Norwich: NFT digital art boom for the city photographer

Posted:
3:07 p.m. January 4, 2022



Update:
12:52 January 5, 2022

He’s been creating well behind the camera for a decade, and now a photographer from Sheringham takes his work to another level.

Gareth Gabriel started turning his stunning shots into non-fungible tokens – also known as NFTs.

It follows American digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, selling artwork in the new format for £ 51million at a Christie’s auction.

An NFT is a certificate that allows a user to own the rights to a digital work of art.

The black and white photos taken around Norwich are Mr Gabriel’s first attempts at the new digital format.


One of Gareth Gabriel’s favorite photos is of a college student having lunch sitting on the steps of the Forum in Norwich.
– Credit: Gareth Gabriel

“Hundreds of digital artists have jumped into space to follow the success of Beeple,” Mr. Gabriel said.

“It exploded almost overnight.

Mr Gabriel’s NFT collection centers around a photoshoot he took in November 2019 and said the city acts as the “perfect location” and is “full of character”.


Filming in Norwich took place in November 2019.

Filming in Norwich took place in November 2019.
– Credit: Gareth Gabriel

“I didn’t go with a plan. It was about reacting to what’s going on around you,” he said.

“I’ve been to Norwich hundreds of times, but this was my first time specifically to tour, so it was nice to watch the world go by.

“It’s a beautiful city with a lot of character.”


Gareth Gabriel, from Sheringham, has been a photographer for over ten years.

Gareth Gabriel, from Sheringham, has been a photographer for over ten years.
– Credit: Gareth Gabriel

One of Mr. Gabriel’s favorite photos shows a student having lunch sitting on the steps of the Forum.

“I was so happy with the way this one came out,” he added.

“I’ve always liked the aesthetics of the city, but that day it was nice to sit and watch people go about their daily business.

“I felt the shoot captured the city well.”


Gareth Gabriel loved to capture people going about their daily lives while filming in Norwich.

Gareth Gabriel loved to capture people going about their daily lives while filming in Norwich.
– Credit: Gareth Gabriel

Although he has yet to make a sale on his Norwich collection, Mr Gabriel believes NFTs will soon become the norm and predicts that they may have global appeal for rival social media giants in the future.

“I think NFTs will be part of everyday life, so it’s exciting to be a part of the early stages of Web 3.0,” he said.

“Street photography is becoming more and more popular and there is no set price for an NFT. Everyone is very different.

“I think it will get as big as Facebook.”

What is an NFT?

A non-fungible token means that a work of art is unique and cannot be replaced by anything else.

An NFT can be attached to any digital item, such as a picture, video, music, or message, but a digital certificate of authenticity makes that item special.

With an NFT, people are able to verify ownership of the digital token and the non-fungible part of the name means it cannot be traded or exchanged for an equivalent.

NFTs use blockchain technology that stores information electronically. A blockchain collects information in groups, called blocks, which contain sets of information.

Each block has a defined storage capacity and once filled, it is chained to the previously filled block.

Most NFTs operate on the Ethereum blockchain where there are permanent digital records of all transactions using this cryptocurrency.

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