500px – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

It’s been interesting reading the feedback to my article on why I let my subscription on 500px lapse. Out of interest I had a look at the site this morning and was heartened to see some terrific photography on the first few pages of the Popular section. However the V+F brigade had still made their presence known only about three pages from the top of the pile. I would dearly like to know how the photo below has garnered 821 views, 212 likes and 114 favourites.

Autumn magic LXII by Juan Dorado (Doraado)) on 500px.com
Autumn magic LXII by Juan Dorado

I don’t wish to single out this particular photographer, but he perfectly represents one of the central problems on 500px, that of poor snapshot style photos getting gamed to the front pages. According to 500px’s userbase – the photo above is better than this one, which I found about 5 pages down the popular list: 

Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland by Russell Pike (russellpike)) on 500px.com
Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland by Russell Pike

Russell Pike’s nuanced landscape photo has garnered only a fraction of the views, likes and favourites of the photograph of the leaf, probably because Russell doesn’t spend his time hitting V+F on every photo that gets uploaded to the site.  Not only is it a far superior photo in every regard, but Russell’s also taken the time to explain the background to his photo, whereas our leaf specialist said only, “lonely leaf, incessant, shows its splendor.” lol?

Well I’m sorry, but I can’t take a site seriously that favours such utter mediocrity over quality, even if it is due to the concerted efforts of a niche portion of its userbase.

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