What a great honor being asked to be a guest jury member of Het Perfecte Plaatje. Together with colleague Susanne Timmer | @seenbymephotography I was able to take the candidates within the world of Urbex Photography. What a beautiful and special experience to be able to witness the production of such a wonderful program. To show that “our” beloved form of photography can be an absolute form of art. The fact that we have been able to represent the urbex scene together (that’s how I see it) and present it in a positive way, is something we are very proud of.
– Following this announcement, a journalist asked me a number of questions which I answered with love and pleasure.
What was it like being a judge on Het Perfecte Plaatje?
First of all, it was an absolute honour to be invited as a guest jury member. Doing this together with fellow Urbex photographer Susanne Timmer was quite special. It was nice to see the candidates frolicking and working with exposure and aperture in various ways, it was hard work. I’ve seen that photography really has to be in your blood and you have to work hard for it. There were also some real talents.
How did you come into contact with Het Perfecte Plaatje?
I was approached by Het Perfecte Plaatje. A while before the recording, William Rutten did a feature about me as a photographer on his own Instagram page. By the way, William had, in his own words, long wanted to devote an episode of Het Perfecte Plaatje to this form of photography. My participation in Het Perfecte Plaatje seemed to me to be a great way to put Urbex photography in the spotlight. I’m very proud to be able to play a part in that.
What was your role as a jury member during the recording?
We first explained what Urbex photography entails, what’s important for the assignment and what we, as photographer and jury member, would pay particular attention to. During the recordings I saw the candidates at work and gave advice where necessary. In the end, as a joint jury, we judged their works.
Who are the participants of Het Perfecte Plaatje 2021?
The participants of this season are: actress and presenter Georgina Verbaan, presenter Frits Sissing, singer Jaap Reesema, singer Ruth Jacott, actor and presenter Patrick Martens, presenter Bridget Maasland, dancer and actor Juvat Westendorp, actress Abbey Hoes, Rapper Donnie and ex- football player Johnny Heitinga.
– and if you’ve seen the past episodes, 2 contestants dropped out before the Urbex shoot.
What did you think of the participants? Is there talent among them? Have you seen ‘Het Perfecte Plaatje’?
I really enjoyed the recordings. The togetherness, nice vibe amongst us and curiosity of the participants was very pleasant to experience. As a photographer it was nice for me to notice that there is a lot of interest in my profession. The enthusiasm to get the image and the composition perfectly on the picture was contagious, however that didn’t make my role as a jury member any easier 😉 And yes, there is definitely talent among them, 2 candidates really surprised me. And they have also delivered beautiful works. Congratulations for this. Of course I also look critically at the result and there were also some points for improvement.
Het Perfecte Plaatje in this episode was about Urbex, what does that mean for you as a professional Urbex photographer?
I am very proud of the fact that the two of us have been able to represent the urbex scene (that’s how I see it) and that we have been able to present this in a positive way. Especially because the urbex scene has been in the news negatively lately due to a few bad apples. Then this is a nice boost to show the Netherlands that urbex photography is an absolute form of art. A form of photography that literally & figuratively goes far, in terms of traveling, in terms of dangers, “grabbing” the image and the composition. So it means a lot to me that we were able to present this in a beautiful form on Dutch TV.
Urban Exploring is still a bit shrouded in mystery, what do you think this means for the world of Urban Exploring?
I sincerely hope that people can appreciate this form of photography. The history and beauty of the decay we are going for. That is the image we like to present to the world. We do this by going to places that are open, but deserted. For whatever reason. And that reason can be very beautiful, but also very sad.
Unfortunately, not all ‘photographers’ treat the locations with the same respect. Stealing goods and money or breaking in…. That is absolutely not done! A real urbexer does not break in. Is the door closed? Then we don’t step inside! No debate.
And because of this, there is a tinge of mystery about it. But that is absolutely not necessary.
As far as I’m concerned one should see the beauty; the image I shoot is a story, your story and my story. Good Urbex photography is art.
What do you do with your Urbex photos yourself?
As I see it: “good urbex photography is art.” I am therefore particularly proud that I am able to offer my photography as works of art. That’s a dream come true. Through Urban Art Gallery I offer my works in a virtual gallery. Here one strolls around in an online gallery full of works of art. The customer chooses an artwork and can determine which size he or she would like to receive. The photo is printed in a special way, which makes it come to life almost. The entire collection is offered in a limited edition. This way you really get a unique work of art at home!
At the moment Urban Art exhibits some artworks at Balthasar (gallery in Brussels), and at Cad’Art (gallery in Cadouin, France). The website contains the current exhibitions, where you can see and experience the works of art in person.
I exhibit as a photographer at several gallery’s. I’d like to invite the Netherlands to take a look. If you have any questions, ask me. Urbex photography is full of stories, and I love to tell them!