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What is the most photographed thing ever?
February 11, 2005 6:32 PM   Subscribe

The Gates could be "the most photographed thing ever." Could be! To date, what is the most photographed thing ever? A landmark like the Taj Mahal or the Grand Canyon? A sporting event? New Year's Eve in Times Square? Something totally different?
posted by djacobs to Society & Culture (33 answers total)
 
My guess: the Moon, simply because it's available everywhere.
posted by SPrintF at 6:51 PM on February 11, 2005


Or the Sun, for the same reason.
posted by SPrintF at 6:54 PM on February 11, 2005


Leaning Tower of Pisa? Pretty much the only reason to go to Pisa is to take at least two photos of it (one of the tower, one with you holding it up).
posted by smackfu at 7:12 PM on February 11, 2005


The Statue of Liberty?

The Eiffel Tower?
posted by bshort at 7:22 PM on February 11, 2005


The Paris Four Seasons Hotel says that "Mont Saint Michel is the most photographed monument in the world."

I'm sure that the Eiffel Tower is pretty high up on that list.
posted by bitpart at 7:23 PM on February 11, 2005


the most photographed thing ever

Are you counting motion pictures as a series of individual photographs? That could seriously affect the answer.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:01 PM on February 11, 2005


So I take it classes of objects, like "atoms" and "people" are off-limits? Would "the sky" count as a single entity whereas "the ground" would not be?

The sun is probably less popular then the moon simply based on photographic difficulties. Though perhaps sunsets and sunrises are enough of a draw to counteract those problems.

In terms of man-made structures, I too feel that the Eiffel Tower is high up there.
posted by catachresoid at 8:33 PM on February 11, 2005


I do not think it is possible to answer this question, but it's fun to guess.
If you count "NFL games" as a single entity, that might be the winner. The moon is a good guess. Supposedly, Mt. Fuji is the most-photographed natural monument, for whatever that's worth.

Do the insides of lens caps count?
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:48 PM on February 11, 2005


I think kottke was hyperbolizing.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:01 PM on February 11, 2005


well...people, right? Esp. certain parts?
posted by clockzero at 10:03 PM on February 11, 2005


Clearly, it won't be the Bean, because the Chicago Park District has deemed Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate sculpture a copyrighted public space, and is somewhat unpredictably enforcing a vague no-photography policy. Flickr, take note.
posted by dhartung at 10:54 PM on February 11, 2005


Yeah, it's definitely naked women.
posted by luriete at 11:21 PM on February 11, 2005


Mt. Fuji.
posted by BigCalm at 1:14 AM on February 12, 2005


The tip of the photographer's finger.

An 18% Gray Card

I doubt The Gates have a chance of being the most photographed thing ever. They will only be up for a week, and most non-New-Yorkers think you get mugged automatically if you enter central park.

The Statue of Liberty is actually hard to photograph without pro-grade. The rear of Lady Liberty faces New Jersey, and New York City is too far away for a 50mm lens to be useful. If you try a telephoto lens, you will see just how much humidity and air polution there is in the NY harbor. If you try to take a picture from a boat, you need fast film or lots of light to keep camera shake down. If you try to photograph her from Liberty Island, you will need something like a 15mm lens.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:39 AM on February 12, 2005


disneyland
posted by rschroed at 8:17 AM on February 12, 2005


The Most Photographed Barn in America.
posted by Moireach at 8:44 AM on February 12, 2005


I have heard this claim made of the Golden Gate Bridge.
posted by Rash at 8:59 AM on February 12, 2005


I actually have heard this claim made of the statue of John Harvard on the Harvard campus by a straight-faced Harvardian giving a tour. Turns out it is the most photographed statue in Boston (embedded qt vid)
posted by Duck_Lips at 9:33 AM on February 12, 2005


Do the individual frames of a movie count?
posted by mischief at 12:06 PM on February 12, 2005


The sea?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:43 PM on February 12, 2005


I'd have to go with lens glass being the most photographed thing ever.

As far as unique things go, you'd have to go with a monument or natural wonder, in a place where people take lots of photographs. I'd go with Mt. Fuji.
posted by felix at 8:28 PM on February 12, 2005


Surely Old Faithful geyser is up there, given how many folks from everywhere visit Yellowstone.
posted by Goofyy at 11:53 PM on February 13, 2005


Cats. And no one will tell anyone else that they hate the photos.
posted by esch at 7:27 AM on February 14, 2005


> The sea?

I'd go with that. The Pacific Ocean. Think of all the snapshots taken of people with a seascape behind them.
posted by crayfish at 5:22 PM on February 14, 2005


Let's count films as one photo each. Roundup so far:

- The sun (mostly sunsets/rises)
- The moon
- Manmade object: Eiffel Tower
- Class of object: people, sky, ground, ocean (my money's on the sky)

Let me suggest:
- natural object: Niagara Falls
- city: NYC (high tourist ratio, high camera-owner ratio)
- household object: no idea
- person: guy in the Mickey Mouse costume; a US president (probably Clinton until Bush finishes his second term)
posted by NickDouglas at 5:50 PM on February 14, 2005


As usual, people are very US-centric here. There are more people and places on this globe, and people of other countries have way more time to travel than the vacation-starved americans. Japanese tend to take a lot of photographs so maybe Mount Fuji is not such a bad contender.
posted by kika at 6:01 PM on February 14, 2005


Cats.

Also, boobs. At least, that's the impression I get from certain sites.
posted by mkn at 7:51 PM on February 14, 2005


The setting sun must be it. Mount Fuji could be a candidate also, since the Japanese seem to take so many photographs.

If an event could be a 'thing', then I have another suggestion - weddings. Also birthday parties must be somewhere in the list, or parties in general.
posted by giles at 8:47 PM on February 14, 2005


I believe it's me. I'm the most photographed thing ever. Or are we counting photos taken by people that aren't my mom?
posted by jonson at 9:21 PM on February 14, 2005


Kika: Niagara Falls is full of Japanese tourists. But you're right, Mt. Fuji could beat it out.

I believe it's me. I'm the most photographed thing ever. Or are we counting photos taken by people that aren't jonson's mom?
posted by NickDouglas at 7:54 AM on February 15, 2005


I just immediately thought "the human face?" but then you get into arguments about framing. ;o)
posted by paperpete at 2:31 PM on February 15, 2005


I know that the White House is the most photographed building.. seriously, it's a fact... so they say.
posted by bamassippi at 8:34 PM on February 16, 2005


dhartung: The Bean controversy was a matter of interpretation. The public was never banned from taking pictures of Da Bean.

And to stay on topic... I'd have to say "a smile."
posted by ?! at 9:03 PM on February 17, 2005


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