There once was an ugly build­ing

Menno van der Meer likes search­ing for un­ex­pected beauty in the ur­ban sprawl

NPhoto - - Over to you... -

I’ve never been in­ter­ested in tak­ing pic­tures of heav­ily made up mod­els – I like gritty shots of real life. I’m an art fan and take in­spi­ra­tion from the de­lib­er­ate ug­li­ness of the work of Lu­cian Freud or Fran­cis Ba­con, and that’s what first drew me to pho­to­graph the build­ings that I do. I love how an old fac­tory shows us what na­ture does to the work of man, and a pho­to­graph is a way of freez­ing that in time.

Tak­ing shots of build­ings that most people would call ugly has been an urge of mine for a long time. I bought my first SLR cam­era when I was a 21-year-old de­sign stu­dent, and ar­chi­tec­ture be­came my main fo­cus as I de­vel­oped my own style.

I’m al­ways on the hunt for build­ings. I bone up on places I’m trav­el­ling to be­fore I go, and I’ve got a huge collection of ar­chi­tec­ture books I in­her­ited from my fa­ther – I must get my pas­sion from him! My friends have start­ing giv­ing me tips on build­ings they’ve spotted that they know I’d like, it’s like be­ing on a pho­to­graphic trea­sure hunt.

When I set off on my mis­sions I take along my Nikon D2xs

Never go on a French road trip with me. I pull over ev­ery 20 min­utes or so to pho­to­graph a crum­bling fac­tory or a grain silo

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01 Un ité d’habi­ta­tion Nikon D2xs, Tok­ina 11-16mm f/2.8, 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO100

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