(Feature image is the ‘opposite’ view of the Taj Mahal, Agra, India)
One of the main desires of travel is to visit famous locations and take pictures to prove you were there and experienced the real thing, as well as being able to appreciate the location with your senses. It’s an intimate and personal experience for all of us. However, this can come with slightly unexpected downsides.
Personally, I remember being somewhat shocked at how small the Mona Lisa was and how many people were trying to take selfies with her. I was also shocked by how impossible it can sometimes be to get any good shots of the landmarks in questions because of the sheer number of people trying to do the same thing.
Amidst all this, a British photographer named Oliver Curtis has flipped the script on international sightseeing in an unusual yet brilliant way. His series, Volte-face, is a collection of photographs taken at famous international destinations, only they are pointed away from the landmark rather than towards it.
The idea came to him back in 2012 when he visited the Pyramids of Giza. He realized that he had never seen the “hidden” side of those famous landmarks, and so he set out to document more examples from around the world. It gives a new and rarely-seen perspective to the surroundings of some of the most famous spots on Earth, and there are many more pieces on his website.
Pyramid Of Khufu, Giza, Egypt
Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris, France
St. Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy
Mao Mausoleum, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Parthenon, Athens, Greece
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., USA
Great Wall of China, Mutianyu, China
Buckingham Palace, London, UK
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Statue of Liberty, New York, USA