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Week In Review

Published by Diana Tula · April 29th 2013

Fall in love with inspiring photography! We’ve been watching photos uploaded to last week and have chosen some of our favourite images to share with you today. Enjoy and remember to upload your photos this week, we love to see all the creativity and talent that you bring to our community :)


Sara K Byrne

Published by Diana Tula · April 24th 2013

Meet Sara K Byrne, professional wedding and lifestyle photographer from Idaho area, USA. Her unique style and candid couple’s photos promise to leave you inspired and thinking of love. Enjoy!

For Sara K Byrne’s full portfolio visit her 500px page, there you can add her to friends, follow her future work, and say hello.

Our blog is a place to promote 500px photographers and their brilliant photos. Every week we publish a brief photographer profile introducing you to a photographer from 500px community and his/her body of work. This could be you, email us and let us know about yourself and your work.


Weekly Monday Contest

Published by Diana Tula · April 22nd 2013

Want to get featured on our blog? Every Monday a theme is announced and you have until Sunday to submit your entry. You may already have a photo that suits or you can see it as a weekly photo challenge. For announced theme, deadline and how to enter continue reading.


Last week we announced “Paparazzi” theme and got close to 300 entries. It was great to see so much talent and ideas. We’ve selected twelve photos to share with you today, these are thumbnails so make sure to click on each for a full size photograph. Take a look at all the contestants & pick your favourite.

New theme: I love Earth

1. Select photo that fits this theme. Upload image to your 500px profile or pick an existing photo.
2. Add a tag "earthlove".
3. You are done. To track all entries click here.

Theme is open to your interpretation and creativity, so get snapping and tagging. Deadline is April 28th at 12pm (EST). To make your efforts worthwhile there’s a random draw giveaway for all who enter for a chance to win 2 months of Awesome membership. This week’s draw winner is Nicolas Avila.

Big thanks to everyone who participated!


Follow Friday: Roof Topper Photographers

Published by Diana Tula · April 19th 2013

Inspired by the Follow Friday hashtag movement on twitter we started a new feature on our blog. With Follow Friday posts you can discover new, popular and up-and-coming photographers from 500px to follow and add to friends. Today we are focusing on Roof Topper photographers.

Roof Topper

Hiding behind a clown mask is a talented Toronto based photographer, who wowed the world with his photo “i'll make ya famous”. Visit his profile to see gravity defying photos and fall in love with the heights.

Alexander Remnev

Alexander makes roof topping seem effortless. Going through his work you’ll see photos taken from the highest and most challenging places in Moscow. Images are taken despite weather conditions, snow, thunder, who cares? One of our favourite photos by Alexander is “get height”.

Anton Vaganov

Anton Vaganov is a talented Russian roof topper from the north capital of Russia — St. Petersburg. What makes his roof topping photos stand out are unique and clever setups and ideas. Among his portfolio you can also find beautiful candid street photos and portraits of his friends.

Karim Nafatni

With saturated photos and HDR Karim conquers the magical heights of Dubai. When browsing his profile be on a lookout for a really cool inside the airplane photo.

Ivan Kuznetsov

When I stumbled upon this photo today I remembered just how much I am afraid of heights! Currently Ivan has only a few photos up on 500px, but they are certainly worth your attention.

Neil Ta

We’re so happy to feature a second Toronto photographer (PS In case you didn’t know 500px is from Toronto as well). Neil Ta has a great mix in his portfolio of travel, urban exploration and roof topping photos. Climbing tower cranes and rooftops he gets great Toronto views.

Kirill Vselensky

Travel to Russia with roof top, street and travel photos by Kirill. You can’t help but wonder that there must be something very special about Russia. All this crazy roof topper talent is just mind blowing.

proletariat class

We fell in love with proletariat’s photos as soon as we saw images with the film-like post processing. Turns out that proletariat favours the untypical processing of photos, experimenting with different styles and techniques. Take a look for yourself and enjoy his work.

Vadim Makhorov

Vadim travels the world with a group of daredevil photographers, climbing unimaginable heights and structures. If you think that this photo looks familiar you could have seen it on the CNN. Can’t say that we didn’t save the best for last.

We hope you enjoyed this roundup! This is the first Follow Friday post in this genre and we can’t wait to share more features with you. Come back next Friday for incredible photographers to follow and get inspired by. Visit last post Follow Friday: Family Photographers and discover great talents.

Who is your favourite Roof Topper photographer at 500px? Let us know in the comments below, feel free to nominate yourself.


Photo Tutorial — Chiaroscuro Portraits

Published by Diana Tula · April 17th 2013

Learn how to create classical chiaroscuro-inspired portraits in our second installment of photography tutorial series co-produced by 500px and We hope this series inspires you to try something new and enhance your own work, while saving you money on both rentals and your 500px portfolio.

BorrowLenses invites you to receive 10% off any BorrowLenses rental with coupon code: 500px. As an added bonus when you place an order using code "500px" you'll also get a gift redeemable towards 500px upgraded accounts. This discount is good for any rental duration and is not stackable. rental orders ship to U.S. addresses only and accept U.S. credit cards.


Hi! My name is Alex Huff, I am a studio portrait photographer in San Francisco by night, a product photographer and copy writer at BorrowLenses by day. Today I’d like to share with you a tutorial behind a series that I created with back-to-basics light, that allows for less fuss on set and a more focused experience with your model.

This series began as a gift to an art instructor and a challenge to myself to create very painterly portraits of her daughters without relying too much on post processing. The gift was a success and I set out to create an entire collection of moody close-ups that give homage to tenebrism and chiaroscuro.

Other photographers may enjoy this tutorial because this technique is very accessible to both beginners and professionals. It forces you to think more carefully about the direction of your light in relation to different faces. The tight crops and close proximity of the light lends itself to small-space studio shooting.


My model, Andrew, in my home studio with 1 monolight in an Elinchrom Octabox and a reflector nearby.

Step 1: Lighting and Camera Settings

Before turning on the lights make sure your ambient is registering as completely black in your test shot. I light to start with a black scene in the way a painter begins with a blank canvas. This is typically achieved for me at ISO 100, between 160th of a second - 250th of a second.

My monolight is set to a low power and placed inside a softbox that is very close to my subject, slightly above them and pointed downward. I start at a 45 degree angle and feather in or out to taste. I prefer to shoot with deep softboxes for their “wrap-around lighting” qualities and around 3 feet in size for quick-but-still-soft falloff. On the opposite side of the softbox, just on the other side of my model, I place a white reflector for just a touch of fill.

I start shooting at f/8 and stop my aperture up or down from there as needed. I do not touch my other settings.

Cropping in-scene is preferred, for me, over cropping in post. I shoot very tight and usually handheld.

Step 2: Mood and Model Direction

On location in my model, Brian’s, home. Here I am using a small flash inside a Westcott Apollo softbox. This setup is very versatile and easy to carry around.

My models are typically against a black or dark gray backdrop or wall, seated comfortably.

The aim is for a solemn mood which often results in fits of giggles. I tend to shoot just after a fit when the face has reset itself but there is still life in the eyes.

It is a good idea to switch up your key light and reflector halfway through the shoot. Your model’s “good side” may be the one previously in the shadows.

I shoot from both angles of a model’s face, which is a flattering and safe position. However, don’t forget that straight-on shots can be very powerful.

Step 3: Editing

My image of Brian in-camera and the final product.

Adobe Lightroom and Nik Software are the editing programs I use. I use Lightroom mainly for broad edits, such as exposure or clarity adjustments, or for blemishes. I use Nik Software to be creative! If you don't have NIK experiment with Lightroom and Photoshop settings to get a similar effect.

Brian in Nik Software undergoing adjustments using the Fuji Superia 800 film filter.

Going right into Nik as a plugin from Lightroom, I use the Fuji Superia 800 film filter (though I also really like the Agfa Optima 400 for the look I am going for). Under “Film Details”, I make small adjustments to the film filter, such as red saturation and grain amount. I always add a little grain to these images because I find that it prevents them from looking too clean or modern.

Adding some grain to the image in Nik Software.

After applying my film filter, I look at my image in Lightroom just to see if there are any more changes I need to make. I don’t want the skin to be perfectly flawless--there should be at least some texture in the face and, for these, I like to maintain most of the face’s natural features such as moles and small scars. I use a lower-opacity healing brush to tone down certain areas of the face.

Using a lower-opacity healing brush, I make some spot adjustments in Lightroom.

Lastly, I play with my highlights and my tint and temperature. I don’t often need to do this but for this image, I like the way the skin glows a little more with these settings. When the lighting is right in-camera, the edits become quick and simple.

At the last minute I decide to bump the highlights and adjust the temperature to personal taste in Lightroom.

Final before/in between/after

Thanks to Alex Huff and to BorrowLenses for sharing this tutorial and thank you for reading! If you’re looking for more how-tos check out previously featured "Game of Thrones" article, revealing the secret behind creating your own show's character.

Have fun creating your own chiaroscuro portraits. Let us know if you already tried this technique, share links in the comments below or send in your results to We are excited to see your photos :)


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