It is important in monochrome images that the photographer can get his vision across to the viewer using only the attributes of that medium. The careful construction of an image should give visual weight to the components in the frame enabling the viewer to see what the photographer intended with his photograph.
In the first image, the square format enhances the shape and tonal qualities of the leaves by allowing the viewer to absorb the structure, lines, tones and shapes of the leaves. Dynamism and movement are provided by the difference between the light and darker tones of the leaves which meets on an implied diagonal moving through the frame from bottom left to top right.
The second photograph is a high contrast image where the viewer’s gaze is pulled immediately to the illuminated door on the right. There are some vague outlines of bricks to the left of the door, but most of what lies in the darkness is left up to the imagination of the viewer. There is a mystery and a tension to the image which is asking the viewer to make a choice of leaving via the door to the sunshine, or to peer harder into the shadows on the left to see what might be waiting there.
Open and Shut uses geometric shapes to provide balance and interest. The greater size of the house on the left is balanced by the implied movement through the building on the right starting at the white rectangle of the door, to the circle of the window and then to the apex of the roof. Tonal differences, shapes and the juxtaposition of one door open and the other closed, provide the visual weight and interest in the image.