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Auto Renew: Gotcha or Refund?

Published June 18th, 2012

I was going to let my Awesome account expire here on 500px, but the setup with PayPal forced an automatic renew today. Happy Father's Day and here's the charge on your account!!

So while I didn't see the value in keeping this Awesome account, as the only feature I used in the past was the Portfolio and Unlimited uploads, I have another year of Awesome features. I guess I need to justify this expense.

According to the UPGRADE page, I was not even able to DOWNGRADE to PLUS. I either had to cancel my membership or renew my Awesome account. So here I am with Awesome status, how do I make the most of it?

As for the Portfolios, I can and have in the past build my own website to display my photos on my server. Now I know that I'm just an amateur here, I don't compare with the pros and their "really awesome" images. So I don't have much awesome stuff to show on the Portfolio page. But I have posted to it and have directed a sub-domain to to it.

As for unlimited uploads, this comes in hand ...

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Nighttime Signs

Published August 2nd, 2011

Had some errands to run last night, so I took the camera and shot some of the nighttime signs in the area. Signs sure look better when lit at night.

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Google+

Published July 15th, 2011

I've been ignoring my 500px account for awhile as I've been trying out Google+. Wow, does that suck the time away. It's something that a lot of 500px.com users are using to leverage more exposure for their 500px postings.

The Link Share function of Google+ works great with 500px.com image URLs, so give it a try. It'll place a thumbnail in the share, quote your photo description and grab the correct title of your image, and link right back to your 500px page.

A lot of photographers are on G+ and are using it to post their new photos. Of course photographers are still in the pool with everyone else and can be muffled by the noise, so I consider 500px.com still the essential place for serious photogs. You can still post your images to the general public here, they come up under FRESH, but on G+, you will only be seen by those you who have put you in their circles. Even posting PUBLIC, will only get you an extra group of people, (those you follow), if they look in their "incoming" strea ...

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McDonalds Construction

Published June 29th, 2011

A couple years ago, the local McDonalds burned down and a new construction started. I took daily photos of the project. I plan to post the entire construction series from a dirt lot to final grand opening. Here is one of the shots midway in the construction.

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Scottsdale Photowalk

Published June 28th, 2011

In 2009, shortly after I acquired my Canon XSi, I went to my first photowalk. It was in a nearby town of Scottsdale. I was familiar with the town, but never walked the 5th Avenue art district.

I've culled a few photos for my main photo portfolio, but here I post some of the photos I took, not ready for prime time, but giving you a sense of what was there.

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Lion Photo Art

Published June 19th, 2011

Another artistic photo technique applied to a rather ordinary photo.

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When the "point and shoot" just won't do

Published June 19th, 2011

Denali National Park in Alaska is the most wonderful place for photography. Unfortunately I was there with only my E5400 Nikon. Had I a better setup, I would have many wonderful images to show. As it is, my photos will only be curiosities, not Photographic Art. These is so much to capture in Alaska.

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Twin Falls Idaho

Published June 19th, 2011

Here is another place I'd like to go to again, as I didn't have the right lighting or camera. So I just consider these the "preview" shots. Sort of like scouting photos. There's got to be some good vantage points here in the right light.

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Zion National Park

Published June 19th, 2011

This is early in my photography history, didn't have any professional cameras, digital was still in its infancy. I'd love to go back here and take some new photos with a better camera. These aren't ready for prime time, but are posted here for posterity.

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Picture in Picture

Published June 19th, 2011

This was a neat little spot out at the Meteor Crater in Arizona. A nice view out the picture window. Ah what window?

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Types of Light Colors

Published June 19th, 2011

A display at the American History museum showing the differences between light bulb types.

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A Strange Sun in Alaska

Published June 18th, 2011

While touring up in Alaska one day, we saw this strange view of the sun. It's probably a normal occurrence, but rarely seen. So forgive the blown out whites, but here it is.

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Eight is Enough?

Not Enough Categories

Published June 18th, 2011

I'm finding my photos don't fit into the available categories. Either there isn't enough of them, or they aren't broad enough. Help me out.

Buildings? Farm Equipment? Fire Truck? Inside Saloon Scene? Antique Telephone?

Not sure to lump these all into a category like "Commercial", what's that?

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HDR Processing for Realism

Published June 17th, 2011

I've been enjoying the pursuit of HDR photography. While I enjoy looking at the surreal overboard manipulations of most HDR users, I really want to use it for myself to just bring back realism to a photo scene, all the elements that would otherwise be blown out with the limited dynamic range of one image.

Most photos don't even need HDR. it's only when you have lots of light and lots of darkness or shadows that HDR would be a great help. When a scene is too contrasty for a camera to pick up every brightness level, HDR is the way to go.

I'm playing with Photomatix and just Aperture itself, to see if I can take advantage of the HDR techniques to improve certain photo shots. Yes, Photomatix does a great job, but it seems to be the root of over the top photo manipulations, that create an artistic style of it's own. The tone mapping can be taken to such an extreme, that the photo ceases to depict what was actually there. Some of Apertures Highlights and Shadow adjustments may even be just ...

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What is Photographic Art?

Published June 17th, 2011

I'm venturing into an area of photography that I want to call PhotoArt. This isn't just taking the usual snapshots or taking pictures of existing art. It's taking pictures of everyday people, objects and just background noise. Then making it art from two vantage points.

First the photograph composition, content and topic are acquired during the moment of taking the picture. I want to try to look at everyday things in a different light. I still take the usual shots, hoping that something will pop-out or I get some random moment of some odd behavior.

Second is the post-processing you do to the image with your favorite image editing program. This can be simply a adjustment/cropping program to full blown Photoshop manipulation. There are great things you can do to an image and turn it into something that doesn't even resemble the original photo.

I'm really bored with the usual classic photos that everyone takes, and the fakery that is so popular with Photoshop tricks. So the challenge ...

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Old Tractor in Maine

Published June 16th, 2011

Another Photo Art attempt, this time pastel.

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Painted Desert Art

Published June 16th, 2011

I started using some plug-in software that takes pictures and makes them into various forms of artwork. Here's one of my first attempts.

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Dump Dump Truck

Published June 16th, 2011

I'm going to post some of my "not ready for prime time" photos in the blog here.

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SEO on 500px

Published June 15th, 2011

I'm considering using 500px exclusively for my photo portfolio, blog and store. 500px is a great site and will only improve. It already provides many of the things photographers want in a photo site.

However I'm concerned about whether my pictures are being properly indexed by Google, Bing or Yahoo. Not much has been said about the SEO of 500px. I have good listings in Google for my pictures that are posted on my blog. The URL of my blog is a friendly type, where the photo title is in the URL.

But at 500px, each photo is a cryptic Photo/xxxxx and so doesn't include any description.

I am hoping that each photo can be indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc by the Title, Tags and description, and links back to the 500px URL. Blog posts can also fall into this requirement, since it offers tags and such.

So the question is, does Google index 500px successfully, to provide good SEO for search queries of images to find photographs here? Does 500px submit sitemaps.xml to Google?

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Cropping Thumbnails

Published June 14th, 2011

Found out you can crop the area you want for the home page thumbnails. Just EDIT your photo and the CROP tool is already active. Flickr can't do that!

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Commenting on 500px

Published June 13th, 2011

I am hoping that the commenting system on 500px takes a different direction that it does on Flickr or DeviantArt.

I Don't Like:

Comments that just say "Great Shot", "Nice Job" without some kind of reason why you like it. Comments that are just "Thank You's" for getting a previous comment.

I Want:

Comments that tell me why you liked a photo? Give me some feedback on what I did right and why it works for you. What would be an improvement.

I would tolerate:

Comments in a general nature like "I enjoy your work and hope to visit often?" Or "I like your style and want to see more of it, so I can learn from it."

So let's see if I can actually follow my own commenting rules!

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Alcatraz Exit Door

Published June 13th, 2011

This was a neat shot as you can see the Bay outside. I'm not sure this door was there when the prison was used, but it was in the large courtyard where the prisoners hung out. I processed a single JPG from the Nikon 5400 using Aperture and was able to really bring out the details from a rather drab original shot.

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Zoo Tiger

Published June 10th, 2011

When I went to this zoo, I really wasn't ready to handle the difficulty of shooting there. Most animal where behind fences, too far away and sometimes not even in view. You really need a tripod, telephoto lens and a lot of patience. And this assumes you can get a clear shot through the fences. I got a couple lucky shots.

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Older Photos Revisited

Published May 26th, 2011

Since I've gotten Aperture and use it to process the RAW images I get from my Canon 450D, I've gone back and reprocessed some images from my earlier camera, a Nikon E5400. It didn't do too bad a job and I've come up with some nicely finished images. I'm sorry the camera broke and I can't use it anymore.... but it did pretty good.

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