Hello John. What I find interesting about this assignment is that both shots are actually very well composed. I see that your “interesting” shot is the macro photograph but your photograph taken from further back is also quite well composed. There is a simplicity to both shots that make them interesting and easy to look at.
Let me begin by talking about the highlights of both of these photographs and then I’ll discuss the inherent design problems in them both.
For starters you’ve done a great job of color and object organization. Both photographs only contain objects that enhance the look of your picture. Similarly, you’ve organized your colors in a way that makes the photographs appealing to look at. In your macro photograph all of your colors are analogous (beside each other on the color wheel) and this leads to a harmonious and calm look to the picture. In your second picture the earth tones and whites are highlighted by small bits of orange and red. I think the color and basic composition in both of your photographs are great. They both use very different color theories but they are both very well done.
However, the problem I see with both photographs is that you “amputated” your main objects with the top wall of your frame in both examples. In your macro photograph it’s less pronounced but equally as distracting. What I mean by this is that you “cut off” the top of your main object with the top wall of the photograph.
This is undoubtedly the biggest mistake that photographers make. You must have been too focused on the composition of the center of your photograph and you ignored the edges. However, this small mistake gives the photographs an “amateur look”. You must be aware not only of the center of your photograph but all around the 4 walls.
Other than that, I think you did a great job! I look forward to seeing your next assignment.