There’s a reason why NYC got the nickname The City that Never Sleeps–at any moment on any given day you’re bound to find something going on. And once the sun goes down the city’s buildings light up the night, making for quite the picturesque moment. So it’s no surprise NYC’s Empire State Building is one of the world’s most photographed buildings after dark.
In a new study, Buildworld analyzed data on over 10 million photos on Flickr to identify famous buildings with the highest percentage of pictures tagged “night.” They then ranked 6,000 of the world’s most iconic buildings within North America, Europe, the UK and Asia.
What they found was that the Empire State Building is the most photographed building in North America at night, with 191 photos per 1,000 taken after dark. Moreover, it’s the tenth most photographed building in the entire world.
The study states:
The Empire State Building in New York City is the North American building we most love to photograph at night, and by a considerable margin. While the tower’s Art Deco outline can’t help but recall the imagery of Batman – which demands a night-time aesthetic – it is a more upbeat detail that attracts photographers: the tower lights. Since 1976, the colour of the lights has changed nightly to mark special dates and occasions, and in 2012 the lights were upgraded to “a state-of-the-art LED lighting system, capable of displaying more than 16 million colors.”
Seven of North America’s ten most photographed buildings after dark are in the U.S., but Canadian buildings take second, third, and seventh place.
Vancouver’s Science World offers colorful LED lighting spread across a 17-story geodesic dome, and at night it almost looks moon-like.
So while the city’s glowing lights can often be seen as light pollution–and can sometimes sadly make us unable to witness certain celestial events like meteor showers–one thing’s for sure: they do make for quite the photo op!