What are the secrets to great fall foliage photography (besides great leaf color)? Well, there are many, but let's concentrate on light and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) color temperature. Saturday, we were on a self-assignment to do architectural detail photography for a huge project we're working on. There was an obvious need to scout the locations in advance, so we had a feel for how the natural illumination falls on the subjects at specific times in the day. We wanted something in the 3:45p to 5:00p range. Why? At the end of October, that time of day produces a unique shadow length and a shift in color temperature. It pops out the brilliant colors in the leaves. That, of course, means we had a 75 minute window to get to a variety of locations, mostly on foot. Once the images have been captured and edited, the next secret is in making the digital photograph pop as boldly as it does in nature. This may mean that you need to change how you do your postproduction. You don't want to allow ACR to set the white balance for you. That throws away the beautiful colors the low angle sun created. For the most part, you will have the greatest success if Camera Raw white balances to Daylight. That's not to say that a little color tweaking won't be needed. Because your angle of light is low and quickly changing plus you have probably been shooting from various angles, adjusting exposure, contrast, saturation, etc over large batches of photos probably won't work, optimally. A few images at a time is the best workflow.
You certainly got it right on those images. I have learned (and have read) that you don't want to shoot between 10 AM and 2 PM. I have tried to adhere to that. But sometimes it's difficult when you're waiting for others. I like both images. What camera did you use? Was there any exposure compensation?