Bright color and contrast combine with the leading lines to make this a particularly striking photograph.
In spite of the shadows creating horizontal leading lines that are barriers to continuing further into the image, the white fence line is still a stronger leading line because of contrast so that the composition still works. By centering the pathway between the trees and the fence the central path becomes a leading line of it's own as well (even with the breaking shadow lines).
- Point of View
By shooting from a low angle of view (provided by standing at a low point before a hill), the photograph is saved from the bright tree leaves taking over the image completely. It also enables us to feel more like we are in the photo rather than looking at a distant scene.
What Doesn't Work
- Cross Shadows
While other bits of the image overpower the cross shadows so that the image still works, the cross shadows still steal much of the impact that could have been in this photo. The cross shadows also make it more difficult for the point of view and the fence leading line to overcome the large bulk of the red leaves. While the red leaves are important, they do not need to be quite as powerful in the image as they are currently. Visiting the location at a different time of day could have changed or removed the shadows.
You can read the story behind the image on the original photo submission page.