There is one tree, in one place, that each year always turns first to display its full, riotously colourful, leafy glory. It is the annual harbinger of Autumn and with it the promise of what is to follow.
As George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans as she really was) said of Autumn, "Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - I hear you George!
Trees like this are best photographed either side lit as above...
Or more backlit as above... with light coming through their leaves to show off their glorious colour to maximum effect. Either way contra jour is the order of the day with the light mostly or fully behind them.
In context, this small young maple makes an unimpressive sight when photographed in reflected light i.e. front lit, at a distance, against the background of other much more mature trees. Yes indeed this little tree in the photo above really is the same one in the three pictures above that. Also you can see the application of that other old adage where, if you wish to get a half decent photo, you need to get closer.
So here I present my Harbinger of Autumn, now let the colourful riot of the "fall" begin.