At the end of 2004, I started publishing a daily photo blog, called Treemeat.com – the tree meat meaning the wood from a tree, which I am a big fan of as the son of a timber framer – to share the photography that I was creating in and around Chicago, Illinois, and then across the country.
Before Flickr became big, or Facebook and Tumblr were things, the main way we shared and viewed photos online was through people's own, personal websites.
Digital cameras were still mostly garbage, and a handful of photographers were able (and willing) to go through the trouble of scanning various sizes and shapes of film, designing and building websites to host them on, and manually coding new entries to display.
We produced "photoblogs" with daily posting of our photos, gaining large followings. At one point treemeat.com was receiving 100,000 visits a day (social media wasn't a thing yet, so it felt impressive), partly for the novel thing it was, but hopefully for the quality of some of the photos.
It was a great community of photo enthusiasts, professionals, and experimenters. And it also provided some of the first friends I had only met virtually first. People like Michael David Murphy (While Seated), Joshua Stearns (ZeroStyle), Jose Luis Martinez (A Beat Experience), Justin Ouellette (Chromogenic), Julia Galdo (JUCO), Bryan Formhals (La Pura Vida) Noah Kalina (Kalina Mag), and others.
We had meetups and became real life friends. Joshua and I built http://yesyesyall.org together. Justin photographed my wedding. It was great.
But the rise of social media and other platforms for sharing and connecting made personal websites less of a thing. We moved into other company's walled gardens, and lost a few things in the process; mostly ownership. We moved from new platform to new platform as others bit the dust, rebuilding our networks, splintering audiences, and getting bored with building value for platform owner's benefit.
Web3 has the potential to bring back that ownership, over our digital presence, our files, our identity, our brands. To honor that potential, it feels fitting to use Treemeat as my first foray into this new creator world.
I'm going to release a 'best of' NFT collection of photos from each year, beginning with 2005. 20-30 photos per year, all unique 1/1 editions. When the full collection of each year is sold, I will release the next year's collection. The price will start low, 0.1ETH, and incrementally increase as each year is released.
I'm also taking this opportunity to "remaster" the photos, as I've frankly gotten better at editing and processing. This is the digital blockchain equivalent of a career retrospective, and I can't wait to see it through.
See more at ptrbkr.com/treemeat.