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Flickr: slackferno
Flickr: slackferno

18 Stunning Black-Light-Responsive Tattoos

Flickr: slackferno
Flickr: slackferno

While UV-responsive tattoos are still fairly rare (many people don’t want to bother with ink that’s almost never going to be seen), they can offer a unique way to accentuate a design or to get a tattoo in a highly visible area without having to worry about the potential social consequences it may carry. Here are a few creative and cool tattoos as seen under black light.

1. Think

Here’s one that all Flossers should appreciate—a brain with the word “Think."  Better yet, part of the brain lights up when put under a black light. Excellent tattoo, Flickr user slackferno.

2. Skeleton

Plenty of people have tattoos showing their skeletal structure, but the look becomes far cooler when it only shows up under a black light. This great piece was done for Jason R. by Richie Streate of The Dungeon Inc. in Canon City, CO.

3. The Dark Mark

When the Dark Mark lights up, you know things are about to get serious. DeviantArt user Ravensfool had this great piece done by the same Richie of The Dungeon Inc. that did the skeleton arm above.

4. Yoda

Black light tattoos offer a unique opportunity to make your design more interactive. In this case, Kenneth Bryan of Intimate Body Art Studios made Yoda poised for battle in regular light, but with a little UV, his lightsaber is ready to strike down the Dark Side.

5. Cthulhu

Similarly, UV tattoo ink can add an extra layer of detail to a tattoo so it can really pop under any type of light. For example, Flickr user graysong's friend Tom's Cthulhu tattoo looks great under regular light, but under a black light, accents on the monster and the moon make the design particularly intimidating.

6. Book Worm

Knuckle tattoos can make it harder for you to find a job, but with tattoos that only show up under a black light, your dedication to literature can be permanently inked on your fists without risking your future job prospects. Flickr user astrobri, whose art was done by Ron at Adrenaline, took full advantage of this fact.

7. Moogle

Running out of space on your sleeve? Don’t worry, you can always get in a few more fun drawings with UV ink—like this moogle on Flickr user Bio Hally.

8. Transformers

Talk about more than meets the eye: This great tattoo on DeviantArt user ShinigamisPet features an outline only visible under UV light and the word “Nerd” in cybertronix, the language of the Transformers.

9. Buddy Christ

No word on who sports Buddy Christ from Dogma, but James of Nashville Ink certainly did a great job rendering him in UV-responsive ink.

10. Cupcake

Most UV tattoos contain only one shade that glows, but this cupcake by DeviantArt user Inkedromeo18 looks particularly tasty under the black light because it has so many fun colors.

11. Zelda

With all the puzzle-solving in Zelda games, it’s only fitting that DeviantArt user DarkAngelNeo’s Triforce tattoo is only visible under a black light.

12. Another Zelda

Here’s another fantastic Zelda UV tattoo, this one done by DeviantArt user Klanklang’s brother.

13. Space Invaders

Prefer your video game tattoos to be even more old school? Then you'll love Flickr user Alan Swan's Space Invader.

14. Geek Madness

Here’s a great geek black light tattoo sported by Flickr user ThumperWabbt’s son. It features the Dharma Initiative logo from the TV show Lost with the number 42 from the Hitchhiker’s Guide. The two go together particularly well when you consider all the mysteries and oddities of the two series.

15. Apple Pirate

Speaking of awesome geek ink, any Apple fan should be able to appreciate the Apple and crossbones done by artist Art Hullender and worn by Flickr user TheMadapple.

16. The Cheshire Cat

The magic of the Cheshire Cat is that he can disappear and reappear at will, often leaving nothing but his charming eyes and smile behind. DeviantArt user RefculNatas pays appropriate homage to the creature with this tattoo that only reveals the body of the cat under black light.

17. A Goldfish

It doesn’t matter if DeviantArt user starlitefairy24 is under regular light or a black light because her cute little fish, done by her boyfriend, will always be visible. In fact, since she got this tattoo, she also had the eye touched up with clear UV ink.

18. Avatar

It’s hard to capture the magic of Avatar’s Pandora in tattoo form, but DeviantArt user danktat comes close with this tattoo of Neytiri complete with UV-reactive glowing accents on her face.

Since glow in the dark tattoo ink is particularly uncommon, potentially dangerous and occasionally itchy, UV tattoos are currently the closest we can get to making our own bodies glow like those of the Na’vi. Would you guys ever get a black light tattoo and if so, what would you get?

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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