Ugly Spaces Can Be Interesting Too

Street photography by photographer Craig Boehman.

There's a vacant lot in my neighborhood that I'm passing by from time-to-time. It's an eyesore generally. It's not uncommon to see piles of trash and debris and the random squatters or misc. anonymous visitors mulling about. In early February 2020 I happened to be walking by and noticed a woman with her cow tied up nearby. I photographed her and moved on to her cow. The cow seemed interested or weary of me but gave me a good look-over from her station. A lone crow on the sign was the icing on the cake for me - along with the bricks which had undoubtedly been stacked there for far too long without a purpose. I don't know what exactly attracted me to this scene. Was it the color scheme, the earthen hues of the bricks, cow, and fence? Could it be the rubble in the foreground and the way the trees seem to stretch into the mid-ground, an effect caused in large part by my 18mm lens? Or maybe the sign warning of imminent prosecution for trespassing in the muck? Whatever the case, the scene beckoned to be photographed; it called out to me from the graveyard of unedited images, seeking life beyond the Forgotten Realm of Unseen Pixels. I suspect now it's a muddy wasteland with the onset of monsoon here in Mumbai. The cow is likely gone along with her guardian. And maybe the bricks have found their way into a new structure. If I were to walk by now, I think the only familiarness would be the general ugliness of the spot - and maybe some renegade crows who couldn't care less for the words on the sign.

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