500px vs Flickr

I just signed up for a 500px account and, after 10 minutes of browsing, I’m sold! The interface blows Flickr out the water. Even the official Lightroom plug-in is way better than the Flickr one.

Interestingly, a prominent tech blogger recently wrote about what a good idea it would be if Yahoo! were to buy 500px and make it the new Flickr.

[Brooks Review]

The suckiness of Flickr has put me off socialising online with the local camera club I’m in. Good software and sites draw me into the hobby. For me, the tech comes first, at least in photography anyway.

But, I have a Flickr Pro account and some real actual friends on there, so switching to a new service seems a bit silly. It’s all about the interface for me though. I mean nobody reads this blog and I have friends who follow my Facebook. But I don’t use Facebook much, partly because the interface is kind of crappy and I’d rather host my own content.


My 500px page

Lightroom Preset

I just installed the 300 preset from Lightroom Killer Tips and am very pleased with the results. I used to have a lot of presets from this site installed, but for some reason I never reinstalled them after upgrading to LR3. I’m now on LR4 and figured it was time to start using them again, because they are so good!

Here are two results from this morning using the 300 preset:

Lightroom previews at 1:1

So I’ve changed my Lightroom previews to 1:1 to see what happens now when I add them via Mars Edit.

Clover and Poppy

Aha, it goes in at 600x401px. I wonder what kind of code I would need to put in to add a caption… One for the forums I think.


How about a gallery of pics?

DSC 0073

Hmmm. Multiple pics cannot be selected. And what about the Section field? What’s that all about?

There is an option in Style > Customize to media markup templates with variables. I’m guessing I could add a caption variable there if I could figure out what field in LR that would be. Or even just have a caption variable that I can edit in the HTML when it appears in the editing window of Mars Edit. That would certainly be no worse than doing it directly in the WordPress UI.

Kinda fun this!


DSC 0078

So Mars Edit doesn’t read RAW files from Lightroom. It takes the little embedded jpg instead. So I guess I’ll have to carry on exporting as before, which is a shame but no big loss as that’s what I was doing anyway. 

Hot Dog

So I can post from Flickr to my blog through Mars Edit? I think I’ve learned enough in 10 minutes with the trial to pay up! 
Hot dog!

Disneyland Paris

We spent four days at Disneyland Paris a couple of weeks ago. We went when Hamish was 1, back in 2007, and Freya enjoyed it a lot. They’re both now at the age where they’d get more out of it.


It was a really relaxing holiday, which is quite surprising. Four days was a bit too long, but it meant that we could see what we liked and then revisit those things. Winners were the Dumbo ride and the Mad Hatter Teacups. My favourite ride was the Buzz Lightyear Laser Shootout. Hamish liked it too, but Freya was frightened of Zurg.

For Place Mats

Here is our selection of photos taken by local photographer, Alex. These are going to be turned into Arran place mats and hopefully sold in their thousands!

UPDATE 29 March 2020

Well it WAS a selection of photos. Seems I removed the plug-in. Oopsy.

Placemat contender

Here is a photo I picked out of my own library that I thought would be a contender for Arran placemats.

Placemats with Arran images

I have been planning on getting placemats made with images of Arran on them for a good few months now. The original plan was to take photos and use a selection of the best ones, put them on place mats and sell them. I do have maybe three or four shots that would potentially make nice images for place mats, but my friend Alex-U is a far more accomplished photographer than I and just happens to have a great selection of Arran shots on flickr [Alex’s Arran set on flickr]

I spoke to Alex today about licensing a selection of his shots and he’s open to it. It will cost me money to do it and neither of us have any experience of this sort of thing, so he’s considering it just now and we’ll see if we can come to some sort of arrangement. His work is good and he ought to be paid what it’s worth. Only thing is that I suspect the true value will be more than I can afford, which is why I’m hoping we can come to an arrangement. It would be nice, of course, if I could use my own images, but having given it some thought, I tend to think that Alex’s shots would make the product more eye-catching and, ultimately, more saleable, and that’s the bottom line.

On the flip side, the pre-made Arran placemats I had last year from Strathmore Melamine sold and they were horrible. So I could in theory use my own images and they would still sell. Or, how about this: of the two possible manufacturers, I go with one for Alex’s shots and one for my own, using the higher-quality product (Strathmore Melamine) for Alex’s and make it a premium product, and my own from Doricmor to be of less quality and more a more affordable alternative?

I’ll call both parties tomorrow to get costs, turnover time and minimum order numbers and see where we go from there.

At the shows

The shows are in town so I took Freya along last Sunday while Hamish was having his nap and Lorraine was busy trying to meet her deadline. It was a lot of fun but very expensive. Here’s a nice shot I got of Freya coming out of the bouncy place.