Reverse-engineering tastes of 500px community

Published May 20th, 2013

It is fun to attempt to figure out the tastes of various on-line photo communities. Over the last two years of being on 500px I have observed that the folks here quite enjoy highly processed, bright and colorful work. To illustrate: I have put up several screamingly over-processed (over-saturated, over-sharpened and, generally, "loud") images and they have been well received. Conversely, the more subtle work of mine which I personally enjoy immensely receives virtually zero praise. Below are examples from both groups.

What is your impression of the 500px community and its tastes?

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Saturate the Inner Eye

Published May 21st, 2012

"Five colors blind the eye"

Lao Tsu, translated by Feng and English

Human senses normalize external stimuli. A repeated strong stimulus will have a lesser effect after a while. Thus, an even stronger stimulus will be needed to create the same level of excitement. So it is only natural that in the history of photography images become progressively more saturated, contrasty and compositionally more dramatic.

On the other hand, a large part of a deeper connection to an image comes from our "inner eye" -- the memories and feelings our mind produces in response to the external stimulus. An image "resonates" with us when our imagination fills in the details and strong personal experiences come from the depth of our memory. These memories are unique to every individual and unknown to the photographer. Tell too much in the image and you will exclude many personal feelings, hampering the connection.

Thus, a resonating image should show just enough to make the viewer pause at it but leave th ...

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Mercury Opera

Published April 14th, 2012

In 2011 I was the production photographer and videographer for Mercury Opera's take on "Madame Butterfly". Below are some photographs from the production.

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An Easter Stroll by the River

Published April 9th, 2012

A fellow photographer and I strolled by the North Saskatchewan River, snapping pictures along the way. It was a quiet Easter evening enjoyed by a couple of geese under a bridge.

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Hawaii, December 2011

Published April 8th, 2012

This is a small selection of my Hawaiian photos from a trip in December 2011. I look forward to coming back to Hawaii, possibly to Maui and the big island. Please let me know of any interesting places to shoot on these two islands,


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