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World’s most snapped sites: Table Mountain sneaks in

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New pan-global research 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. Table Mountain sneaks in at number 28.

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 Christian Haghofer, South Africa Country Manager at 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.

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%

 

 

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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