Is ranking high with your piers (ha: let's try peers) important to you?

19 Aug 2012 admin In G+ Posts

Is ranking high with your piers (ha: let's try peers) important to you?

So +500px is a site that allows ranking / voting on images by all of their users which in turn is comprised by a ton of photographers.

Is how you rank there important to you?

Do you use it as a way to test if your photography style is accepted?

In the case of model photography, do you feel that the models look or beauty is what is getting voted on or your image and image quality?

Comments: 35

  1. David McKenna 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    She looks just like my wife…… erm…… of course I tell lies….

  2. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +David McKenna we can all wish… I would vote either way…

  3. David McKenna 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki always subject,…. folk can take bad pics of great things and it will look good… She is fantastic so my wee crappy camera would still take a good pic……lol

  4. Ron Clifford 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    I will be the first to admit that recognition from peers is a real boost to my confidence, it is not the driving force behind my work or creativity though.  I think most of us can say we could use encouragement and recognition for a job well done but when that is what we seek over our own honest creative expression we become performers and not producers of great art.

  5. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki it is always nice to have an image rank super high on social media, Including 500px.

    500px really isn't any (or much) different than here.

    However, that being said it has to be taken with a grain of salt.  I've seen tons of examples, both mine, and some of the G+ heavies get super high rankings (comments and +'s) and quite frankly the image is one of the worst I've seen from the photographer.  Look through some streams for examples…….

    The same goes for all social media sites.  Unfortunately getting a high ranking is usually a result of timing (time posted), or can be a result of a push from above (G+ SUL or Editors pick, etc).

    In truth I have a few opinions that matter to me as far as improvement / gauging skill, and many that I just enjoy reading.

    I've seen some photographers totally change just so that they can please a "Higher Power"  one great example is the whole watermark debate.

    Hopefully my long arse post conveys the simple message of, You will know and a few trusted people will let you know if you're good.  The masses will not!

  6. Izzy Pabon 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Hello +Brent Burzycki . I'm new to 500px, but been using their stats to kind of validate how I feel about a portrait. Like some that I've liked don't get as many votes as others. Kind of helps me to take a second look under the assumption I might be missing something and that helps me. Here's mine at 500px:

  7. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki and +Izzy Pabon 
    There is actually a test that you can do to prove my point….

    If you were to post a technically poor photo of a scantly clad woman and right after it post an exceptional photo of a male model, I would be willing to bet that the poor photo of the woman almost doubles the exceptional photo of the male in "rankings"

  8. Ron Clifford 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Darryl Van Gaal I have to agree.  I have recently posted what I consider some very intriguing and evocative portraits that have received much less attention than my landscape and macro work.  I thought they were some of my best portraits in a long time but portraits are not usually popular on G+ of 500px.  Unless it's a black and white of a homeless person.

  9. Izzy Pabon 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Ouch +Darryl Van Gaal  I see what you're saying and have to agree that unfortunately probably the scantly clad will most likely get more attention. For example, I posted this photo which I think is great, yet not even one vote. What do you think:

  10. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Izzy Pabon I'm not a critique of photography, just a learning photographer for the most part.  I do not know portraits at all, but I think that's a good example.

  11. Izzy Pabon 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Hello +Darryl Van Gaal Np. Agree with your point. I was kind of baffled when I first posted it and didn't seem to get any traction. Like +J. Rae Chipera suggests, if that's what gets attention, then we might need to look somewhere else to post our material…

  12. Ron Clifford 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +J. Rae Chipera I guess I am thinking of only a few I noticed get lauded with  praise.  They were great portraits, but overall,  portraits just don't get the attention of a stunning sunset, even if they are amazing.
    +Izzy Pabon I see your point, the truth is and always was "sex sells" especially evocative women.  Your portrait mentioned above is technically excellent and very well styled. But as a portrait I don,t feel a connection to the person.  a portrait (for me) needs to grab me on an emotional level and not purely an aesthetic one.  Your portrait is a very good one on every level except the emotional level (for me).

  13. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Ron Clifford great points…… +Darryl Van Gaal I cannot disagree.. especially on the watermark issue… I have been posting lately a myriad of stuff to see and test each service… and to hopefully better understand what each location is actually good for… I will say I look at friends here with a billion followers and the best comment they get is "Amazing" "neat" "cool" and I look back even at this post that so far is only 10 comments but those few comments have more helpful info in them and care then 100 on a friends post with a million plus followers.. I look at G+ here as a great way to interact with others that share interests.. so really (mainly because I have never figured out 500px's voting scheme.. as in I have no idea how one dislike can take 20 points off the top of a 90+ rated image…) I value my conversations here much more than other sites……

    The interesting part – well I guess its interesting is the fact that I can hire insanly beautiful models and instantly my photos are better.. even if they suck… but I can take a model that is just another person on the street and pay for hair, makeup, wardrobe, light it special for them, do a ton of post work and it will get one vote… thus… A) most do not know what goes into the production of an amazing photo and 2 most might not even care and just want a photo no matter what it looks like of a drop dead gorgeous girl…

    I will also admit I like the recognition of my piers but more so of my models I work with…. I want them to say – man I look hot…but I also have to say that the adventure in producing the image is lost in many posts and I know that part interests me…

    'I traveled 38 hours by plan naked in 4ft of snow to get this shot…, post processing was 2 days and 40 cups of coffee later and here is the image.. what do you think" I would rate that much differently than a snap shot of my lunch…..

    But I assume that the photographer in me talking..

  14. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Izzy Pabon the question on where to post is a great one… I would also ask what are your posting it for and what do you expect in return…

  15. Izzy Pabon 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Hello +Ron Clifford and thanks for the excellent feedback. The whole "sex sells" thing is unfortunate since you kind of hope that photos could be appreciated without that. I guess there's no way to avoid that. Going back to the portrait, you're correct I was trying to focus on the easthetic part, so your feedback is exactly the kind of feedback I need to help me improve. That's the kind of feedback that I was hoping to see in 500px, something that can help me with what might be missing and I'm not seeing.

  16. Ron Clifford 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +J. Rae Chipera now that you mention it……..lots.  But even before the 2 photographers I'm thinking of had a zillion followers their work and style still received a lot of comments and shares.  

  17. Ron Clifford 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Izzy Pabon I am glad it was helpful.  I usually avoid open critique as it can often be seen as critical, which I had no intention of being.  I just felt it was on topic so I took a chance, thanks for receiving it graciously! One thing that may be helpful is to offer some of your work for critique in posts to a "Chosen Few Circle" whos opinions you value.  and let them know you're looking for honest encouraging critique.  Unfortunately I don't think we can rely to heavily on a public stream since so many divers interests are present.

  18. Paul Bellinger 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Very nice post!  Very interesting reading.  I have another question for you to ask sometime +Brent Burzycki, do you think the quality of photos on has gone down?

  19. Izzy Pabon 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Ron Clifford thanks to you!!! Yes it was and I see your point, didn't even though about that. Great suggestion on the "Chosen Few Circle" thing. Great idea man!!!

  20. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    The SUL is here to stay and therefore not worth discussing in depth.
    G+ is my favorite social media site, but they SUL is bunk.  It is not moderated enough, and gives an unfair marketing advantage to anyone who is on it.
    I wish G+ had let "Stars" Make themselves.
    +Ron Clifford no offence my friend, you worked hard to make your way onto the list.  

  21. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Paul Bellinger hmm – popular – I think has become more how do you say it watered down and seems more tailored to me… or possibly it is me mixing up popular and flow – I have found the flow to actually be somewhere I have started to look to find new things to look at more than popular….I think in the end the 500px staff seems to have overall a good setup to get exceptional work to the top of the pile.. the hard part is that there is so much to be on the front page is truly difficult..

    +Izzy Pabon have you tried #btlcritique  tagging images with that so the users of +Behind the Lens: Photo Critique Group can try to get you some critiques. I am technically in charge of that group with the help of a great staff of people like +Sandra Parlow and we try to get the word out if images are not getting attention and critiques. This critique group has been around for the longest of all of them and seems to still be going pretty strong..

    +Darryl Van Gaal ah the SUL ….. that's a painful topic…..

  22. Dylan Patrick 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Great post +Brent Burzycki !  I find my images on 500px get much less attention than they do here.  Possibly because I don't engage there as much as here (although I really like the site).   When it comes to photographing beautiful women, thats always going to be a tuff one when it comes to wondering where the popularity or affection for an image comes from.  You have to remember that not all people on 500px are pros and will therefore like a picture that might be crappy to a pro but the model is hot.  As a pro I usually go off the image as a whole, but I'm sure this is not the case for everyone.  I also of course like recognition from photographers that I look up to, however I try not to let it consume me.  Everyone's tastes are different and in the end I try to stay true to the idea that if I like it, and my client likes it thats all that matters to me.  I work to learn from others and learn from constructive feedback, but in the end why someone doesn't like an image means little to me.  Mainly because then my photography becomes less about the meaning of an image and more just about the "social response"  obviously as a buisness owner I look at things people like and the social response is important to a degree, but in the end trusting your own instincts proves best.  Like some others have said a lot can factor in on timing when posting too.  As far as the SUL…agreed painful topic, and not all of that has to do with talent.  Watermarks….eh I find the constant discussion of it entertaining…for me I sit back and go "who cares?" Do it if you want and if you don't…don't  for me they can just be a distraction and it doesn't do anything to protect an image…if people REALLY like a photograph they will find out who takes it, at least thats my thoughts 🙂  sorry for the novel here….but great post!

  23. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    And a potentially dangerous one too +Brent Burzycki 

  24. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Dylan Patrick it is an interesting topic with many issues across the board.. is popularity important I would have to say yes….

    Does popularity sell photos.. in many cases no…at least not here…it gets you + 1's but that does not put food on the table….

    Is it important as a pro to manipulate your art to be popular and get those views even thou its against your moral fiber – but you have to eat right?

    I am not a pro – I have several other jobs to pay bills. but in the end I think the ultimate goal of any photographer is to try to sell an image… I have sold a couple.. but nothing that made me any real money….

    You want to see an interesting post – check out this one about selling images online and my experience with smugmug.. dissapointing.. but I still need to do one last post over there to close out the post with some kind of final outcome..

     +Darryl Van Gaal dangerous in what way.. the fact if you talk about it you get blasted by whiners, or you just will never be on it if you complain?

  25. Bob Powell 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Darryl Van Gaal's suggestion of doing experiments on judging photos reminds me of a project I had my statistics do in 2002.  The site "Am I Hot or Not" was  . . .  well, hot at that time.  It had not yet been monetized out of all relevance and it was very easy to gather data.  

    We started with the hypothesis "A woman in a bikini will get a significantly higher score than one would expect by chance alone."  It was far too easy.  Any woman in a bikini scored at least a nine.  We branched out and considered a number of other hypotheses and had some interesting results.  For instance, women with shoulder-length hair or longer scored about a point and a half higher than the average.  

    Biases go both ways, too.  We took pictures of one of our male students with a baseball cap on and another with the cap off.  Without the cap, it was clear that the guy was prematurely balding.  The cap was worth about two points on average.  The guy was 21 years old. 

  26. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki dangerous in the blasting from whiners, and you get branded as whining….

    I believe there are a few recent additions to the SUL that have complained about it mildly in the past so I'm not sure about them pulling the dark ping pong ball on someone.

  27. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Bob Powell this equates to the fact I need to start wearing a hat 🙂

  28. Izzy Pabon 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Hello +J. Rae Chipera and thanks for the excellent info on how they both sort. I will say I've looking for a way to show my pictures and maybe sell them too. I've sold them before through micro-stock, but been looking for other avenues. Any suggestions are welcome and needed! Then there's the social part of it, and G+ has provided a lot of that; meeting a lot of very interesting people through these pages it's great. I will say much better than FB.

  29. Izzy Pabon 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Hello +Brent Burzycki and thanks for looking into this. This is what I'm struggling with: When I started with G+ I was looking for something better than FB, more photo oriented. The social part is awesome, but haven't been able to directly cash on it as a way to sell some work. Yes you can self promote but not as alternative/add-on to micro-stock. That's when I started looking into 500px, SmugMug, etc to actually setup a portfolio and hopefully sell some work through that. So far I've only completed the 500px. I was thinking SmugMug next. Somebody else suggested FineArtAmerica. Any suggestions will be appreciated and after reading these lines and everybody's coments realize they're desperately needed 😉 Thanks in advance to all!

  30. Ron Clifford 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Darryl Van Gaal no offence taken, I was quite vocal about creating a community based more organic SUL based on engagement and they still felt I would make a good addition, I agree it's not perfect but I like the direction it has taken.  It is about creating engagement and I don't think it needs to be full of only the "elite in their field" professionals.  This community is, and hopefully always will be great because of the kind of engagement in this thread by a variety of users with great ideas and thoughts to contribute.

  31. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    You did work hard for inclusion +Ron Clifford . Many others have not. While some remain on it who do no more than post their own work.

  32. Brent Burzycki 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Darryl Van Gaal I think the SUL in general comes down to being at the right place at the right time and not posting much controversial stuff.. I say this and then Jessie June has been on there since the beginning and she posts stuff way sexier than I do …. 

    I simply try to mix real me and work me… for a well rounded stream.. I am not a poet.. and I will not be putting poems or sappy paragraphs with my images as that is not why I take them but it seems to be a pretty good trend – and many seem to like them or do not care and just + 1 the content…. 

    I think many just go down their stream and + 1 everything.. for no real reaosn other than it catches there eye and thats why images with huge saturation etc get many + 1 etc because they look great as a thumbnail and your mind stops to look…

    I also have to say that the way people + 1 or comment is even more interesting – why people do each is a huge discussion topic…as in what promops them to comemnt or + 1 and thw personal weight of each is very interesting.. some think a comment is worth more than a + 1 while others believe the opposite..

    I am just going to keep being me… and if that ever got me on the SUL – so be it.. if not I will very slowly and organically get followers…

  33. Darryl Van Gaal 19 Aug 2012 Reply

    Amen +Brent Burzycki 
    Very well said!

  34. Stuart Ponder 20 Aug 2012 Reply

    Brent to answer your original question of course I'd rather have positive responses than negative from anyone. I admit I do pay attention to some opinions more than others, especially those individuals whose work I like and whom I believe understand what goes into making a good photograph. While I would rather have positive comments from those individuals than negative, I value their opinions either way.

    Also, FWIW, I finally swung by your 500px site and I thought your work was terrific.

  35. Brent Burzycki 20 Aug 2012 Reply

    +Stuart Ponder thanks for that.. I get so many different reactions to my work that it has become and interesting quest to better understand why people like it along with what people like ….

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