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Valentine’s Day Is Here

Published by Diana Tula · February 13th 2013

We have a confession to make... we love you! Yes, you!

Have you seen 500px Awesome cards yet? Today as a token of our love we are giving 14 of them away. Each card can be scratched to redeem one year of Awesome membership. All you have to do is Upload a photo today with a tag "500pxlovesme". We will feature as many photos as possible on our blog and social media, love related photos are most welcome :)

Looking forward to your entries! Winners will be picked at random and announced Tuesday February 19th on blog and social media. This gives you three extra days to take & upload photos. Don’t be shy and share your photos with us on FB, Twitter, G+ & Instagram. Our 500px social pages are:


We will always love you,


Faith. Hope. Love.

Published by Diana Tula · February 13th 2013

Listen to Yvonne Ding, both a flight attendant and a street photographer as she shares a story of an acquaintance that broke and humbled her heart. This video was recorded for the 11/11/11 project, a worldwide event where people from all over the world were asked to go out and capture a part of their day using film, photography, music, sound and text. Since then all submissions were compiled into a film, which can be viewed at a local screening world-wide every November 11th.

Last time we featured “A Travelling iPhonographer”, a short documentary featuring well-known iPhonographer Kevin Russ. For more videos browse the blog and let us know if you’d like to be featured. Send in links to your videos to We’re always open to fresh and exiting content and ideas.


Bill Hornstein's Burning Man

Published by Diana Tula · February 12th 2013

Meet Bill Hornstein, an art director from Los Angeles, USA and hobbyist photographer whose work ranges from portrait to landscape photography. Looking at his work the immediate reaction is that you either went mad or that Bill travelled to an alternate reality for some cool snapshots.

Later it may dawn on you that these photos are actually from Burning Man, a world famous event that happens annually in Black Rock Desert, northern Nevada that brings people together for a week to live in community where money has no value. Captivated by Bill Hornstein’s photos of the event we'd like to share the Burning Man awesomeness with you, enjoy!

To get to know Bill Hornstein’s work better visit his 500px page, there you can follow his future photo uploads and add Bill to friends.

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.


Empty Places

Published by Diana Tula · February 11th 2013

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 and leave a comment to this post with the photo links. You may already have a photo that suits or you can see it as a weekly photo challenge. This week's theme was: Empty Places. For announced new theme and deadline continue reading.

New theme is: Midnight Rhapsody

Theme is open to your interpretation and creativity, so get snapping and post links to photo entries in the comments below. Deadline is February 17th at 12pm (EST).

Every week there's a random draw giveaway, giving a chance to everyone who enters to win 2 months of Awesome membership. This week’s winner is Peter Kempf.

Big thanks to everyone who participated!


Photo Tutorial — Paint With Fire

Published by Diana Tula · February 6th 2013

Last time we shared a light painting tutorial it was “How to paint a ball of light” by Richard Steinberger. In that tutorial Richard shares his light painting technique using a daylight-balanced LEDs on a 5-foot pole, specific to painting an orb of light.

The technique we’ll be sharing today by Steven Biseker is more extreme and dangerous as it requires handling fire; at the same time it is the most popular method of light painting out there especially when it comes to creating orbs of light. In this tutorial Steven will share with you his tips & tricks, explaining how he got three different light painting photos using the same method.

Before we start with the tutorial we have to go over a not-so-exciting bit first, as this tutorial involves fire and possible injury please read two disclaimers below.

WARNING: The following tutorial features handling of dangerous materials, creating and handling fire, and requires appropriate attire and supervision at all time. 500px Inc. and Steven Biseker advise against imitating this tutorial if you do not realize that this is dangerous.

WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK: By reading this you acknowledge full responsibility of attempting this tutorial and hereby waive and release 500px Inc. and Steven Biseker from any and all liability arising should you attempt this tutorial.

Step 1: Preparation & Equipment

Before going out and shooting you need to prepare. First you need to gather the right equipment and second scout a remote location with wet conditions. Do not attempt this indoors, at home or in your backyard.

What you’ll need:
  • Wet blanket and/or fire extinguisher
  • Metal dog lead/chain
  • Metal whisk
  • Fine wire wool
  • Lighter or matches
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Torch
  • Daring friend or assistant (with protective hat, clothing and goggles)
  • Attire: Hat or hoodie, long sleeves, long pants, closed toe shoes, gloves, and goggles. Black/dark clothes work best

Step 2: How to do it

1. Arrive on location & Set up
Your friend or assistant, whoever is going to spin/hold the wool (while you are taking photos) has to dress in the right attire first, see a list above. You have to dress in the same attire as well. Now all dressed head out to the location with all the equipment. Take a moment to set up and figure out the best location to steady the tripod and to place your subject. Keep a good distance between yourself+tripod+camera and person with whisk fire wool, at least 12 feet.

2. Attach the whisk to the end of the chain 
A cheap whisk with a loop at the end of the handle and a dog chain with a quick release catch are ideal for this.?

3. Load the whisk with wire wool
 Use enough wool to fill the whisk without it being too compact.

4. Set your camera
Set up your camera position on a tripod. Use the torch to focus on the position where the wool will be lit. Once the focus is set make sure you have turned auto focus OFF. Although your settings may vary to your own tastes, I used F13 at 20 seconds to make sure I achieved sharper embers moving towards and away from the lens. Feel free to play around with shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings.

5. Get a friend or assistant to light the wool
Use the lighter on the wool, which should start burning bright embers. It will not start a flame.

6. Friend/assistant swings wool on chain
Once the wool is lit it can be swung with various techniques. Above the head, to the side, to the side whilst slowly rotating or randomly. The speed of the swing will also affect your results. The wool should last burning between 30-60 seconds.

Swinging hot wire wool round your head results in red-hot embers flying off. These continue burning wherever they land and, sometimes, larger clumps can fly out so keep away from anything that you could burn of injure. Also have a wet blanket or fire extinguisher handy in case a spark accidentally lands and catches fire. Put out fire no matter how small it looks right away!

7. Take photos
Go for it and experiment. This is good fun if you keep it safe.

8. Post processing
You could leave the images as they are, straight from the camera. I added a simple hue change to the color of the ember trails using a layer mask effect in Photoshop. You could also experiment with layer painting and layer transparency in Photoshop or use Gradient and Paintbrush for colour changes in Lightroom.

9. Tip
You don’t have to take photos late at night when it’s pitch black. Try times shortly after and during sunrise/sunset.

10. Keep it safe, have fun and share your techniques and results
That’s it – that’s how you do it so go get great results, take all the right precautions and stay safe.

Thanks to Steven Biseker for sharing this tutorial and thanks to his fellow 500px photographers Adam Abbott, Richard Lockwood & Richard Youden for shooting idea and company.

Do you have photos taken using this technique? Upload them to 500px and share links in the comments below, we'd love to see your results :)

Let’s share your skills and educate those new to photography. If you have a tutorial you’d like to share, be it in shooting, post production or tips for getting your work out there please get in touch, email

Thanks for reading!


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