As I write, this photograph is currently enjoying “Popular” status in 500px, a sharing website for serious photography buffs.
I have always held 500px (short for 500 pixels) in high regard, considering it to be the photography playground where the “big guys” play. The site’s interface is so beautiful that it just naturally puts your photos in the best light possible. Great photography is at the very core of 500px and it is quite humbling to see the talent and creativity on display by its avid community of aspiring, as well as professional, photographers. It’s trademark “Pulse” ratings is a godsend for the not-so-popular members, giving us equal chance to have any of our photographs rise to the top. Provided they are of good quality, of course.
This is how it works.
When you upload a photo on 500px, a “Pulse” is generated from the number of Likes, Favorites, Views and Comments which it receives from other photographers. The score is on a scale of 0-100, calculated by 500px. Your photo moves from “Fresh” category to “Upcoming” category, once the Pulse score reaches 70. If the photograph is really good and the Pulse score rises closer to 90, it gets promoted to “Popular.” If that photo stays under the “Popular” category for a number of days, then it could end up on “Editor’s Choice” category. It is this algorithm that gives every photographer the opportunity to to get photo on the front page, irregardless of his/her popularity.
It was therefore a pleasant surprise to have this image get a Pulse rating of over 90, just the sixth of all my uploads to have reached this status so far. What is even more surprising is that this photograph is from a batch of pictures taken way back in 2006, with a Canon 10d that now sits dejected in a cupboard in my basement. I recently found this collection – and many others – as I was moving and consolidating files from separate external hard drives into one huge backup drive with over 12 terrabytes of space available.
I will spend some time going through these old files in the coming days. One thing seems to be obvious though: there are still many “gems” in those drives, long-forgotten and largely ignored. If truth be said, it appears that I seem to have taken better care with my photo composition and setup in those days. That was before the smartphone came and gave us all bad photo-taking habits.
I guess that means that – as far as this site is concerned – you’ll be seeing a lot of old images come to life again.