I started many years ago, writing articles for the Police review, in the form of a Union Rep. From there i graduated to articles illustrated with what ever was contemporay at the time, and eventually having my own 'spot' as a country style writer for a County magazine; for the last 15 or so years I have written photographic articles for the newsletter of the Leica Fellowship, which is circulated both in this country, Europe, and America through the auspices of the Leica historical Society of America. One thing I always remembered was a piece of advice given to me by a features editor;" remember lad, said he" You are selling a dream- pictures must be colourful, sharp, accurate, and make who ever is looking at them to want to be in that image ".
Well, fast forward to 2012. I was thinking about writing my monthly article for Leica. I wanted to put a different slant on the article, more in keeping with the digital age; A few months ago, I noticed a comment on the leica website about a new photosite which by all accounts was very good. Apparently, this site was refreshing, easy to use, and very friendly. It had a rather unusual title " 500px".
So, I thought I would look this site up; being a bit critical, I have tried no end of websites, which deem to be the cats' whiskers for photographers- mostly they were difficult, unfriendly, jargon heavy and unwieldy. So, I thought well, here goes nothing- I typed in the
url, and was I ever surprised ? From the start, 500px was easy to work with, very friendly , and I thought, well I'll try a couple of images, just to see whats' what. Nothing could have been easier- max file size was 30MB, JPEG file only. Uploading was a dream even on my old Mac. Well, I thought, I'll try this out properly, and uploaded some of my stock photos; what amazed me, was the almost instant feedback, from every corner of the world.
OK, we'll fast forward again; February 2012, halfway through the month; our hardworking team at 500px tell us photogs, that they have a surprise in store- they have upgraded the site, which will be ready shortly. I tried to access the site on Tuesday but it was not ready. I tried again later in the week; but Oh dear, this is not what i wanted to see. We now have a difficult site, that is not friendly at all, the upload system is completely cocked up- ostensibly you can drag an image from the desktop, onto a panel. When you do this, you get a blown up picture of the image, bigger than screen size; you can click on the upload button for all your worth, nothing happens. There is no 'publish' button as before, in fact nothing is as it was. Hopeless. So here I am waiting to upload some fresh images, and I can't, because someone on the team has gone bloody mad, like a kid on his first outing in photoshop, and we all know what that's like ! AS of this week, I was seriously thinking of upgrading my membership to 500px- $50, OK. But now I have put it on the back burner; I am all for refining something to make it better, more usable, easier, what ever; but not a wholesale makeover just for th hell of it ! This iteration of 500px SUCKS ! Please fellas, go back a couple of steps; refine some bits - fine. But please don't knacker the whole site ! From what I have read in the last few hours, there are a lot of pissed off people out here, because of what they have found ! Two steps at a time fellas, refine a feature, try it, see what the photogs think first ! Please stop and think- a lot of us were delighted with what you produced first time round- you cracked the holy grail; please don't spoil it now. Give us the old system as we know it, sure, bring in some tweaks, but let us see it first- we are the customers, boys. We love ya, but think on, a bit. Regards Jerry