Why I’m Selling Art I Haven’t Created Yet

Some of you have already seen my somewhat zany idea about “Pre-selling” the art that I will create from my upcoming trip to the parks & monuments of the SW United States.  Perhaps you thought this was just a fun way to create some buzz.  Well, it serves that purpose as well, but in fact it’s something much bigger than that: it’s an opportunity for you – yes YOU – to play a tangible role in making my artwork better. 

Let me explain.

Before getting my Nikon D800, my primary camera was the Nikon D300.  When I switched up to the D800, many of my “DX” lenses (which are made for crop-sensor cameras like the D300), had to be replaced with bigger, better, more expensive lenses, as the old ones would not fill the frame on the D800.  I set about doing so as quickly as I could afford to, but I had to make choices, prioritizing some and letting others wait.

One of my favorite DX lenses was the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ultra-wide zoom.  It’s just so wide and sharp and beautiful!  Here are just a few of the images I took with this lens on my D300:

Disagreeing With Meriwether

Disagreeing With Meriwether

All Along

All Along

In Time

In Time

Well, as it happens, this gem of a lens had a little secret up its sleeve.  Although made for DX cameras, it can be used on full-frame cameras at 16mm!  Naturally, this bumped it way down the list of priorities for replacement, and in fact I’ve managed to take several of my very favorite pictures using the Tokina 11-16mm on my full-frame D800, like this one:

Bridging Every Chasm

Bridging Every Chasm

But here’s the rub.  It works, but it’s not really the best lens for this use.  Stuck at 16mm, it’s not very flexible, and it’s also fairly muddy in the corners, where the manufacturers didn’t intend for anything to be recorded.

Zoomed crop of upper-left corner shows muddy focus.

Zoomed crop of upper-left corner shows muddy focus.

So as I prepare for this epic journey, I’ve set my sights on a lens that I’ve wanted for quite some time: the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 ultrawide zoom.  It’s about 13% wider, sharp as a tack all the way to the edges, and has a much more flexible zoom range that will allow me to compose exactly the shots I want.

It’s a $2,000 lens (about $1,400 if I buy used), and I created the pre-sale with the specific intention of using the proceeds to buy this lens before I leave for my trip.

So you see, by buying in advance, you’ll not only be getting 35-50% off of my newest work before it’s even made, you will also be ensuring that the work I will create will be even better than it would be if you waited until after the trip to buy it.

So please, buy lots.  And thanks!

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