500-wide, an Aperture Plug-In for 500px.com
500px.com is fast becoming an extremely popular website for sharing your best work. I think one of the big differentiators between 500px and anything else out there is that you’re encouraged to only share your best images here. Lately though I have stumbled upon a few collections where users treated it more like Flickr, uploading 20 similar photos, and that may be the fault of 500px’s new pricing strategy. Even though I’m not a big user of 500px myself (I only recently started uploading photos to it), I hope it can stay true to its roots and focus on great photography, not mass consumption of every “it’s in focus so it must be good enough” photo out there.
An Aperture Plugin for 500px
500-wide is a new Aperture plugin from Blue Crowbar Software that honors the original idea of 500px — it’s only for your best. I say this because the plugin only allows you to upload a single image at a time. While I was originally resistant to this idea, I have come to appreciate it’s simplicity. When the plugin restricts you to selecting a single shot to share, it’s telling you to really focus and pick only your best. It does mean that when you’re first uploading your portfolio-quality images you’re probably going to skip the plugin and use the 500px web interface, but that’s fine. When you get into the routine of sharing just your best shots here and there, the plugin works perfectly fine.
Once installed, the plugin is found with the rest of your export options under the File > Export menu. The interface is pure and simple.
The title is taken from the Title IPTC tag, which I don’t believe is very widely used. Most users may be expecting the title to be pulled from the Aperture Version Name tag, as it is for most image sharing services, however once again I appreciate this step. I don’t like changing my Version Names to anything other than the original Master Name, with perhaps a unique identifier at the end. This allows me to have a Title and my separate Version Name and never the two shall meet. The Description field is pulled from the IPTC Caption, as expected.
You can also choose a Category for the photo from this interface. If you set any category other than “Nude”, the images will be tagged as “Safe for work” automatically on 500px. Conversely if you select “Nude”, the photos are tagged appropriately.
All relevant IPTC and EXIF data is uploaded to 500px from the plugin, however the location is not. But I don’t believe this is a 500-wide issue, and think it’s in fact a 500px bug. I’ve uploaded several photos to 500px with verified embedded GPS locations and not one of them has shown up on the map.
Once uploaded, there is one hidden feature to be aware of. The plugin won’t automatically take you to the web page where the image now lives (it can take a minute or two for your photo to show up on 500px, and so if you go there immediately after uploading you’ll get a “no photo found” message), however the URL is automatically placed on your clipboard. This feature was added by ApertureExpert’s request to the developer, so thank you Blue Crowbar!
This is a simple and elegant plugin which I can see getting quite a bit of use out of.
Download 500-wide from the developers website for $3.99. There is also a free trial.
iOS version of 500-wide
There is also an iOS version of 500-wide, available on the App Store [500-wide for iOS — 99¢]. I haven’t used it yet myself as I don’t think my iPhone photos belong on 500px, but of course that all depends on how you use the service.
More from Blue Crowbar Software
The software company makes a variety of other apps and plugins as well. I’ve been using MiniShadow on this site for a few weeks now, a nifty app that replaces the massive shadow from OS X screenshots with a smaller one (and adding shadows to shadowless screenshots), allowing me to post larger images with smaller shadows on this blog. I really like the look of it!
Show us yours…
Are you a 500px user? Feel free to share your gallery in the comments below. There’s some amazing work on that site; let’s see what you’ve got!