I clipped a blurb about it from a blog.. but unfortunately navigated away, but here is the website: 500px is Photography If you’re an active photographer on social network, you likely would have heard about 500px by now – a photo sharing site that’s been gaining momentum in the past few weeks. With so many social sites, is this just another one of many that will be popular for a few weeks and be quickly forgotten? Or are we finally seeing a worthy competition to Flickr? I’ve played with the site for the past few days, and I love what I’m seeing so far. First, what is 500px? The site is based out of Toronto, Canada and actually have been in existence before Flickr, as it started back as a community on Livejournal eight years ago. The site was founded by Ian Sobolev and Oleg Gutsol with an an idea to gather the best photographs in one place. The site remained this way for years, but recently the founders decided to redesign it and release a new version of it. Instead of curating it, they’ve opened it up for the public to select “popular” photos. You can read an interview with the founder Ian here about the site history and the vision the founders have for it. Today the site’s main focus is photographers and photography. It’s not a place to upload and store archives (although uploads are unlimited for $50/year). It’s also not a good place to post family and travel snap shots – although that’s of course allowed. These images just won’t be popular. But today 500px is a place for photographers to show their work and also saw the work of other photographers. To read more about the site’s history and purpose, jump here. I’ve noticed that some of the better known photographers I’ve followed online are making the jump to 500px. You’ll see many familiar faces you’ll already know from Flickr, Instagram and other popular sites. This of course caught my attention, and I joined too. You can find me here. Here are some of the things I am liking about the web-site so far. The founders of 500px are photographers themselves. You can see their work here and here. When photography is driving their desire to improve the site, we all win. They post photos to their streams, and they comment on other photos. Customer service is great. 500px is quickly responding in their Help forum, or via Twitter. This part gives 500px a startup feel – which they still kind of are, with the recent change in site’s purpose and new growth. Interface of the web-site is great. I love the grey background, and the size of the photos. Photos are shown big! This is 2011, after all. If you enjoy web-sites like The Big Picture, you’ll love seeing the way your work is displayed on 500px. Here is one example – click here. Photos just look better this way. Want to promote your photography business? No problem. No need to hide any links in the profile where they’re limited to one link. Want to mention selling prints? Go head. The mission of 500px is to bring the exposure to the photographers – whatever it takes. The selection of photos so far is very diverse. It’s different from Flickr where it’s dominated largely by such things as flowers, HDR, and cute bokehs. When you look through the selection of Popular photos, it’s quite different in content than Flickr’s Explore. The site also presents an option of showing off a portfolio of work. Here is one example – link. The views and interactions on the photographs uploaded happened right away for me. I remember it took me at least a month of being active on Flickr to start getting noticed. Here I got one of images to show up on the 2nd page of “Popular” right off the bat. There’s a new audience here. In the beginning, the focus of 500px was on the Russian photographers. They’re still there – but they are not on Flickr. It’s a whole new community – and a whole new audience to present my work to. There’s also commercial element to the web-site. The work is not only shown, but can also be sold through the 500px (and they only take 5% commission). Haven’t explored that element yet, but it’s there. So far I’ve enjoyed the web-site, and will continue to be active there. But with that, here are some of the things that I hope 500px can fix soon. Metadata is still not being read in full when the image is uploaded. Sometimes it’s not being read at all – other times, basic information shows up, but not such items as keywords and titles. The founders said this is a high priority item for them, and will soon be fixed. There is a good amount of artistic nudes on the site when one is browsing through the “Popular” section. That’s of course a big part of photography, but it would be useful to have an option to hide it. I was told it’s also in the works. The nudes do not show up when one is browsing the selection without being logged in, so I would think it’s an easy fix. Otherwise, the site is not always safe for work place, or for kids. An iPad/iPhone app would be great to have too, as this is where I spend a good chunk of my leisure time online. I had no problem browsing 500px in Safari on an iPad – it’s fast and not glitchy. But a native app may make this experience easier and more pleasant. If you joined the site, leave the link to your site in comments and I’ll follow you back. You can find my profile here – 500px / Ivan Makarov I hope the site continues to grow and improve, because nothing improves service like a good competition – and we’ve been looking for one for Flickr for years now.