So the buzz on the photographic-web is the photo-sharing site 500px. I had seen the tweets flying about for a while but was honestly too busy to really check it out. When I eventually headed over there I was pleasantly surprised...
At first glance it looked a bit like a merge between the better functions of Flickr and the aesthetic appeal (image-wise and layout-wise) of 1X. An interesting rating system keeps the best images of the pack at the front of the display and also keeps them rotating so that older pics eventually fall back in ratings, making way for fresh work to be displayed upfront.
I share some concerns listed by my friend David Lloyd on the "weight" of the "dislike" button (you can either 'like' or 'dislike' a photo). One "like" seems to increase the rating of a particular photo by very little, while one "dislike" greatly reduces the rating so that it takes quite a few more "likes" for the photo to get where it was initially. The obvious effect of this is that people can sort of "manipulate" the system when their photo is just not at the front of the display...they can simply click on a few images which are ahead of theirs and "dislike" them...mmmhmmm...
Anyhow - I have created a profile and uploaded some initial photos. I already linked up with many of my photographic acquaintances worldwide, and it seems like it's a vibrant community with some of the cream of the photographic crop posting there. I am still deciding whether to dive in full-on and upgrade to an "awesome" account (their lingo for a fully privileged user account). They also allow you to build a portfolio site where others can go to your individual portfolio "outside" of the normal 500px system. This can be linked from your own homepage and customised considerably once you go "awesome".
One thing though - don't expect another "photographic critique community". There are many good ones out there (I am a participant in a few and a moderator on Birdphotographers.net) where you can get insightful, invaluable and sometimes harsh critique on your images. Not on 500px...and quite frankly I don't think this was its design function. 500px is all about "eye candy", getting a "visual fix" so to speak. The website design is smooth and aesthetically pleasing (I am no expert on effective and efficient web design so take it where it comes from), activity levels are high and climbing, and the images in general are of a high quality. I can definitely see 500px being a part of my online photographic "presence" in the future.
Why don't you head on over there and see for yourself???
My profile within the site is located at:
My portfolio created by 500px for outside viewers is located at:
Until next time...