The Permanent Tourist : Photography of Fred Guillaud

Fred Guillaud (b.1973, France) is a photographer, architect and teacher living in Barcelona, Spain since 2000. His urban landscapes shot exclusively on film are admired for their atmospheric banality and visual appeal. Architecture plays a major role in Fred’s work when he judiciously projects his camera to capture transitional negative spaces often placing a small human figure categorically in his frames to give it a social context. The resulting images are bright with a limited palette, patterns, and serenity.


About : I have studied architecture in France and Canada. I was introduced to photography through my studies. But with the years I understood that photography could be much more than just a tool to register a site or a building. During my early years as a professional I was always carrying a disposable camera to be able to shoot anytime and any situation I was encountering in the streets. From then I started to organize my work as a diary.

fred-guillaud-photography-1 fred-guillaud-photography-2 fred-guillaud-photography-3 fred-guillaud-photography-4Statement and preferences : I am not really into “technique”. I just seek for quality and consistency. This is why I always work with one analog camera at a time. My practice of photography balances between street photography and landscape photography, so I stick to the “point and shoot” philosophy, even if I work now with medium format camera.

fred-guillaud-photography-5 fred-guillaud-photography-6 fred-guillaud-photography-7 fred-guillaud-photography-8Projects : My work is shaped as a diary. The pictures are organized chronologically every year. I do not work on assignment, or very rarely. But with the time some series naturally appears through this amount of pictures. “The permanent tourist” is one of them and depicts the way I understand and live in my city, Barcelona. I try to put in relation what I call my trinity :  urbanism-architecture-people. The pictures I present here are from this ongoing series.

fred-guillaud-photography-9 fred-guillaud-photography-10 fred-guillaud-photography-11 fred-guillaud-photography-12Influences : I cannot deny influences like the first American colorists of the 70s, the “new topographics” or the  school of Dusseldorf. I think the combination of these influences added to my practice of architecture and shaped the way I take photographs.

fred-guillaud-photography-13 fred-guillaud-photography-14 fred-guillaud-photography-15 fred-guillaud-photography-16 fred-guillaud-photography-17 fred-guillaud-photography-18 fred-guillaud-photography-19All photos © Fred Guillaud : Website | Instagram

About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.

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