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No Pain, No Gain: Stop Motion Camera Tattoo Videos

How's this for hardcore? Photographer Dabe Alan decided to document his sessions with tattoo artist Tony Touch as he got intricately inked with symbolic camera and film designs! Analogue cameras + tattoos + time-lapse videos = all the things we like! Watch the cool clips below.

Dabe Alan and photography came to be because of Polaroids and secrecy. Alan used to sneak shots from his sister’s instant camera when she wasn’t home and he’d hide them in a tin with his Transformers. He didn’t realize what used to be fun and games would one day be his bread and butter.

Screencaps of Work in Progress by Dabe Alan

Oregon-based Alan decided to get a series of tattoos of the most significant cameras in his life and consigned Ohio artist Tony Touch to make it happen. Using a Canon 5D Mark II and an Alien Bee 1600 light with softbox, he shot the procedure and edited them into stop motion videos.

Three sessions and over 3,000 frames later, here are the clips with Alan’s anecdotes:

So with the help of Tony Touch, I am getting an awesome Nerd sleeve worked on whenever I go visit Toledo. We decided to roll with an evolution of cameras at first, then more nerdy references above.

Tony got the idea from another artist to do a stop-motion video where it looks like the tattoo does itself. I brought in a single alienbee and softbox, plus my handy new remote, and we got to it.

Hopefully we’ll do this for the entire arm. I’d love to have that kind of record of progress on this :)

Since everyone is asking, some things about the tattoo:

  • The actual time of the sitting was 4 hours
  • This video is comprised out of 1054 shots
  • “ROZWÓJ” is Polish for “development”
  • The numbers on the film canister reflect the date I took my first serious photograph
  • Yes, the film is 35mm, but it’s not going into any of the cameras, just wrapping around. I’m well aware that it looks odd having it next to medium format cameras, but it will make sense when the rest of the sleeve is completed. :)

Continuation of nerd sleeve by Mr. Tony Touch. Right now we’re still on the evolution of cameras but pretty soon you might see some other nerdy references dropping in as well.

Facts about this one:

  • Sitting time: 3 Hours
  • Comprised of 860 Photos
  • The 2nd camera you see is my late fathers very own Yashica 35 Electro from back in the day, and those are his initials engraved in the corner.

Step 3 of the Nerd Sleeve by Tony Touch. So for this video the main two things that you’ll see are my very own Canon 5d Mark ii, and my favorite mouse I’ve ever owned, the Logitech MX518 (I TOLD you this was gonna get nerdier). With the addition of the glowing mouse, all the green that was glowing on the other cameras makes sense.

You’ll also notice the 35mm film turning into pixels as it gets higher. Oh but it’s not gonna stop just there…

Facts about this one:

  • Sitting time: 2 Sessions – 5 Hours
  • Comprised of 799 Photos

Here’s the completed tattoo sleeve, as well as a self-portrait of Alan and a shot of Tony Touch, which you’ll also see on Alan’s main page. How cool (and painful) is that!

Visit Dabe Alan and Tony Touch for more info.

written by denisesanjose


  1. clownshoes



    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. nuhdos


    nice camera-ink collection ! : )

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. kneehigh85


    This might be the best thing I have ever seen!!!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. vicuna


    I just made a shooting session at a tattoist too... ;)

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. denisesanjose


    @vicuna Great photos! I have a few shots from my tattoo session too except mine are small and it only took about 15 minutes to finish haha

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. plasticpopsicle


    Wow, that is one hardcore photographer/camera addict!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 한국어.