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PSA Southern California Chapter


Graydon Payne

Rose Tattoo

​​Liz Cooks Canvas

Tattoo events are like any other indoor event with booths and aisles where tattoo artists ply their trade while others display and/or sell supplies and equipment. I like photographing tattooists at work taking in the designs, colors and textures, facial expressions, and focused concentration. All of this lighted by direct overhead lighting or intense spot lighting of the working area. From an anchor on the arm, or “I love Sally,” to full body designs, these people are committed to many hours, days and weeks of sitting or reclining, enduring considerable pain and expense to become walking canvases.

Pedi Tat

Tattoo Dreams

8/29-8/30/2015- James D. Smith – While tattoos may not be your cup of tea, body art is a living, breathing graphic art form. Originating over 5,000 years ago in nearly every human culture, tattoos may bestow individual and cultural identity and instill feelings of fascination and admiration as well as disgust and revulsion.  From the perspective of a photographer, tattoo conventions such as the Hell City Tattoo Fest which I attended in Phoenix, AZ, offer unique photo venues. Body art abounds and the people are quite happy to be photographed. You can learn about locations of tattoo events by Googling “Tattoo Events” in your local area; you may be surprised by how many there are. Try this link for starters: http://www.worldtattooevents.com/

Tattoo Designer

Right Arm Reclined

I shoot a Nikon D7200, Tamron 18-270mm, f/3.5-6.3; aperture priority, ISO 4000, f/8 and vary exposure compensation to capture drama from the available lighting of the subject and interesting backgrounds. I look for interesting background elements and different angles to enhance the drama of the shot. I process for the Projected Image Division using CS6, Topaz Adjust5, and Impressions. Tattoo venues could also work for Travel and Photojournalism if the photos are not enhanced.

Girl With Tattoos

Human Canvas