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What's This?

We all know the famous landmarks around the world, and everyone is trying to get the same shot like they’ve seen on so many postcards before. Here’s what happens when the photo is taken from another angle.

Over four years Oliver Curtis has turned his back on the most famous landmarks in the world such as the Eiffel Tower, the White House and Stonehenge, to create a fascinating collection that promotes a new perspective on tourism. His “Volte-face” project seeks to create a narrative on the quiet history and stories that surround famous attractions such as the Mona Lisa. It started in 2012, when he was visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo. Curtis realised by turning back and looking in the direction that he came in there was more to the landscape then originally thought.

Looking back at the Giza photograph that started the Volte-face series, Curtis recounts “After walking around the base of the tomb I found myself looking back out in the direction I had arrived from, with the pyramid behind me.”

Then, in the mid- distance I saw a newly constructed golf course, its fairways an intense green under the late morning sun. I found this visual sandwich of contrasting colour, texture and form intriguing not simply for the photograph it made but also because of the oddness of my position; standing at one of the great wonders of the world facing the ‘wrong’ way.

– Oliver Curtis

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, USA

Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, USA

Mao Mausoleum, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China

Mao Mausoleum, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China

Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris, France

Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris, France

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Reichstag, Berlin, Germany

Reichstag, Berlin, Germany

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

White House, Washington D.C., USA

White House, Washington D.C., USA

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu, China

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu, China

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., USA

More info: website