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Posts Tagged ‘Designs’

We asked three Canon lens masters to name their first and favorite lens designs

22 Mar

What is your first and your favorite Canon lens?

It’s not everyday you get to sit down with three master lens designers, but it’s also not every day you tour Canon’s Utsunomiya lens factory (read the interview and take the tour). Each of the three gentlemen we posed our two questions to – what was the first lens you designed and what is your favorite lens – has decades of experience designing Canon glass.

Masato Okada (center), the Deputy Chief Executive of Image Communication Products and Operations, first began designing lenses for Canon back in 1982. Meanwhile, Kenichi Izuki (right), the Plant Manager and Masato Okada (left), the Deputy Chief Executive of Image Communication and Products Operations, have each been designing Canon lenses since the late 80’s/early 90’s.

It takes decades of experience to design a lens like the Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L III USM.

What was the first lens design you worked on at Canon?

Masato Okada: “It would go back many years, maybe you weren’t even born yet (Editor’s note: I was not), but the first lens I worked on was the FD 150-600mm F5.6L. It was one of those lenses where it was on a box and you actually had a one-touch action to do the zoom and one-touch action to do the focus. That was a big revelation.”

Masato Okada is the Deputy Chief Executive of Image Communication and Products Operations at Canon’s Utsunomiya lens factory. 

What was the first lens design you worked on at Canon?

Shingo Hayakawa: “It launched in 1991, the 75-300mm F4-5.6 USM, was the first lens I worked on and also the very first lens in that series. At the time, we actually launched the product at a lower price than the third party manufacturers, which was big news. The version “III” of that lens is still on the market.”

Shingo Hayakawa is the Deputy Group Executive of Image Communication and Products Operations at Canon’s Utsunomiya lens factory.

What was the first lens design you worked on at Canon?

Kenichi Izuki: “Because I joined Canon as a technical engineer I have so many memories of all the products I’ve worked on. Initially, I handled maybe 10 products over the course of a year. But the very first one that I worked on, which is now discontinued, is the EF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 USM. It’s also one of my favorites.”

Kenichi Izuki is the Plant Manager at Canon’s Utsunomiya lens factory.

What is your favorite Canon lens design?

Masato Okada: “For me I’d have to say the 11-24mm F4L USM, because when launched, it allowed the widest angle possible on a full frame with no distortion. And I was torn at the time of production because we could have gone for the 12-24mm F2.8, which I thought would be more customer-prone. But I was developing the lens more in terms of particular users: a videographer for example, needing that extra field of view, even if they can’t physically back out. Other manufacturers were doing the 12-24mm, but only Canon was doing 11-24mm. We thought it was something we should go for. And it was really difficult in terms of the design for mass production. So because of those challenges, I’d say this would be my pick.”

Masato Okada is the Deputy Chief Executive of Image Communication and Products Operations at Canon’s Utsunomiya lens factory.

What is your favorite Canon lens design?

Shingo Hayakawa: “I can say that in terms of the lenses we’ve been launching over the years, we’re proud of them all. But the ones that came out last year in 2016, the 16-35mm F2.8L III USM in particular, was very highly spec’d at the time of its release. I’m proud of it because it has amazing performance and resolution. But if I were to narrow it down, my choice would be a lens that came out in 2012: the Canon 24-70mm F2.8L II USM. And if I were to choose a telephoto, I’d say the 200-400mm F4L IS USM with the 1.4x internal extender. But the 24-70mm II is my overall pick.”

Shingo Hayakawa is the Deputy Group Executive of Image Communication and Products Operations at Canon’s Utsunomiya lens factory.

What is your favorite Canon lens design?

Kenichi Izuki: “My favorite, which I truly remember because it was so hard to design, was the original Canon 70-200 F2.8 L USM non-IS. I actually worked on the 70-200mm F2.8L USM version II with IS when I became a manager of the division. That posed a challenge because we had to exceed the requirements of the previous version.”

Kenichi Izuki is the Plant Manager at Canon’s Utsunomiya lens factory.

Have your say, what’s your favorite Canon lens?

So what do you think of the responses we received – were there any surprises? And what is your all time favorite Canon lens? Let us know in the comments!

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Just Pull Some Strings: 8 Easy Transforming Furniture Designs for Lazy People

21 Mar

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

gesture controlled transforming furniture

When you’re lazy, even the most intuitive transforming furniture isn’t easy enough to operate unless it’s on the same level as clapping your lights on and off. Luckily for those of us who fall into this category, some furniture makers are creating multifunctional designs for small spaces that work their magic at the push of a button, the pull of a string, a flick of the wrist or even a mere gesture.

Retractible Ollie Chair by RockPaperRobot

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You really have to watch the video of how this chair works to fully appreciate its brilliant simplicity. It starts as an entirely flat panel of slatted teak wood with a slight curve at the top. Pick it up, pull a string and the whole thing unfurls into a seat in a single fluid motion that’s very satisfying to watch, and it works the same way in reverse. The slats are affixed to a textile canvas to make the seating flexible, and the rest takes folding inspiration from origami.

A-Board Flat-Pack Shelf

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This bookshelf starts as a flat piece of laser-cut plywood. Yang the orange ribbon on the back, and it will pull the shelves down perpendicular to the face so you can rest the whole thing against a wall and use it as a bookshelf. Designer Tomas Schön used a laser-cutting technique to bend the wood instead of hinges, and there’s no other hardware or even glue involved.

MIT Media Lab CityHome

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Still not easy enough for you? How about commanding your bed to slide out with a gesture of your hands? MIT’s robotic ‘home in a box’ can pack a full, spacious-feeling apartment into 200 square feet of space, including a bed, workspace, dining table for dix, storage and a mini kitchen. The box uses built-in sensors, motors, LED lights and low-friction rollers to respond to your voice commands or gestures.

Ori Robotic Home Controlled via Smartphone App

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There are all sorts of complex transforming furniture systems designed to fit maximum function into small spaces, but how many of them are operated through a smartphone app? The Ori system (taking its name from the prefix of ‘origami’) runs on robotic technology, featuring an on-device user interface as well as an app for your handheld device so you can press a button to initiate various configurations, like the bed sliding out, the table folding down or the entire unit moving to tuck itself against a wall to open up the floor area.

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Just Pull Some Strings 8 Easy Transforming Furniture Designs For Lazy People

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Green House: 17 Residential Designs Intertwined With Nature

14 Mar

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

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Replicating parks in the middle of largely-concrete cities or merely connecting tropical homes to the lush vegetation that’s already growing right beyond the walls, these homes integrate living plants, water features and direct access to the sky. Prioritizing a connection with nature – and all the natural daylight that comes along with it – these modern home designs are breezy and bright yet private, often placing their courtyards centrally like secret gardens or building around existing mature trees.

Rattan House, Sun House, Water Lily House, Willow House & Cluny House by Guz Architects

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Has any architecture firm mastered the form of the nature-influenced luxury tropical home quite like Guz Architects? Working primarily in temperate climates like that of Singapore, this firm consistently produces jaw-droopingly beautiful residences full of lushly planted courtyards, green roofs, swimming pools that transition into seemingly natural decorative water features, living trees and lots of blurred lines between indoors and out. For example, the center of Cluny House is a generous fish pond filled with tiny tree-covered islands overlooking a lap pool. Willow House features a ground-level reflecting pool with glass walls to make water a more visual element of the home, with greenery dripping down from the edges of the terrace above.

Jardins House by CR2 Arquitetura

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The fittingly named Jardins House by CR2 Arquitetura is an oasis in the middle of a city, replacing an industrial building. The architects created a series of voids within the structure to house gardens that would be naturally illuminated from above without compromising the privacy of the residents.

Mirante House by FGMF Arquitetos, Brazil

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Every sightline in Mirante House by FGMF Arquitetos is directed through the glass to the valley below, with an open scheme of interior spaces divided by transparent walls. Nature seems to invade the home at every turn, with planter boxes installed in every space and most rooms looking down onto the central courtyard.

Living Garden House by KWK Promes

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While glassed-in ground floors connected to the outdoors aren’t unusual in tropical settings, this home by KWK Promes uses the scheme a little differently. Rather than opening onto swimming pools or courtyards, the glass room at the base of the home is part of the lawn, so residents can feel like they’re still lounging in the warm grass even in the middle of winter. The glazing opens this lounge to the open air when desired. The home consists of two volumes, one essentially cantilevered over the other (supported by this glass room) while the street-facing facades are nothing but brick for privacy.

Sunken Pavilion by Act Romegialli

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Take the steps on the lawn or navigate a subterranean tunnel to access an enclosed swimming pool and gym from the original home in this addition by Act_Romegialli. The swimming pool structure is essentially sunken into the ground with its glassed facade peeking out at an artificial pond full of water lilies. This keeps the structure naturally cool and focuses views on nature rather than neighbors.

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Green House 17 Residential Designs Intertwined With Nature

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Inhabitable Nomadic Shelters: Designs Address LA’s Homelessness Crisis

23 Feb

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

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The problem of homelessness is a complex one rooted in gross stratification of wealth, and while addressing it in full means addressing poverty itself, temporary portable housing can save lives in the meantime. Many cities are implementing transitional housing programs that make use of inexpensive, easy to move structures in interstitial urban spaces. The Martin Architecture and Design Workshop (MADWORKSHOP) teamed up with students from the University of Southern California School of Architecture (USC) to come up with some creative examples of these structures.

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‘The Homeless Studio’ is an organization aiming to address LA’s homelessness crisis through design. Students built a series of full-scale, inhabitable nomadic shelters ranging from contraptions that fit onto shopping carts to more comfortable structures that wouldn’t be out of place in a tiny house village. Most of the materials were scavenged from around Los Angeles, and the designs had to be collapsible and suitable for a variety of locations.

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The results are sometimes more artistic than they are practical – like a hut clad in retail mannequin displays – but in many cases, the interiors are cozy and well-lit by windows and skylights, and one design even has a roof deck.

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The aim of actually addressing homelessness didn’t just consist of building a few weird-looking structures and calling it a day. The students worked with city officials, local agencies, artist and activists to come up with a holistic solution in a city where nearly 47,000 people live on the streets. They’re making repeated visits to local agencies like the Skid Row Housing Trust and the Downtown Women’s Center, speaking to people experiencing homelessness to get firsthand information about their needs.

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They’ll also be taking the hands-on skills and knowledge they gained through this project and applying it to a larger solution, designing a 30-bed modular shelter for women for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in San Fernando Valley. Their efforts over the course will be documented and compiled into a publication set for publishing by the USC School of Architecture in 2017.

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Reclaiming Urban Food Production: 12 Smart Designs for Farms & Gardens

23 Feb

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

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Most urban environments aren’t lacking in sunlight – it’s a lack of square footage and healthy soil that makes it hard to use these spaces to grow food. While many a high-tech concept design has envisioned vertical skyscraper farms or entire cities built from scratch, we need low-cost solutions that can be implemented into disused urban spaces, easily assembled and moved when necessary. These smart urban farming and gardening ideas reclaim pallets, cardboard tubes, shipping containers and bicycle wheels, and many take advantage of sunny available spaces on rooftops, in abandoned buildings or along stretches of hot concrete walls.

The Growroom: IKEA Flat-Pack Spherical Garden

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Developed by IKEA’s external innovation hub, Space10, the Growroom is a spherical structure that makes it easy to grow lots of food in a compact space thanks to its unique design. Since shipping the structure around the world would be too expensive and negate some of the benefits of local food sourcing, IKEA decided to offer the structure as an open-source design built with plywood, a CNC milling machine and a rubber hammer.

Floating Gardens in an Abandoned Chinese Factory

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This area along the Pearl River Delta in Shenzhen was once a thriving community relying on fish ponds and water-based commerce, but most of that has since vanished in the face of rapid urbanization, leaving many abandoned structures behind. ‘Floating Fields’ occupies this space and makes it useful again as an aquaponic garden. Created for the Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale, the installation is an experiment in water-based gardening, algae cultivation, sustainable food production and water filtering in an underutilized urban environment.

Recycled Cardboard Tube Garden

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Water-resistant, recyclable cardboard tubes provide the basis for a modern pop-up garden in Sydney by Australian design studio Foolscap. The tubes were used to build the walls of a temporary outdoor recreation space, taking inspiration from the formwork used to cast concrete columns in a nearby Sydney neighborhood. In addition to an outdoor theater, food and co-working areas, ‘Wulugul Pop Up’ had its own edible garden full of native plants.

Grid Garden on Wheels

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This clever portable garden rests on reclaimed bicycle wheels and features an open gridded design so sunlight can reach tiered plants. The ‘Why not in the garden?’ installation by A4A Rivolta Savioni Studio was literally rolled out into a Milan city square to demonstrate how concrete urban spaces can be temporarily used for food production.

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Reclaiming Urban Food Production 12 Smart Designs For Farms Gardens

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Two-Wheel Tech: 12 Innovative Motorcycle Designs Envision the Future

21 Feb

[ By SA Rogers in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

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What happens to the aesthetics of motorcycles when we let go of our nostalgic love for retro silhouettes and whole-heartedly embrace the future? Sleek and seamless unibody construction, lightweight 3D-printed components, unexpected silhouettes and hover bike concepts optimistically designed around technology that doesn’t yet exist. Some of these motorcycles are already in production (or one-off prototypes) while others will remain no more than renderings, but all of them take two-wheeled transportation to exciting new places, with the potential to inspire manufacturers to do the same.

BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100

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BMW set out to move beyond retro silhouettes with a zero-emissions, self-driving smart bike with active digital support displayed through the visor headset. The company is so confident that this system will keep the driver safe, they emphasize that no protective clothing is needed, not even a helmet.

BMW Titan Concept Motorcycle

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Looking like something that would come roaring out of the Bat Cave, the BMW Titan concept envisioned by Istanbul-based designer Mehmet Erdem encloses the front wheel within the body for an unusual silhouette inspired by the shape of a shark.

BMW K75 Typhoon

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Another wild motorcycle idea by Mehmet Erdem, which most people might expect to forever remain no more than a rendering, actually came to life in the hands of motorcycle expert Mark Atkinson. The machinist, who has years of experience in the Bonneville Salt Flats racing, built a real functional model of the design.

Renard GT Luxury Carbon Fiber Motorcycle

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The sleek body of Renard’s GT features lightweight hardened aluminum components that were designed in 3D and then CNC-milled from a solid block.

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Sort of Subterranean: 15 Partially Underground Modern Home Designs

14 Feb

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

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While fully subterranean homes can feel like grim bunkers, homes built partially into hills, cliffs and bluffs peek out from underground through glassy ‘eyes’ to gain daylight access and views of their surroundings. These covert residences are naturally camouflaged from several angles, blending into the landscape while still enjoying sun-dappled swimming pools, terraces and courtyards.

Underground Pavilion by Act Romegialli

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An addition to a traditional home in Northern Italy sits beneath the surface in the backyard, disguised by a green roof, with its ample glazing looking out onto an artificial pond. Local architecture firm Act Romegialli connected the new wing of the home to the original structure with an underground tunnel and placed an indoor swimming pool and gym inside the addition.

Two Single-Family Homes in Paraguay by Bauen

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Twin arcs protrude above grassy hills concealing the bulk of ‘two single-family homes’ by Paraguayan firm Bauen. The architects terra-formed the artificial hills and filled in voids between them with triple-height glass enclosures. Both of the luxurious homes look out onto a shared swimming pool. The roofs of the homes mirror the shape of the hills, and from afar, they’re barely visible.

Casa del Acantilado by Gilbartolomé Architects

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‘Dragon House’ by Gilbartolomé Architects takes a challenging site and transforms it into something truly spectacular, with a curvilinear tiled roof resembling scales on a reptilian hide. The home itself is built into a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Granada, Spain, with three ‘eyes’ leading out onto glass-walled balconies to take in the views. The interior is spread across two levels, and the living room segues into a cantilevered terrace with a swimming pool.

Casa Brutale by OPA

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Set to be built into the cliffs of Beirut soon, rather than overlooking a sea as seen in these renderings, Casa Brutale by OPA instantly went viral upon its debut for its dramatic design, with nothing but its swimming pool and stairs visible from surface level. The glass-bottomed pool acts as a giant watery skylight for the entire underground home, which looks out onto the valley from a narrow glazed facade.

Pam and Jenny House by L’escaut

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Positioned at waterline height within a garden, the ‘Pam and Jenny House’ by L’escaut is mostly subterranean but peeks out full-height glazing into a recessed courtyard to fill the space with light and make it feel larger. Seen from the main house, this addition looks like no more than a series of grassy plains.

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Not Your Grandma’s Kitchen: 17 Modern Designs for the Discerning Cook

12 Jan

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

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If these designs are any indication, the kitchen of the future is modular, minimalist, mobile and so unobtrusive that it can practically blend into the furniture in your living room. Whether you love a more rustic handcrafted aesthetic or want your house to look like the interior of a spaceship, these modern kitchen designs radically depart from contemporary interiors for the sake of both looks and functionality.

 

Invisible Kitchen by i29 Architects

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When it’s not needed, the kitchen in this historic Parisian apartment disappears altogether, blending into the wall. The top surface of the center island measures just about an inch thick to add to the sense of lightness, making the room’s classic woodwork its focal point. Dutch firm i29 Architects developed the ‘Invisible Kitchen’ system to be adaptable, so the front facade always mimics another wall in the room.

Aquarium Kitchen Island by Robert Kolenik

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The ‘Ocean’ kitchen island by Robert Kolenik not only places an island countertop on an oversized aquarium, but also includes a mechanism that lifts the top vertically to provide access to the tank for feeding and maintenance.

Transparent Cookspace by Tokujin Yoshioka

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Cooking implements, tableware and other small objects are partially visible yet still obscured in a translucent cook space by Tokujin Yoshioka, developed for Toyo Kitchen Style.

Sculptural ICE Kitchen by Tom Dixon

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Departing radically from the look of a typical contemporary kitchen, ICE by Tom Dixon consists of monolithic triangular prisms in various shapes and sizes that form the base of a luxurious kitchen made of ‘caesarstone’ premium quartz surfaces.

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Not Your Grandmas Kitchen 17 Modern Designs For The Discerning Cook

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Glow in the Dark Outdoor Art: 15 Designs That Come Alive At Night

09 Jan

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

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Phosphorescent paints, pigments and pebbles that charge via sunlight by day and glow after dark transform the nighttime urban landscape, illuminating murals, bike paths, skate parks, rivers and even live snails. It’s like taking the glow-in-the-dark stickers you plastered all over everything as a kid out into the real world and achieving similar effects on a satisfyingly large scale, hiding secrets all over the city that will be revealed when the sun goes down.

3 Glow-in-the-Dark Street Art Murals by Reskate

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When the sun goes down, hand puppets, knives and space helmets appear within a rabbit, a planet and a loaf of bread. Spanish creative studio Reskate used glow-in-the-dark paint to hide these unexpected figures within their silhouetted murals.

Glow in the Dark Bike Path in the Netherlands

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This bike path is safer after dark thanks to small particles of phosphor called ‘luminosphores’ that charge up during the day and release light at night. Urban planners in Lidzbark Warminski, Poland took inspiration from a similar project by Studio Roosegaarde in the Netherlands, but wanted to use a zero-energy light source instead of solar-powered LEDs.

Phosphorescent Mural by SpY, Paris

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Blending into the pale brick on the side of a Paris building by day, this mural by SpY reveals its secrets at night, blaring ‘I AM NOT A REAL ARTIST.’

Snail Swarm Enhanced with LED Lights & UV Paint

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Researching snails can be kind of dry, so a group of researchers from the Ecology department at the University of Exeter found a more fun – and visually dazzling – way to go about it. The team tagged hundreds of live snails with LED lights and UV paint, and then tracked their patterns of movement at night. The experiment is an effort to track how snails spread lungworm to dogs.

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Glow In The Dark Outdoor Art 15 Designs That Come Alive At Night

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Modern Markings: 42 Bold Black & White Tattoo Designs

03 Jan

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

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Modern tattoos are less about sailors, pin-ups and ‘MOM’ and more about bold black lines, complex geometry, architecture, esoteric imagery, glitches and even blacking out entire body parts to cover up old work. These standout themes represent some of the most visually striking, imaginative and artistically challenging styles gaining popularity in recent years.

Black & White Snake Tattoos by Mirko Sara

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Alone, white ink isn’t the greatest choice for a tattoo, according to many artists: it looks splotchy and uneven on all but the clearest, most evenly pale skin, fades quickly, and has a tendency to disappear into a blurry mess within a short period of time. But if you’re willing to get it touched up often to maintain it, it can be really beautiful, and it sets off black ink beautifully. Take the work of artist Mirko Sata for example – whose most common subjects are intertwined snakes.

Blackout Tattoos

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What do you do when you’ve got a large number of old tattoos you want to get rid of? Laser surgery is an option for the removal of smaller tattoos, but some people get beyond that whole ‘permanent’ aspect of inking the skin in a different way. Blackout tattoos are growing increasingly popular, blocking out large areas of the body with solid swaths of black ink.

Though the lines from the old tattoo still tend to show through, and several painful sessions are often required, the look can be pretty incredible. Some people get blackout tattoos on virgin skin just for the dramatic effect. Tattooers working in this style include Chester Lee of Oddtattooer, Alex Arnautov, Simon Mora, Josh Stephens and Kenji Alucky.

White Ink Over Black Work

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Fresh white ink applied over healed blackwork can also be a fun way to cover up old mistakes, and the contrast is pretty incredible right after it’s applied. Subjects have to sit for as many as five sessions to go over the white ink to make it opaque enough to stand out, and it can take years to finish a single piece. Artists who have experimented with this process include Esther Garcia, Nathan Mould, Ruslan Batyrbaev and Wayne Fredrickson.

Architectural Designs

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Architecture can be a particularly striking tattoo theme, especially when it takes up large areas of the body. Artist Maxime Buchi of M-X-M has tattooed traditional Russian architecture across people’s backs, arms, legs and chests, and someone loved Haight Ashbury enough to get imagery of the famous San Francisco intersection inked onto their body by the tattoo studio of the same name. Dmitriy Tkach depicted a Victorian house with roots wrenched from the ground like a plant, while Wang Lei designed an intricately shaded classical church. Thieves of Tower, appropriately enough, often tattoos spindly towers onto their subjects.

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Modern Markings 42 Bold Black White Tattoo Designs

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[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

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