#1 the composition of the coffee with the black lines "going towards" the stirer is good. looks like a smooth blend of coffee. nice placement of the character too.
but the tead spoon @ the top left spoils the composition. though the black lines works, but because you didnt include the whole stirer, the eyes is being lead out of the picture. if you have included another lead in line would have been better.
#2 very strong coffee. unlike the #1 = smooth & mild, #2 = strong & robust. also nice cropping of the cup. good place of the character, helps to prevent the eyes from drofting to the blank of the top left, as the composition is cut into "half" by the edge of the cup. also, this photo consist of more zone than #1, give a diff feel to it.
but the bubbles @ the bottom left, on the brim of the cup not very pleasent.
our eyes generally will follow lines not knowingly, in #1, the attraction is the black curvy lines, then your eyes follows as they all concerntrate towards the stirer. then your eyes will follow the stirer toward the borders and then out of the photo. after that, there is no lines connecting to the top half (side also can) borders to lead the eyes back into the photo.
next you do notice to top side is brighter, eyes always attracted to bright patch. the brim of the cup @ bottom is consider heavy, together with a/m, viewer attention will naturely be leaded up & out. when that happen, they go to the next photo.
#2, the brim will bring the eyes in circle, in & out of the photo. given the fact that this photo is bottom is bottom heavy (ie 3 subject where the eye can rest @, the charactor, the cocoa powder & the brim of the cup), your eyes will not stray to the top side. the brim @ the bottom is very heavy, but it is balance by the lighter shadows.
i am no pro and a/m is only my opinion. pls share with us if any fellow cser has view that may be otherwise, than we can learn more about photo appreciation.
btw, have you ask yourself when you say you like #2, why is it so? what is it about #1 that you dont like?
- both picture need to increase the sharpness and detail, also need a bit of contrast, remember you shoot B&W.
- try to keep it simple, the pattern on the coffee is good, add more artistic point to the picture, but if can do more tidy it looks better i think, i saw adv. something like these before.
- 1st picture theres a litle bit distracting background and spoon, maybe can play with DOF and point the object to the artistic pattern.
- 2nd picture the black coffee on the middle is loss the tone, maybe can bring some shadow a bit and increase the sharpness again. The composition is not bad.
just my personal opinion, different ppl may have different taste...