Entering the world of NFTs

So the time is finally here; you can now own one (or more) of my photographs as an NFT!!  I know, I know; this is the moment you have all been waiting for!  It’s so exciting!  …well I am quite excited even if you are not.

But it is true I have ‘minted’ a collection of photographs that are now available here.

For those not initiated, an NFT is a ‘Non-Fungible Token’ which makes it very clear…  obviously🙂 Yeah it took me a while and now realise NFT doesn’t stand for ‘No F’ing Thankyou’😄

An NFT is a digital token that is verified as being real and traceable that gives the owner the ability to say he owns it; and that ownership (both past and present are tracked in the NFT.  It still refers to a digital asset that somebody else can potentially download and use but gives the purchaser something of some value that they can say they own and trade.  This concept is difficult to understand (at least it was for me) and grasping why someone would pay money for what is akin to a piece of paper stating ownership when they can just have the thing (in some form at least) for free is a little boggling – I’m getting there but not 100% yet.

The closest analogy for photographers I found is printing a limited edition print (1 of 1).  Someone can buy that print and enjoy it or sell  it etc.  Ownership (copyright) of the image still sits with the photographer and that photographer could decide to do another limited edition print run.

That is technically what it is but I think from my dive into this world it is more about a community of people supporting artists they like and owning a thing that links them to that artist. 

I have been photographing in one form or another for nearly 40 years and so have a large library of content, some of which follows a theme or project concept and I thought some of these might work in this new outlet. 

I have been a little disappointed with various social medias which are overrun with people gaming the system for likes and whatnot; a game I am not interested in playing. So T have been looking at other ways to share my work.  I have other avenues I am pursuing too and will share more about those in future posts.

So how does this NFT thing work?  Well it is all built around Blockchain technology which has mostly been used for Crypto Currency; Blockchain is just a mechanism that validates a thing via multiple points to prove that it is real; much like a banknote carries the signature of the chief bank officer,  has watermarks etc.  State money is verified as real by the State and banks. Cryptocurrency does the same just outside of the state on a network of computers.  So this same technology is used for NFTs and they are bought and sold using Crypto currency.  There is some hype with a few NFTs selling for crazy numbers and that is great but that’s probably just people getting over excited, we’ll have to see where things settle at as this technology matures.  For me right now it felt like something worth dipping my toes into to see if I get my foot bitten off by an alligator.

So having got some digital content you have to ‘make’ an NFT which is called ‘minting’; to do this you need to have yourself set up with Crypto Currency and join some sort of marketplace; I chose OpenSea.  There is some initial outlay which will vary depending on the marketplace chosen so this is not a completely free dip in the water (you do have to get your socks off and get a little wet).  I felt like this was a worthwhile investment to try my luck; I’ve probably ‘invested’ more in broken old cameras anyway.  😛

So now on to my collection.

I mentioned earlier that buying NFTs is a community led experience and that has guided my photo selection.  When I first thought about doing this, I started picking out some random photos but as I researched more and understood the market a little better I realized this might not be the best approach; at least for an unknown artist like me.  Buying these NFTs is like joining a club and buyers like to be able to chat with other owners and share experiences and trade.  I kinda liken it to classic car ownership.  You favour a particular make/model and when you get one there is usually a club that supports your ownership – with some exclusive models the numbers of particular cars are known to the community and tracked to their location.  This leads to discussion with the owners of those particular cars and possible trading/shared experiences etc.

So based on this I knew that I wanted to make a collection.  One of my preferred subjects is abstract architecture and so I collected a series of photographs that have a similar feel and I think are interesting and attractive enough for somebody to enjoy ownership of. 

These images are of many buildings around the world all sharing a style where the architecture is predominantly white with blue skies behind.  The photos tend to exclude much of the wider view making them abstract and somewhat graphical images.  These are some of my favourite images and come from many journeys and memorable locations for me. 

The collection is called ‘White on Blue‘ and this name came from recent project I did for a friend.

As part of my curation of this collection I have made specific crops of the images and made them into a square format – somehow I think this collection works well as a series of squares; I trust that I am not the only one.

I am very hopeful my collection will get noticed by some people and that they will like them enough to invest the small amount of money I am asking; please do have a look yourselves and comment here if you have any feedback on them, I would love to hear from you. 

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Maria Vincent Robinson

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