Since 2008, Mexican architect Jose Davila has had a passion for photographing famous buildings–much like every tourist in every city ever. Except for one thing: Davila goes on to cut the iconic buildings out of his pictures entirely, leaving behind ghostly white silhouettes.
These doctored images highlight “the importance of context in architecture,” says Davila. “What’s around a building is part of the building itself and vice versa.” In his new book, There But Not, Davila showcases 100 photos of buildings reduced to negative space–including the Burj al Arab, resembling the sail of a massive ship; St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, identifiable only by the shape of its onion domes; and the Ananda Temple, which, in silhouette, could be mistaken for a jagged mountain range. How many buildings can you identify just by looking at their outlines?
There But Not, published by PowerHouse Books, is out now for $30.
All images by Jose Davila.