Minting NFTs & Taking Photos at the Ends of the Earth: A Conversation with FOTO’s John Knopf
- John Knopf, an Emmy Award-nominated landscape photographer and National Geographic contributor, is part of the FOTO collective of digital artists.
- FOTO works to elevate the art form of digital photography by curating the work of its members in sponsored galleries and events.
- Time magazine partnered with FOTO on its own NFT drops in 2021.
John Knopf and FOTO
John Knopf is an Emmy Award-nominated landscape photographer who works for National Geographic. He was an early adopter when it came to crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). While he initially thought he could make a “quick buck,” he quickly became enthralled with the potential of distributed networks. Together with seven other prominent photographers, Knopf helped found FOTO – a collective geared at training artists to work in Web3. This collective boasts hundreds of amateur and professional members today. Knopf curates these members’ art for display at sponsored galleries and events. The goal is to elevate digital art – Knopf makes no money from the artists regardless if their work sells or not.
Time Magazine Partnership
In 2021, Time magazine partnered with FOTO on its own NFT drops. The collaboration allowed people to purchase limited edition prints through NFTs. Furthermore, Time featured some of FOTO’s collections on their website such as ‘The Great Outdoors’. This project highlighted outdoorsy scenes from around the world captured by different photographers from FOTO’s community. As well as this, John Knopf’s work has been featured multiple times in publications such as Forbes, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Digital Culture & Community Building
Knopf believes that Web3 technology can help build communities around art forms like photography as it allows them to collaborate in ways that have never been possible before. For example, earlier last year he founded Bored Apes – an online platform that provides education tools for photographers looking to break into cryptoart space or increase their understanding of blockchain technology. He also launched his own NFT gallery called ‘Ends Of The Earth’, where he minted a series of photos taken during his travels around the world using the Ethereum blockchain transaction layer Matic Network – allowing anyone to buy a piece of artwork without ever having met him or seen it first hand!
“Photography” NFTs Taking Off
Good photography often requires technical skill as much as artistic sensibility making it a prime candidate for experimentation within Web3 technologies like non-fungible tokens (NFTs). While talk to any collector or creator about “photography” NFTs taking off might have seemed slow initially, now there are many examples out there showing how photography has been successfully integrated into cryptoart space thanks to initiatives like Time magazine partnering up with Foto!