There once was an ugly building
Menno van der Meer likes searching for unexpected beauty in the urban sprawl
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
01 Un ité d’habitation Nikon D2xs, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO100