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500px at the Photo Hack Day, August 20-21, NYC

Published by Oleg Gutsol · August 12th 2011

Hey all,

It has been a while since I wrote in our blog, my time was mostly consumed by the day to day development and business management. I think I did not do any significant coding this summer actually. But that does not mean we are not writing code — we have been hard at work fixing bugs and making the system faster and more stable.

One of the much requested additions to 500px is the API, which has been in development for some time now and is now complete and we are ready to open it to a limited number of developers who contacted us in the past several months.

Also, we will be participating in the upcoming Photo Hack Day in New York City on August 20-21. A bunch of amazing developers will gather for this hackathon to build the next generation of photo app awesomeness using open APIs from Foursquare, Instagram, SmugMug, Tumblr, Twitpic, YFrog and others. We will be launching our API there and you are welcome to come and write some great apps with the 500px API. And we will be giving away two iPads for the best applications written with our API. And that's not all — everybody who participates in the hackathon will receive an Awesome account upgrade (valued at $50) valid for one year.


The official 1st place winner for Photo Hack Day will have their app displayed in Times Square courtesy of NASDAQ, and will receive a cash prize. 2nd place, 3rd place, and People's Choice winners will also receive cash prizes.

So, register — http://photohackday.eventbrite.com/ and participate in teh awesome!
We submitted some hack ideas, so check them out too.

I will see you in NYC next weekend.

- Oleg Gutsol
     

What's in Your Bag, Lincoln Harrison?

Published by Jen Tse · August 11th 2011



What makes a great photographer? Besides a good pair of eyes, great intuition, some technical know-how, and sometimes sheer luck, no great photog can do what they do without their gear. And the contents of a gear bag can say a little, or a lot about a person.

The What's in Your Bag series features remarkable photographers from the 500px community and gives us a peek into what they consider their essential tools on the go. This week's feature is Lincoln Harrison.


Who are you, Lincoln?

Lincoln Harrison, born and raised in Bendigo, Australia. I bought my first camera in October of last year. I just wanted a decent camera for general picture taking, I had no intentions of getting into photography as a hobby. A week later I had about 8 lenses and all the other bits and have been shooting at least twice a week ever since.

What do you shoot?

I shoot mainly landscapes and star trail shots.
What's in your bag?

This is the gear I carry for those shoots:

1. Manfrotto MBAG80PN tripod bag. I'm waiting on a Manfrotto quick strap which stays attached to the tripod, hopefully this will replace the bag.

2. Lowepro Nova 190 shoulder bag. I've tried lots of different bags, this is the only one that works with the tripod bag on my back and is big enough to hold the Lee filter wallet.

3. Gittos rocket blower.

4. Kenko Pro 1D circular polarizer. I just got this and haven't tried it out yet. I mainly want it for removing reflections in glass, its not compatible with the Lee filters.

5. Spare AA batteries for Promote control, flash and torch.

6. Fenix LD20 flashlight.

7. Nikon IR remote.

8. Nikon SB-700 flash.

9. Flash stand.

10. Nikon D7000, MD-B11 battery grip, Nikkor 10-24. I dont bother carrying other lenses anymore, the 10-24 hardly ever comes off the camera. I love the depth it gives to a landscape image:

The D7000 does everything I need, and the battery grip comes in very handy for long exposures:

11. Lenspen.

12. 2 Axis hot shoe spirit level. I only use this when I need to level the cam for an architectural shot, normally I use the camera's built-in horizon level.

13. Microfiber cloth.

14. Promote Control. This thing is great for HDR capture. It can bracket up 49 shots with no upper limit on shutter speed.

15. Lee Big Stopper 10-stop ND filter. I don't get much use out of this; I do all my shoots during twilight.

16. Lee 0.3 hard, 0.6 soft, 0.9 hard grad ND filters, Singh Ray 0.9 reverse grad ND. The Singh Ray introduces a colour cast. I really like the way the graduation works on it but lately I've just been using the Lee filters which don't affect the colour. The grads are big enough to be used as normal ND filters.

17. Manfrotto 055xPROB, Manfrotto 410JR 3-way geared head. I wish I'd gone for the carbon fiber model. Excellent setup but very heavy. There is a neoprene pouch attached to one leg to hold the promote control.

18. Lee filter wallet.

19. Hard case for the Promote Control, it goes in the side pocket of the bag.

20. iPod Touch with The Photographer's Ephemeris app. It gives you all the information on the sun and the moon, which is very handy for planning landscapes and star trails. It also has a GPS mapping app so I can find my way back in the dark.

21. Mobile broadband & wifi for the iPod.

22. Lee filter holder and adapter ring.

23. Sandisk 16GB Extreme Pro UHS-1 cards. The Promote Control fires off brackets pretty quick so you need to clear the buffer fast if you're bracketing more than 10 frames.

24. Compass. When I'm setting up for a star trail shoot during the late afternoon I use the compass to locate the celestial pole.

For more of Lincoln's photography, check out his 500px page.
     

Win a Pass to Photoshop World 2011!

Published by Jen Tse · August 11th 2011



Whether you're a post-processing veteran or a hobbyist just getting your feet wet, there are countless ways to use Photoshop and always new techniques to learn. Now you and a friend have the chance to learn a few more and meet other 'shop enthusiasts at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo 2011, sponsored by Adobe.

Photoshop World is the world's largest Photoshop convention and is a must-attend for all photographers and fans of the software. More than 100 classes will be held by professionals over the course of 3 days. Topics will include retouching, Lightroom, multimedia, special effects, and much, much more. A number of pre-conference bonus workshops will also be available to further enhance your skills.

The 500px team can't wait to attend the event in Las Vegas, Sept. 7-9, 2011, and we have a free pass for two to give away. All you have to do is sign into Twitter and send the tweet, "#ilove500px and I want a free pass from @500px to Photoshop World in Las Vegas!" Tweets received before 9 p.m. ET on this coming Monday, Aug. 15 will be eligible to win. After that time, we will randomly pick one lucky winner.

Even if we don't pick you, we hope to see you there! 500px will have a booth set up and will be giving away special prizes. We always love meeting new people, so drop by to say hi, hang out, or ask questions.

Vegas, baby!
     

Party's Over But the Fun's Just Begun

Published by Jen Tse · August 6th 2011



What can I say? The first 500px Photo Party was simply a blast, and on behalf of the rest of the 500px team, I'd like to thank our community's Toronto contingent for an awesome turnout. Between photographer interviews, free candy from bobble-headed strangers, a green roof, and Vietnamese cuisine, things have already become a happy blur. Andrey and I have just slumped into our seats at HQ, tired but excited to start editing—there's a cool video clip or two to come from the day's events, just you wait!

Although some of you might already be suffering from PPPDD (Post Photo Party Depression Disorder), it's easy to relive the memories. If you participated in today's walk, write a blog post on your user blog (http://500px.com/YOUR USERNAME/blog) about your experience and email the URL to jen@500px.com. One winner will be selected at random to receive a Kata 3N1-20 camera bag (retail value $99.99) from Henry’s.

It was great to meet you all today, and I'm looking forward to seeing your entries!

EDIT: If you were at the walk today, leave a comment below so others can find your profile.
     

Photo Party Update + What's New from 500px HQ

Published by Jen Tse · August 5th 2011

It’s Friday, and we at 500px HQ are wondering where the week went. We enjoyed a nice Civic Holiday Monday off, and we hope you enjoyed your long weekend, too! Things have still been crazy busy and we have lots of exciting updates to share, starting with…

Our First Photo Party!

Chance of thunderstorms? Whatever! The report for tomorrow in Toronto is looking ominous, but we promise it’ll be a fun time regardless of the weather. Once again, here are the details:

Who: Your AWESOME self (and your camera, of course)
What: 500px's first Photo Party (i.e., photo walk)
Where: Southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas intersection, Toronto. Andrey Tochilin and I (Jen Tse) will be wearing 500px t-shirts.
When: August 6, 2011 from 1 p.m. - whenever
Why: Pure fun times with cool 500px-ers!

Click to RSVP on our Facebook event page.

There are even more reasons to be really excited. In addition to free goodies from Henry’s and the 500px team, we’re holding a contest to give away a Kata 3N1-20 camera bag (retail value $99.99) generously supplied by Henry’s. Click here to view product details. All you have to do is show up to the walk, grab some swag, take some awesome pictures, and meet some other great photographers. Then, upload your best shots and write about your experience on your personal 500px blog (http://500px.com/YOUR USERNAME/blog). After the event, just send the link to your blog post to jen@500px.com, and we will select one lucky winner.

See you tomorrow! Bring an umbrella, and possibly some waterproof protection for your gear—it’s better to be safe than sorry.

On to What's New from 500px HQ...

What's Happened This Week

We’ve reworked the code behind creating comments to solve the problem of double-posting and sometimes vanishing comments on photo pages. For the blog, comments should be fixed by the end of today.

It’s now even easier to check the 500px blog via the new Blog tab at the top of the page! Be sure to check our blog daily for interviews with remarkable 500px photographers, community discussions, news from HQ, upcoming Photo Parties, contests and giveaways, and other fun features. You can now also interact with fellow 500px users under the Blogs tab by accessing the freshest user blog posts.

The new support page is live at http://support.500px.com. We’ve included a handful of FAQs, but if you have more questions to add, contact the lovely Diana Tula at help@500px.com.

What We’re Working On Right Now

Arseniy, our Developer, is working on the API, writing up documentation and testing for glitches. We can now log people into the API, and soon we’ll be able to use it with apps. Be very excited…!

As always, we’re continuing to work on removing redundant and legacy code to make the site run faster and more efficiently.

Happy Friday from 500px! Looking forward to meeting and shooting with many of you at tomorrow’s Photo Party.
     

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