#034 – The natural and the constructed; eliciting a colourful balance

Hello, my name is Adrien, I am a twenty-seven year old architect and photographer, currently based in Bucharest.

Since I was little kid, I used to follow my father into the mountains. My father a mountain guide, I had the luck to face the immensity of nature every winter since an early age. My father always taught me and my brother to not only live on this planet, but to try as much as possible to be part of it. Today, I think I follow in his steps through my passion – photography.

My father always taught me and my brother to not only live on this planet, but to try as much as possible to be part of it.

So here I am, a French photographer, passionate about the earth and nature, but also by human beings, interactions, and the creativity derived from living on Earth.

My passion for photography came late. I mean, I always had a camera with me to photograph my travels and what not, but I never really paid attention to it. Then I enrolled in an architecture school in Marseille, and my vision of the world, of art, totally changed. I began to develop my own opinions and create my own way of seeing the world. So I tried to find a way to express it. I bought my first camera, which was a compact. It was a Canon Powershot G9, and I started to shoot whatever I wanted. Without thinking of composition, techniques and all the other elements, I just wanted to shoot and show what I was seeing.

At the time, I was traveling a lot. I wanted to discover as much as I could to be able to create my own way of expressing scenes; and not in the usual way we are accustomed to seeing on social media or television. This ambition took me to India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Caribbean, Magrheb and many countries in Europe. Fittingly, the more I travelled, the more felt the need to document what I was experiencing and seeing. Not only for memories, but primarily to show to my family and friends that the mundane and typical way of living was not the only option. I continued to shoot a lot during my travels, increasing my level of photography and skillset.

…the mundane and typical way of living was not the only option.

The more I delved and invested into my architectural studies, the more I felt attracted to urban forms and urban living. I thought about cities, and I thought about them logically. How are cities living, especially by night? During the night, all the cities are lit up, but everything is empty. No cars, no people, no noise – in a fully constructed world. A city that nobody is used to seeing this way. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve spent in my city trying to find the best spot or the best building to shoot. Sometimes I was exploring and staying awake until four or five in the morning. I would often catch the first lot people going to work; the early birds. I wanted to show my city of Marseille with perspectives and angles that nobody has seen before. Here, my small camera had shown some limitations. I wanted to practice long exposure photography to capture the night, so I bought my first dSLR camera.

I wanted to show my city of Marseille with perspectives and angles that nobody has seen before.

It was a Canon 80D with a wide angle lens (Tokina 11-16mm). I was ready to experiment and shoot urban photography. I experimented within this field for a year almost. I loved the fact that I was showcasing places everybody passed by every day, with their heads obliviously looking down. Marseille is well-known for its grit and bustle, not really for its beauty. I wanted to show the beauty I was seeing every day. Thus, I began to shoot the most important building of the city, but during the night. I had people telling me I was, ‘showing Marseille as nobody sees it’, and ‘I used to see this building every day and never thought about the beauty’. My photography was changing the way people perceived the ordinary and overlooked. I was sublimating the ‘ugly’ things people were seeing every day.

I was sublimating the ‘ugly’ things people were seeing every day.

These days, I use a Canon 6D Mark II full-frame dSLR, and with this I’ve divulged into other forms of photography. Extremely concerned about the planet, I went back to where I grew up to photograph the beauty of what surrounds us. Seeking the most optimum light and atmosphere, I try to reveal to beauty of any place I like. I really believe in the power of photography to inform and educate people. Lectures and speeches are all really good, but many do not listen. Contrary to this, you can’t run from a picture. It shows what it shows and you see what you see.

… you can’t run from a picture. It shows what it shows and you see what you see.

In this modern day, cameras and software have advanced so far, the post-processing of photos is seemingly infinite. You can create whatever you want. Some people will say that retouched and edited photography is cheating, but for me it is a tool to show exactly what I want to show; the colour of our world. A camera won’t ever be as powerful as the human eye, so for me, post-processing is adding something to my picture to show what I felt in the moment pressing that button. And honestly, what would be life without the allure of colour ?

My work tends to show the beauty of this colourful planet, but also the beauty of the work of men and the man-made. The balance between what is natural and what is constructed. It is a way for me to document the world I see, but also to express my creativity.


Adrien Guitard is a French photographer and architect with a passion for showcasing colourfully, both the natural and constructed world.
Explore his work, learn more or get in contact below:

adrienguitard/ adrien.gtrd