UPDATE: After much support from the Light Painting Photography Community as well as a few big guns like PetaPixel and DIYPhotography sharing Tim’s story 500PX has put Tim’s account back online like nothing ever happened. There are two things that I take from this the first is that the Light Painting Community is awesome and we have a lot of work to do to educate the masses about the magic we make in camera!
Light Painting Photographer Tim Gamble, a.k.a. Fade To Black Light Art, has had his account removed from photo website giant 500px for posting “non-photographic” content. This is pretty ironic considering that Tim’s work is created 99% in camera, I am pretty sure that would meet the requirements of being a photograph. Unfortunately 500PX didn’t give Tim a chance to plead his case or to show that his work is indeed created using a camera, they instead simply deleted his account. I often look at Tim’s Light Painting Photography and can’t wrap my head around how he creates his work in camera, I guess I am not the only one… I reached out to Tim to find out what happened…
Hey Tim I just saw your post on getting your account removed for posting “NON-Photographic Content” from one of the world’s largest photography platforms 500PX That is pretty insane considering all your images are photographs! Lets go ahead and clear this up, how do you create your images? What is the main instrument that you use to create your images, I am guessing its a Camera?
That’s correct I use my camera to record the light I place in the frame. I have various tools I use in conjunction with my camera such as my Light Painting Brushes, my Camera Rotation Tool and Lens Swapping which can lead to some crazy results.
How much of your work is illustration or graphic design created on a computer?
I’d say 99% of my work is created in camera during a single long exposure with some Lightroom edits to the raw file. Sometimes I like to create double exposures in P.S. for some of my 365 project shots but they are described as such and are few and far between and I wouldn’t classify them as graphic design or an illustration as the above there are more a digital double exposure.
Did someone report you as in another 500PX user, or was it the moderators of the website itself? Did you get any clarification on what happened?
I got no clarification really. I was told via email, after I had asked the question about my account, that another user could have reported me for posting non photographic content. That is fine with me as to the untrained eye that’s exactly what you would think. Im annoyed that my profile was deleted without any communication from 500px.
Was there one image in particular that made them think that your images were not created in camera?
Again I’m not sure, although from memory I think the last image I uploaded there was one called shrunken head. An in camera double exposure created with the help of Chris Thompson involving a lens swap, lasers and a silhouette.
I have also been using some 3d video files very kindly shared with me by Hugo Baptista in conjunction with ICM. The resulting images from which look very much like cgi.
Holy crap those are insane, I’ve got to say I could see how its hard to understand that these are created in camera! What a shame that your work wasn’t celebrated and featured for how amazing it is! How long had you had your 500PX account?
I’d had my account for a long time and even had an editors choice from Eric Pare when he was guest editor which is kind of ironic.
Wow that is pretty ironic! I guess when Eric was the guest editor he understood how extraordinary your Light Painting Photography work really is! Did they give you any sort of warning, or did they just pull your account?
The first I knew was when I was filling in a profile for a new project and checked to see I had written my 500px account correctly. I clicked the link I had created and it lead me to a page saying this account no longer exists. I thought I’d been hacked at first but then I got email confirmation yesterday from 500px saying it had been deleted.
Were you a premium member, and if so are you going to get a refund?
Not a premium member but some of my images are on Getty via 500px which again is quite amusing.
Did you appeal the removal of your account?
I’m in the process of doing so but my last correspondence from them stated that my profile won’t be reinstated.
Did you offer to prove that your images were actually created in camera?Considering they have all the exif data there attached to my images already I’m not sure they are to bothered.
I think the best way to take it is as a huge compliment in that your images are so damn good that they can’t comprehend that they are actually created in camera, How are you feeling about it?
As you said it feels like quite a compliment and I’m not angry. It’s unsurprising that to the untrained eye they appear to be created in a non photographic manner although you would have thought that on a platform such as theirs someone would have the first idea as to what light painting is.. The one thing which leaves a sour taste in my mouth is the fact they deleted it without at least asking me or giving warning. What if I used 500px as a method of storing my images and that suddenly were to dissappear.
Well hopefully this will turn into something good for you! I sincerely hope that your talent to create images in your camera are so mind boggling people can’t understand them is shared and given the recognition it deserves rather than being taken down from websites for being too damn good! The removal of your account is really something special in good and bad way…
If you would like to SEE more of Tim’s mind blowing images you can check it out at the links below, please give this man a follow! Tim is truly a modern day photographic pioneer!
Tim’s Light Painting Brushes Page