Tourist Photographs of Famous Locations Combined into Surreal Images

For her series entitled “Photo Opportunities“, photographer Corinne Vionnet gathered hundreds of photographs taken by tourists at famous locations and combined them by layering them together, creating surreal views of places we’ve all seen before in photographs.

Vionnet writes,

By collecting and then bringing together successive layers of around a hundred similar “photo souvenirs”, these images conjure up questions about representation and memory of places.

You can see more photographs from this series on her website here.

(via My Modern Metropolis)

Image credits: Photographs by Corinne Vionnet and used with permission

  • Letsbengoshi

    I’ve stood where the photographer’s standing at both the Taj Mahal and in front of the Forbidden City. Neither needs to be “re-imagined” or reworked to be, to look, to feel “surreal.”

  • Tom Hilton

    Great stuff. Reminds me of a similar series at the DeYoung by Elliot Anderson, called Average Landscapes: He was starting with locations depicted in Hudson River School paintings, and building composite images from hundreds of tourist snaps.

  • Sunithshyam1

    Looks like the photographer had too much caffeine…. no offense.. art is subjective, and I just didn’t like it.

  • John Purlia

    These images are sensational. It does not take a great photographer to stand in an obvious vantage point and snap the expected photo. It *does* take a true artist, however, to conceive of something that is unexpected and imaginative. The photographer has taken the ordinary and turned it into something that (in a very good way) challenges the senses.

    As others have suggested, it’s all in the eye of the beholder, and to be honest there’s very little that I see in photography that appeals to me, so the ingenuity on the part of the photographer appeals to my sense of artistry. I’d rather look at these fresh, imaginative renderings of these landmarks than yet another retread of a “well shot” photo for the thousandth time.

  • Andrew

    If she took hundreds of photos herself and created the images it would be photography, but using hundreds of other peoples images is just copyright infringement passed off as art.

    If someone took all of her photographs and re-published them as their own art, I bet she would have something to say about it. Just because a photograph is taken by a tourist doesn’t mean there is no copyright. Is she going to share the proceeds of her art with the hundreds of people who’s images she used?

    Imaginative yes, but in the spirit of photography, not at all.

  • Dominick Delli Paoli

    ummm okay?

  • Lennart

    Well there are already many many photobooks published with nothing but found photography, all very well respected in the art world.

    Though that question about “is it your art?” will always be relevant I think.

  • John Purlia

    Andrew, the copyright issues here are likely moot, as it is very likely that the use of prior work in this case falls under the provisions of Fair Use.

    Copyright issues aside, I’m curious about the term you used – “the spirit of photography”. What does that mean, exactly? Isn’t a camera merely a tool to be used in very broad ways? It can capture the world as we see it, or it can be used as a means of expression, as can a pen, brush, or sculptor’s chisel.

  • Jimmy Gunawan

    You can get the same effect using SynthCam and MagicShutter app on the iPhone. Basically multiple exposures get combined together and using special algorithm it will try not to get over-exposed (white).

  • Anonymous

    Agreed, a little hard on the eyes. Gave me a headache when staring at them too long.

  • Threeark


  • Threeark

    Yeah next time I sell a photograph I’ll give some of the proceeds to Canon. Way to miss the point entirely. 

  • iDrifter

    Well then the effort wasn’t entirely wasted.

  • Iam Skycake

    this was a waste

  • Sojourner Media

    @openid-117914:disqus That is a completely ridiculous argument, I agree with @ee61220a3ac7066eebbffdfe312fa64a:disqus  

  • Sojourner Media

    @5e9bab049c88be3d3d1a26419e94ff30:disqus “Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.”, I do not think creating ‘Art’ falls under fair use.

  • John Purlia

    If you’re going to quote Wikipedia (a dubious source, as it is), at least read the entire article. You’ll find examples and case studies that most definitely cover art, music and a wide variety of forms that deviate from the first paragraph of the article.

  • FYO

    Nope it’s not actually and here is why. These images are not supposed to be “in the spirit of photography”… whatever that means. Most of us make art with our cameras. She is making her art with photographs, using them as the brush (or camera). The photographs are merely tools in this case. 

  • Perfucnt

    It’s not copyright infringement at all – the original images have been altered by such an extent that they’re a new image/idea/illustration. 

    If the photographer had reproduced the original images ‘as is’ with no changes, *that* would be copyright infringement.

  • superduckz

    I DO tip my hat to the creativity here. No question. But honestly the shots are not really my cup of tea. Just my personal taste not a criticism.

  • superduckz

    There was a successful book published a while back entirely made up from Google Street View images. Clever And an interesting book. I liked it. But NOT really photography. At least on the part of the “artist”.