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Could National Geographic put photographic NFTs on the map?

photography daybreak sunrise

National Geographic is collaborating with 16 of its photographers to release an NFT collection on January 17, 2023. The theme of the images is “GM: Daybreak Around the World”. In line with the magazine’s founding year, it plans to drop 1888 collectibles.

It’s hard to think of any brand that comes close to National Geographic for creative photography. To date, people who wished to collect the stunning images would keep back issues of the magazines. While this certainly works for viewing the images, there isn’t a strong sense of ownership as the magazines are not particularly rare. 

Hence, with the relatively small number of NFTs, National Geographic is truly enabling digital collectibles. Particularly given the brand’s massive social media following. It has 251 million fans on Instagram alone and half a billion across all social media.

Taking a bird’s eye view of the NFT market, photographic NFTs have yet to make a big mark. The NFT marketplace is dominated by profile pictures like CryptoPunks and Bored Apes, gaming NFTs and sports collectibles. Art comes a distant fourth, but photography barely features. Many of the photo collections that have done well are focused on celebrities.

Perhaps National Geographic can change that.

“Web3 and NFTs have expanded the connections of so many people across the globe,” said artist Tara Workman. “From the world renowned to those who had never shared their work publicly, we are all co-existing in the same ecosystem for the love of art.”

The theme name “GM: Daybreak Around the World” is more than a nod to Crypto Twitter. Two favorite Crypto Twitter greetings are GM (good morning) and WAGMI (We’re all going to make it). The lighting from sunrises perfectly illuminates landscapes and are the ideal match for the GM moniker.

Despite the low profile of photographic NFTs, the Associated Press has embraced converting its photo archive into digital collectibles. It initially partnered with the Binance crypto exchange and created its own marketplace earlier this year. Time is another publication that has adopted web3, starting with three iconic magazine covers.

The National Geographic magazine is collaborating with NFT company Snowcrash for the launch.

Details about the collection are yet to be released. The photographers involved are:

  • Justin Aversano “A Good Morning at the top of Mt. Sinai”
  • Jimmy Chin “Cerro Torre at Sunrise”
  • Delphine Diallo “Uprising”
  • Yagazie Emezi “We Are Light”
  • Mia Forrest “Flanksia, In Motion”
  • Kris Graves “Berry Creek”
  • Aaron Huey “Sunrise In The Void”
  • ioulex “7:04:05”
  • John Knopf “gm”
  • Cristina Mittermeier “Good morning, turtle”
  • Renan Ozturk “Everest Sunrise”
  • Cath Simard “Indélébile”
  • Ben Strauss “Pursuit of Equilibrium No.16”
  • Tara Workman “Rise & Shine”
  • Reuben Wu “New Dawn Fades”
  • Michael Yamashita “Hallelujah Sunrise”

Image Copyright: chetroni / DepositPhotos