This is my favorite image from my recent trip to Spring Forest Cemetery in Binghamton, New York (figure 1). I like the layers of trees, compressed by the telephoto lens, and the pastel elements in pinks and bluish greys.
At first, it looks like the golden foliage is going to steal the show, but my eye, at any rate, is drawn by the dark contrasting masses of the branches amid the gold near the top. At that point my eye sort of discovers the vein of rich pinks like a treat amid the clusters of gold and zig-zags its way down following them to the dusty-pink hydrangea tree prominent below. The golds among the fallen leaves are darker and redder, in part because of rain that morning; these complement the hydrangea.
The cedars act as a visual counterweight and foil to the autumn colors, serving also to block the bright, cloudy sky in the background. Their shadows help restore a little of the depth the lens takes away.
Pivoting thirty degrees to the right one catches sight of a far more distant hillside with a mix of colors both there and in the midground; a massive gnarly maple trunk rises in the foreground (figure 2).
I suppose the idea behind this composition is the juxtaposition of the massive foreground trunk with the delicate Japanese Maple in the midground. I could have scootched a little lower to eliminate the path from the midground, but I did like the way the large midground tree’s shadow breaks up the dull expanse of green grass. The heaps of fallen gold on the distant hill are a boon.