I can't give an expert commentary to explain what makes pictures work, only what I see. The picture below will be used as an example of how I would explain what works in this instance.
This a small detail of a large building;framing tight focuses attention on the area of interest. The composition is mainly about geometry, the contrast between the horizontal and vertical lines and the radii. The colour palette is limited to the red of the bricks and paint, and the neutral tones of the mortar. Too many colours in a picture can be overpowering. Finally the texture of the bricks and peeling paint adds interest.