Hi Gang: Had lots of great comments and questions after yesterday’s post about 500px.com; the photo sharing site for pro photographers (well, at least it’s the one being embraced by the pro photography community these days).

First, I guess I’m late to the party, because I learned shortly after the post that 500px.com isn’t a brand new site—I hadn’t heard of it before (I first heard about it from my buddy RC Concepcion), but the buzz surrounding it was so big I figured it had to be new, but alas, I was wrong (my apologies to the owners of 500px.com).

Speaking of the owners….
I thought it was really cool that the guys behind 500px.com were answering questions one-on-one here on the blog yesterday (I got to meet them briefly at my Toronto seminar last week. I didn’t realize they were based up there until I saw a Tweet that they were coming to my seminar. Really great guys, and they’re doing something really cool). Anyway, I’m grateful to Andrey Thchilin from 500px.com for fielding so many questions from my readers.

More on 500px.com Ratings
There’s a great article pointed out yesterday by Andrey with how the ratings system works, and if you’re on the site, you’ll find this really helpful. Here’s the link.

Just in case the owners are listening….
I thought I’d mention five things that I think would totally take their site up a big notch. I say this because I’ve seen a number of people commenting on how quickly they’ve responded to ideas from their users, with new features and enhancements being added all the time, so I was hoping I might toss out a few here and see if any of them stick. Here’s what I’d love to see:

(1) Let Me Choose The Sorting order on my main page
Not the portfolio page, but your personal page (shown above). It appears as though the photos on this page appear in the order you uploaded them, and I’ll be darned if I can find a way to reorder them without reuploading them. I love the way this page looks (with one exception below)—perhaps even more than how the portfolio page looks, so being able to customize this would be awesome.

(2) I would like the option of hiding the left side bar
So it looks like what you see above. Just lots of nice large thumbnails. Mmmmm. Large thumbnails. This would look awesome on an iPad.

(3) Keeping Pro Quality Images Up There
I know the idea behind 500px.com is that you’re only supposed to upload images you would put in your portfolio, and theoretically if everyone abides by that, it will help keep the quality level high and the amount uploaded low. That being said, if they want to keep this from eventually turning into flickr 2.0 (and I saw a number of comments that fear exactly that), I think someone (or a group of editors) are going to have to be the “gatekeepers” to keep people from uploading snapshots and lowering the overall quality. I know this opens up a Pandora’s box of “Why did my photo get turned down?” and so on, but if someone doesn’t set a bar somewhere, we could wind up in flickrland before you know it.

(4) The search function needs some work
My buddy Matt Kloskowski had a 500px.com account before I did, but I’ll be darned if using their search let me find him. I can’t. Period. I even know the exact name of a couple of his images, and I still couldn’t find him. I couldn’t find me either using the search. Couldn’t find RC either. In fact, I can’t find anyone in particular unless I see one of their images in the Popular, Upcoming, Editor’s Choice, or Fresh categories. Maybe I’m using it wrong, but if you type in Matt Kloskowski, (as shown above) or RC Concepcion, or the name of one of Matt’s images; “Mesa Arch at Dawn” none of those come up.

(5) Make it easier to get to a photographer’s Portfolio
Let’s say I find an interesting image in the Upcoming Category gallery, and I click on the thumbnail to see the larger view (shown above). Let’s say I like it enough that I want to see this users’s whole portfolio. There’s really no way to get there from here (at least, I couldn’t find a way), without first clicking on the photographer’s name, going to his main page, and then clicking the “View Portfolio” button in the upper right corner. Also, if you click on the image on this page, you get a smaller pop-up version of the same image. It seems like it should take you to the next image in the gallery—-nobody wants to see a slightly smaller version of what they’re already looking at. But hey, it could just be me.

> Don’t just look at the Editor’s Choice and Popular Categories
Yesterday I mentioned looking at those two categories, but also make sure you check out Upcoming, because these are the ones that will most likely be in the Popular category soon. Also, the Fresh category is where you go to see the new stuff. Both very interesting and inspiring.

> A Lightroom Uploading plug-in is apparently in the works
RC posted this as a comment yesterday, and that’s good enough for me. (Yay—it won’t be long now!). :)

> Don’t do what I did
I was most interested in using 500px.com as a portfolio site, so I uploaded a hundred or so photos (20 photos each in six categories; sports, people, travel and so on). After reading how they do their ranking, those photos will soon be buried in the rankings, so you’re better off to upload a handful, and then add to them if your goal is to have your images seen by others in the community.

> Dig This: NAPP members get $10 off an Upgraded Account
I didn’t know about this until late yesterday, but apparently there is a discount for the premium upgraded account if you’re a member. Visit the NAPP member’s Website for the discount code to enter during checkout (hey, it saves $10. Not too shabby!).

> All in All, I Still Think It’s The Best Thing Out There
I’m excited about what’s happening over at 500px.com, and I read a comment on another blog (I wish I could remember which one to give proper credit) but it said something along the lines of “500px.com will be able to add the few advantages flickr has a lot faster than flickr will ever be able to bring what 500px.com already has)—of course, I’m paraphrasing, but I agree. I believe you’ll see tweaks and improvements coming very quickly at 500px.com, and if flickr does one day realize that they’re layout is…well…ahem….let’s say “less than optimal” for pro photographers, it’ll already be too late—the pros will have already gone.

If you haven’t tried out 500px.com yet, here’s the link (the basic account is free, and you can have your images up there…well….now). Thanks to everybody who commented yesterday and really added to the discussion.