Choosing our favorite photos from the millions of outstanding images in our passionate community was downright nail-biting. But finding our favorite photos of the year (while challenging) was, ultimately, an inspiring project.

We started with the photos uploaded in 2017 that had the most votes in each category, to see what was popular within the community. From there, we curated our top picks from the list, to recognize as many photographers and as much high-quality work as possible. 500px Photo Editors also added their favorite shots of 2017 from Editors’ Choice and the rest of the community, to ensure “undiscovered” work was included, too.

The results reminded us of how much talent and passion the 500px community has to offer. While we can’t recognize every great photographer on the platform, we want to thank you all for the outstanding work you’ve shared with us this year. We hope you enjoy our favorite photos of 2017 as much as we enjoyed discovering them.

This is the last of three installments showcasing our favorite photos of the year. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.


Qinling golden snub-nosed monkey by Marsel van Oosten on

Animals by Martin Kleine on

Ghost of a Polar bear by Roy Mangersnes on

What our photo editors loved: Even with the wildest of models, these three photographers were able to capture distinctive, tranquil moments. We liked that “Animals” and “Qinling golden snub-nosed monkey” feel like contemplative, posed portraits, and “Ghost of a Polar Bear” struck us for its exceptional use of golden hour light and introspective feeling. All three give us pause to think about what photographer, Roy Mangersnes, says in his photo description: “If there is a conflict, nature will always be the losing part.”


Vertical Blue by Kurt Arrigo on

Baby Humpback in Vavau by Leighton Lum on

Down Under by Kalle Lundholm on

What our photo editors loved: We selected these photos for their fresh take on the classic underwater shot: unique perspectives, warm atmospheric light, and unusual angles.


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Epic Greenland by Daniel Kordan on

Fjaðrárgljúfur beta 1. by Juan Pablo de Miguel on

What our photo editors loved: These sublime landscapes feature otherworldly tones, beautiful movement and compositions.


Summervibes by Julia Dávila-Lampe on

Taj Mahal by Mohammed Abdo on

Oia village at sunset, Santorini island, Greece. by Matej Kastelic on

What our photo editors loved: Travel photography is all about transporting you elsewhere. Through superb lighting and beautiful composition, we are carried away to the warmth and colour of India, Croatia and Greece.


Poppy love by Alan Shapiro on

Frog, Gold Frog, Tree Frog, by Andri Priyadi on

Big Eyes by Goodpharm111 on

What our photo editors loved: As master photographer Robert Capa once said, “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Our top picks convey the magic that can be created when tiny creatures and flowers grow in scale, and the most miniscule of details are magnified. We’re in awe of the exquisite detail and wonderful colors captured in these shots.


Glacier hikes by Patrick Monatsberger on

Reach by Richard Johnson on

Shotover by Jeff Dotson on

What our photo editors loved: We love that these images capture athletes in peak action in a diverse range of sports, as well as the impressive use of both natural and artificial lighting. Added bonus: the epic landscapes that we’re treated to at the same time.


Wedding in Sicily! by Julia & Gil Photography on

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Paradise beach wedding portrait by Christelle Rall on

What our photo editors loved: A sense of intimacy unites all three of our top wedding images. We love the movement created by the rays of light sparkling through the barn and the couple embracing on the swing, while the tight crop and closeness of the embrace in “Wedding in Sicily!” conveys the emotions of this significant day.


The Subtle Lines of Transition by Bruce Omori on

Cloak and Dagger by Alex Noriega on

Ocean Art by Tobias Hägg on

What our photo editors loved: These abstract images are all about their exceptional tones and textures, and their ability to transform the ordinary into the otherworldly.

Follow the photographers:

Did we miss one of your favorites? We’d love to see a gallery of your favorite photos of 2017—share your links in the comments!