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Contest In Review

Published by Diana Tula · May 27th 2013

Hi! PetaPixel contest just ended with almost 1,400 entries. To honour your efforts we’ve decided to share some of our favourite images here with you. Enjoy and remember to upload your photos, we love to see all the creativity and talent that you bring to our community.


PetaPixel Photo Contest

Published by Diana Tula · May 27th 2013

A week and a half ago PetaPixel launched a photo contest to give away 10 Awesome upgrades with access to 500px new Portfolios feature. All you had to do is upload your best photos with a tag “petapixel”. We’d like to thank everyone who participated & to let you know that we will be featuring more of our favourite contestant photos later today.

The contest has come to an end and here’s a look at the 10 winning photographs. If you see your name and photo on this list, you’ll soon find Awesome upgrade applied to your account. Congratulations!

Minor Trees by Callum Baker

Crossing the Alps by Olli H.

Love Is In The Air by Eva Creel

würzburg III by Max Ziegler

Sunrise In The Office by Karim Nafatni

The Prisoner by Cheker Amdouni

The Only Way to Travel II by Dan Volkens

Blackmirror Designs by Benjamin Von Wong

The Take Off by Buck Shreck

Blackmirror Designs by Maurits Van Suchtelen


Photo Tutorial — Long Exposure Photography

Published by Matt Kloskowski · May 23rd 2013

Hey everyone. Matt Kloskowski here from Kelby Media Group. First off, thanks so much to everyone over at 500px for giving me the platform of their blog today. What I'm writing about here (long exposure photograph) is actually something that 500px's photos inspired me to do a couple of years ago. 

How The Camera Sees Things

See, we probably all know that our camera doesn't see things the way we see it right? Shadows, highlights, etc… Well another way the camera sees differently is motion. Given enough light and the right conditions your camera will freeze motion. Sometimes, like in the case of a sports photo, that's exactly what we want. But other times, say when photographing water, that may not be what we want because we want to show motion. We don't see water frozen in time, but rather it's always moving. 

Enter Long Exposure Photography

For me, a couple years ago I noticed a surge in the posting of long exposure photos. People were putting 3, 6 or even 10-stop neutral density filters on their cameras to slow shutter speeds. The result was this beautiful long exposure photo where clouds, water and lights had a beautiful streaky motion-like feeling to them. Personally, I love photographing the water. Beaches, waterfalls, lakes, streams, you name it. But I'm not a huge fan of choppy water. I love reflections and smooth silky water. So for me, long exposure photography was the answer. 

Adding Motion

I'm primarily a landscape photography. In most landscape photos everything is still right? One of the other things I love about landscapes and long exposure photography though is that you get to introduce motion into an otherwise static scene. Chances are, when you were taking that beautiful photo outdoors time wasn't frozen. But our photos don't typically show that. With long exposure photos though, you can incorporate striking sharp and crisp areas of landscapes with movement in water or clouds. 

Here's an example. I took this photo in Bandon, OR. When I saw all of the pilings and patterns along with the water I thought it would make a great scene. I put my camera on the tripod and set it to Aperture Priority mode and let the camera do the rest of the thinking. This is what I got after a 1/25 second exposure. 

First, the choppy water is distracting. There's too many ripples, texture and highlights that pull your attention away from the subject of the photo - the old decaying pilings. Plus, there's junk in the water like sticks, leaves, and other little distractions that just make it not pleasing to look at. But after putting on my 10-stop neutral density filter (I use the Lee Big Stopper) and letting the shutter speed go to 30 seconds, this is the photo I got. 

The ripples have smoothed out, we have some degree of reflections and there's an overall peaceful feeling to the photo. The clouds even start to get a little streaky which makes makes the whole scene feel like it's moving even though it's not. 

Enter Photoshop To Finish Things Off

As much as I like to get things right in camera, sometimes there's things we simply can't do. In my example above, the 10-stop ND filter did a great job of smoothing the water out. That's something that would be nearly impossible to do in Photoshop. However, the clouds, while kinda streaky, still don't have as much motion in them as I'd like. We've all seen those beautiful clouds moving through the air and the feeling it gives us. 30 seconds just wasn't long enough to capture the movement here though. That's where I little bit of Photoshop work comes in. 

First I opened the photo in Photoshop and made a selection of the sky using the Quick Selection Tool. 

Then I pressed Cmd-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to duplicate that area of the sky on to it's own layer in the Layers panel and Cmd-clicked (PC: Ctrl-clicked) to put a selection around the same sky area again. 

Next, I went to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur. I changed the Blur method to Zoom and increased the Amount to 50 percent. 

Lastly, I dragged the area in the Blur Center part of the dialog downward so the clouds would look like they were coming at us across the sky. 

The result is that streaky effect we get in clouds when we leave the shutter open long enough to capture their movement. To me, it was a great finishing effect on the photo and it gave the photo the feeling I had when I was there creating it. 


I hope this sparks a few ideas for you when it comes to your photography. Long exposure photos have really become very popular lately. And with digital, we can see the results of experimenting with longer or shorter exposures right on the back of the camera. And you don't even need to go as far as a 10 stop ND filter. Give it a try with 3 or 6 stop filters as well. As an outdoor shooter, I think it offers you a whole new area of creativity, because we're typically so used to shooting static scenes with no movement. For me, long exposures bring the best of both worlds together. 

Take care everyone. Thanks for stopping by and if you'd like to read more feel free to follow me over on my blog at For more 500px tutorials check out Dreamy Great Gatsby Portraits.


500px + PetaPixel Contest

Published by Diana Tula · May 23rd 2013

Hey! If you’ve been paying close attention to our social media you know that we have teamed up with PetaPixel to bring you a great contest. PetaPixel is the coolest blog on the Internet for photography enthusiasts. Photo and camera news, reviews, inspiration, you name it. If you haven’t heard about the contest yet hurry up, deadline is this Friday May 24th.


Win 1 year of 500px Awesome account & feature on PetaPixel site. Also you'll get ample promotion from us on our social media channels. Best ten photos will be chosen and winners announced on Monday.


Entry is simple! Upload your best photo with a tag “petapixel”.

Good luck!

Ernesto Araiza

Published by Diana Tula · May 23rd 2013

If you’ve ever been to a race you would remember how contagious an adrenaline rush can be, and if you’ve ever tried shooting a race you would remember how hard it is to capture just the right moment. Today we’d like you to meet Ernesto Araiza, an action photographer from Ensenada, Mexico. Ernesto photographs local off-road races; be it bicycle, car, motorcycle, you name it. His images capture the spirit of each race with great skill and passion, so if you have never been to a race here’s your chance. Enjoy!

Looking for more race photos? Visit Ernesto's 500px page, there you can see his full body of work, add him to friends and follow future uploads.

Our blog is a place to promote 500px photographers and their brilliant photos. Every week we want to introduce you to new and up and coming photographers, whom you may have not discovered yet. If you’d like to be featured on our blog or nominate your favourite photographer leave a comment below.


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