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Colour My World

Published by Diana Tula · August 6th 2012

Want to get featured on our blog? Every Monday a theme is announced and you have until Sunday to submit your entry. Upload photos to your 500px profile, then email us the links. You may already have a photo that suits or you can see it as a weekly photo challenge. For announced theme and deadline continue reading.

This week's theme was: Colour My World.

Next week’s theme is: Somebody

Theme is open to interpretation so get creative, get snapping and send us the links to Deadline is August 12 at 12pm (EST).

Big thanks to everyone who participated this week! We got a great response of over two hundred emails. As only twelve photos can be featured on the blog our extra favorites were added to Editors’ Choice.


Shooting stars with Canon 1Dx and 5D3

Published by Diana Tula · August 4th 2012

Our blog is a place to promote 500px photographers and their wonderful photos. If you have a story, a photo, DIY or a tutorial to share feel free to email us. We’re open to your ideas and photo experiences. Here is a story by Ben Canales of his first experience with the new Canon 1Dx and 5D3, and a great shot that resulted that night.

Hi. Hello. by Ben Canales
Hi. Hello. by Ben Canales

Last week the production company I work with took the new Canon 1Dx and 5D3 up to the stars to have a test to see which camera handles High ISO's the best, and therefore determine which one is the best night shooter. We also took up the 1D4 and 5D2 to compare the old with the new. I took the results and wrote up a blog post showcasing all the cameras at various ISO's side by side and how the RAW images hold up in post processing and eventually make a determination of which Canon DSLR is the new reigning champ of night photography. I do not think the 1Dx or 5D3 represent a “game changing” jump in night shooting. Years ago the 5D2 and Nikon D90 were literal game changers in their ability to controllably shoot much higher ISO’s than previously possible. Those cameras literally changed what was thought possible. The 1Dx and 5D3 provide substantial, exciting progress, but they won’t turn the world upside down.  

On that same trip last week I shot my new favorite star shot and I like it so much that I want to share it. It's not my usual glowing tent, or lake reflection- in fact it's empty of just about everything. So, new for me, but I can't stop looking at it.

Thanks Ben! To see more of his work head over to Ben’s page or check out his tutorial and learn how to create fantastic night orbs. Leave a comment below, we love your feedback.


Summer Olympics are here

Published by Diana Tula · July 30th 2012

London 2012 Summer Olympics
London 2012 Summer Olympics by Andrew Thomas

London is hosting Summer Olympics right now. Previously have done some twice in the past in 1908 and in 1948. We’ve gathered some fantastic photos to celebrate the incredible athletes and teams. Wishing best of luck to all countries, let the best men and women win!

Want to spread the Olympics spirit? Share these photos with you friends, co-workers or family. All you have to do is...

  1. Click on the photo that you like.
  2. Underneath the photograph click on the envelope icon.
  3. Enter email address and a message, press send.


Portrait: Greg du Toit

Published by Diana Tula · July 27th 2012

There are many incredible images on 500px, yet we want to know more about the photographers and stories behind them. Our Portrait interview series feature a talented photographer each week, allowing us to discover more about living life through a lens. This week's interview is with South Africa based photographer Greg du Toit.

Wild Dig Dawn by Greg du Toit
Wild Dig Dawn by Greg du Toit

Hi Greg, could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Greg du Toit. My surname is French, but my family came to Africa eight generations ago so I have totally lost the ‘ability’ to speak French. I am 34 and based out of Pretoria in South Africa, near to Johannesburg. I have a beautiful wife and a Jack Russell that we treat as a kid. I have lived and worked in four different African countries as a safari guide, safari camp manager and a wildlife photographer.  African mammals and predators are my thing! I have been following the wildebeest migration for nine consecutive years now and each year I photograph Africa from the Equator down. Besides working as a professional wildlife photographer I enjoy running private safaris, sharing both my photographic knowledge and my beautiful continent with other expert or budding photographers.

Tell us about your photographic style, what makes your work different to anyone else’s?
I think (or I like to think) that my work stands out because I do not compromise with my photography.  I only photograph what I love and I only photograph in the way that I like to. I never photograph to conform to  popular trends, nor do I photograph with the goal of making money in my mind. I only photograph what I am passionate about and I know what I am passionate about! I like to think that this is evident in my work. 

Roller Roller Catch... by Greg du Toit
Roller Roller Catch... by Greg du Toit

Do you plan projects? How many shots do you take and do you shoot for insurance?
I like to plan a few shoots a year, but I also enjoy shooting ‘on the fly’ as the African bush is full of surprises. When going on a day trip I take Nikon D3s and an 200 – 400mm F4 lens. I usually shock people when I say that 6 images per year means that I had a GREAT year. I never shoot for insurance and I go for broke every time.  

What would you chose: Street/ Landscape?  People/Animals? DSLR/ SLR?
Mammals and predators for me! I refuse to do a wedding and have never done one. DSLR all the way. I was a big slide film shooter, but 35mm film is history. 

What equipment do you own and what couldn’t you leave the house without?
I really think that there is too much emphasis on gear. Having said that, I have been shooting with Nikon’s top of the range bodies. I could not leave home without my D3x and my 200–400mm lens. I would just feel naked without them. I also cannot leave home without a sense of humor. Things rarely go right for a wildlife photographer and if you don’t laugh, you will cry. 

How important is post-processing to you?
I am a little old school in this regard. I try to get everything or as much as possible done with the camera. I tweak the basic settings such as contrast, saturation and sharpness afterwards but I like my RAW images to capture the mood. I think the degree to which a photographer post processes should be linked to the reason why they photograph. I photograph partly to produce art and partly to document the natural world. I want people to trust that my images are real, in as far as they portray a scene that did or does really exist (even if I have put my spin on it). But hey, that’s just me. 

Serendipitous Crocodile by Greg du Toit
Serendipitous Crocodile by Greg du Toit

What do you think makes a good photo?
Great question. A good photo is an image that stimulates thought or emotion. I am not big on the technicals and my favorite photographic quote is by Ansel Adams “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs”. 

Which photographers or artists inspire you the most?
This used to be an easy question but these days, with the advent of digital, everyone seems to be photographing. As a result, brilliant images are constantly being produced by both amateurs and pros alike. While no one photographer inspires me - brilliant images inspire me. You just need to browse 500px to get inspired. 

What’s the best thing about being a photographer? Would you change anything?
The best thing for me is having a tool, in the form of a camera, that allows me to capture and share the things in life that I am most passionate about. The camera is an extension of my soul and being able to share my passion for Africa and its creatures, and to be able to work on doing this full time, is a privilege indeed.
I believe in destiny, so no - any changes I make will just screw up the plans. OK, on second thought, if I could change any one thing I would have liked to have been born 100 years earlier so that I could have lived in a more wild Africa. I would like to have been alive when Zulu Impis were running over the hills and when wildlife was not confined to parks. 

How can beginner photographers improve their photography? What would you suggest?
By searching their souls. By finding out what they are passionate about and by going out and shooting those things. This is more important than breaking the bank account on a new camera or lens.

What would you chose, photographing by yourself or shooting with friends?
Mmmm. This is a conundrum. I have spent lots of time living in remote isolation and camping alone, it no longer appeals to me. I enjoy sharing my experiences with people and for the most part I would like to be with friends or fellow photographers. I think photographing in isolation a few times a year is healthy but, for the most part I am gregarious.

Do you have any memorable stories to share from any of your photographic experiences?
Living in Maasai-land in Kenya, I undertook a project to photograph a free-ranging lion. My goal was simply to obtain images of this wild lion, which was carrying out a precarious existence beyond any formal park or reserve boundaries. There are few of these lions left in Africa and they are predicted to go extinct in the next ten years!

I had always felt as if I was born a century too late, and in southern Kenya I found a piece of Africa that allowed me to journey back in time. Back to a time in fact, when man and beast lived together. The project lasted 16 months and the lion was incredibly shy. Eventually, to mask my scent, I sat in a waterhole. After three months of sitting in the water, I finally captured images of a free-ranging wild lion. I also managed to capture a host of other tropical parasites. You can read the full story on my blog.

Forest Lion by Greg du Toit
Forest Lion by Greg du Toit

To see more of Greg du Toit’s work head over to his 500px page. To purchase one of his prints visit Greg's shop.Thanks to Greg for being interviewed and to you for reading.

Feel free to leave a comment or question to the photographer below, feedback is great!


Gallery: Elevation

Published by Diana Tula · July 26th 2012

The Gallery feature is a great way of challenging yourself and getting exposure for your work. Every week a theme is announced and you have until Sunday to submit your entry. Upload photos to your 500px profile then email us the links. You may already have a photo that suits or you can see it as a weekly creative brief. For announced theme and deadline continue reading.

This week's theme was: Elevation.

Next week’s theme is: Colour My World

Thanks to everyone who participated in this feature. Theme is open to interpretation so get creative, get snapping and send us the links to Deadline is August 5th at 6pm (EST).


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