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World’s most photographed landmarks revealed

World’s most photographed landmarks revealed; but we’re starting to tire of identical Instagrams

Eiffel Tower tops list as most photographed landmark but over a third of snaps are exactly the same; the Burj Khalifa ranks higher than the Colosseum

  • The Top 30 landmarks, compiled using Instagram data, has been topped by the Parisian icon; with Big Ben in London a close second. The Burj Khalifa has been snapped and shared more times than the Colosseum in Rome
  • Award winning travel photographers from around the world have captured an incredible photo series, on the Xperia XZ, showing how different landmarks can look, whether in low light or using a hint of colour
  • 85% of photos taken of Machu Picchu are from the same spots, creating nearly half a million identical images on Instagram
  • There is an increasing desire to see new and original photography, with 47% of people bored of seeing the same shots, and 52% of people more likely to ‘like’ a composition they’d not seen before.

18 May 2017 00:01 (CEST): New pan-global* research released today by Sony Mobile has revealed the top 30 most photographed landmarks worldwide – a list topped by The Eiffel Tower and including Alhambra, The Colosseum, The Burj Khalifa and Big Ben.

The #XperiaNewPerspectives research revealed that more than half of the Top 30 landmarks are shot from the same three angles. With 55% of travellers saying they would plan their itinerary based on photography opportunities, it looks like we need to up our holiday photography game to avoid boring our friends as 47% of people said they were bored of seeing the same three shots. Whilst 52% were more likely to ‘like’ an image of a landmark if it was interesting and something they’d not see before.

The Eiffel Tower’s presence at the top of the list may not surprise, but the data that shows 35% of photographs of the landmark were taken from the same three angles is eye-opening. Other notable landmarks that follow this trend include Christ the Redeemer in Brazil where 71% of shots are from the same three angles, Trevi Fountain in Italy (74%), Mount Fiji in Japan (77%) and Machu Picchu where 85% of all Instagrammed images are taken from the same few spots.

Research also concluded that half of those surveyed pick their holiday based on others’ holiday snaps and a further 45% look to Instagram for inspiration of where to photograph and visit.

Sony Mobile has partnered with three award-winning travel photographers from across the globe and equipped them with the Sony Xperia XZ to visit some of the leading landmarks and capture them from new perspectives. From low light shots of the Colosseum to blur-free crowds of the Eiffel Tower showing off the capabilities of the Xperia XZ’s camera.

“This research has given us real insight into how important photography has become to our holidays and how the two are inextricably linked, said Sony Mobile. “Photography has become a vital part of any trip – whether city break, adventure or simply lying on a beach. With the quality of the camera in our Xperia XZ, travellers can experience blur-free images with ‘true-to-life’ colour image capture, and superb low-light capability. We hope to inspire a new generation of photographers to capture a new perspective on their travels.” 

Commenting on the fantastic imagery created on Xperia XZ and the New Perspectives report CEO of World Photography Organisation, Scott Gray, said: “The photography landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade and this is ultimately down to the accessibility and quality of cameras. This accessibility is even more pronounced with smartphones, the technology within these camera phones enable people to improve their photography but also, very importantly, have a high enough resolution to be able to actually do something with that image. This ability to capture the spontaneous can really help challenge the photographer’s creativity whilst providing a unique image for the viewer.

It is absolutely fantastic that photographers are using different techniques and filters but these more unique images, whilst they may require editing, should suffice without heavy touching up and therefore produce a more natural photograph.”

Award winning travel photographer, Lluís Salvadó, offers his top tips for capturing photography with a new perspective this summer –

  1. Play around with colours and brightness, it’s amazing how different one scene can look with some clever camera tricks
  2. If you’re struggling to get an original shot play around with reflective surfaces, a famous landmark can be transformed by a little water
  3. Look for beauty in the architecture around you, not just the landmark as a whole. There can be a very artistic quality to structural things
  4. Try out a new perspective and get some shots from high above or below the subject, don’t be scared to experiment with compositions
  5. Use people and their silhouettes to give a shot a sense of place and time, and play around with forced perspective too

– Ends – 

Notes to Editors

For more about Xperia XZ

Xperia XZ perfects the fundamentals of a standout smartphone. Key features:

  • 23MP rear camera with triple image sensing technology for blur-free pictures and true-to-life colour
  • 13MP front camera with superior low-light capabilities for sharper selfies
  • 5.2” Full HD display with curved glass
  • Stunning loop surface design
  • Fast Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820, 64-bit processor

About Sony Mobile Communications

Sony Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, a leading global innovator of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Through its Xperia™ smartphone and tablet portfolio, as well as innovative smart products, Sony Mobile Communications delivers the best of Sony technology, premium content and services, and easy connectivity to Sony’s world of networked entertainment experiences. For more information: www.sonymobile.com

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About the Top 30 list

Rank Landmark Location No. of Instagram images % from top three angles
1 Eiffel Tower France 4,654,699 35%
2 Big Ben UK 2,435,223 50%
3 The Louvre France 1,740,908 43%
4 Empire State Building USA 1,570,167 45%
5 Burj Khalifa UAE 1,446,682 43%
6 Notre Dame Cathedral France 1,330,688 53%
7 St Peter’s Basilica Vatican City 1,131,705 30%
8 Time Square USA 1,100,344 54%
9 Sagrada Familia Spain 936,216 55%
10 Colosseum Italy 860,248 66%
11 Statue of Liberty USA 813,930 74%
12 Machu Picchu Peru 745,815 85%
13 Alhambra Spain 745,716 35%
14 Borobudur Indonesia 667,086 50%
15 Red Square Russia 591,430 52%
16 Christ the Redeemer Brazil 581,523 71%
17 Taj Mahal India 571,070 38%
18 Burj Al Arab UAE 534,562 56%
19 Mount Fuji Japan 533,696 77%
20 Buckingham Palace UK 498,280 58%
21 Tokyo Tower Japan 485,744 44%
22 Ha Long Bay Thailand 475,390 57%
23 Arc de Triomphe France 449,856 49%
24 Berlin Wall Germany 434,869 21%
25 Trevi Fountain Italy 427,708 74%
26 Great Wall of China China 412,603 72%
27 Sydney Opera House Australia 408,919 44%
28 Table Mountain South Africa 386,723 61%
29 Park Güell Spain 383,853 32%
30 Sacré-Cœur Basilica France 376,730 59%

 

About the ‘New Perspectives’ report (full report available)

The report has combined the work of OneFifty, a digital data and strategy consultancy; with market research company OnePoll who conducted survey / data research around the world. The statistics within the report are a collective of 5,352 respondents across five territories – UK, Germany, France, Spain and UAE.

*A note about the statistics throughout the report

All statistics in the report are not representative of the general population but are of those surveyed. A sample size of 5,352 across four European markets (UK, Germany, France, Spain and UAE) were polled. 

About the photographers

Lluís Salvadó (http://lluissalvado.com)

Lluis was born in Granollers, near Barcelona. In 1998 he began learning about photography while studying Audio-visual Communications. After some years working as a sound system technician, he decided to make a radical change in his life and began working as a photographer full time in 2004.

His passion for travelling and capturing stories with a camera led him to co-create Bisual Studio in 2013. Since then, he has not stopped traveling and living great adventures to tell stories that deserve to be told through a lens. In 2016, Lluís won best single image in the ‘Journeys and Adventures Portfolio’ category at the Travel Photographer Of The Year awards.

Lluís photographed Alhambra 

Achim Thomae (https://www.achimthomae.photography)

Achim loves and lives for photography, he lives in southeast Munich (Bavaria / Germany) – the perfect location for the short walk to some of the most stunning scenery in Europe. He states that the mountains, lakes and landscapes of Upper Bavaria and the Alps are his ‘preferred “hunting ground” in particular, the special lighting effects’.

Shortlisted in the Sony World Photography Awards competition in the Open Competition for Travel. He now works as a freelance photographer for Getty Images – the world’s leading providers of digital media. To date his Getty Images portfolio has over 800 photos.

Achim photographed the Colosseum  

Mikael Buck (http://www.mikaelbuck.com)

Mikael Buck is an editorial photographer based in London, UK and his work focuses on portraiture and travel. He began his career as a photojournalist and has worked on commission for every daily national newspaper in Britain, including, The Times, Guardian, Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph as well as being published in countless international publications. Mikael has received critical acclaim for his photographs of iconic landmarks such as St Paul’s cathedral and his landscape work in Iceland and The Isle of Man.

Mikael photographed Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and Burj Khalifa

Image post processing; see how an image is developed

Revealed! Image post processing: The development of a photograph from the camera through the post-processing to the final result, stage by stage

If you have ever wondered how an image that caught your eye started out, how the photographer made it the striking image you see through image post processing; this article aims to give you some insight. Do you have some great images you’d like to share with our readers with in the same way? Let us know!

 

The before and after view above demonstrates my thought when I had finished knocking this image into shape; it was so different to how it started out from the in-camera image I had snapped. It was very simple to do, talk a matter of minutes and didn’t even involve any cropping of the scene. I thought it would be fun to reveal what I did to obtain the effects I achieved. To find out what I did, stage by stage, click on the gallery thumbnails below:

 

A top tip for this kind of project is – experiment! Try the effects sliders, in both directions, though make a not of where the starting point was just in case. Don’t be afraid to wind back some of the effects later on if, combined with other applied later, they become to severe.

If you have a good example of a dramatic transformation from dull unprocessed camera image to eye-opening masterpiece, let us know and we’ll feature it in an article just like this.

Give photos a general quick and easy lift with Dehaze

Introduced by Adobe last year for Lightroom and Photoshop, the Dehaze tool is a simple to use but sophisticated tool that is very effective at cutting through low contrast greyness that can afflict photos shot under certain lighting conditions. But don't think that's all it's good for. If you are in a hurry it can make any photo pop with a minimum of effort.

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