Artist transforms travel photos with paper cutouts

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Taking pictures of famous landmarks is like writing a thank you letter or ironing a shirt. You’re sort of obligated to do it, and everyone does it more it less the same way.

So, when someone figures out a unique style of getting the job done, people notice.

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Towards the end of WWI, France built a ‘Second Paris’ near the capital city to confuse German pilots. It was located near the town of Maisons-Laffitte, on a stretch of the River Seine. As well as replicas of iconic landmarks, including the Arc de Triomphe, it even had sham streets lined with electric lights so that from the sky it would look like a real city. Shot for #lpkids (@lonelyplanet's brand for little adventurers) #arcdetriomphe #lonelyplanet #instaart #paris #parisjetaime #parisian #topparisphoto #visitparis #parismaville #igersparis #loves_paris #igersfrance #citytrip #wanderlust #travel #adventure #passionpassport #instagram #travelandlife #intrepidtravel #adventureinstagoodmyphoto #guardiancities #guardiantravelsnaps #bestintravel #lego #paperart #loves_paris #champselysees #silhouette

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That’s what happened when Londoner Rich McCor began adorning pictures of British landmarks with whimsical paper cutouts and posting the results online.

Originally, the 28-year-old creative agency worker intended the photos for the amusement of himself and friends.

Then, he got a lesson on the impact of ‘viral’ when Britain’s Daily Mail publicized some of his photos.

“I went from 5,000 followers on Instagram to about 60,000 in a week,” McCor said.

According to McCor, Lonely Planet contacted him and sponsored part of a trip around Europe to put his artistic touch on monuments in Paris, Stockholm, Copenhagen and other cities.

The whole thing started with a cutout of a watchband artfully placed in front of London’s Big Ben clock tower.

“In London, there are so many iconic landmarks,” McCor said. “As a photographer, I wanted to find a way to photograph London in a way it hadn’t been done before.”

The inspiration for placing a cutout in front of the iconic clock came partly from some quick-stop animation work he’d done as a work project.

“A young girl and her father came round and asked to see the photo I’d just taken. They asked if I had more of these. I said no, and they said, ‘You should do more.'” he said. “That encouraged me to see what other icons in London I could shoot.”

McCord uses cardstock and a scalpel-like knife to create his cutouts.

Some of the ideas come to him quickly. Others, he ponders for a while.

McCor isn’t in danger of being seduced by his insta-fame.

“The interest is exciting, but I’m keeping my feet on the ground about the whole thing,” he said. “I just stumbled upon this with Big Ben and the wristwatch thing, and now people are calling me an artist, which feels so pretentious and phony.”

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Novelists James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway were drinking buddies in Paris- often picking fights on their drunken nights out. Famously, Hemingway took a urinal from his favourite bar in Paris and had it installed into his American abode, arguing that he had "pissed away" so much money into the urinal that he owned it #montmartre #basiliquedusacrecoeur #hemingway #karate #silhouette #instaart #paris #parisjetaime #parisian #topparisphoto #visitparis #parismaville @paris_tourisme #igersparis #loves_paris #igersfrance #instagram #forcedperspective #citytrip #wanderlust #travel #adventure #passionpassport #architecture #travelandlife #intrepidtravel #adventureinstagoodmyphoto #guardiancities #guardiantravelsnaps #bestintravel

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Even so, he hopes the popularity of his pictures might lead to bigger things.

“If I can, I’d like to make this into an opportunity to do more traveling,” he said. “My ambition is to do something for the Olympics in 2016 [in Rio de Janeiro]. That’d be fantastic.”

You can follow McCor and see more of his photos on Instagram.

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The Little Mermaid taking a selfie; Shot for #lpkids (@lonelyplanet's brand for little adventurers). Hans Christian Anderson (who wrote the fairy tale) always took some unusual pieces of equipment with him when he travelled, including a rope in case a fire broke out and he was forced to escape through a window. Fortunately he never needed it #lonelyplanet #copenhagen #denmark #kopenhagen #visitcopenhagen #selfiestick #sea #paperart #sky #VisitDenmark #somewhereincopenhagen #citytrip #instaart #igerscopenhagen #wanderlust #travel #adventure #travelbreak #travelandlife #intrepidtravel
#bestintravel #passionpassport #disney #hanschristiananderson #thelittlemermaid #selfie #Denlillehavfrue #cutout #paper

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