Impressive photorealistic tattoos

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Those are wonderful, though considering the medium i don’t expect them to age well


That’s exactly what I was thinking.

Even with touching them up some details are going to get muddled. Seems like an uphill battle to upkeep such a detailed tattoo. I’d rather get a simpler design that would need minor touch ups

Or the subject material. Anyone with a Kevin Spacey tat?


As with all elaborate tattoos, what’s it gonna look like when the wearer is 70?

(Note to self - remind grandkids to start up a tattoo removal business)

That’s one of the reasons certain tattoo trends get panned by tattoo artists, like the watercolor inspired designs. They look awesome but having no real linework and being colors blended together those are tattoos that will not age well and doing touch ups would be non-trivial.

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Old people with tattoos tend to look dope. I have no idea what this common complaint is actually about. I dig it.


Plus if you’re getting touch ups all the time you’ll rarely get to appreciate it fully healed.

A housemate of mine is considering his first tattoo and getting estimates was a bit of an eye-opener as to what’s involved in tattooing.

His design seemed simple – a refinement of an (obscure, very geeky) icon used in Star Wars – but it’s all straight lines and circles. Even a small tattoo like that is crazy expensive.

A freehand-drawn little cartoon? A playful icon? Some tattoo lettering? Cheap! Easy!
Precise lines and geometry? Not so much.

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I’m gonna get a photorealistic picture of Thor so when the varicose veins come in they’ll just look like extra lightning bolts.


There’s no complaint over tattoos, it’s how poorly the tattoos will age when you start getting into a lot of details and subtle blending. Give a photorealistic tattoo 10-15 years and it will start to look blurry, give it 20-30 years and it’d likely be illegible.

I want impressive photoelectric tattoos. How else will I power my cyber-implants, a nuclear battery?

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You gonna walk around like Sean Connery in Zardoz? No thank you. I’ll be over here in my Deus Ex long coat thanking god for cold fusion.

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“V-J Day in Times Square” hasn’t aged well at all.


I know an old guy with four tattoos. This is what he told me about them.

The oldest one he got in Japan, during the occupation after the war. It’s a chinese dragon, copied from a vase that he rented from a shop next door to the tattoo parlor. It is gorgeous, vibrantly colored, clear and distinct.

The other three are American and decades more recent. They look like muddled, bleeding garbage.


I mean, I’d hang out with this lady and kick back a couple of beers with her…




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That’s interesting. I wonder what the difference was, in terms of technique, types of ink used, etc?

I presume the quality of the inks matters, how deep the needle is going in the skin, how rough the artist is on the skin. The way traditional tattooing methods are done (not just Japanese) tends to take time to do properly and requires more finesse and care, so it might lend to how well it ages. Same results could be achieved with modern methods perhaps? I’m a bit curious, i’ll have to remember to look it up