Revealed: The World’s Most Photographed Landmarks

Travel photography

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to travel to some of the world’s most iconic destinations, or you know, travelled vicariously through other people’s Instagram snaps, then you will have no doubt have noticed a trend in photographing landmarks: They’re all the same. As in, completely identical. Pretty boring, no? In new Instagram data compiled by Sony, we’re now able to see just how many of the world’s Top 30 photographed landscapes are framed in the exact same way and the results are pretty crazy. In addition, Sony has surveyed and discovered that 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.

In a campaign to do things differently, Sony began #XperiaNewPerspectives by sending out three award winning travel photographers,  Lluís Salvadó, Achim Thomae and Mikael Buck, to capture an amazing photo series using only the Xperia XZ’s 23MP camera. Their mission? To find alternative ways to capture famous landmarks without the need for fancy photographic equipment and to make travel photography interesting again.

Here’s what some of the #XperiaNewPerspectives data shows us:

  • More than 50% of the Top 30 landmarks (Table Mountain is one of them!) are shot from the same three angles.
  • The Eiffel Tower takes the lead as the most similarly snapped landmark in the world, followed by Big Ben in London and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
  • 85% of the photos of Machu Picchu are taken from the exact same spot with nearly half a million identical images on Instagram.
  • 55% of travellers plan their trips bases on photography opportunities and other people’s holiday snaps, while 45% look to Instagram for travelling itinerary inspiration.


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While access to quality, affordable cameras in the past meant that capturing truly beautiful shots was best left to the professionals, that has now changed with the photographic technology within your smartphone. With just a little bit of know-how, you too can capture those gorgeous, unique shots with nothing but the high-resolution camera on your phone. Here are some tips from the #XperiaNewPerspectives travel photographer pros:

  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.

Want more great travel reads? Click through to our Travel section for more travel news, reviews, and features.

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