My Profile On 500px

500px is a community based, photo sharing website; much like Flickr. In fact, there’s a growing chorus of articles comparing the two sites and suggesting that 500px might just be a better service for serious photographers. Here is a sampling of recent opinions,

Move Over Flickr — Hot Shots Love 500px
500px is not Flickr
White-Hot Flickr Alternative 500px Raises $525K In Series A
500px aims to be ‘Flickr for pros’
500px – the new flickr?
500px vs Flickr

I have quite a bit invested in Flickr – more than five years of activity spread out over 894 photos and organised into 27 sets. Moreover, there is a vast community of users on Flickr and most of the images I post there get some attention.

However, Flickr has become a bit of a frustration. I haven’t experienced anything like what Mirco Wilhelm went through, when his 4000+images were accidentally deleted. But, it is disappointing that Flickr haven’t really evolved their service. The site looks dated, there is a growing amount of MySpace-ish spam, showcasing large photos is awkward, the iphone app is slow (there is no iPad app) and activity on Flickr feels a little “walled” off from the rest of the web.

So, last night I created a 500px account. What I immediately like about this service is how easy it is to create a large image portfolio – you can see mine at

Right now I’m pretty impressed with 500px. The service is easy to use – a lot easier and cleaner than Flickr – with a much more contemporary upload interface. And, creating a good looking portfolio (something you can’t do on Flickr) is far easier than with Photoshelter (you can see my soon-to-be-deleted Photoshelter portfolio here). Within minutes of uploading my first images, I was getting feedback from the 500px community – there’s definitely a “social” thing at work on 500px (complete with a “like” based voting system).

And, the quality of images on the site, from other users, is stunning (take a look at some of the “Editors’ Choice” photographs).

Not that 500px is a perfect service. There is no iOS app available and no way to manage your account from within Lightroom (there is an LR plugin to handle Flickr, but I’m not a fan of it). Ideally, 500px would allow you to manage your collection from within Lightroom and keep the most current edit of each image synchronised between the website and your Lightroom collection – that’s a really “serious” approach.

Still, there is a lot that 500px is doing right and I’m looking forward to seeing if this service can really grow in the coming months.

UPDATE>> I deleted both my Flickr and 500px accounts in November, 2012. To read more out that check out Goodbye Flickr Goodbye 500px.

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  • Tom - 3rd July 2011

    I have to say that is a very nice portfolio (both contents and showcasing style)…

    I kinda agree on the distinction though. Flickr is my backup (with 1000s of photos) and maybe 500pix is where they go to shine…

    • Fernando Gros - 9th July 2011

      Tom – yes. I can see value in keeping both. Where I’m at right now, is posting few photos and trying to showcase the better ones, which feels well suited to 500px.

  • Bo Bissett - 3rd July 2011

    Thanks for the link, Fernando. You got a cool blog. Nice post on 500px. We’re working on something I think you may be interested. Will keep you updated.

    • Fernando Gros - 9th July 2011

      Bo – thank you. Look forward to seeing what you develop.

  • Toni - 19th July 2011

    Glad you’re considering moving stuff off Flickr – it’s always been draggy, slow and the interface has felt really inhibitory to me – to the point that I won’t view galleries on Flickr from choice. I’ll have a look at 500px soon.

    • Fernando Gros - 24th July 2011

      Look forward to seeing what you think of 500px Toni. It does a number of things better than Flickr, especially for galleries.

  • Toni - 18th April 2012

    Sorry that I never came back to you on this.

    I can see now why you have been using instagram – it’s a kind of ‘reality baseline’ that is the diametric opposite of 500px. I did have a look before, briefly, realised the bar was so far above my head that I couldn’t even see it to aim and promptly forgot about it.

    A little like that Nick Cave Remix post, my photographic muse is temperamental & comes and goes somewhat at random. Posting work on there would feel a little like a county level runner suddenly finding themselves on an olympic track, and that does the creative end of things no good, really. I have to get inside a subject to create images instead of taking lousy snaps, and to do that one has to feel the process is not completely pointless.

    As for whether it was a good move for you, images seem to be served more quickly, so if you’re hosting them on 500px or somewhere else instead of flikr then I’d say things are better.

    One of the curious things about lightbox, and presumably instagram from what I’ve seen, is how few can actually add anything to their image with the filters and effects. There do seem to be a very few (I think I’ve found maybe 3 photographers on lightbox) who can use an obvious effect to actually raise the image up. Almost everyone else just seems to degrade something I’d often be embarrassed to show except as an ‘out take’.

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In his Tokyo studio Fernando combines his life-long passions for art and technology. On the road, he is always looking to take the next wrong turn, just to see what kind of images and stories might unfold. A photographer & writer, with a background in music, Fernando has lived in Chile, Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Read More.


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