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JAC1961

Tattoo photography

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Anyone have some tips or link to taking decent photos of tattoos?  Taking pics on extremities with their cylindrical shape is giving me fits.

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Posted (edited)

I've never joined photos to make one connected image, but I've taken rotating shots and put them together to show the various angles.

Taking the Pics:

  • this is obviously easiest if you have someone taking pics for you.
    • have them stand at the same location as you rotate, to get the same lighting.
    • pay attention to the distance from the camera to the tattoo - try to keep size and location consistent
  • if you're taking shots solo
    • set the camera on a level surface that frames your piece well
    • set the timer and take as many shots as your camera will do on timer
    • same as above - stand at the right distance from the camera and slowly rotate
  • take more shots that you need.
    • digital pics are free!
    • check out the set and redo as needed. be patient.
    • later, when you edit, you can choose the best ones that work well to show the piece as a whole

I've never tried this, but you might also be able to just take a video, then take stills from the video.

Editing the Pics

  • Choose the best shots that show a good rotation
  • Crop each shot at the same height locations of the tattoo - in this example, top of arm to bottom of half sleeve
  • Resize each image to be the same height
  • Adjust values of each image, to be as consistent as possible
  • Save
  • Open a blank file and insert each shot in the rotation
  • Align to fit
  • Crop if needed
  • Adjust values as a whole rotated image, if needed

This is pretty amateur, but it's good enough for my needs.I've got nothing on ATAK. If you haven't already, check out Bloodwork: Sleeves and Bodies.

Hope this helps!

Koi and Lotus Half.jpg

Edited by Hands On

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  • Posts

    • Thanks @Fig1996! honestly I think I’d probably hate if everyone in met asked me about or commented on it too! Haha grass is always greener I suppose! What was your first piece? Is it posted anywhere on here?
    • I like your tattoo a lot! And what a cool and original idea to go with your childhood home! I at least haven't heard of that idea before, so I really like it. I always like me some original and creative ideas. 🙂 As for your question, I've worked as a supervisor in retail for 7 years and therefore had to deal with customers a lot. The moment I got my first forearm tattoo, I got a LOT of customers asking about it. They all told me they really liked it, and one even told me she wanted to get one exactly like mine, and I even had older customers who were super grumpy about tattoos be like "I do like yours" LOL. Then I got another forearm tattoo, though higher up on my forearm, on my right arm and I never once had any customer or even colleague ask about that one. I love that tattoo just as much as the other if not more, and, like @Dan, I'm completely fine with that too. I know this tattoo looks good and professional; and that it fits me well, and I don't really need anyone else validating that because what really matters is what I think when I see it, and I like it.  Frankly, the sheer amount of comments I got about my first tattoo kind of daunted me. Of course, I knew what I was getting into when I got it tattooed so I never resented anyone for asking about it either, but when you get comments like "but what does it REALLY mean?" "what is the deeper meaning behind it???" daily, it does get old pretty quick. 😅
    • I personally really don't think it has to be weird at all. I'd just approach an artist whose work you like and who you feel like you can trust, and then they'll tell you whether they want to take on your task or not. I really think there'd be quite some artists out there who would be willing to take that on. Long as you're not asking them to finish tattoos others worked on/started, which I don't see being an impossible task either but which probably would put them in a much more difficult position given the differences in style as opposed to their own they'd have to work with, I don't really see many issues with this.  I think in most cases the best thing is to just approach and ask! 🙂
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