500px has quickly become the go-to place on the net for photographers to display and receive feedback about their favorite works. It has also become a place to see quality photographs to inspire you to ascend to new levels in your own photography. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to do so!
Above is a photo titled “Brother Emerald Basilisk” (even though it is a female lizard-inside joke). I recently posted this on my 500px page. I was dismayed that I couldn’t customize the thumbnail in the upload process because the default thumbnail is very inadequate. See below:
You can see the thumbnail totally misses the point of the picture. It shows only the tree and no lizard! Who would click on that? This is a case of epic crop failure! Fortunately you can alter the thumbnail by going into edit mode on the picture and drawing a new box where you want the thumbnail boundaries to be and save it back to your image.
Here is the same page after the thumbnail updates. That picture of a tree in the upper left has become a picture of a lizard-a pretty cool lizard at that. I bet more people will click on that thumbnail than the default thumbnail!
Some sites offer custom thumbnails and some do not. Depending on the site, the availability of a thumbnail may be delayed from minutes to hours. This can be a minor annoyance but it is worth it. The engineers at 500px are working to improve the process and the thumbnail update lag time.
Here is a screen capture after all five thumbnails have been optimized.
If you want to drive more people to your images make certain you have created a compelling reason to click. Optimize your thumbnail where ever possible.
© Rikk Flohr 2011