What We Learned This Week: How to Mint an NFT. Or Has That Ship Sailed?

By David Schonauer   Friday June 11, 2021

You say you want to get in on the NFT art craze?

Better hop on the bandwagon now.

This week we spotlighted a step-by-step breakdown detailing how one goes about minting a non-fungible token. The good news? Despite what you may think, the process to create, list, and sell an NFT is not complicated or intimidating, noted PetaPixel, which  joined Washington-based photographer John Wingfield as he prepared to mint and list his latest collaboration with digital artist Dario Paczula, entitled “Cosmo Firma,” using the NFT marketplace Foundation.

Still not sure what NFTs are? Let PetaPixel explain: “NFTs are essentially digital goods that can be bought using cryptocurrency. Those who purchase NFTs are buying original ‘ownership’ of that digital good, along with its purchase history, which can be traced using the blockchain.” (Want to know more? Go here.)

“Artists and photographers have been creating and selling NFTs for years as a way to reach a wider audience, team up with other creators, and make a bit of money,” continues PP. “For example, the photographer behind the Netflix film ‘Concrete Cowboy’ Aaron Ricketts sold his first NFT this month, while Kate Woodman auctioned her digital photograph Always Coca-Cola’ for $30,000. Some experts believe, with the way trading has been going lately, traditional platforms for selling physical art (like Etsy and Shopify) may become obsolete.”

At any rate, if you’re thinking of minting an NFT, PetaPixel’s guide is a terrific resource. Step 1: Sign up with an NFT marketplace and buy some cryptocurrency. Step 2: Create and upload the NFT. Step 3: Mint the NFT. Step 4: Set a price and list. So, yes, simple.

And, hopefully, profitable for you. Yesterday, though, we also took note of a report in Protos, a website that focuses on crypto news, suggesting that the NFT market has imploded. The crypto-art NFT market, noted Protos, “is yesterday’s news.”

NFTs peaked on May 3, when $102 million worth were sold in a single day. The crypto-collectibles market made up $100 million of those sales, according to Protos. More recently, reported the site, sales in every single category almost entirely dried up.

Here are some of the other photo stories we spotlighted this week:

1.  Covid's Silver Linings? America's Stunning Gray Hair

When the pandemic hit, many women who once regularly visited colorists were forced to let their hair go gray. “I would never have gotten to see what was underneath if there hadn’t been this forced interruption,” Devery Doleman, a former redhead, told The New Yorker, which featured images of the newly silvered by photographer Elinor Carucci. “You know when botanists bisect a tree, and can tell by the thickness of rings what the conditions were like that year? This feels like we had that year, and this is what happened,” said Doleman.

2. Winners of Nature TTL POTY 2021

Canadian photographer Thomas Vijayan’s upside-down (seemingly) image of an orangutan in a tree in Borneo is the overall winner of the the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021 competition. “After spending few days in Borneo, I got this frame stuck in my mind,” Vijayan noted. “To get this shot, I selected a tree that was in the water so that I could get a good reflection of the sky and its leaves on the tree. The water formed a mirror, making the image look upside-down.” The photo was also winner of the contest’s Animal Behavior category.

3.  Inside the Train Rider Subculture

“When I see a train go by I always get this feeling,” says photographer Mike Brodie. “I don’t know what it is, it’s just this interesting feeling. The idea of freedom and adventure … it’s amazing, it’s a very American feeling.” Brodie, whose first book, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, was published in 2013, left photography to be a diesel mechanic, but he never left his fascination for America’s train-riding subculture, noted AnOther, which recently spoke with Brodie about his fascinating work.

4.  "Safe/Haven: Gay Gay Life in 1950s Cherry Grove"

On view outdoors in New-York Historical’s rear courtyard through October 11 is the exhibition “Safe/Haven: Gay Gay Life in 1950s Cherry Grove,” which explores the gay and lesbian community that flourished during the 1950s in Cherry Grove through some 70 photographs and additional ephemera from the unique holdings of the Cherry Grove Archives Collection. The exhibition brings together scenes of LGBTQ life in the years before Stonewall in the famed Fire Island beach town.

5. The Beautiful, Disappearing World of Kelp

The future of the lush underwater kelp forests along the coast of northern California—home to rockfish, crabs, mollusks, and marine mammals like sea otters—is in doubt. Satellite images portray a loss of more than 95 percent over just the past seven years or so, noted Yale Climate Connections, which featured the kelp images of marine photographer Brandon Cole. He has been scuba diving in the area since the 1980s, but it’s what he’s seeing more recently that has him “very worried.”
At top: From Elinor Carucci


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