A while ago, I bought a DSLR camera, hoping that it will help me capture memories in pixels better. I went about snapping and clicking at all sorts of things that caught my fancy. About a month ago, someone recommended 500px to me. He told me that the site would inspire me to take my photography more seriously. I enjoy discovering new things, so I quickly set up an account and started posting daily snapshots of the world around me, some fresh and others from my archives. At the moment, I didn’t know what to expect. A bit over a month later and I am hooked! In fact, so much so that I have decided to upgrade my account and make it "awesome". Here’s why.
When I uploaded my first photograph, I was pleasantly surprised by how neatly the other elements on the page corresponded harmoniously with my work. I am a staunch believer in the power of simplicity in design. 500px managed to wrap my images in a beautiful, noise-free, intuitive interface.
One other element that caught my eye was the thumbnail display. Again, the site manages to create an astoundingly beautiful layout using the simplest design. I believe that all photographers, whether amateur or professional, want their photos to look their best. I was very pleasantly surprised when people who had previously seen my photos elsewhere came back gushing compliments after seeing the same images on 500px.
I don’t know what the future holds. However, at present, 500px is the home of some of the most amazing, creative and beautiful photos on the web. Seeing what other people have done always gives me ideas and inspiration. To me, photographs are simply stories told with light. Seeing the stories other people tell of the world around them makes me look at my world with new eyes.
It always feels good to have people vote for and fave my photos. It instructs my next direction and gives me a reason to review my photographing process. The thing I value most, though, is comments. People on the site have offered critique, advice and encouragement to me both on the site and off. Surprisingly, seem to get most of my feedback via the social network links listed on my profile. This has also helped people who do not as yet have accounts to get in touch and share their thoughts.
It is these features and many more that have me hooked on 500px. I hope the site will get even better with time. Some of the things I hope to see in the future are:
Streamlined categories (e.g. breaking city and architecture into two different categories)
Re- alignment of comments (make new comments appear at the top of the list)
Less downtime (not too much of an issue as the site is up 98.9% of the time)
So far, I have enjoyed the many “nice” features that 500px has to offer. If the proof is, indeed in the pudding, I have tasted the pudding and it is good. The next step is to see how the “Awesome” features (i.e. upgraded membership) work for me. More on that later.