The Playbook For The Modern Man

The World’s Most Familiar Sights Captured In A Totally Unfamiliar Way

Full screen
1 of 17|Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 of 17|Buckingham Palace, London, UK
3 of 17|Colosseum, Rome, Italy
4 of 17|Pyramid Of Khufu, Giza, Egypt
5 of 17|Great Wall of China, Mutianyu, China
6 of 17|Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, USA
7 of 17|Lenin's Tomb, Moscow, Russia
8 of 17|Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris, France
9 of 17|Parthenon, Athens, Greece
10 of 17|Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
11 of 17|Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
12 of 17|Statue of Liberty, New York, USA
13 of 17|Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK
14 of 17|Taj Mahal, Agra, India
15 of 17|Mao Mausoleum, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
16 of 17|Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
17 of 17|St. Mark's Square, Venice, Italy

Christ the Redeemer, The Great Wall of China, Buckingham Palace, The Mona Lisa – iconic landmarks you’d recognise anywhere. But no matter how familiar you think you are with these sights, this is a perspective you’ve never seen.

It started 12 years ago, when photographer Oliver Curtis travelled to the Pyramids at Giza. Visitors faced the pyramids, jostling for space and fighting for the perfect shot. An idea struck. He turned around and snapped a photo.

That image evolved into a series over the next dozen years. Called “Volte-face”, the project is a unique take on travel photography. Instead of focusing on the landmark, Curtis takes his shots in the wrong direction, capturing the view looking away from the monument. The images are a playful reminder that there is life around each one, perhaps as interesting as the monument itself. Viewers and travellers alike are challenged to expand their perspectives.


“Volte-face” will premier as Curtis’ first solo exhibition at London’s Royal Geographical Society in September 2016. In the meantime, there’s more to see here. Can you guess each location?


Show More



The playbook for the modern man

Get the very best of men's style, health, travel & culture delivered to your inbox.

Dont show me this again