Willie, Will, and I specifically spent last weekend in Yosemite so that we could capture the fall colors. Unfortunately on Saturday there wasnt much color and while there was a bit more on Sunday, we didnt really find any photogenic spots to photograph. It seemed like all the colorful trees were next to boring ugly spots and not next to anything pretty, like the Merced River.
We arrived around 2pm and spent the next 3.5 hours trying to find a spot for sunset. While exploring I walked down to the Merced River where I had seen a couple yellow trees. Although the trees were on the wrong side of the river for sunset, there were numerous leaves that had fallen and made for pretty photos.
Note that the leaves fell on this log on their own. I did not place anything or alter the scene in any way. I also did not increase the saturation in this photo. About the only thing I did was reduce some of the noise from taking it at ISO 640 on my D300s. Lazily I left my camera bag in the car and only had my 17-35mm lens on. It would have been better if I had the 24-70 or my 105mm macro but oh well. This came out great anyways. I had to use LiveView to get low and get close enough to this leaf
Nikon D300s w/Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S
35mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec, ISO 640, Handheld