There are many photographic sites that showcase multiple photographers, across all genres out there. I have even belonged to one or two of them myself. So when I saw that another one called 500px was gaining ground and creating a bit of froth on Twitter, I decided to suppress any excitement until I had used it for a while.
All photographers generally use their own sites to showcase their work. What is the lure of lumping your work into a single community with other photographers?
I think we all have various reasons for joining these sites. The main one for me personally, would be to compare my work and growth against my peers. There is a certain amount of satisfaction to be gained from sharing the same communal space.
Good and Bad
500px has some of the most stunning imagery and photography that I’ve seen in a while. The ranking system means that when you select the Popular menu path, the highest (and thereby one hopes, the best) ranking photos will appear first. These rankings are calculated by some mysterious algorithm, that only the administrators claim to understand. Many of the sites I have signed up to, have similar methods to try and guarantee that the best work stays in the foreground. On 500px they have a like and dislike button
I like the “Like” button and really dislike the “Dislike button. The dislike button could be open to misuse by some to alter the rankings. I know we all want to believe that, as artists, no one would do this. But we are also showcasing our work
after all and therefore competing with each other. I have chatted to a few folks on Twitter and the likes, and this seems to be general consensus that this could be a problem. Personally, I hope they remove it, or at least make it mandatory to leave a comment (with a name) about the photo or image and why they dislike it.
That is the only major issue I have with this site. Offset this against the opportunity to display your work and have people leave comments on it, akin to many of the social media sites out there, I am happy to keep using it. I have linked up with more photographers in my chosen genre of photographing wild beasties, than in any other media format, which is great.
UPDATE: I no longer load photos onto 500px.
For more great images, access to my galleries: Here
From what I understand, you can’t “Dislike” more than 10 images from what I heard the site’s owners saying – I think that is a good enough failsafe to people messing about or abusing it. I have a feeling there is a limit of 3 per week or something like that also.
The algorithm that calculates the score on each photo is very well thought out, with decreasing weight put on additional votes, which allow good images to climb above average ones, but not too quickly, and the score also decreases with time to allow new images to come to the top.
All in all, it’s a great site and very well thought out – and I have to agree, some stunning images on there too!
The reason I like the “dislike” button is this:
Periodically in some “so-called” artists profile portfolios I see a standard “head and wall” shot; just a “snapshot” of someone that somebody knows. I don’t care for those type of shots. There is no artistic mien to those kind of shots. Anyone can do this with a point and shoot. And it degrades your art.
What pisses me off immensely is people putting up minor variants of the same picture. Saw several like images of half-cut off b&w portraits. We get what they’re trying to do with one shot. Don’t inundate us with 50 shots of the same CRAP!!!!
Or people putting up gritty urban-style post-processed B&W shots of a blurry bench. WTH are they trying to express? Because all I see is a blurry bench. OK? Unless I’m walking around in that photographer’s brain at the time you pressed the shutter I have no idea what they’re taking the picture for. And it makes me think that they’re a “great artist-in-your-own-mind”.
That’s the reason why the DISLIKE button is there and I think it needs to be used with THOSE points in mind.
Thank you for so much for a detailed reasoning for your preference of the ‘dislike’ button. Clearly you are really passionate about the art of photography and what constitutes a good or great photo
I have to agree with all of the points you raise and personally dislike many of the photos that appear on the site. However, I think those photographers would be better served with a Dislike button that can only be selected once you have left a critique or comment. This will allow the person to grow in this wonderful art we all love.
The main reason for my dislike of the current button, is the trolling (I’m told that’s what the techies call it)….type the name Alan into the search engine. Scroll down past the photos that reference Alan until you get to the users…look at a few of the users (or variants) with no Photos. You will see, they are blank users (no photos, favourites, etc) these are used to dislike (or maybe Like) yours and my photos indiscriminately…now that is a load of crap, if you ask me.
Looking at some of the Photos on the site though, I think our art will survive