I chose, almost at random, a few pictures that are ho-hum, at least in part because there is too much in them.
Then I tried a few different crops of each picture homing in on different subjects. (I did also tweak exposure, clarity and color vibrance a bit).
Here are the results (the captions contain my comments):
Boat and birds in Morro Bay, California:
Sock vendor in Kitui, Kenya:
Close up of his “stocking cap”.
Cleaned up a bit to focus on the people. Some of the car and building cropped out. A general street scene; it gives some context to the sock vendor.
Focus on the sock vendor.
This one did not work.Two subjects: sock vendor at lower left 1/3 and Herbal Cures sign in upper right 1/3.
Focus on the Kamba Herbal Cures sign. I still laugh when I read this sign…who needs modern medicine?
The Empress and her favorite attendant:
My son playing guitar…and The Empress:
In general I think what works depends a lot on the subject you are after and how you plan to use the picture. The pictures I worked with all had too much busy-ness. They were generally better after cropping.