NFT – Stuck in Customs

Live from Australia… but not…

A couple of weeks ago I connected with the team at Australian Blockchain Week for a fun panel on the NFT industry. You can watch the recording here. (Registration required but it’s free and you can put in random info.)

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Temple of Psychedelic Awakening, Burning Man

Daily Photo – Temple of Psychedelic Awakening, Burning Man

Every year Burning Man has a different “temple” that represents a wide range of spiritual groundings. While not the official temple, this “Totem of Confessions” held some of Timothy Leary’s ashes that Susan Sarandon brought along. I think she just travels with lots of ashes of famous pyshconauts. I’m not sure. This is a gothic cathedral-style piece plastered in Kafkaesque photo collages of animals and people inside. Tons of people went inside the 60-foot high structure, which had a confession booth and eerie peephole rooms. In the right context, psychedelics can give people direct access to the divine in the universe and inside of themselves, so these are truly gifts to humanity to help spread consciousness and love.
From the Worship collection on Foundation.

Temple of Psychedelic Awakening, Burning Man

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2021-12-30 10:45:27
  • CameraDSC-RX100M4
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Prambanan, Indonesia

Daily Photo – Prambanan, Indonesia

A huge storm was washing over Java just as I arrived here at Prambanan just outside of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. One thing I’ve come to know about big storms in the late afternoon: if you’re patient, you may end up with a crazy sunset. It rarely happens, but if the sun dips below the clouds, you get incalculable layers of crepuscular light. This is an 8th-century Hindu temple that is an expression of God as the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, for those of you that know the Marvel superhero awesome gods of India). The complex is actually quite huge, second only to Angkor Wat, and has 240 temple structures. Most were destroyed in Earthquakes, but they are slowly being rebuilt.
From the Worship collection on Foundation.

Prambanan, Indonesia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2021-12-23 17:50:49
  • CameraNIKON D2Xs
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time2.2
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Cologne, Germany

I walked into this amazing cathedral and was amazed to see this surrealist scene. On a huge screen, they were showing deep views of the universe while atmospheric Phillip Glass music droned heavily, bouncing and echoing around the stone. People would sit in the pews and just watch slow animations of the universe unfolding. There were priests who sat around the outside edges of the cathedral to answer any questions that people might have and I thought this was pretty great to see, as often there is a disconnect between religion and science. Of course, some switched-on theologians know that it is all the same thing, from a single source. This cathedral took centuries to finish and was started back in the good ol’ days of 1248.
From the Worship collection on Foundation.

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Hagia Sophia, Turkey

Daily Photo – Hagia Sophia, Turkey

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is like no other religious structure in the world. It was originally the patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople and has gone through many changes over time. For a while, it was the city’s Catholic cathedral and then after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, it was converted to an Islamic Mosque. When I walked in, I was a little disappointed to see the scaffolding, but then I decided to integrate it into the final piece, thinking of this entire structure as sort of a space station to take you to an ethereal plane of spiritual existence.
From the Worship collection on Foundation.

Hagia Sophia, Turkey

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-03 19:07:42
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.6
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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The Temple of Heaven, China

Daily Photo – The Temple of Heaven, China

The Temple of Heaven is one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations for Chinese people who come to Beijing to visit structures upon the central axis. It was originally built in the 1400’s. I was invited by the Chinese government to come take special photos of their most important structures, so I was lucky enough to have the military let me into these places early while no one else was around. On this same trip, I was also arrested by the military for flying my drone over the “Forbidden City,” but that is a longer story that ended up with a hilarious ending. Obviously, I made it out of Chinese prison… one of my greatest accomplishments.
From the Worship collection on Foundation.

The Temple of Heaven, China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-09-28 17:23:53
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Spain

Daily Photo – The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Spain

Gaudi’s masterpiece here in Barcelona is probably the most stunning religious structure I’ve ever been inside. I was lucky and I was given special access to a few areas only the Pope gets to visit. He has like is own “Papal Balcony” where he can kind of lord over the congregation. I suppose if you’re the Pope, you just get anything you want. You’re like, hey, I want my own balcony, and then the church just kinda does it for you. This cathedral broke ground way back in 1882 and they are still working on it. It’s probably taking them a while to complete this amazing behemoth because the Spanish have four-hour lunches.
From the Worship collection on Foundation.

The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Spain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-30 08:35:26
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Kyiv, Ukraine

Daily Photo – Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukraine is a strange place to take photos. I was in Kyiv for a few days while on a journey to photograph Chernobyl, so I took some time to wander around the city. It was the middle of winter and the snow was up past my knees. I found this amazing cathedral and spent a while taking shots of the outside before finally going inside to get warm. I didn’t know if I was allowed inside, but I went for it anyway. I say it’s an unusual place to take photos because I never saw another photographer the entire time in Ukraine. Maybe it goes back to their communist days and they are extremely suspicious of anyone with a camera… I definitely received a bunch of suspicious looks from people, especially the older generation. This cathedral was built in the 1700’s in the Ukrainian Baroque style, destroyed by the Soviets in the 1930s, then rebuilt following Ukrainian independence in 1991.
From the Worship collection on Foundation.

Kyiv, Ukraine

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2021-12-23 17:20:21
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

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Abu Dhabi, UAE

I arrived at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque just before the sun was setting and it was absolutely majestic. To get these kind of shots, I need to use a tripod, and I often get in trouble for using my tripod, so I was a bit worried they were going to kick me out. I set it up really quickly and in a sneaky way (I find myself being sneaky in religious places far too often!), and then one of the security guards came over. I was thinking… uh oh. But I was wrong, and he was the nicest guy in the world. He even asked me some nerdy tech stuff about my camera, and he said I was free to roam for the rest of the day. From the Worship collection on Foundation.

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Worship

A new NFT Collection on Foundation

Sometimes in moments of fear, or from fear of death, the root from which all fear begins, people turn to faith and religion to try to give it all some sort of meaning. As I’ve traveled around to all seven continents, I’ve talked to many people I meet about religion… from taxi drivers to locals in restaurants to people who work in places of worship. Even though I don’t subscribe to any set of rules laid out by any religion, I think in most cases it’s a pretty decent thing, as long as no one is getting hurt or trying to make another group feel bad. I personally used to be a fairly hardcore atheist until I tried Ayahuasca and a few other plant medicines that have shown me there is something else going on. I don’t know what it is, but there are some entities out there that are helping us along. One message I continue to get: Everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be. And that’s comforting, although it is easy to view that via a nihilistic lens.

This is a first collection of images from a range of impressive and often inspirational places of worship around the world. View it here on Foundation.

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