Sunset from the Esplanade, Boston

Vibrant backgrounds are often what transform landscapes from ordinary  to extraordinary, but they’re rarely all that’s needed. Never  underestimate the foreground. A visually arresting nearby object can  captivate the viewer and draw them into the scene. Leading lines and S  curves work especially well, and give context to the background.

Last  Friday a colorful sunset emerged as I rode my bike down the Esplanade  on the Boston side of the Charles. It had been a painfully hot day and  the stagnant air had formed a low hazey layer in the sky, covering the  sun just enough to make it photographable and extremely vibrant. But I  found myself frantically biking up and down the river in search of a  nice foreground before I lost the light. Just near the Harvard Bridge,  some overhanging branches caught my eye, lending nice curves towards the  sunset. I like that the jet black silhouette balances the blues and  reds of the late evening sky, providing something more visually  interesting than a bland gradient, and the curving branches balance the  jagged Cambridge cityscape.

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