Close ups: Autumn on a Rocky Maine Beach

This afternoon I perused my image catalog looking for a "nature" scene to submit to Walter at my photo club, for next month's photo club competition.  The two images below popped out at me.  They were taken in October of 2012 and it seems I had basically ignored them, until now.  There have no keywords, no color labels, no stars.  I am glad I hadn't binned them, because seeing them now, nearly 14 months later, I kind of liked them.

In our photo club nature category images need to "tell a story".  At first I didn't think there was much of a story here.  No fox eating a squirrel or two grizzly bears fighting over a female. But then I realized it is the story that most attracts me to the images.  Fallen autumn leaves are all part of nature's story and the annual cycle of seasons.  And when nature mixes in a few seashells and seaweed and pebbles... hey, maybe this is a good story after all.

At any rate, I like these and have submitted the first one.  I think the red maple has a bit too much glare on it.  I think the orange birch leaf is sharper.  I had very little depth of field to work with, so the fact that the birch leaf was flat helped get it pretty sharp around all the edges.

I like this one better than the red maple leaf image below, as this yellow
birch leaf is entirely in focus.  
I am wondering if a vertical orientation would be more appealing (?)

A polarizer would have helped here due to the glare off the wet leaf.
Also the shallow depth of field left some of the leaf "soft".

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