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The most popular photo subjects and what they say about the smartphone generation

We took a look at some of the most popular photo subjects on GuruShots, a photo game and sharing platform, and found some stats that might surprise you and shed some light on what’s capturing the hearts and minds of the first generations of smartphoneographers.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then millions of user-submitted pictures can say a whole lot about today’s zeitgeist. Want to know how people are feeling and what interests them? Take a glance through their eyes by looking at what they photograph; what they see as worth capturing and sharing with the world.

We took a look at some of the most popular photo subjects on GuruShots, a photo game and sharing platform, and found some stats that might surprise you and shed some light on what’s capturing the hearts and minds of the first generations of smartphoneographers.  

The more things change, the more they stay the same

  1. Film noir is still in! In fact, black and white photos were the most popular category, with 156,000 photographers submitting 620,000 photos and receiving 96M votes.

(The winning photo, by Alex Reipert of Brazil)

2) College dorm rooms remain papered in posters of skylines, and the interest in urban photography definitely persists! Cities were the second most popular subject, with 140,000 photographers participating, entering 560,000 photos, and gathering 92 million votes.

(The winning photo, by Luís Miguel of Portugal)


3) Even in this modern technological world, we’re still drawn to the great outdoors, to feeling small compared to the big horizon. Landscapes come second to cities in terms of photo volume, with 120,000 photographers entering 470,000 photos and bringing in 90 million votes.

(The winning photo, by Rusu Christian of Germany)

Paris is always a good idea (In photos!)

The City of Lights has been a muse for artists, writers, lovers, and everything in between for centuries, and it remains the most photographed city.

(By David Bowman, of China)

The internet was made for cat photos

Photographs of cats are far more popular, both in terms of submissions and votes, than shots of dogs.

The top five most photographed animals are: birds, cats, insects, tigers, and elephants.

The top 7 photos of all time

But regardless of category, some photos have stood way out from the pack. Here are the ten photos with the most votes across all genres:

1)

(By Rob Moore, of the United Kingdom)

2)

(By Michael Burlak, of the United States)

3)

(By Gunter Neubauer, of Germany)

4)

(By Ilan Horn, of Israel)

5)

(By Arno Oostveen, of the Netherlands)

6)

(By Gerrit Hoogmartens, of Belgium)

7)

(By Brigitta Csáky, of Romania)

As you can see, these top 7 were taken by photographers from all over the world, with access to all different types of subjects, from exotic animals to abandoned railroads. They were also taken with a wide range of equipment, from phone cameras to professional gear. The popularity of these photos shows that you don’t necessarily need to have a DSLR and live in the desert to take remarkable photos – a closeup of a snail can also draw people into your world.

Photography is a way to capture moments, but it’s also a way to be more present and aware in each moment, to keep your eyes open and notice a point worth crystalizing in time forever.

It’s encouraging to see that despite what everyone is saying about technology sucking away our souls, millions of people all around the world are using it to capture their inspirations and share them with each other. It will be interesting to see how popular photo subjects continue to change as the years go by.

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