When you ‘boil it down’ this assignment is really about the process of organizing chaos. This sounds like an oxymoron but in good photography you’re often forced to do this. When you’re out shooting the world is a busy, cluttered and distracting place. You have to focus on what makes a good photograph and often this just means cutting out everything except the utmost essential items to fill your frame.
In your first image (the green leaves) you’ve got the right idea but your depth of field is a little off. One of the largest elements in the frame, the leaf in the foreground is out of focus and yet your eye is still drawn to it. This is distracting and it takes away from the image.
If you had shot with the entire frame in focus this may have worked out nicer.
One technique you may have chosen to use is called ‘focus stacking’ but that’s a bit too involved for this assignment.
The second photo is much better in terms of this assignment. You’ve taken something complex and disorganized and added a layer of simplicity to it through composition and color. Well done!