balance” is used when taking photographs of most objects (and it helps enhance simple subjects such as the object you chose).
You haven’t got to the section on photography composition or framing yet so it’s not as if you’re supposed to know this, but I bring it up now so you can keep an eye on it. For now, try to balance your main object off to one of the 1/3 side of your photographs. You can create balance and harmony through the simplification of objects and colors. Likewise, it will still be obvious what your main subject is. Creating pictures with too “formal” of balance is one of the biggest mistakes of amateur photographers.
I can promise you, if you change your style to a more ‘informal balance’ approach, you’ll be much happier with the outcome!
Great start! I look forward to seeing your next assignments.