Photographer Banned From 500px After Light Painting Exposures Deemed 'Non-Photographic'

Photographer Banned From 500px After Light Painting Exposures Deemed 'Non-Photographic'

Photographer Tim Gamble is a light painting photographer who prides himself on creating most of his [incredible] work in-camera, so you can imagine his surprise when 500px deleted his account with the reasoning that he was posting “non-photographic content.”

Upon attempting to access his profile, he was greeted with a message proclaiming that the page “does not exist.” A further check on the app revealed his account had been removed.

Speaking to DIY Photography, he explained he contacted 500px about the issue. In their initial response, they claimed his account was not only deleted, but could not be re-instated.

Gamble was forced to reply, explaining that his images were in fact photography and not illustration or graphic design. He says up to 99 percent of his work is captured in single long exposures, with the remainder of his images being double exposures, curated in Photoshop.

The headshot I believe was my last upload there, and the hand one might be misconstrued as a graphic illustration to the untrained eye.  Both are single long exposure shots with minimal Lightroom edits and no layering or compositing.

Regardless, Gamble was understandably annoyed that his account was removed with warning and with no chance to clarify. As of Tuesday evening, his account has been reinstated.

Find more of Gamble’s work on Instagram and Facebook.

All images courtesy and used with the permission of Tim Gamble.

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michaeljin's picture

500px is a joke. This is probably a blessing in disguise.

Krzysztof Kurzaj's picture

The sole fact his account was removed without any warning or inquiry about comment and this action was based solely on speculation is telling us how unprofessional 500px is.

Ariel Martini's picture

Peter Lik also said 99% of his work is straight out of camera

Joe Black's picture


super steel_'s picture

the above images were done in camera? nice images, but not for a millisecond do I believe that.

Spencer Pritchett's picture

You'd be surprised how much is done in camera, I've followed him for a long time. It's all done at night/in the dark with a special tripod mount that allows him to rotate the camera a specific amount. He uses a lens cap or black foam to cover the lens inbetween rotations, and exposes certain elements at a time. Some of his exposures are in the 200-300 second range.

super steel_'s picture

"You'd be surprised how much is done in camera,"
which says to me that a lot is done also out. dont put effort into trying to convince me. like I said above. not for a millisecond.

but if 500px was important to him he could have shown a video to them how he does it.

Rob Mynard's picture

Well he did show them how he does it and they did reinstate him.

M M's picture

That's the big problem with a lot of the cloud services, be it 500px, PayPal or Google. You get cut off without much explanation or recourse. It helps being able to raise a big stink via Twitter but if you don't have much of a following there is not much you can do.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

I didn't have problems like this with Google or 500px, but I did have them with PayPal. And they even didn't want to delete my account in the end, because of the missing documents, which I sent them 2 weeks earlier. 🤣

Jeff McCollough's picture

500px sucks as it is anyways.

Adam Rubinstein's picture

Great work and 500px did him a favor providing notariety and free publicity.

Bertel Bolt-Jørgensen's picture

But still a dumb story - Why haven't anybody reached out to 500px and asked them why. With both perspectives the story would have been 10 times more interesting.

Mr Drizz's picture

Well that would involve some sort of journalism which you'll find it hard to find on fstoppers

Reece Barrett's picture

hahahahhaahha. You'll get a link to a video tho

Deleted Account's picture

500px… lol

Deleted Account's picture

wow, people still using 500px?
They just gave this fella a nice boost in notoriety though.

Pham Anh's picture

What do you use instead of 500px?

Deleted Account's picture

I don't. I used to. Added no value to my work. In fact it just brought in 2 questions 'Can we use your photos if we mention your name'

Heinrich Helmbold's picture

At least you get asked. They have the attitude of apologise later... Use or sell your images and then act like they didn't know

Laurent Bourrelly's picture

Long live Flickr

stir photos's picture

i joined and dropped [respectively] the 500px lameness show relatively early on and from there it just swan dived south, quickly into account removal option - always seemed sorta shady to me,.. like my grandfather use to say, "lameness won't be tolerated, but it's understood that some are born into lameness while others simply have it thrust upon them."

Jacques Cornell's picture

Let's face it: a LOT of "photography" posted online is so manipulated that it's really photo illustration.

William Faucher's picture

Really? 500px has some of the most composited and flat out photobashed shots Ive ever seen. Why is this suddenly an issue?

Matt Hucke's picture

The arrogance of that 500px representative is astounding.

Account deleted, based on wrong information, with no way to reinstate it, and also - fuck you, we're keeping your money.

I will be shutting down my account there, too. I only ever had it because Flickr seemed to be circling the drain during the era of Yahoo mismanagement... but Flickr is in good hands now. Time to nuke the backup, and that's all 500px ever was.