When you want a photo-sharing site that puts photographers first, try 500px.
How it works
When your Instagram feed is getting too literal—all blurry burgers and brunches—turn to the photo-sharing app 500px, which filters out throwaway snaps and offers careful, inspired photography without the digital Febreze of quick-and-dirty retro filters. It’s a standalone app that complements the long-running Toronto-based developer’s 500px.com site. As with other photo sharing apps, you add friends, like posts, and comment, but that’s where the similarities end. With 500px, you can’t even share photos directly from your phone. That’s by design: It forces users to stop and think about what they’re posting. Contributors don’t have to be professional photographers to participate, but they will need a computer. However, VP of business development Dustin Plett isn’t ruling out a future change once there’s a meaningful and appropriate route to edit photos from something smaller than a laptop.
Who should use it?
Anyone who wants to enjoy carefully crafted pictures: Users clearly spend a very long time perfecting just one picture, and 500px stays fresh by offering curated and vote-driven streams. You can even browse the settings and type of equipment people used to create their photo—a handy feature if you’re still working out what shutter speeds and apertures are used in what conditions. The comments are also filled with helpful advice for anyone trying to up their photo game.
When will 500px sell your photos?
Only when you want them to. 500px was founded by photographers for photographers, so there’s no fear of your digital rights getting Zuckerberg’d (as with Instagram’s attempted rights-swipe). Instead, 500px offers photographers a marketplace where they can sell shots from the app.
Seemingly out of nowhere, 500px was removed from Apple’s app store this week because the updated version allowed users to search for nudes. “We’re working with Apple right now to get the app back in the store,” says Plett. “I’m confident it will be back shortly and this is just a hiccup.”
Why haven’t I heard of it?
As sometimes happens with Canadian talent, fame comes from afar before it reaches home. Germany, France, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. are all strong centres, helping 500px hit half a billion views each month. The app’s 2.0 version, out since late November, is already at 300,000 downloads, so plenty of people are finally getting the picture.
Have you used 500px to post photos? How well did it work for you? Let us know in the comments section below.