Analyzing National Geographic Covers

Purely by chance and random surfing, I ended up
here, staring at old covers from National Geographic. I was wondering if it is possible to analyze the evolution of the covers in some mildly scientific way. If you accept the fact that pictures are nothing else than three dimensional matrices , you can do quite a lot of things with them.  The figure below for example is created by averaging all RGB values for each pixel of the 1263 available covers.

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