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Lightbox, Keyboard, and Navigation

Published July 4th, 2011

The last week has been pretty busy, as usual, for us here at 500px. Apart from exploring Google+ (yes, we’ve got invites), we’ve got some interesting updates.

First of all, your photos are now safe from copying across the site — in community, portfolio, blog. You can’t drag or save the photo.

As always, we’d like to remind that it’s just a visibility of security, as there is not technology on earth that can save your photos from copying. Not us, not Flickr, SmugMug, PhotoShelter or anyone else. It’s not possible. So, this security measures only makes it a little harder to copy the photo. Currently, it’s on by default for everyone, and we’ll make a switch to turn if off for those who like openness.

We’ve also added a lightbox, available for all photos. Just click on the photo.

We like to add features without cluttering the interface with hundreds of buttons and switches. So, some features will be hidden, until you find them. For example, navigation. Or navigation from the keyboard.

So now, when you browse from Popular, Upcoming, Editors Choice or Fresh, you are treated to the custom navigation, that takes into account where you came from, so you can browse faster. How much faster? You can flip through the photos with “J” (backwards) and “K” (forward) buttons on the keyboard, and also use “F” to fave a photo, and “L” to vote with “Like”.

We've also added new language to the mix — this time, Brazilian Portuguese (Português Brasileiro). We'd like to thank all our friends in Brazil and Portugal who helped translate it.

Of course, we also added tons of fixes to EXIF reading, deleting accounts, translation and UI.

What’s coming up next? We hope to further simplify login and sign up, making it less prone to user or system errors, optimize speed to make things even faster, fix search, and add some nice touches to portfolios.

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Jaime Santana  about 6 years ago

Love the keyboard shortcuts, J & K, seem to have the opposite meaning that I have seen in other websites. Usually you start at the top of a list, like you do with say.. Google reader, to go the the next item, you click J and to go to the previous, K. Here, say you start with the first photo in the list, you have to type K to go to the next in the list..

Alexandre I.  about 6 years ago

Hi ! I would LOVE a small change to the most visited part of the website, that is the "Popular" / "Editor's choice" / "Upcoming" tabs. It would be wonderful that if I select "Animal" photos only, and the switch from Popular to Upcoming, the category filter could be kept instead of having to re-select it each time ? Please ... Спасибо ребята !

Gyorgy Szimuly  about 6 years ago

You might already be aware of the story but on mac I still can save the image using ctrl key and click. Drag & drop to desktop is no longer working if you are not in portfolio work. From these pages I still can save images by dragging and dropping to desktop. :)
Otherwise I have no complaints. I love it.
Best, Szimi

Tor-Erik Bakke  about 6 years ago

Keyboard shortcuts are great, but...

1. Why not enable them for all browsing? I want to use them for browsing my friends' streams too not just upcoming and popular.
2. Why not have a shortcut for commenting?

Evgeny Tchebotarev  about 6 years ago

Hi Josh!

We are in midst of making better navigation. What we want is a seamless and beautiful and quick navigation through-out the site. So that's definitely in the works. You can trust me, I'm a very active 500px user and I know what the most drawbacks are :)

Josh Kenzer  about 6 years ago

Question: If I am looking at a photo from the popular photos by category and hit the k for next, I'm taking to the next popular photo, but the category I was in is ignored. Is there a way to browser a category by popular without having to flip back and fourth between the listing page and the individual photo page?

Andrew Graeme Gould (inactive)  about 6 years ago

I forgot to add that the best thing about the lightbox is that the lower part of portrait orientation images is not lost on our 15,4" and 15.6" laptops, and therefore also fits, I presume, on even smaller screens. About the right click protection, I'm glad it's set as default, as if you have photos maked copyright, you wouldn't want it any other way. Thanks!

Andrew Graeme Gould (inactive)  about 6 years ago

Great work from the 500px team. I also wish that once in the lightbox mode, you could go fowards or backwards in it ( as with Flickr). Additionally, it would be good if the left and right arrow keys could be used for back/foward navigation, as well as J and K. I believe that the arrow keys are a natural thing for a first time visitor to try.

Daniela Pintimalli  about 6 years ago

Yes you guys must have read my mind (or my blog). I love how you now can't right click and save like on Redbubble. I know there are other ways such as print screen etc but I now feel safe to start editing and uploading my work without the watermarks in the way. Love what you have done so far, you really do strive to make photographers work look fantastic on your site. Keep up the great work :)

Salah Althubaiti  about 6 years ago

Great work. Keep it up guys

Evgeny Tchebotarev  about 6 years ago

Marcin, great point! We'll discuss and most likely will change that.

Evgeny Tchebotarev  about 6 years ago

nitrogenmonooxide, lots of things are coming for portfolios, we just started! :)

Marcin W. Dąbrowski  about 6 years ago

Ian, actually no, in Gmail it's the same — pressing J goes down, because gmail threads are in reverse chronology. Down = Next in this case. cf.

Joost Wijnglas  about 6 years ago

Great improvements!
But: Why no keyboard navigation with backward (<--) and forward (-->) buttons? And why only no slideshows in people's portfolios?

By the way: If you want a Dutch translation (you've quite a lot of users from The Netherlands), I'm happy to help!

Marcin W. Dąbrowski  about 6 years ago

Lightbox is great addition! But for the keyboard navigation I agree with Mike — «J» should be «next» and «K» should be «previous», as in the rest of civilized world of keyboard navigtion maniacs and vi–keybinding evangelists. :)

Duane Hall  about 6 years ago

Great to see the desire for continual improvements! Love using the site so far.