Just for inspiration, this is a screenshot from 500px.com, I really like the slim, elegant and informative GUI - for a FOSS project it would be nice not to recycle too much look & feel of Instagram/Facebook, Pixelfed sould have its own "personality"
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Alternative frontends were discussed but no decision was really made on support of that, especially since for more advanced 500px/flickr frontends we would need to collect excessive amounts of exif data.
When I personally heard of Pixelfed the first time, I thought it is gonna be a great plattform for photo enthusiasts (the name already creates this impression), but at the moment it seems that the development is very concentrated on copying the Instagram look & feel. Well, I think you massivly underestimate the potential user base of photo enthusiasts, who may be a little disappointed at the moment, because they are used to handle images more serious - not only as "fun postings". These people, normally expect a much more photo oriented user interface e.g the possibility to select and display a licence, at least basic EXIF information, GPS data, categories etc.
In my humble opinion it would be a little sad if Pixelfed would "just" become a dezentralized open source copy of Instagram. I just wanted to show you another user perspective.
Again, please feel free to file more specific feature requests if you have any more.
As far as the "purpose" of Pixelfed, it is not necessarily aimed at only "fun postings" or "serious images", but the exact model / paradigm we are using is "statuses with media attached" rather than "images with captions attached". The focus of the platform is therefore targeted a bit more at publishing updates rather than maintaining libraries.
I don't really think it's possible to have a neutral model. Either the status is the base object, or the image is the base object. In Pixelfed we have chosen the status. There is certainly room for other implementations that choose the image as base. But those implementations would necessarily be more focused on image management than status sharing. Anfora and peerpx are examples of such projects that aim to provide users with a photo gallery shareable over ActivityPub, rather than a social network based on media posts.
Of course, at the UI level this is a bit more flexible. But the underlying focus on publishing updates is still there.