As photographers head off for vacations with plans to shoot the locations they intend to visit, Alamy has supplied some statistics on the worlds most photographed cities based on the number of images in its collection. I’ve provided their analysis below, but I thought it would be fun to compare the number of images on Alamy with the numbers on Getty Images, Shutterstock and Dreamstime. Keep in mind that Alamy has a lot of editorial celebrity and red carpet images in its numbers. Consequently, there is very little correlation between the Alamy numbers and those offered by Getty creative or the microstock agencies.
Here’s more information on Alamy’s top ten.
– The world’s most photographed city has almost double the amount of images of New York (804,468 compared to 416,048). This may have something to do with the fact that Alamy is headquartered in the UK and probably has many more British photographers contributing images to its collection than photographers operating out of the New York area. London has everything to photograph from historical monuments to beautiful parks, museums, restaurants and clubs. There are huge preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games. 27 million people plan to visit London in 2011. The Alamy collection offers a great variety of subject matter including 41,034 images of London Bridge and 21,068 of the London Eye.
2. New York
– The city that never sleeps is the most popular place to be photographed in the United States. We’d expect to see this at the top of the list, with famous monuments including: The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge (all of which featured in Alamy’s top 10 list of the world’s most photographed monuments).
3. Los Angeles
– With a population of over three million – it is the most populous city in California, and the second biggest in the United States. Over 46 million overnight visitors go to LA and the Orange Counties each year, visiting attractions including: Disney Land, Venice Beach and Universal Studios.
– The Eiffel Tower recently topped the list of the world’s most photographed monument, yet Paris only appears fourth on the list here. It seems tourists are fixated with the Eiffel Tower, but are perhaps not as ‘wowed’ by the city.
– The capital of Germany and the country’s most populated city. Famous monuments to snap include: The Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie and The Berlin Wall. East meets West in Berlin, making it a visually diverse city.
– Italy’s capital and most populated city. Rome’s famous historical monuments include: The Colosseum and The Vatican.
- This is perhaps a bit of a surprise, but those who have visited with a camera will tell you there's something to shoot on every street corner, from the beach to diverse architecture, everyday life to a spot of ‘how the other half live’.
– Spain’s second largest city is well known in recent times for hosting the 1992 Olympic Games. Its distinctive Gaudi architecture also remains popular with photographers because it’s so unique.
- As the world’s most populous metropolis, and Japan’s capital, it is hardly surprising this city appears in the top 10.
10. Hong Kong
- The city’s striking contemporary architecture and extraordinary skyline are sure to be the main reasons why this city makes it onto the list.
Commenting on the top ten most photographed cities, Alan Capel, head of content at Alamy, said, “I suspect the order of the first five cities is heavily influenced by a strong mix of both tourism and business. The latter five provide a strong mix of cultural, historical and visual intrigue. For example shooting Tokyo and Hong Kong at night can give stimulating and powerful results.
“London clearly has universal appeal with the largest number of photographs by far. And, I would anticipate its lead to increase further in the run up to and during 2012 with an influx of tourists and sports fans and new infrastructure and buildings to photograph.
“Cities offer a rich mix of cultures, colours and styles – and a good photograph can provide real insight into their life and soul.”