Great work on this assignment. You’re off to a great start.
What we wanted to see you accomplish with this assignment is the ability to find ways to transform an environment using nothing else than framing, lighting, composition and perspective (or any combination of these things). You’ve used perspective and color palette simplification as your two main compositional changes.
We also want you to look at this photograph and start deconstructing the differences between the two. This is a great way to intuitively start learning about composition.
For example, let’s look at the concept of depth. Your second image uses depth to help create the illusion of three dimensions. You’ve incorporated a strong foreground, middle ground and background. Your first image however, uses only one layer of depth. Flat compositions are not wrong, but they are much more two dimensional.
That being said, the first image isn’t cluttered. You’ve simplified the composition using not only a limited color palette of gradients of brown and gold, but you’ve also only included two objects (i.e. the drawer and the knob). This process of simplification (finding the soul of your photograph and focusing on that) is something that will come up time and time again as you progress through our course.
This assignment was meant to see you naturally be drawn towards that idea and make you aware from a technical standpoint of the differences in composition and there effect on your visual story telling abilities.
My main concern with your first photograph is that your focus is soft which means that you lack definition in the details of the shot. This will be increasingly important to focus on as you progress as a photographer, because soon you’ll want to start enlarging your photograph. Minor focus details may be almost unnoticeable in smaller format prints, but soft focus will ruin a larger print and will make your photograph unusable. Ensure you focus is sharp by using “focus assist” or “expand focus” features on your camera.