What are photography NFTs?
Photography NFT 101
A photography NFT (non-fungible token) is a digital item that represents a digital photograph or moving image. Photography NFTs are typically created and sold by photographers or visual artists as a way to distribute their work in a digital format. NFTs are stored on a blockchain, which is a decentralized, distributed ledger that allows for the creation, verification, and transfer of digital items.
What is an NFT?
An NFT is a unique digital item stored on a blockchain. NFTs can represent almost anything and serve as a digital record of ownership.
Photography NFTs can be created by beginner and professional photographers alike. These NFTs can include anything from a photo, to a GIF or video, to a blend of photography and another medium like AI or drawing. The content of each photography NFT varies based on the creator and the work they decide to create.
What are the advantages of using blockchains for photography NFTs?
Authenticity and provenance
By using a blockchain to track the ownership and movement of a photography NFT, it is possible to establish a clear and verifiable record of the authenticity and provenance of the artwork.
Once an NFT is recorded on a blockchain, its record cannot be altered or deleted. This ensures the authenticity and ownership of the NFT and ties it to its creator.
Blockchains are decentralized systems. This can help to ensure fairness and transparency in the distribution and ownership of photography NFTs.
The use of smart contracts on a blockchain can facilitate the verification of NFT ownership and facilitate transactions in a transparent and secure manner.
Where are photography NFTs stored?
NFTs are typically stored on a blockchain. Many different blockchains support NFTs, and OpenSea is compatible with a variety of them. NFTs are stored on the blockchain and governed by smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. To buy an NFT, you need a crypto wallet. After buying, you’ll use your wallet to access your NFT as well.
What defines a photography NFT?
A photography NFT is a unique digital asset that represents a specific photograph or artwork. It is stored and recorded on a blockchain, a decentralized, immutable digital ledger technology.
Photography NFTs are stored and transferred digitally, allowing them to be easily shared and displayed online. The ownership and authenticity of a photography NFT is verified and recorded on the blockchain, allowing it to be easily transferred between users.
NFTs offer a way for photographers and artists to sell and distribute their work in a digital format, while also providing collectors with a unique and verifiable digital item.
How are photography NFTs most commonly used?
Selling and distributing artwork
Photography NFTs can be used to sell and distribute digital artwork, such as photographs or digital paintings. Photographers and artists can use NFTs to securely and transparently sell their work to collectors and fans.
Displaying artwork online
Photography NFTs can be used to display digital artwork online, such as on social media or on an artist's website. This allows artists to showcase their work to a wider audience and potentially attract new collectors.
Photography NFTs can be used to verify the ownership and authenticity of a photograph or artwork. This can help to ensure that the work is not replicated or counterfeited.
Notable photography NFT projects
Justin Aversano made headlines with his Twin Flames collection, a collection of 100 twin portraits. Aversano drew inspiration from his relationship with his fraternal twin for this collection. The “Twin Flames” collection became known as the first major NFT photography collection of its kind and catapulted Aversano into one of the world's highest-selling photographers.
DRIP DROP BY DAVE KRUGMAN is a collaboration between Dave Krugman and Transient Labs. The team built a custom machine vision algorithm that sorts and batches Drips based on their emergent rarities. The collection is a study of “the generative beauty of the universe, as viewed through the lens of rain hitting puddles in Times Square. Color spectrums emerge from bright billboards, and wash over textured water, highlighting the beauty at the intersection of nature and civilization.” The project merges traditional photography techniques with generative art like Chromie Squiggles, Fidenzas, and Ringers.
Where My Vans Go is a photography NFT collection comprised of 125 images created over three years as the artist explored the United States. The artist, Isaac Wright, also known as Driftershoots, served in the United States army until an injury from a parachute jump. After a formal PTSD diagnosis, he found photography as a way to channel his expression that brought a sense of peace and balance. Wright found himself climbing up tall construction sites, buildings, and bridges to get a better view, which landed him in legal trouble, but these views also brought him to NFTs as a way to make money from his art. He saw other artists connecting directly with their audiences and selling art without a middleman and soon, he was minting his first NFT collection, which went on to be a phenomenal success. According to Wright, “Where My Vans Go is more than a collection, it’s a documentation of my journey, not only of finding and healing myself, but everywhere it has taken me.”
Women Unite - 10k Assemble is a photography collection created to empower, uplift, and assist women. Created by Miss Kaina and the “Original Models.” These models consist of 50+ real women equipped with various outfits, accessories, and themes to create 10,000 unique photos.
Amazônia by Sebastiao Salgado is the debut NFT collection from one of the world’s most celebrated living photographers. Masterfully crafted over the course of five months, Amazônia is composed of a collection of 5,000 unique photographs and Tree of Life, an original short video film with original audio. The collection spans more than a decade of Salgado’s visits through the Amazon. Among the 5,000 photographs there are 10 categories coupled with numerous traits representing the location, region, and villages Sebastião Salgado immortalized through these journeys. The creator states that proceeds from this collection benefit Instituto Terra, a non-profit organization cofounded in 1998 by Sebastião Salgado and Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado.
How can I explore and buy photography NFTs?
You can find photography NFTs in OpenSea’s Photography NFT section.
In order to buy an NFT, you'll need a crypto wallet and cryptocurrency (or, in some cases, just a credit or debit card). Using OpenSea, you can instantly buy items listed for sale, bid in auctions, or make offers on NFTs.
Web3 technology is still new and constantly evolving, so while no single action guarantees protection, there are best practices that can help. Never share your wallet’s seed phrase, be careful when taking actions using your wallet, and make sure to thoroughly evaluate NFTs before buying. The best rule of thumb is that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
OpenSea also has an icon visible via a blue checkmark badge on a collection or account. A blue checkmark badge on an account means that account has been verified for authenticity by OpenSea. A blue checkmark badge on a collection means the collection belongs to a verified account and has significant interest or sales. (OpenSea does not endorse verified accounts or badged collections, and OpenSea makes no representations regarding the NFTs in a verified account or badged collection.)
In web3, the term “gas fee” refers to the payment needed to execute transactions on the blockchain. Gas fees increase when more people use applications that run on top of a blockchain’s network, therefore competing for space within the block. Think of it like Uber’s surge pricing model that increases the cost of booking a ride during the busiest commuting times. OpenSea also doesn’t control gas fees, set gas fees, or receive any of the gas fees incurred by users on the platform. Instead, they all go to network validators or miners.
When you start the NFT purchase process using OpenSea, you’ll see the gas fee broken down by your wallet provider, so you can watch the fee refresh and complete the transaction when it’s low.
NFTs operate on blockchain technology to facilitate their creation, ownership, and transfer. A blockchain is a digitally distributed ledger that records transactions and information across a decentralized network. Most blockchains are verified by many nodes (read: computers), which is why you’ll hear them described as “decentralized.”
NFTs use smart contracts, which are automated computer programs that enforce their own coded rules. Smart contracts use a coded, automated system that executes a rule once a set of criteria is met. They allow for the automatic and secure transfer of ownership of an NFT from one user to another, without the need for intermediaries. Buying and selling NFTs using OpenSea is powered by our smart contract protocol, Seaport.
Smart contracts, and the blockchain at large, allow users to track and validate NFT ownership.