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zentech

Ongoing Tattoo project all X100

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zentech

Thank you. I tend to agree with you but sometimes the inks just look so luscious I want the final image to be in color...and sometimes color tends to disappoint and I go back to the b&w version.

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gryphon1911

The processing really does depend on the subject matter and how the art is rendered. Interesting project. Keep going!! :D

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zentech

Thanks gryph. I'm not a tattoo person...and it was my prejudice that got me to walk into the shop and ask if they minded if I hung out for a couple of hours every week. Nicest people in the world.

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artuk

Interesting photos. If you don't mind, I might add a few of my own to the discussion?

Personally, I think tattoos don't always look good in black and white. I think it depends on the design and whether it's a colour or monochrome (black) tattoo design. Some designs when photographed in black and white just don't seem to have enough contrast, which can make the designs hard to see. Perhaps if one used raw software where it's possible to change how different colours are rendered in B&W might work better, to bring out the designs? I tend to think they look best in colour, with nice even flat lighting (otherwise you can get reflections on the skin). In contrast, black tattoos can look good in B&W, provided the contrast is increased enough to bring out the design. Just my thoughts.

I find the first 2 a little "flat" and think a little contrast or localised tone mapping might help. The last colour one is great.

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zentech

Interesting photos. If you don't mind, I might add a few of my own to the discussion?

Personally, I think tattoos don't always look good in black and white. I think it depends on the design and whether it's a colour or monochrome (black) tattoo design. Some designs when photographed in black and white just don't seem to have enough contrast, which can make the designs hard to see. Perhaps if one used raw software where it's possible to change how different colours are rendered in B&W might work better, to bring out the designs? I tend to think they look best in colour, with nice even flat lighting (otherwise you can get reflections on the skin). In contrast, black tattoos can look good in B&W, provided the contrast is increased enough to bring out the design. Just my thoughts.

I find the first 2 a little "flat" and think a little contrast or localised tone mapping might help. The last colour one is great.

I would love to see what you've got. Personally I don't have any tattoos and only started the project because I had some preconceived notions about who gets them and who makes them.

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artuk

Interesting photos. If you don't mind, I might add a few of my own to the discussion?

Personally, I think tattoos don't always look good in black and white. I think it depends on the design and whether it's a colour or monochrome (black) tattoo design. Some designs when photographed in black and white just don't seem to have enough contrast, which can make the designs hard to see. Perhaps if one used raw software where it's possible to change how different colours are rendered in B&W might work better, to bring out the designs? I tend to think they look best in colour, with nice even flat lighting (otherwise you can get reflections on the skin). In contrast, black tattoos can look good in B&W, provided the contrast is increased enough to bring out the design. Just my thoughts.

I find the first 2 a little "flat" and think a little contrast or localised tone mapping might help. The last colour one is great.

I would love to see what you've got. Personally I don't have any tattoos and only started the project because I had some preconceived notions about who gets them and who makes them.

I will try and post a few examples when I've had time to dig them out and upload them.

There is a quite vibrant tattoo culture in Thailand, where there doesn't seem to be any particular social taboo about them. Indeed, many men have tattoos made by monks at temples, who use the traditional methods with bamboo and needles. I have a number of friends there who are tattoo artists.

I feel in Europe and North America it can be more of a polarising social issue, though in the last couple of decades it has come back into mainstream fashion, though personally I often don't like the results from an aesthetic/artistic perspective.

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RichardCFrost

Wow, these pictures are awesome, especially the last two. I must pluck up the courage to:

a) Take more pictures of people and street

B) Get my Heisenberg tattoo

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RichardCFrost

P.S. Can I make out your reflection on the bald head of the guy in the third picture?

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zentech

P.S. Can I make out your reflection on the bald head of the guy in the third picture?

That picture was taken in 1976 and I doubt that I would recognize myself in any reflection. Thanks for the kind words re: the tattoo stuff. It's kind of interesting how I got into it. I live in a town in which some people think the existence of the tattoo shop is bad for the town. I had done a shot which ran in the local online news page and it garnered some negative comments. From that one picture and the response, it got me thinking about how I generally don't like tattoos, and have never thought of getting one.

I was walking past the shop a few days later and I walked in expecting to be given the boot. Instead the owner was very positive about me doing a series of pics about the day to day operation. I was upfront about my generally negative feelings about tattoos but they welcomed me with no restriction on what I could shoot. To be sure there was one artist who just came out and said he didn't want me there, he didn't like me there and not to take any pictures of him or his work. So every week I would spend a few hours in the shop. I learned a lot about the people who get them and the people who make them. I'm even considering a quarter sleeve of a cod fish.

I think you have to shoot what sometimes scares you and not be afraid to ask.

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RichardCFrost

I think you have to shoot what sometimes scares you and not be afraid to ask.

Well said. I admire your attitude. I think we sometimes forget life is not a rehearsal. It is what happens while you're plucking up the courage to join in.

Sometimes we forget that, whilst there are many subcultures in society, at the end of the day, these are just people like us. Just people who have different priorities or goals. We should no more judge them than expect them to judge us.

The same is very much true in the photography world. There are those who shoot RAW and spend their time in Post, those who shoot JPG and try to do as much in camera as they can, those who shoot Street/Portrait/Landscape etc. and nothing else, those who take hours over a single shot, those who fire off a hundred shots and simply choose the one that worked out. We all inhabit our own little worlds and often struggle to understand why people shoot differently to us, forgetting they have different motivations, amounts of time available etc..

I think it is great that you have gone out of your comfort zone, and the results have been well worth it. Can't wait to see some more shots. Keep up the good work.

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zentech

Thanks. When I was a student in NYC, I once asked a guy if I could take his picture and he was so angry I ran. Same thing happened in Piccadilly Circus...but those are the only 2 times that anything like that happened. I am always surprised at how open most people are to having their picture taken.

Everyone is interesting and I like to find out what makes someone do something like become a tattoo artist or painter. The biggest regret I have in photography is not getting out of my comfort zone. When I do, the images become almost secondary as I've made a new acquaintance and probably learned something about myself.

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