NFT’s from a Photographer’s Point of View

NFT’s- and the hype that surround them, are actually easy to understand when considered in the context of photography.  To explain the importance of the NFT from a Photographer’s point of view, I offer some history in the art form;

1814 – Joseph Niepce achieves first photographic image using an early device for projecting real-life imagery called a camera obscura. However, the image required eight hours of light exposure and later faded.

1837 – Louis Daguerre’s first daguerreotype, an image that was fixed and did not fade and needed under thirty minutes of light exposure.

1841 – William Henry Talbot patents the Calotype process, the first negative-positive process making possible the first multiple copies.

1843The first advertisement with a photograph is published in Philadelphia.

1851 – Frederick Scott Archer invented the Collodion process so that images required only two or three seconds of light exposure.

1865Photographs and photographic negatives are added to protected works under copyright law.

1975The generally recognized first digital camera was a prototype (US patent 4,131,919) developed by Eastman Kodak engineer Steven Sasson.

1981-1990Sources vary, and as technology advanced, the first JPEG and MPEG standards were set in 1988, and the first practical digital camera to actually go on sale was the Dycam Model 1, of which a grey version was marketed as the Logitech Fotoman.

Using 1865 as the date of copyright law protection for photography, until 1990 with the first practical digital camera sold, photographers enjoyed  one-hundred twenty-five years of providing irrefutable proof of originality and ownership- “provenance”, in their work.  The proof?  The film negative.  Since that day in 1990, when digital images could be created by the masses, the images could be copied, altered, and destroyed, without proof of originality. For some time, technology has existed to prove point of origination by embedding information into the image file, but this travels with reproductions and does nothing to offer provenance or originality. This has horrendously damaged the Photographers- and other Digital Artists, ability to protect and sell their work commercially and collectively.

Enter the NFT.

The NFT, or, “Non-Fungible Token”, is associated to digital entities using block-chain technology, popularized by necessary use in the crypto-currency world.  These NFT’s are purchased along with the digital art, as proof- the “provenance” to the owner and artist as to the originality and sale.  In this context of the Photographer, it is the receipt for the sale of the work, and also serves provenance for the singular resale by the purchaser to another collector.

Just as in the fine art world, forgery exists, and the image sold with the NFT could be copied as well.  It is up to the purchaser to protect it as they do with their other art work.  However, unlike the fine art world, digital art could be replaced as a benefit of the technology- to the rightful owner, the much-appreciated holder of the NFT- patron of the Photographer.

The basic, yet incredible importance of the NFT is currently lost in the media hype with multimillion-dollar sales of work of perceived questionable importance.  This is a complete misunderstanding of what the NFT provides, be it assigned to plastic dog dung, or a masterpiece to be enjoyed for a lifetime- crafted with insightfulness, skill, patience, and care.

Original, limited-edition NFT photographic images for the collector are now available for ownership from the archives and ongoing collections of Dale S. Dervin, Owner of Acuity9 Digital Productions. They will represent my best work, and you will be as proud to own and display them, as I am to produce them.

My intention is to add to the collections at varying price ranges, bringing my best work to as many prospective collectors as possible.

I look forward to seeing you on the web!


Click the image below to launch the Acuity9 NFT Art marketplace, hosted by OpenSea…