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