Something a little different from me this time…
In the past I’ve had a wide variety of requests for use of my images, including such disparate projects as prints, magazine and book publications, non-profit scientific and educational organizations (which I nearly always allow without a fee), fancy rubber stamps, uses by painters and other artists as subjects for their work, an image to be lacquered into the top of the communal dining table of a new fire station in Temecula, California and several of my Northern Harrier (a type of hawk) images have been used in the AV8B Harrier (jump-jet) pilot training software at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, California.
But a few weeks ago I got something new for me – a request to use one of my avian images for a very large, “photo – realistic” tattoo.
Jenna, from New Zealand, contacted me and requested to use this image of a female Short-eared Owl in flight (with brood patch visible on the belly) as the basis for the tattoo. Her tattoo artist, Matt Jordan of Ship Shape Tattoo, Orewa, New Zealand, needed a high-resolution version of the image in order to get enough detail to make the very large tattoo photo-realistic. Even though this shot was taken in extremely low light and doesn’t have quite as much detail as most of my photos, in the end there was enough.
Matt Jordan is apparently very talented and in high demand so it took Jenna several months to get the project started. It’s a long, drawn out and painful process.
Jenna’s first session with Matt lasted for 6 hours and she has another 12 hours to go “under the needle”. Yesterday she sent me this photo (used here with permission) of the results from the first session (only 33% completed). Here’s Jenna’s brief description of the process:
“The tattoo is started by placing a stencil on the body. It is then faintly
outlined in full to make the stencil permanent. The artist then shades in
sections of black and greys and finishes with white highlights (the white hurts
the most as a bigger needle is used).”
You can see the stencil tracing where the owl’s vertically extended left wing will be going up the side of Jenna’s upper back.
I don’t know a lot about tattoos but I’ve looked at Matt’s work on Facebook and it is impressive (much more so than at the preliminary stage represented by this photo). Jenna has promised me a quality photograph of the tattoo when it’s finished in July (possibly earlier if someone cancels an appointment). When that happens I’ll post it here.
I’m anxious to see how it will look…