Both photographs are quite strong. I’m particularly drawn towards the composition of your second photograph (your soft lighting image).
What I really like about the first image is that your background is slightly angled which helps draw out subtle angular lines which helps draw the image away from horizontal lines. There is nothing wrong with using horizontal lines, but using slightly angled lines or diagonal lines helps introduce triangular shapes which can help add a dramatic element to a photograph. It’s very subtle in this photograph but it’s seen in the fence in the background. Notice the lines of the fence slope down towards the left just slightly?
What I really love about your second image is the texture of the shot. It’s your strongest textured image yet. The bird house has chipped paint and something that resembles rust on its roof. These peeling textures, coupled with the soft, directional lighting help you draw out the strong textures in this image.
Similarly, you’ve incorporated a strong foreground, middle-ground and background in this image. Most impressively however, is your ability to control color in this photograph. What I was initially drawn towards was the color palette of this image. The image is made up of nice greens, whites and browns but you’ve also included a nice rustic orange highlight to help give the photograph a bit more a dramatic edge. The orange really helps the image jump out at me.