Getting started with 500px

My 500px Profile Page

500px is an online photo sharing community.  It’s similar to the popular website flickr, but designed by photographers, for photographers to share only their best work.  500px has about 500 times fewer registered users than flickr—but in my opinion, that’s a good thing.  The site has a unique rating system that’s time sensitive.  This means that no matter how well known you are your photos’ “pulse” will go down over time; everyday new photos have a chance to make it to the top and be seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers.  After browsing 500px for a while I decided to register a few months ago.  I saw it as a great way to get exposure, to receive feedback on my work, and to be able to learn from others.  It’s been fun to see which photos of mine are liked by the community (and to see if my idea of a good photo is matched by my peers!).  It’s also been great to see the other amazing work out there.  I see images that I like and try to decide what makes them successful so I can apply those characteristics to my own work.  You will only get out of 500px what you put in though.  You can’t just upload photos and sit back and wait.  I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to how 500px works since joining and want to share those here.

The rating system.

The thing that makes 500px unique over other photo sharing sites is its time and popularity-based rating system.  Users may comment, like (i.e., vote), and/or favor other users’ photos.  Liking or favoring a photo will increase that photo’s “pulse” rating.  A pulse starts at 0 and can reach a maximum of 100. (Actually reaching 100 is very, very rare.  I only know of two photos uploaded to 500px to ever reach 100.  The site’s creators once thought that 100 was a theoretical maximum that would never actually be reached!)  A photo gets 27 pulse points for its first like or favor.  Each additional like or favor increases the pulse less and less.  Once a photo gets in the 90s each additional vote or favor may only be worth 0.1 pulse points or less!  A photo is considered “Upcoming” if it receives a pulse of about 75 and “Popular” once it reaches about 80.  500px has a “Popular” page were you can see the day’s most popular photos.  It’s not uncommon for the first image on that page to have a pulse of 99.9.  At the end of the day though, every photo’s pulse drops by some percentage.  If you had a 99.9 during the day, at the end of the day you won’t.  This opens up the opportunity for another photo to reach the top of the popular page tomorrow.

One important thing for all 500px users to know is what “end of day” means.  500px is based in Toronto, ON, Canada.  End of day is midnight Toronto time (EST).  This means that the worst time to upload a photo is just before midnight on the East Coast (you could get some points right away and then have them deducted at midnight!).  The best time then would be shortly after midnight, in order to give your photo the most time to accumulate a high pulse.  The point deduction doesn’t happen exactly at 12:00, so uploading at exactly 12:01 isn’t necessary.  I’ve seen the people at 500px recommend “early in the morning” if you live on the East Coast.  But because I live on the West Coast, I’ve found uploading sometime between 9:00-10:00pm PST (midnight-1:00am EST) works for me.  This gives my followers on the other side of the planet an opportunity to see my work while I’m sleeping!

Exposure is everything.

You may have the world’s best photograph but if no one sees it, its pulse is going to sit at zero.  Fortunately there are lots of ways to get your photos viewed on 500px.  Knowing what they are and how they work are important to helping your photos get the recognition they deserve.  I can count 6 unique ways for your photos to be seen:

  • Fresh.  As soon as you upload a photo to 500px it appears on the Fresh page, in the order it was uploaded.  Lots of people look at the first few fresh pages, so for a brief period of time you’ll have lots of eyes on your photo.  But, as others upload photos yours will be pushed down.  Depending on the rate of uploads your photo might only appear on the first fresh page for a few seconds.  If you get a few votes just by being viewed on the fresh page, you’re on the right track.
  • Upcoming.  Once you get a pulse of 75, your photo is labeled “Upcoming” and will appear at the top of the Upcoming page.  This works just like the Fresh page: photos appear in the order they become upcoming and are pushed down as more and more photos become upcoming.  Generally, the photos on the Upcoming page are of overall higher quality than the fresh page since these photos have already made it to 75 pulse.  Upcoming is a good place to go see what’s new and good.  You’ll get many more views on the Upcoming page than you did on the Fresh page and your photo will stick around longer as the rate of photos becoming upcoming is less than the rate of photos being uploaded.
  • Popular.  Unlike the Fresh and Upcoming pages, the Popular page is sorted by pulse, not by time.  So, even though a pulse of 80 will make your photo “popular” it’ll be buried at the end.  The higher you get though, the more visible you become.  And this is why the photos that end up on the first few popular pages end up with hundreds or thousands of votes.  I’ve not made it to the first popular page (yet!).  However, you can limit the popular page to show just one category, and I have made it to the front page of the “City and Architecture” page a few times with a pulse of around 95.  I often view just one category to focus on a particular type of photo so the popular page can get you views even without a 99.9 pulse.
  • Your public profile.  By commenting, voting, and favoring others’ photos you’ll get more visits to your profile page.  When I see that someone has commented on or liked one of my photos I usually take the time to check out their photos too.  Leaving a comment is probably the best way for this to happen as your name appears right under the other user’s photo.  You can set 500px to notify you by e-mail when someone favors a photo, but not when a photos is liked.  The iPad and iPhone apps can also notify you when someone likes a photo.  Users may or may not have these features turned on though.  So a comment is really the only certain way for other photographer to know you visited their photo and hope to get them to visit you.  (This said, it’s an unwritten rule that if you leave a comment saying that you like a photo that you actually click the like button too.  More on this later.)
  • Being followed.  When a user “follows” you, chances are high that they’ll have eyes on your future uploads.  I’ve found a number of photographers that consistently upload images that I like so I’m following them.  Every day I visit my “following” page where it shows me the most recent uploads from everyone I’m following (it’s like the Fresh page, but it only shows me photos from the people I’m following).  This is great!  It’s highly likely that I’m going to like these photos since they are from photographers that I’ve already decided upload images that I enjoy.  On my own photos, I typically see the same names commenting, voting, and favoring.  These are my followers.  They see my images everyday on their Following page, if they miss it when it was Fresh or Upcoming.
  • Being liked.  That’s right!  Just having a photo liked, favored, or commented on increases your visibility.  Everyone has a Flow page that shows what your followers are doing.  So, even if I’m not following you, I may see your photo on my Flow page because someone I follow liked, favored, or commented on it.  I check my Flow page just as often as I check my Following page as a way to find great images from different photographers.
  • 500px promotion.  There are a number of other ways that your images can be seen by being promoted by the editors of 500px.  First, there’s an Editors’ Choice page which shows images hand-picked by employees at 500px (you’ll also see a little ribbon icon near the title of your photo if it’s chosen).  There are relatively few Editors’ Choice images so this is great visibility.  500px also has a blog where they feature a weekly theme-based contest.  They pick a theme, you tag your photos that you feel fall in that theme, on Monday they pick 12 winners to feature on the blog.  (My reindeer photo was chosen in the “longhorn” contest!)  In addition, the 500px blog will sometimes feature images the editors have enjoyed or users that have a great, consistent body of work.  Don’t forget to check out the blog when browsing the rest of the site!

My tips on getting the most out of 500px.

Everyone will find their own way to experience 500px based on the amount of time they have or want to put into it.  For those just getting started, here are my tips:

  • Don’t upload all your images at once.  Since ratings are time based, if you upload everything at once you won’t have time to build a follower base, your photos will be up and off the Fresh page in a blink of an eye, and basically, no one will see your work.  When I first started, I uploaded 2-3 images a day for the first few days just to get some images up, but now I upload only one image a day and may occasionally take a day off if I’m busy.  I have a number of years’ worth of images to upload, so I can maintain one image a day for a while.  Once my inventory starts getting low or I’m relying on new stuff, I may only upload one image a week.  Many people in the community work on the assumption that the latest image is the most important.  That’s the one you’re working to get a high pulse on.  If I see that someone uploaded 2-3 images a day, I’m likely going to pick the one I like best to vote on.  Had that same person uploaded one image per day, they might have gotten three votes out of me instead of just one.
  • I’m uploading my oldest work first and working my way up to the newer stuff.  This was a personal decision.  Generally, I feel that my newer work is better than my older stuff, so I want to build my follower base with my older images so my newer, better ones get more eyes.  The profile page is sorted by date uploaded; there’s no other way to sort it.  Having my newer images first makes sense to me.  Also, had I joined 500px years ago, this is the order my photos would be in.
  • Only upload your best work.  I cannot stress this enough.  500px is not the place where you upload your entire memory card.  It’s meant to showcase your best work.  Only upload what you think has a chance.  Often times I see a great image and go to check out the rest of the photographer’s work.  I’m ready to follow this person because the one image I saw was so great.  Then I see that the rest of his/her work is just not the same quality: a mediocre photos of the family cat, a snapshot taken on Christmas morning, and a poorly lit breakfast taken with an iPhone.  There could be other amazing photos on that photographer’s page, but I’m not going to see them because the browser window has already been closed and I’m on to someone else.  Be consistent in the quality of work you upload.
  • Upload images in the first half of the day in order to get the highest pulse.  As I mentioned above, the clock resets at midnight EST, so upload your images after midnight or early in the morning East Coast time, not in the afternoon/evening.
  • Leave meaningful comments.  There are so many photographers on 500px who leave the same comment on every photo.  They’re doing it only to gain visibility and want to comment on as many photos as possible in the hopes that they will get lots of return votes.  (Sadly, this actually works.  I see many photos with a high pulse that don’t deserve it and only have it because they’ve commented on every photo uploaded that day.)  This just hurts the community as a whole though.  I leave a unique comment on every photo that I vote on.  I rarely give negative feedback, but instead focus on what I like about the photo.
  • In your comment do not add the words: “Please check out my latest work!”  This is implied.  I’d rather have had this person say something about why they commented on my photo instead of making me believe that they only did it so I would vote for them.  In order to do my part to try to correct this behavior, I typically do not check out this person’s latest work if I see that comment.
  • If you comment and say that you liked a photo, please also click the “like” button.  If you just leave a comment without liking I know you’re just out to self-promote.  You’ll often see that someone adds “V” or “V+F” to a comment to let you know that they either “voted” or “voted and favored” your image.  I don’t really feel this is necessary and don’t do it myself but it doesn’t bother me.  What does bother me are the people that write “V+F” but don’t actually vote or favor the image.  That’s just rude.
  • Only vote on photos that you actually like, not just because someone else voted for you.  It’s great to look at the photos of users who liked your work, but if you really don’t like theirs, that’s ok!  Now, if an image is borderline I’ll go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt if they also voted for my images, but if their work really doesn’t appeal to me, I don’t vote.  Remember, the people that follow you can see the images you vote on (on their Flow page).  I actually stopped following certain users because they were cluttering my Flow page with images I really didn’t like by voting for everything trying to gain exposure.
  • Favor images that you truly love.  Both voting and favoring an image essentially gives that photo two votes.  A lot of people vote and favor like it’s one mouse click (presumably hoping you’ll do the same for them) but I’m more careful about what I favor.  I might like 25-50 images a day, but I usually only favor about 2-4 a week.  It’s a bit of a personal preference, I understand.  But I like when I visit my Favorites page I have a small collection of images that I think are the best of the best.  When deciding to follow someone I usually check out what photos they’ve favored to see if we have the same taste.  If I see that they’ve favored a lot of mediocre images, or types of images that I don’t really like, I’m less likely to follow them.
  • Download the mobile apps.  I have an iPad and iPhone and the 500px apps are excellent.  The iPad app in particular.  You actually get higher resolution images on the iPad than you get on the website!  You can do almost everything you can do on the website on the mobile apps.
  • Upload high resolution images in the sRGB color space.  500px will resize your images to fit different display resolutions on the web and mobile apps.  Using the sRGB color space will ensure your images look as you intend on all web browsers.  If you use Adobe Lightroom, check out the 500px Lightroom plugin here.  You can upload to 500px from within Lightroom!
  • If you use Firefox, you can download a Greasemonkey plugin to give your infinite scroll on 500px pages.  When you scroll to the bottom of a 500px page, instead of having to click to go the next page, the plugin will just keep loading images!  This is a much better way to experience 500px.  Install the Firefox Greasemonkey plugin, then go here to install the infinite scroll script!  Easy!

There you have it!  I hope these tips can help new users make the most out of sharing their photos on 500px right from the start.  Despite some of the users abusing the self-promote system or others uploading entire memory cards at a time, I really haven’t found too much to complain about with the service.  I love getting feedback on my work and being able to find other photographers to inspire me.  The 500px team answers questions and responds to feedback quickly and it seems that they’re always trying to add new features to better the experience for the end user.

If I’ve left out any topics that you’d like to see addressed, leave your questions in the comments!

Update 9 July 2013

Since posting this back in March, the team at 500px has made a few changes and as a result some of the things mentioned here are no longer true.  I don’t want to confuse new users who may come across this, so please take a minute to read “My thoughts on 500px’s Pulse 2.0” for all the updates!

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this article. It’s honest and to the point.

  2. great post, I’m only fairly new to 500px so learnt loads. I had started to notice that timing of my posts was important in it’s popularity but you’ve given me loads more to think about, thanks 🙂

  3. Ayser says:

    Great article. Thank you. I definitely will use your advice on timing my uploads.

  4. Andy Brown says:

    Hi Jason, I really enjoyed reading your article and agree with all of what you’ve said. I’ve developed a method on 500px almost identical to you and find that it works really well. I think the design of the site lends itself to using it this way without actually giving guidelines on it’s usage. I do dislike the people who vote for everything in order to promote their images, perhaps there should be some limit imposed but not sure how this would be implemented or how it would affect the overall pulse algorithm. I hadn’t quite worked out when the pulse score dropped so that information is useful to me but living in the UK would mean posting at 4am!! I shall pop over to your gallery and have a look at your work. Best regards, Andy

  5. Jason says:

    @Andy: Thanks for your comment! The people at 500px have mentioned on their support tickets that they are working on a new algorithm to calculate pulse which will be released this Spring. They’re working on ideas to make comments more useful and limit the people that highly self-promote. They haven’t said exactly what the new system will look like, but I believe that they have the same goal in mind that we have. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with!

  6. Petreanu says:

    Thank you for the research; your piece explains a lot.

  7. Hi Jason! Very helpful introduction, thank you.

  8. Hi Jason.

    Nice Article, i’m on 500px only by 2 months, and i agree with all your opinions ahd suggests. Great Job !

  9. Awesome post!

    I agree with practically everything you said and I use the sight practically the same way you do.

    I try to give specific comments about why I like photos, but I don’t always have time to… I’m very picky about which photos I favorite, and I always vote if I comment (although, I don’t ALWAYS comment if I vote). It’s kind of my own, personal rating system. “Amazing” > “Awesome” > “Excellent” > “Great” > “Nice” (you get the point).

    I love this site, It’s given me a great deal of inspiration and improved my personal skill level.

    The only thing I might add to what you said is that I am very wary of doing anything with photos that are small…not because I am an elitist or anything, but they just seem suspect…if the photo is good enough to share on 500px, then you should upload the largest version.

    Thanks!
    Bryan

  10. Russell Swindlehurst says:

    Hi Jason
    Nice article, after reading this, I signed up to 500pix.

    Thanks again,

    Russ

  11. Sergey Krutko says:

    Thank for this article!

  12. Bogdan says:

    Hi Jason,

    What you wrote here… my thoughts exactly!!! Great article, thank you for writing it and sharing it with us.
    All the best.

    Bogdan

  13. Scott says:

    This article helped me understand the process at 500px much better. Thank you.

  14. Fred Coleman says:

    Super Article! It gives a greater understanding for those just starting on 500px (and those who have been there a few months). Thanks Fred

  15. Stephanie says:

    Jason, I recently joined 500px and this information was very helpful to me! Thank you for taking the time to write this article!

    1. Jason says:

      You’re very welcome, Stephanie! I’m glad it helped!

  16. J Larue says:

    This is a great post, it answered all my questions
    thanks

  17. Rajbir says:

    Very well written, precise and it answers all my questions.
    However, there’s one I’d like clarification on:
    What should the image size of the upload be- pixels and resolution?
    I read that for landscape images 880px and 900px for portraits. Is that correct?
    Thank you!

    1. Jason says:

      Thanks, Rajbir!

      From speaking with the folks at 500px, they recommend uploading full resolution images, or at least images that are 3000px wide on the longest side. Once they have your image, 500px will resize and save images optimized for all their viewing platforms: web, iPhone, iPad, etc. Also, having a high resolution image stored on their servers allows you to sell prints without having to re-upload should you decide to do that.

      I’ve been uploading full sized images from my 12MP camera from the Lightroom plugin. I did just upgrade to a 24MP camera though. Once I start uploading images taken with that camera I might down-res a bit (to 12MP size?) before uploading just to save on the time it takes to upload.

      FWIW, the image displayed on the 500px website right now is 900px wide. Images displayed on retina display iPads are actually higher resolution though. I’ve also heard that they may be offering a higher than 900px resolution display on the web sometime in the near future.

      Hope this helps!

  18. Uri Schwartz says:

    Thank you so much for shedding light on the topic. I joined 500px recently but could not find anything on the site to clarify the things you so generously did. again, thank you. However, what remains a question for me, is how does one bypass the glossy chrome, highly contrasted standard that seems to be primary criteria to get initial interest. does a website like this not, by it’s sheer mass of uploads, condition both photographers and viewrs to airbrush posterlike standards? It seems no image can sink in when it is not looked at but rather expected to “pop out”.
    love your article and approach and will see what i can actualy learn.
    Uri

  19. Chris Yates says:

    Nice article. I’ve been using 500px for some time now and I already do a lot of the things you’re suggesting although I think I’ve become lazy in deciding which photos I should upload. You’re right in saying you should only upload your very best work and although I wouldn’t say I am uploading snap shots I know there are photos I’ve uploaded that are not of high enough quality. It’s time to get ruthless again….thanks!

  20. Sally says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I just joined yesterday and although I know that these things take time, I can’t help but feel my heart breaking a little when one of my favorite photos gets only 2 views and no likes but the next will do moderately better. After reading this I now realize that I’ve been doing a few things absolutely wrong so hopefully a few changes will help. Thanks once again!

  21. Hi,

    I really like this page and the amount of details that you had shared for the benefit of all. I really appreciate your time and effort. Thanks for sharing this. Very helpful to understand the 500px and the nuances of community. Thanks again. Cheers.

  22. Zubair says:

    Great amazingly written detailed and structured post. Got tremendous insights from it. Thank you very much Jason

  23. Alen says:

    Thank you Jason… Initially I was confused how to go further, when i reed your article it clears my confusion. I like the way you guide for the people like me to understand easily.. Once again I thank you for the guidance.

  24. Himadri Bijaypuri says:

    Thanks Jason.You have really researched on it. Wish I could offer you Phd on this. Anyway thanks a lot for your suggestion

  25. Eden Gabay says:

    Great article Jason i’ve learned a lot from it thank you 🙂

  26. Naushad Jamil says:

    I joined 500px about a year ago. I really never quite understood how it worked. I made some guesses and they were close but now it all makes sense. I am sure now I can get a bit more out of 500px. By the way I share your feelings about how you like and fave photos. Thank you very much for the excellent article!

  27. […] posting my original “Getting started with 500px” article back in March, the team at 500px has made a few changes that I thought I should […]

  28. Mike J says:

    Well written Mr. Waltman. Just what the Dr. ordered for a 500px primer. Amazingly, I couldn’t find the Lightroom plugin on previous searches until you linked to it above. I had been wondering since I first joined how the Like and Favorite actions differed.

    Still something I need a bit more help w/ is understanding how to organize my collection on 500px. I can see this changing for me in the future, but right now I’m using the Basic account b/c I think I can live w/ 1 set. But, I started w/ the trial Awesome account and now I think photos are scattered among a now unpublicly-viewable set and other directories that I can’t figure out how to get straightened out. Any advice there would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Mike

  29. Camm Morton says:

    Thanks for helping me get started.

  30. Pat says:

    Being a beginner to 500px, I found the information in your article very helpful. Thank you.

  31. shahrooz says:

    best ever article on 500px.. thanks

  32. nicki says:

    this was enlightening, thanks!

  33. David says:

    Hello Jason, I am new to 500px and found your guide invaluable. I have posted two pics so far (one per day, instead of all at once as I would have done without your advice!) and had Populat 81.9 and a second at 75.1, so doing OK for a newcomer I think?

  34. Hi Jason, thanks for the article, it was really helpful I just start with 500px, and your information works for me…!
    Best wishes from The Galapagos Islands – Ecuador Happy Holidays

    1. Jason says:

      Wow! A visitor from the Galapagos Islands! I’m happy I could help, Xavier. Happy new year!

  35. Jonathan Aves says:

    Thank you for this article – as a fairly new user to 500PX I found this an interesting read and very useful.

    Regards, Jonathan

  36. James says:

    Thanks a lot. I’m new to 500px and am finding it very difficult to understand and navigate. Your post has helped a lot but I am still not comfortable with it yet.

    1. Jason says:

      Glad to help, James! Let me know if you have any specific questions.

  37. Renate says:

    Thank you. I am very new to 500px and your explanations, particularly about “Upcoming” and “Popular,” were very informative.

    1. Jason says:

      Glad to be able to help, Renate!

  38. Ben_artisan1 says:

    Great read ! I was actually searching for what popular tags might help images get seen, but after reading this I’ll definitely give more thought to what time of day I post them.
    Sometime am EST ? (being based in Sydney Australia yeah ?)
    Cheers for taking the time to write such an informative article. might have to look up some of your work on 500px.

    .Ben

    1. Jason says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Ben! Things have changed since I wrote this and the time of day you upload no longer matters. All photos get 24 hours from the time they’re posted to your public profile before they’re deducted points, so just post at a time that works best for you. I wrote a follow-up to this post with some of the changes. Check it out if you haven’t already!

  39. John Dowling says:

    Thanks for the post – very informative. I find however the overall mechanics of getting around the site to be very confusing. There doesn’t appear to be much help from 500px either in the way of suppor.

    1. Jason says:

      Hi John!

      The website navigation can be confusing even to those of us who have been members for a while as the folks at 500px change things around from time to time.

      I have found their support to really good though. You can e-mail them at help@500px.com or post a public question on support.500px.com. They usually reply very quickly.

      If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, reply here and I’ll try to help!

  40. Bryan says:

    Thanks much, very helpful, just what i was looking for!
    Best.

  41. I notice that the link to the Greasemonkey script you recommended now gives a 404. Is there somewhere else I can find that script?

    1. Actually, I found out that you have to specify userscripts.com:8080/ as the domain for it to work.

    2. Jason says:

      The Greasemonkey script won’t work for the majority of the 500px site anymore. A while ago they updated the website so infinite scroll was available on all pages without any extra scripts running. However, some users complained that with infinite scroll on the browser’s back button wouldn’t take them back to the same place they were before. As a result, they removed infinite scroll from the Discovery pages. Infinite scroll still works on users’ pages and Flow by default, and with the Greasemonkey script it’ll still work on the Following page, but for the rest of the site you’re out of luck for now.

      I did ask 500px about this. They liked infinite scroll too and are working on ways to bring it back that’ll also work nice with the back button.

      Hope this helps!

  42. Kathy Samuel says:

    I hesitated for a long time about joining 500px, because I simply didn’t understand how it worked. After having read your article(s) I took the plunge a couple of weeks ago – and was very pleased I did!
    Thanks for taking the time to explain it to all us 500px newbies!

    1. Jason says:

      Happy to have helped, Kathy. You’ve got some great images on your website! Looking forward to seeing more from you!

  43. Teresa says:

    I have been a 500 px member for a couple of weeks but didn’t really understand what was going on. This article is terrific! Thank you so much!

  44. Patrik says:

    nice article, very usefull for newbies (just like me) 😉

  45. Hege says:

    Hi Jason! Thanks for your effort to give us newcomers great tips on 500px, cause it can be really confusing. I have been on for a couple of weeks and enjoy so much the inspiration I get. One really great thing is that the tecnical details shows. I find it so interesting. I Wonder though, the fresh site. I have never seen my photo there. So I have begun to wonder if you can’t see your own photo there? Do you know? I do all the things you talk about since I have training from Instagram 🙂 i think it is very difficult to get my photos shown on 500px. Have a lovely day/evening.

    1. Jason says:

      Hi Hege!

      Yes, you should be able to see your own photo on Fresh. There are a few requirements to have your photo appear on the Fresh page now though: You must assign a category (something other than “Uncategorized”), the photo must be uploaded to your Public Profile, and you must assign at least 3 tags describing your image. The upload page has an indicator to let you know when you’ve met these requirements.

      If your photo meets these requirements at the time of upload you should be able to see your photo somewhere near the top of the Fresh immediately after uploading.

      Let me know if you have any other questions + happy shooting!

  46. Bojana Zinaic says:

    Hey Jason,

    I just uploaded my first 10 images on the 500px. And I did it wrong way… I put all ten pictures at once and I did it something around 4 AM (Serbia) – which is almost midnight according the EST. So, I am very thankful for this great advices. Thank you for your time and good will to share what you learned in one year being a 500px user. Anyhow, I got some likes and a few people favorite my photos. One of the pictures even got the pulse more than 90.

    THank YOU!

    Bojana Zinaic

  47. James says:

    Hi Jason. You mention a ‘Following ‘ page but I don’t have one on my profile. Would you know why? Unless you mean ‘Flow’

    1. Jason says:

      Hmm… no, you should have a Following page. For me, when I’m logged into the website and click the Home button on the top title bar I see: Flow | Following | Activity | Discussions.

      You should be able to access this page directly by going to: https://500px.com/following. If you can’t find it, I’d send a mail to help@500px.com.

  48. Hi Jason says:

    Hi Jason
    i’m new on 500px
    i’ve uploaded my artworks and they got likes and comments

    but it seems that no one can follow me
    because it is always 0!!!!

    please tell me what the problem is?

  49. Karolina says:

    Thanks so much for this!
    You answered all the questions I had after one daz using 500px!

  50. Peter G says:

    Great article Jason! Thanks for this. Today I had just started looking into 500px and how to get started. I see on a lot of images royalty free license and web/social license…then it will say be the first to license. Is this something that you can either sign up for or not during the registration.

    1. Jason says:

      Yes! Those buttons you see are links to 500px Prime, 500px’s licensing store front. You can choose whether or not you want to sell licenses of the images you upload. The message: “be the first to license” appears on images that have either not been submitted or have been submitted but have not been approved by 500px yet. If you don’t want to sell licenses of your photos you can either disable selling licenses completely (all links to Prime will be removed) or just have the links removed on images that you haven’t explicitly submitted. You’ll find these settings once you’ve signed up under Store & Settings.

  51. Lindsey says:

    WOW. This post is amazing and so very helpful! I just recently started posting my photos on 500px and I love it but I was struggling to get my photos out there. Your post helped me realize why! I was posting 5 to 10 photos a day and usually all at night. I really appreciated this post and I will make sure to take your advice! I hope my photos will improve and I’m going to look you up and follow you to thank you for this helpful post.

    Best of wishes!

  52. Alirezamoadeli says:

    Thanks a lot for good recommendations for 500px beginners. I have uploaded few photos but cannot find them even in fresh section. There is not any viewers, and so, zero likes, or pulse. I don’t know how can i solve the problem. Thank you for your help.

    1. Jason says:

      When you upload a photo through the 500px website there’s a section of check marks called “Upload to Fresh”. You’ll need to make sure that your photo has a title, a category, and at least three tags before it shows up in Fresh. If you’ve done that and you still don’t see your work in Fresh I’d contact 500px support.

      1. Alirezamoadeli says:

        Thank you for your reply dear Jason. I didn’t see upload to fresh tick mark. May be it’s not available on android app. However, I’ve completed the title, description, & more than three tags. If the mentioned tick mark is necessary, am I suppose to delete the previous posts, & upload them in correct way? Thank you again.

      2. Jason says:

        Ah yes…I believe the “Upload to Fresh” indicators might only be on the website and not on the mobile apps. Don’t forget that you also need to specify a category (e.g. Landscape)!

        If the photos never made it to Fresh they should land in Fresh as soon as you meet the criteria, but if your photos have no views and no likes I’d just delete them and re-upload at this point. That’ll give them a better chance to be seen.

        Good luck!

  53. Linda Dyer Kennedy says:

    Very helpful information! I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out this site. Thank you.

  54. Edel Mohr says:

    This article was very helpful. I have one question though: I have done both, liked and voted for other photos during the first 24hr time frame while I had an image uploaded and I also stepped back and did not do any voting during this time, except responded with a thank you to the comments. I read somewhere that if you vote for other photos after you uploaded you’ll receive less points. However, today I observed the following: my image had been uploaded for 9 hours and was at 95.9. I have not voted for anybody during this time. I received 2 fav and 1 like and the pulse did not go up. I would appreciate your feedback, because I am confused. Edel

    1. Jason says:

      Hi Edel! It’s not 100% clear what algorithm 500px uses to calculate pulse. I believe that votes from your followers are probably worth less than from non-followers. It’s also possible that if you vote for someone and they vote back, that vote may be worth less to you. It would make sense that if your photo can stand on its own and score votes without you reaching out to others that your photo deserves a good score! It’s a community though, so I try to not worry about the “system” too much. If I see a good photo I vote for it and hope that if others like my photo they do the same.

      As for why your pulse didn’t increase after you got to 95.9, it’s because as your pulse gets higher, each vote is worth less. Once you’re in the 95+ range, each vote may be worth less than 0.1 pulse. You’ll need more and more votes to increase your pulse once you get that high. However, a photo with a pulse over 95 will have a lot more visibility on the popular page so it’s easier to get those extra votes. Hope this helps!

  55. Mike Gaskin says:

    I have been trying to find how to find those that I follow, can you please tell me how to find them on 500px

    1. Jason says:

      Mike,

      You can find the people that you follow (and see who follows you) on your About page. There should be a link from your main profile page. You can also get there by going to https://500px.com/MikeGaskin/about (assuming that’s you).

      If you’re looking for the photos uploaded by the people you follow, go to: https://500px.com/following.

      Hope this helps!

  56. chris thornton says:

    I stopped using 500px long time ago, as a professional photographer my main concern was that they: TAKE the TOTAL ownership of uploaded content. Might not be the case for pro account but for the free ones it is in their Terms and Conditions. Recently I was “spammed” to check out a site called YouPic. I must say I really enjoyed the Experience, much more 2015 than 500px. Also as you might have guessed I totally checked out the terms and conditions on YouPic and they do not steal rights to the photos. 500px does unfortunately. I think they will lose many users to the new kid in town. The concentration on YouPic seems to be about inspiration and getting better photos. And the amazing 10 000 views in less than 2 days on my photography was a wow experience.

  57. corrado says:

    Really nice and useful article.

  58. Richard Ketner says:

    I’m a little behind the pack, however, thank you for taking time to compose this informative, thorough post. It should be adopted by 500px as their official introduction!

    1. Jason says:

      Thanks for the comment, Richard! A lot of the specific information here is a bit out of date now (500px has even done away with the like+favorite combo in favor of a single “heart” to show affection) but the basics still hold true. Good to know that new users like yourself are still finding it useful!

  59. This is awesome, thank you! I never really understood the mechanics behind how fresh, upcoming and popular work so this was super enlightening – and well written by the way! Not saying that so you’ll come look at my pics LOL. Also, I had no idea about the midnight EST, and I live in California so that’s gonna make a definite difference to when I upload stuff. Anyway, thanks for being so generous with what you figured out.

    1. Just read your update on Pulse 2.0 – Big relief to know I don’t have to stay up till after 9 PM 🙂

      1. Jason says:

        Ah, yes. These articles were written long ago so a lot of the specifics are no longer relevant. 500px has been trying hard over the past few years to make things more fair for all users; knowing the inner workings is no longer as important as it used to be. 🙂

  60. Robert Geranio says:

    Hi

    I’m new to 500px, and most of my photos get a pulse of about 84-85 average. I would like to compare the quality of these images with others of the same rating. However,as you know, if I go to the Popular section (photos above 80 pulse), I start of at 99.9. There will be 100,000’s of photos I need to scroll through before getting to the ones around 85 pulse. Does anyone know how to filter Popular photos by pulse value?

    1. Jason says:

      Robert,

      Yeah–unless you’re near the top, it can be pretty hard to see where your photos land on the popular page! Try narrowing your search a bit by viewing only the category matching the photo you want to find. If you uploaded an “Abstract” try viewing just the Abstract images using the category drop-down on the popular page. For some categories with a lot of images (like Landscapes) this might not help much, but it’s easier than looking through everything and it’s nice to be able to compare with other, similar, images.

      Good luck!

  61. Very helpful to a new member of 500px…many thanks

  62. Thomas Ellis says:

    I am new to 500PX and this article was very helpful and very detailed on how to use the site. It also answered a lot of my question on how to properly use it. Thanks a lot.

  63. S Paul says:

    Thanks so much sir, it’s a great article, very much helpful for our photography carrier, I have a time confusion, I am living in Kolkata( India) what will be the time to post? Please help.

    1. Jason says:

      Happy to have helped! A lot has changed since I wrote this article. The time of day that you upload no longer matters. Feel free to upload anytime!

      1. S Paul says:

        Thank you very much, and grateful to you.

  64. Rick Landry says:

    I agree with everyone who has thanked and commended you for all the specific, really helpful insights you have provided about 500px. I have been using it for a few months now, and I am fairly happy with how things are going. However, I do have a question I keep asking but no one has answered: perhaps you can explain to me why members, who often show astronomically high numbers and data, generally confine the TOTAL number of images housed therein to 50-100? Is it because the older material just will never see the light of day again? And secondarily, if I delete 100+ images, will this also subtract the accompanying stats? I would be grateful if you could answer this for me. Thanks!

    1. Jason says:

      Hey Rick,

      I believe some users like to keep their main public profile to a limited number, 50-100 as you say, just to keep that area with their best work. Nothing wrong with that! Not all of the images you have on 500px need to be in your public profile. If you select the “Manage Photos” link, you’ll see sections for “All Photos” and “Public”. You should be able to remove a photo from “Public” but still have access to it, say, if you wanted to include that photo in a separate gallery.

      I’m not 100% sure if you were to remove the photo completely if you’d keep the stats–ask 500px directly for that one–but you should be able to hide a photo by removing it from “Public” and not including it in any other galleries.

      Hope this helps!

  65. Kirk Kinnell says:

    Ha Ive been doing it wrong…well I know now. Appreciate ya!

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