Photo Sharing for Photographers: 500 Pixels

With all the time I spend on the Web, and especially time spent trawling through photography sites looking for ideas, I cannot believe I have not come across this site before. The site is known as “500 pixels” and the address is www.500px.com. All the examples following (taken from 500 pixels) link to the main site ‘Popular’ section.

[Note that the examples shown here have been cropped and down-sampled from the original pictures on 500 pixels. You need to go to 500 pixels to see the full-size full-resolution images]

500px1500 pixels promotes itself as a photo publishing site for serious photographers and if you visit the site you will immediately notice that this is not just ‘yet another’ Flickr-style photo sharing site. The average quality of the images shared on 500 pixels is significantly better than you will find on Flickr.

From what I can see most, if not all, of the images on 500 pixels are either HDRi (high dynamic range images) enhanced or have had some very serious post processing applied to them to bring them up to their best. Conversely I doubt if 10 percent of the images on Flickr have been post processed at all, apart from maybe being cropped.

500px2I doubt that you are going to find very many out-of-focus or motion blurred pictures at 500 pixels, except in those cases where the photographer purposely took the picture out of focus or with motion blur.

I also doubt that you are going to find many pictures at 500 pixels that were taken with a mobile phone (that would be ‘cell phone’ for my American readers). If you do find any they are not going to be your average crappy un-colour balanced, fish-eyed (bent), arms-length, self portrait pictures that make even the most attractive girl look pretty weird.

The other thing about 500 pixels is that images get a rating out of 100. I am not sure how this rating is arrived at and in an interview with a couple of the people behind 500 pixels on PhotoNetCast they said that how the ratings were calculated was a secret.

500px3

As an example of the ratings the picture of the owl in flight at left had a rating of 93.6 when I did this posting.

If you create an account at 500 pixels then you can Like or Dislike pictures that have been posted.

I suspect that what actually happens is that someone, or maybe a small team of someone’s, at 500 pixels give each picture a base mark when it is first posted. After that the mark is adjusted slightly up or down using the number of people who push the Like or Dislike buttons. I just made that up and I have no idea if that is how they are doing it but obviously each picture is assigned a starting point rating when it is uploaded and the only way I can see how that happens is if one or more humans assign that initial rating.

500px4As I mentioned each of the pictures shown here is a cropped, reduced size, down-sampled version of the picture actually posted on 500 pixels. To see these pictures in their intended size and aspect ratio in full size and full resolution you need to go the 500 pixels site and find them. They are all in the first few pages of the ‘Popular’ section, or at least they were when I went there during the compilation of this post.

Click on any picture to link over to the ‘Popular’ section at 500 pixels. Don’t forget to use Ctrl+Click if you want the link-over to open in a new Tab.

If I can find any pictures good enough I might post a couple up there and see what kind of rating I manage to get.

If you would like to download and listen to the PhotoNetCast podcast all about 500 pixels the you can find that here.

BarryMark