VAULT is an NFT space created by creators for creators, your go-to place for high-quality, curated, digital art from top creators around the globe. The VAULT highlight series focuses on the creators that are part of our NFT Community. This week we are excited to introduce you to Sam Brockway.
A travel photographer based out of Idaho specializing in authentic depictions of the outdoor spaces of the American West. His love for photography grew from a fascination with capturing his time spent exploring nature which evolved into an ambition to create standalone pieces of art. Sam seeks to bring an editorial refinement to capturing real fleeting moments, whether that means catching a wondrous interaction with nature or making a landscape feel textured and tactile.
Get to Know the Creator and the NFT Space
How did you get your start in photography and what attracted you to specialize in landscape photography?
I grew up outside of Lassen National Park, was an Eagle Scout, and spent virtually all of my time outside growing up. Additionally, I gained an interest in Environmental Studies in high school, which would go on to form the basis for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I loved the beauty of the outdoors and Earth’s ecosystems long before I took up an interest in photography. I slowly started to recognize many remote places that I had been in photos that I would see on various photography platforms and realized that they looked incredibly different than anything that I had taken on my old point-and-shoot digital cameras. This got me interested in reverse-engineering the spectacular photos that drew my attention when I would travel to new areas. After years of photographing my travels, I slowly discovered my own style and vision and began to artistically express myself and take photos with intent. Ultimately, the interest in landscapes came first for me, and the confidence in capturing them followed over years of practice.
We’ve noticed in your work that you use film frequently, what is it about the medium that appeals to you, and do you think it translates well in the NFT space?
Incorporating the use of film as a medium for my work was something that I had been interested in for a very long time. I was not expecting how immediately important it would become to my workflow. I love the technical details involved in choosing the right film stock for a scene, evaluating proper exposure, and that I will not get the instant satisfaction of knowing whether or not the photo came out the way I had envisioned. That uncertainty has created a lot of excitement for me.
Though I do not currently have any film photos minted as NFTs, I certainly will in the near future. I think film photography is perfectly suited for the NFT space because of the incredible uncertainty and variability that photographing on film leads to results in a singular–nearly irreplicable–piece of art.
What do you hope that collectors will feel when viewing your art?
I sincerely hope that my vision, style, and connectivity to the remarkable locations that the photos are from translate for collectors to make these pieces unique.
How do you choose what to mint as an NFT from your portfolio?
It was important for me to try to mint these first NFTs as a collection, which is how I see future releases going, as well. I already have quite a few collections in mind, but when I looked back at the work that I am generally best known for, it seems that the photos that I have taken that people most respond to are from my backyard in the Sawtooth Wilderness of Idaho. These first four images felt like a great place to start, and I am immensely proud of each of them.
What’s the best piece of advice you have to give to creators interested in minting their first NFT?
Well, as these are the first NFTs that I have minted, I would legitimately suggest following along with the litany of helpful resources that 500px has provided! That sounds like pandering, but it is quite literally how I got started, and all of the articles and resources that 500px produced to help understand NFTs are easy to follow and incredibly informative.
Where do you look for inspiration when creating?
My early sources of inspiration came from the images and writing in magazines (e.g. Backpacker, Outside, etc.). Lately, I have been doing some looking backward. I began collecting photography books about two years ago, and works like “American Prospects” by Joel Sternfeld have provided a great source of inspiration. I also like going to museums when I travel–in particular, I like impressionist and abstract paintings that get me to think about color and shapes in different ways.
How do you make sure to stay informed when it comes to NFTs? Any valuable resources you can share with the community?
I am extremely new to the NFT community, but the little that I have interacted with on Twitter and Discord has invigorated me with how accepting and informative it is!
What are some activities you enjoy outside of photography?
I am an avid skier and am in preparation to hit the snow hard this upcoming winter. Outside of that, I like brewery hopping, checking out other cities’ food scenes, and seeing live music. The more of those activities that my wife and I can do with our pups, the better!
Which platform is your go-to for keeping your followers informed (and why)?
Instagram: as of now, it is the platform where people seem to follow my captions the most frequently.
Are there any exciting projects on the horizon?
I just got married in the Sawtooth Mountains on July 16th, which took up all of my project planning time. I have a few things lined up, but it is also an exciting time to take a break and think about the next project!
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