Well first of all sorry about the colors, it seems i always take them at nite… thats after i finish work 🙂
anyways, the first picture (fire) should show motion of the fire, while the second one (books) should show the depth of feild.
From a technical standpoint you’ve captured the essence of what was asked of you from this assignment. In your first shot you’ve blurred the depth of field between the books in the foreground the books in the background. The result is a very interesting and creates“isolated” look.
You’ve also managed to capture the light from the candle dancing by using a slower shutter speed. The result is subtle, but you’ve captured it nonetheless.
However, in both cases the white balance in your shot is off. They are overly “orange” and “warm”. If you have white balance control in your camera you can edit this. Alternatively try shooting when there is more natural light to bring out the varying colors in a shot.
I also want you to focus on your composition. The composition of your candle shot is fine but the composition of the books is a little disorganized. Be careful of the objects around the 4 walls of your photograph and if you’re given the opportunity to alter the objects in your shot, you should do so. You could have played more with the elements of pattern, shape or depth.
I like how you’re playing with the camera position in your candle shot. That’s the right idea. Play around with your composition and camera placement. Look for the non-obvious shot and think about telling a story through images.
What a lot of photographers find helpful, is taking multiple pictures of the same object (say 10-20) from different angles, with different color settings, from different positions, with different aperture settings etc, and then choosing the “best of the best” of the shots.
I look forward to seeing your next assignment! Great work.