Tuesday, January 16, 2018

500px Portfolio Review with Jake Hicks: Get helpful, actionable feedback and improve your photography skills

Book a portfolio review with portrait photographer Jake Hicks, who you may recognize from his 500px Class, “Photoshop Portrait Retouching”.

During this one-on-one meeting, Jake will go through your submitted portfolio and provide you with constructive feedback. He will provide feedback about your body of work, lighting, retouching, and the business of photography, to help you focus your style for your intended audience and improve your overall portfolio presentation.

Within 24 hours of the end of your session, we’ll send you a recording of the session so that you can review it over and over again. We’ll also include some personalized follow-up notes/tips from Jake from your meeting!

Jake Hicks Photography Layla Leigh Model Shoot by Jake Hicks Photography on 500px.com

Based in the UK, Jake has been an editorial and fashion photographer for over a decade. Known for his vibrantly-colored lighting effects, Jake has has been featured in over 30 magazines and has worked with countless influential clients.

Each session with Jake is 1 hour, and we’re only offering 5 time slots! Each session will include:

Portfolio review

A portfolio review is one of the quickest ways you can improve your photography! Submit 20 of your best images for review. During your online meeting with Jake, you will receive overall feedback on your skills—both composition and processing, the cohesiveness of your portfolio, things you can do to improve, and some recommended steps that will help you focus your style and present your best work.

Old English Neon by Jake Hicks Photography on 500px.com

Here’s how it works:

  1. Purchase and reserve your preferred time slot through Eventbrite.
  2. Complete the intake form we send you after registration. Include either:
    • A link to your 500px profile for review (we’ll review the 10 most recently-uploaded images);
    • A link to a Gallery that includes 10 images, which you’ve curated for this specific purpose.
  3. You’ll receive a GoToWebinar link for your chosen date/time. At the designated time, log into GoToWebinar and your meeting will begin!
  4. After, we’ll send you a recording of your session and some follow-up notes from Jake!

Still have questions?

Fill out this quick contact form and we’ll get back to you on any remaining questions.

Jake Hicks Photography - Bitter Sweet by Jake Hicks Photography on 500px.com


January 24, 2018

  • 12 PM
  • 2 PM
  • 4 PM
  • 6 PM
  • 8 PM

(All times in EST—we will update as they sell out)

Available time slots for January 24 are shown in the order drop-down menu on Eventbrite. Sessions must be booked at least 24h in advance. To get the most out of your session, make sure you have a reliable internet connection and webcam. Mentorship sessions will be facilitated by GoToWebinar. Be sure to arrive a few minutes early for your session, as we’re unable to offer refunds or reschedule if you miss your designated time slot.

Jake Hicks Photography Lost Light by Jake Hicks Photography on 500px.com

About Jake

Editorial and fashion photographer specialising in keeping the skill in the camera not just on the screen. Learn more about Jake here.

Jake has created a series of Classes for 500px—check them out here.

Check out Jake’s 500px profile here.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Top 10 Editors’ Choice photos of the week

Here’s a look at the 10 photos we loved most this week in Editors’ Choice, curated by our Guest Editor, Amel Herzi, and 500px photo editors. Read on to find out why these shots caught our eye.

Splash by www.AndreLPerry.com on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: We love the moment captured here and the way the two divers are frozen in midair. We don’t know where this was taken, but we wouldn’t mind being there now!

Follow The Light by Bruno Pisani on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: The lighting in this landscape shot gives it a mysterious and ethereal quality, while the balanced composition and low perspective draws us in. Love the texture of the rushing water.

Samu - Frontside Alley Oop Ollie. by Stefan Lind on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: The sense of motion created by the slow shutter speed, mix of ambient light, and flash makes this an engaging and interesting action shot.

a by Katerina Avchinnikova on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: This photo stood out to us for its styling, lovely diffused light, muted tones, and interesting context.

Snowy Rooftops by Martin Rak on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: This photo showcases great layering and a minimal colour palette. The ambient light and glow of the street lamps gives it a cozy feeling.

flea bath by Viktoria Haack on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: The big blue eyes, bathtime mohawk, and dusting of soap suds makes this kitten extra adorable — but it’s the composition, sharpness and nice shallow depth of field in this image that makes it so successful.

Yellow hats by keso on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: At first glance, this shot looks abstract and minimal—but with this sweet line of children at an aquarium, you can see that this photographer knows how to use lines and colors to make magic out of a daily scene.

SamAlive by Sam Alive on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: It’s always wonderful to see a new perspective on a familiar and often-shot landmark. We love the lines intersecting the scene.

The purest love by Sergey Krotov on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: This is a lovely capture, with gorgeous lighting and a tender connection. The perspective from below helps to isolate the subjects and keep the focus on the interaction between human and animal.

Delhi by matt coleman on 500px.com

What our photo editors loved: This candid street shot has a simple color scheme and displays a lovely quality of light. We like the relaxed and natural pose of the subject.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Meet your Guest Editor for Jan. 2018

Editors’ Choice is the best place on 500px to be inspired, discover new styles, and get a little closer to finding your own vibe. It’s a mix of curated photos from a variety of genres that represent some of the most stunning and unexpected photography in the 500px community.

Each month, new 500px photographers are asked to unearth photos that deserve to be seen by the community—whether it’s a photo that’s still undiscovered or a well-loved shot that hasn’t yet been highlighted on Editors’ Choice.

Our new Guest Editor is Amel Herzi, an editorial photographer from Amsterdam. Read on to learn more about this talented photographer and her work, which’ll stop you in your tracks.

Deal by Amel Herzi on 500px.com

Meet Amel Herzi

I’m a 29-year-old female editorial photographer born and raised in Amsterdam, Holland. I’ve always had a thing for photography and as soon as I was old enough to properly hold a camera, my parents bought me one. Eventually, I bought my first digital camera when I was 15 and started taking pictures of my friends and surroundings. After that, I couldn’t stop.

Bob by Amel Herzi on 500px.com

Who are two of your favorite photographers and why? What about their work interests you?
I’m a really big fan of Helmut Newton. The way he captures the female body is amazing. I’m also a huge fan of Jimmy Nelson. His photos are of people all over the world in their native clothing. The pictures are raw and perfect.

Tell us about a photo that represents a significant or memorable photographic experience.

Wall 2 by Amel Herzi on 500px.com

This is one of my favorite photos because it wasn’t planned. This was shot on a stormy 1°C day. My model wanted to turn around, and when I saw this pose, I just had to click. I like that you can’t see her face.

Pink Lady by Amel Herzi on 500px.com

What’s the best photography advice you never got as a beginner?
Accept feedback. Some people (including myself, when I was younger) see this as critique. But you can’t become better if you don’t listen to what other people have to say.

Wild Things by Amel Herzi on 500px.com

Follow Amel:
500px: 500px.com/heaup
Instagram: @heaup
Facebook: facebook.com/heaup

BKK by Amel Herzi on 500px.com

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Charleston Lives Up to its Honor as One of the ‘World’s Best Cities’

There is a reason Charleston, South Carolina holds the honor of being named in Travel & Leisure magazine’s ‘World’s Best Cities’ list for the past five years. The region’s history, architecture, emerging culinary scene, southern charm and strong sense of place are contributing to the city’s success.

My husband and I decided last minute to add Charleston to our East Coast itinerary and arrived from New York mid-afternoon for a quick 36-hour visit. We checked into the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel, which is centrally located in the heart of the city. It is a perfect starting point to explore the city by foot, offering the opportunity to see, smell, taste and experience what the city has to offer.

Example of Charleston's unique and beautiful home architecture

Beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. Home architecture © Jan M. Smith.

Charleston Walking Tours

Walking tours are popular in the city, designed to provide visitors with interesting history and up-close views of the unique architecture found in homes and buildings. We selected a Charleston Strolls tour based on the suggestion from Explore Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Tour guides are sanctioned by the city and required to go through rigorous historical and architectural testing before being certified. Our tour guide, Kim, is a self-professed “semi-Charlestonian.” She shares that the true Charlestonian designation is reserved for those who are born and have family lineage within the confines of the actual city. Kim was born and raised in an area north of Charleston proper, so although she has lived in the heart of town for the past 18 years, she is still considered an outsider. Regardless, Kim is clearly in love with Charleston and her pride is palpable.

The tour began on Market Street where we received a short city history lesson, a warning about walking on cobblestone streets and tips on how to dodge the horse-drawn carriages that were to share the streets on the tour. Well-preserved homes dating back to the mid-18th century lined the street. Confederate jasmine (known as star jasmine in the west) shared its sweet scent and offered a fragrant gift as we passed by the shrubs and walls covered with the beautiful white star-shaped flowers.

The tour meandered through the historic streets past homes and churches standing for over 300 years, and moved on to Charleston’s French Quarter near Broad, Meeting and Market Streets. We walked down a street of art galleries, restaurants and the open-air City Market then stopped in front of the original Old Slave Mart building, constructed in 1859 for slave auctions. The building currently houses the African American History and Art Museum and reminded us of the city’s storied history.

We passed an array of antebellum styled homes, a mix of Italianate, featuring beautiful cupolas and balconies, and Queen Anne, with colorful exteriors and ornate details. Creeping fig covered the brick walls of Georgian buildings with their ornate iron balconies and gates. Colorful shuttered windows, gorgeous flower boxes and the occasional, welcoming red door made me wonder if a house could get any prettier and I considered mine was in for some changes when I returned home.

Picture of Charleston's famed Rainbow Row Homes in Historic Downtown area

Charleston’s famed rainbow row homes © Jan M. Smith.

Strict preservation laws safeguard the authenticity of the neighborhoods in the historic area. A good example of this is the famed Rainbow Row housing in an area referred to as South of Broad. Here, 13 Georgian-style homes reflect the original pastel colors dating back to the 1700s.

Eventually, all roads lead to water in Charleston. At the seawall, we could see a large bay fed by the convergence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. From our vantage point, we looked across the water and viewed Fort Sumter in the distance. Built in 1860, the fort holds the dubious honor of being the point where the first shots rang out in the American Civil War. Today, it is a United States national park open to the public.

Throughout the tour, our guide’s go-to word to describe almost everything we saw was “charming,” which aptly fits this unique city.

Exampleof beautiful iron gate by famed ironwork artist Philip Simmons

Gorgeous ironwork gate in historic Charleston, South Carolina © Jan M. Smith.

Artistic Ironwork

The gorgeous ironwork adorning gates, balconies, fences and light posts throughout the Charleston Historic District was designed and produced by renowned ironwork artist, Philip Simmons. Simmons lived and worked in Charleston for nearly 90 years before his death in 2009.

Simmons was recognized with many prestigious awards for his work, including the South Carolina Hall of Fame and most prominently, the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor that the United States can bestow on a traditional artist. Simmons’ art is also displayed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

One of seven remaining colorful cobblestone streets in Historic Downtown Charleston

Cobblestone streets in historic Charleston, South Carolina © Jan M. Smith

Charming Streets and Alleyways

There are only eight remaining streets in the Charleston Historic District still lined with cobblestones, including Chalmer Street in the French Quarter, North and South Adger’s Wharf and Maiden Lane. It is interesting how stones can add charm to a city street – the uniqueness causes these thoroughfares to be heavily visited and photographed by tourists.

The cobblestones originally arrived on English ships in the late 18th century and were used as weights (ballasts) on the incoming empty boats. Once in Charleston, the stones were removed and tossed into the bay, replaced by cargo returning to England. As the city grew, city planners surfaced the beautiful cobblestones to line the local streets.

The cobblestone streets are still used today by horse-pulled carriages, cars and pedestrians, although they are a good challenge to maneuver by foot. In addition, a few equally charming historic brick-lined streets and pedestrian alleyways, including Philadelphia Alley, are still present in the city.

Charleston’s Emerging Culinary Scene

Charleston’s burgeoning food scene is heating up fast. Last year there were as many restaurant openings as there were closures. The popularity of this tourism destination has caused a spike in rent for both business and housing, which in turn, is affecting the cost of living and sustaining business in the city.

Regardless, Charleston’s food and beverage scene has attracted top chefs from around the country. Acclaimed restaurants require reservations months in advance to secure a table, so plan accordingly for your next trip. A visit to Charleston should include experiencing the unique flavors of the South. Here are two of our favorites to consider.

Bricklined exterior of Historic Downtown Charleston's McCrady's Tavern

Historic downtown Charleston’s McCrady’s Tavern © Jan M. Smith.

McCrady’s Tavern

A mainstay in Charleston, McCrady’s Tavern once served President George Washington. Located off a brick-lined pedestrian alleyway, the building dates back to 1778 and is on the National Historic Register. Although recently remodeled, the tavern still maintains the original brick-lined arches, fireplaces and wooden beams.

Executive chef and James Beard Award winner Sean Brock offers an innovative menu that changes often based on the availability of local ingredients. The familiar low country she-crab soup and a uniquely named side dish, ‘A Pie called Macaroni’ (Thomas Jefferson, c. 1802) top the list of regional offerings. Served on vintage mismatched china, the meals are uncomplicated and flavorful. The restaurant is open for dinner and weekend brunch.

The South's famed Sweet Tea can be enjoyed at Butcher & Bee Restaurant in beautiful Charlerston, SC

Freshly-brewed Sweet Tea from Butcher & Bee © Jan M. Smith.

This hip industrial-looking restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating and a healthy menu of various mezze platters, sandwiches and salads, each creatively designed with a Middle Eastern influence. Daily menu specials depend on locally sourced fish, meat and vegetables. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

A visit to Charleston would not be complete without experiencing the South’s famous sweet tea.
My first sip detects a distinct sweetness overpowering the tea itself. I ask the hospitable and friendly server the secret to making this classic southern beverage and she replies in her charming accent, “Bless your heart, it is actually simple freshly-brewed green tea and an extra helping of block sugar.” Unquestionably, this tea’s namesake is accurate!

If You Go

Renaissance Charleston Historic District
Explore Charleston
Charleston Strolls Walking Tours
McCrady’s Tavern
Butcher & Bee

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

16 photos of animals that can’t get enough snow

We humans may have a complicated relationship with snow, but these animals see it for what it is: a frosty opportunity for standout poses, camouflage, and fun. Tap into the carefree side of snow with these playful animal snaps, curated by 500px Photo Editor Kristen Dobbin, and see the cold through a lighter lens.

Bear by Volodymyr Burdyak on 500px.com

Moving by Clare Ahalt on 500px.com

Portrait of a three husky puppies by Konstantin Tronin on 500px.com

Throwing a curve ball by Steven Rose on 500px.com

Arctic Eyes by Jon Albert on 500px.com

Polar Bear Shaking The Snow Off by Steve Perry on 500px.com

Ooh Snow! by Tanya Zminkowski on 500px.com

Hunt by Alicja Zmys?owska on 500px.com

The Great Chase by Harry Eggens on 500px.com

Inclined by David Merron on 500px.com

Fallow Deer in Glitter Land by Roeselien Raimond on 500px.com

Winter wolf by Maxime Riendeau on 500px.com

Bobcat L px px by Alex Speijer on 500px.com

Elephant Yoga by David Merron on 500px.com

Super Bunny by Frank Hildebrand / HILDEBRAND photography on 500px.com

OMG, snow! by Iza ?yso? on 500px.com

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