Your Guide to Photography in the Metaverse
Self Publish, Be Happy NFT Workshop
Photographer of the Week
Do Editions Matter?
The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore
Nikita Teryoshin - Backyard Diaries
Nikita Teryoshin’s Backyard Diaries is a visual expose on the lives of urban cats photographed lyrically with an on-camera flash that raises his images to a blended state of comedy and horror. Teryoshin, who is based in Berlin, has been widely awarded for what might be considered a sly and darkly-humored editorial practice with subject matter ranging from farm animals to tourism to international arms trade shows.
Barry Sutton - NYC365
NY-based photographer Barry Sutton released an ambitious new drop this week titled NYC365, a collection of 365 photographs that bring viewers on a broadly sweeping tour of New York and its occupants. The photographer describes the work as a “song with many verses,” and the project features an eclectic mix of different subjects and visual strategies that pay homage to the traditions of New York street photography.
Imag3Aid went live this week with its website along with the announcement of its April 11th mint date. The imag3Aid collection features 57 photographers who’ve donated an image to be sold in support of Ukrainian humanitarian aid, which will be donated to The Giving Block.
Mint price is set at .05 with a limit of 10 mints/wallet, and the organizers have designated a small handful of whitelist spots for collectors interested in minting the entire collection. Tomorrow we’ll be sharing a special issue with some of our favorite images from the collection.
Assembly released the beta version of its Web3 photography platform this week along with the 2nd drop by NY-based photographer Daniel Gordon. The collection, Moving/Still, is a series of 20 gifs that represent the artist’s first work made specifically as NFTs. Gordon is well known for his large-format photographs of tabletop sculptural collage work, and Moving/Still explores “multiple possibilities for image construction…” while musing on notions of the passage of time.
Iconic publication LIFE Magazine has entered the NFT space in partnership with KnownOrgin to begin introducing drops from its deep archive of 20th century photography. The platform promises to drop “classic images from its golden era in the American consciousness.” The collection will begin to release on April 14th, and coincides with a virtual exhibition at the KnownOrgin gallery in Decentraland.
The first drop will feature the work of Margaret Bourke-White, an iconic photographer who represented many firsts for female photographers, including being the first photographer permitted into the Soviet Union, LIFE Magazine’s first email photographer, and the first credentialed female photographer to work in combat zones during World War II.
This week Obscura released its long-awaited Community Commission. The collection, titled Two Years After the Storm is made up of 10 photographers that were provided commissions to photograph the current state of American affairs in relation to politics, environmental issues, social and gender inequality, and everyday struggles. Magnum photographer Jim Goldberg provided mentorship to the photographers throughout the process of creation. The 10 photographers are Natalie Sosa, Summer Wagner, Alize Jireh, Amanda “A.B.” Martinez, Heather N. Stout, Yogan Muller, Badir McCleary, Niall O’Brien, Johnny Lee, and Matthew Reamer. (Photograph by Natalie Sosa)
KGPNFT announced its second NFT photobook, forthcoming on April 26th by founder and namesake, Kris Graves. The book, “What Came True,” is made up of work from 7 distinct projects from Graves, with each edition including 4 of the 7 projects.
Self Publish, Be Happy NFT Workshop
Prominent photobook platform and cultural producer Self Publish, Be Happy is offering an NFT photography workshop led by your very own intrepid newsletter author, Gregory Eddi Jones. The workshop will run April 23-24 for photographers in Europe, and May 28-29 for photographers in North America. The workshop will cover a history of NFT photography, provide practical know-how for photographers looking to enter the market, and feature special guests. Tell your friends!
Photographer of the Week: Robert LeBlanc
Art and documentary photographer Robert LeBlanc has spent much of his career using his camera to examine subcultures, including rappers, bikers, and the American sideshow scene. His work, described as both intense and immediate, is built on a foundation of trust-building with his subjects, a means of earning entry into communities that are often both insular and peculiar. His most recent work, GLORYLAND, brings viewers into the world of churches that practice old forms of mysticism such as snake-handling, found deep in Appalachia.
PhotoVerso: Can you tell us about your background as a photographer?
Robert LeBlanc: I picked up skateboarding when I was about nine, and a few years later, I started to carry a disposable camera while I went out skating. I would always study all the photos and compositions in different skate mags and photograph my friends trying to recreate these images. I loved how I could implement that same creativity and style that I would while skating; in the same way, I created a photo. The combo worked harmoniously. After blowing out both my knees by the age of 24, I realized I had to thoroughly invest in myself as a photographer, and since then, I haven't looked back.
PV: What inspires you as a photographer and what do you hope audiences take away from your work?
RL: The human element. I find us to be such complicated creatures, and I'm always captivated by how we as humans express ourselves with culture. My goal is to make viewers question their beliefs or bring some understanding. To me, powerful images are frames that tell complicated stories with intimacy. I want viewers to be uncomfortable with the world they have stepped into, but as they leave, they have some more understanding of the world they just experienced and also about themselves.
PV: What's the scoop with your latest NFT drop?
RL: GLORYLAND is an extraordinary story I've been working on for five years. It's the most intimate story I've shot so far, and I feel blessed to experience these Serpent-handling churches on the brink of extinction. It's an old religious practice with such a mystic quality because of its rural location deep in the Application mountains. It's one of the few remaining religious rituals of an old America. With these churches on the verge of extinction, I find much historical value in this congregation. The NFT series will also fund the physical book production, which will be 120 images. Each collector will receive a special edition of the book that won't be available for public purchase.
Do Editions Matter?
A peculiar symmetry that can found between the worlds of NFTs and photography is the controlled scarcity of editions of work. From the negative or digital file, photographers can make unlimited numbers of prints or reproductions, and the traditional market for photographs is in part governed by the qualities of scarcity that editioned prints offer for collectors. The same could be done for NFTs, but existing market dynamics are equally centered on notions of rarity and have formed around the standards of platforms like Foundation and SuperRare which promote the value of unique, 1/1 editions. Is this a good thing?
Editioned NFTs offer other kinds of benefits that 1/1s don’t, particularly lower price points, the potential liquidity those lower price points offer, and the benefits of larger potential collector bases that can build community and a larger social footprint around an artist’s practice.
Of course, rarity offers its own mystiques and market demand can often be built on the difficulty of acquisition of a particular work. 1/1s also allow collectors to “flex”, a social value in itself that we can’t discount.
With the artist-to-collector proportion continuing to expand widely, price points for new photographers entering the space will inevitably drop due to market saturation, and editioning NFTs may be a mechanism to preserve value potential if market caps for an editioned image equal what a photograph might demand as a 1/1. And we have already begun to see artists like Reuben Wu and Drifter shoots begin to explore potentials of editions (and timed open editions) as a means to broaden their collector base. Of course, time will tell as the photography market continues to grow and evolve, and in such a dynamic ecosystem, we’re bound to see twists and turns as artists continue to experiment with sales mechanisms.
Book of the Week: The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore
Photographic great Stephen Shore published The Nature of Photographs in 2007, and the book serves as an excellent primer for readers to begin to understand the nuances of photographic language.
Throughout the title, Shore disects the way in which viewers read images and how form and composition shape how pictures are understood. The book tours readers through the entire history of photography while helping to train the eye to realize the nuances of how photographs are constructed.
For those interested in digging deeper into how pictures work, and how to greater appreciate the particulars of the craft, we highly recommend picking up a copy.