On the #NFT Journey

Kestrel

Buzz word, hot topic in the creative and the crypto world. I don’t know if I saw this coming or not. Hard to say. I’ve always been aware of our ever-changing world, especially living in such a speedily-evolving technology age. It’s a fast world, and sometimes difficult to keep up. I was not unaware of the evolving word of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. I’ve been dabbling in mixed media, and working with a heavy learning curve for Adobe Photoshop and all the nuances to utilizing that program, as well as Lightroom.

This is a journey I’m on as I begin to explore the world of #nft. That is, non-fungible tokens. A new concept that my son presented me with a few weeks ago. I was intrigued as I sometimes can be by new, shiny things. Can’t be sure where it will take me, but here I am, always learning new things, always up for a new challenge. Always about absorbing new information, tracking new techniques, seeing things in a new way.

Was I somewhat aware of the million-dollar auction at Christie’s of an NFT piece of art? Somewhat. I recall thinking it was an interesting bit of news. But it wasn’t until a discussion with my son, who’s more into the sports collectibles and had been looking at digital sports cards for a while, that my curiosity was piqued.

Down the rabbit hole I go.

Being a research kind of gal, I’ve scoured lots of articles and YouTube videos, and have probably filled half a notebook of information with printed out articles stuffed in the back.

I try to do things in an orderly fashion. I’m a lister and a goal setter. Do first, do second, etc. The first thing was to begin learning the vocabulary, not just for NFTs, but for the world of cryptocurrency. Starting with the definition of a non-fungible token, and the word, ethereum, one of the main digital currencies in use today. Of course, after reading a number articles/blogs about NTFs, led me to a whole range of words that required research, and so down the rabbit hole I went.

Many hoops to jump through, and familiarizing myself with terms like, “exchange,” “wallet,” “ethereum,” “gas.” “Minting,” “smart contracts,” and then the various sites to list on such as, Mintable, Rarible, Openseas, and others. I have a spreadsheet to track the fluctuation in gas prices to get a sense of best/worst times to convert, mint, etc.,etc. Oh, yes, and “fiat” and “gwei.” These are the starting points.

First deduction, I’m probably going to lose money as I start out and begin to navigate this whole new world to me. There seem to be a lot of variable “gas” fees along the way that are very hard to pin down. I accept that fact. The idea is to not lose more than necessary. Whichever way I go, it’s going to take at least a small investment of money, not to say a large investment of time. These facts I accept.

It’s a bit scary navigating these waters, in a crypto world so volatile, a challenge to energy consumption, the fact it could be a techno bubble, and/or it could blossom i to something very cool and empowering for photographers, visual artists, creatives as a whole. I mean, being able to “mint” a unique digital image, track its ownership, receive a measure of royalties on each sale up the line. Interesting and intriguing.

At this stage, I’ve taken a leap. I’ve set up with an exchange, Coinbase, where they threw in an infintisimal amount of Bitcoin as a thank you for signing up. I’ve set up with the generally recommended wallet, Metamask. Metamask is an extension on Google Chrome, and I believe Firefox, etc., as well. I’ve begun working on a profile at Openseas.io. I’ve done my first exchange of USD to the cryptycurrency, ethereum (ETH), at Coinbase, and transferred it to Metamask. Not too much at first, because there can be some pitfalls with that. But, happily that all worked well. I’ve created a collection at Openseas, and added a few images. The final part of listing an item for sale will need to wait a bit, but coming soon.

As I said, this is a journey. I’m still learning. The crypto world is a different world, it’s not a world I recommend leaping into, but cautiously stepping in and looking around. Would I like to make a bit of money from this experience? Well, yes. But truthfully, I find it exciting, and challenging, and really quite creatively inspiring.

By the way, soon you’ll find me at TG_ArtEclectic.

TG_ArtEclectic

More news to come as I make this journey into the crypto world.

Angels as Guardians

Angel Guardian at a Cemetery

Silence and atmosphere in a cemetery is very different from being in the forest. As with anywhere I take photographs, or where I walk or hike, I step carefully, I listen, and I allow my instincts to direct me.

In a cemetery, there’s this undercurrent of human whispering, which you can sense in the wind as it blows through the branches, in the cool feel of a marble statue or bench, the hard edges of mosaic laid into the ground, the smooth edges of new tombstone, or the the roughened, weathered edges of one created a century ago.

History and lives lived cling closely to the experience of walking among the remembrances of the departed. It is a place that reminds one to live each day to the fullest, to live it mindfully, and not take life for granted.

Photography, for me, isn’t just about taking pictures, it’s about the experience created behind each photograph I take. It’s about the emotion brought forth. It’s all about the captured moment.

This image, combined with several other angel images, is available as a downloadable digital sheet of journal cards in my Etsy shop.

Carousel – Times Gone by

Carousel Horse Profile

The merry-go-round, a handsome carousel horse. Remembered moments from a childhood, from parenting, from magical moments inflused with laughter, gaiety, people, summer, and moments of shared excitements and spontaneity. That’s what photography is, to me. Moments captured, memories preserved. A precise moment, the scents and sounds and colors permeating the image, and the experience.

This image is available for purchase on Zazzle.

Two Crows on a Rail

twocrows-0479_blog

American Crows that landed nearby. Crafty and intelligent. The oldest recorded crow lived to approximately 16 years. Usually traveling in large numbers, unlike the raven, which will travel in pairs rather than larger groups. Murder of crows, the term used for large groups or flocks of crows, so known because of their scavenger-like nature.