Ordinals Spotlight: Photography

  • May 4, 2024

In 1826, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce produced the earliest surviving photograph using heliography. Louis Daguerre's invention of the daguerreotype in 1839 furthered the evolution of photography. Innovations like the collodion process and the advent of flexible film in the late 1800s transformed the medium again. The 20th century introduced color photography and digital imaging, paving the way for widespread adoption of photography in art and daily life. Now, we have extremely powerful cameras in our pockets – our mobile phones.

Fast forward to 2023 and Ordinals. Photographers can now directly preserve their work on Bitcoin by inscribing these captured moments onto the blockchain itself, marking a new frontier in image archiving and distribution. It is almost poetic, preserving a moment in time onto the time-chain that is Bitcoin.

Meet four photographers who have preserved their legacy on Bitcoin: Giulio Aprin, Sean Longstreet, Timmboslice, and Sherie Ngigi on Gamma.


Giulio Aprin

Boundless Sands by Giulio Aprin

Giulio Aprin's journey into NFTs started in 2018 when his Instagram followers sparked his curiosity. Initially unfamiliar with the concept, Giulio's interest deepened over the years, leading him to explore the potential of NFTs by 2021. By January 2024, after connecting with Gamma and exploring Libya, Giulio ventured into the Bitcoin network, inscribing his first ordinal in April. For Giulio, NFTs and ordinals serve as critical archival systems, ensuring his work's permanence. He emphasizes embedding the right metadata with each piece, enabling robust provenance tracking, particularly for his work focused on remote and desert regions like the Sahara.

Giulio's meticulous image selection process involves categorizing his work into documentary, abstract, and minimalism, aiming to present a unique perspective within each thematic category. The integration of NFTs and ordinals has brought discipline and focus to Giulio's projects, significantly enhancing his artistic expression.


Sean Longstreet

Rush Hour Reverie by Sean Longstreet

Sean Longstreet's exploration began with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2020, drawn by their decentralization. Sean quickly delved into the Stacks network, eventually launching his first NFT series in January 2022 after preparing 100 images with ArtonStacks. He highlights the distinct opportunities that releasing photographs as NFTs or ordinals offers compared to traditional publishing, challenging him to create resonant images within the constraints of small file sizes.

Sean's image selection process involves finding a balance between personal significance and collector value, responding to the broader context where his work will be presented. He emphasizes how NFTs and ordinals have significantly influenced his artistic style, emphasizing storytelling through authenticity and connection.



The Halving by Timmboslice

Timmboslice's journey into photography and NFTs began serendipitously four years ago, spurred by online mentions of NFTs. Despite initial indifference, Timmboslice was drawn to the permanence offered by inscribing art on the blockchain. He values the unique opportunities provided by releasing his photographs as NFTs and ordinals, cherishing the concept of provenance and the potential for his art to be appreciated for generations.

Timmboslice's approach to selecting images involves creating cohesive collections with aesthetic and historical significance, marking historical milestones with his inaugural inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain. Integrating NFTs and ordinals into his workflow has reshaped Timmboslice's artistic approach, introducing physical and financial limitations as creative challenges.

Sherie Ngigi

I live for the applause by Sherie Ngigi

Sherie Ngigi's exploration into NFTs began three years ago, experimenting with various blockchains before embracing ordinals on the Bitcoin network for their permanence and security. She emphasizes careful curation when choosing what to mint, focusing on portraits that adapt well to blockchain's technical constraints and opportunities. Sherie celebrates the interaction with a new wave of collectors and the broader audience reach provided by platforms like ordinals. Her advice to fellow photographers curious about entering the NFT and ordinal space reflects her belief in the exciting possibilities at the intersection of art and technology.

Together, these photographers emphasize the importance of staying true to one's artistic vision while embracing new technological frontiers. Their experiences offer valuable insights and inspiration for others looking to explore the vast possibilities of digital ownership of their art. On Gamma, you can find several other brilliant photographers etching their work on-chain.