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Posts Tagged ‘White’

7 Secrets of Black and White Photography

20 Apr

We’ve all heard it … “to master black and white photography you must learning to see in black and white” – but just how do you do that?

It can sometimes seem like actually learning to see in black and white is a skill for only the chosen few. But trust us, it’s for you too!

Here are seven (not-so-secret-anymore) secrets that will help you train your brain and expand your eye for the art of black and white photography.

(…)
Read the rest of 7 Secrets of Black and White Photography (844 words)


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How to Enhance your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

09 Mar

This article will give you some tips on how you can enhance your black and white images by using infrared photography.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

Infrared photography for something different

Are you a fan of black and white photography? Like many, I love a good black and white image. The mood you can exude from the shadows and light always fascinates me.

When I was new to photography, I mostly avoided black and white landscapes. I used it mainly a handy way to hide the sporadically bizarre white balance my old Olympus EPL1 used to occasionally surprise me with.

Infrared photography (IR) also took a while to attract my attention. I wasn’t a huge fan of the typical false colour images, but quite liked the black and white IR photos, particularly the work of Simon Marsden. If you haven’t explored his portfolio of dark and atmospheric infrared film photography, you are missing something unique.

Anyway, after a while, I started doing more black and white landscape images, and eventually followed the urge to get into IR images purely for their unique monochrome potential.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

I went down the path of buying a modified camera off Ebay. You can buy anything from a point and shoot to a full frame DSLR, and everything in between. If you have an old body you can always get it converted, but it’s worth checking the cost against buying one that’s already been modified.

I picked up an Olympus EPM1 for around AUD $ 300 ($ 230 USD). The advantage for me was being able use the same lenses and batteries I already had for the EPL1.

Why buy a modified camera rather than use IR filters?

Filters are a great and relatively inexpensive way to get into IR photography, but they have their limitations.

The main attraction of a modified camera is that you are not limited to the long exposures needed for an IR filter. You can capture sharp images in any conditions, and can be more creative with your exposures (e.g. pick the perfect shutter speed for moving water). You can shoot handheld from any point of view without being limited by a tripod.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

It is also much quicker. When using filters, you need set your focus before attaching the filter which can become tiresome.

I used to take my IR camera with me for a run along the river. Without the need for a tripod, I could travel light and take quick photos whenever an interesting composition presented itself.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

What can infrared photography bring do for a landscape photographer?

Perhaps the most striking characteristics of infrared photography are the typical white vegetation, black water, and dark skies. You can create punchy, high contrast images. The middle of the day works best for these type of shots. Perfect for those landscape photographers that hate early mornings!

If you like capturing the complex patterns in clouds, you’ll find that the black skies really allow the clouds to stand out.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

IR also gives you clarity. Any haze visible to the eye tends to disappear in infrared photography. So you can achieve a very crisp and contrasty look.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

The deciding factor for me was tone. I found the infrared monos gave me a wonderful palette of greys and blacks to work with, particularly for trees and vegetation. The balance between light and dark just seems easier to manage in infrared and really lets you produce some unique images.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

Processing

So what processing should you use for infrared photography? The short answer is not much really. Experiment to find out what works for you.

Myself, I don’t normally use Lightroom or Photoshop, so my workflow may be a little different than yours. But the principles will be the same.

I import my raw images into Corel’s AfterShot Pro, which is a handy little raw file editor. Here I’ll straighten the image, adjust the exposure, and maybe increase the contrast if required. My infrared raw files come into AfterShot Pro displaying blue-grey hues, which is a good starting point for me. From here I export them as TIFFs into PaintShop Pro.

PaintShop Pro has a “Black and White Film” effect that lets you apply a colour filter to your image. Changing your filter between blue, red, and green gives a different result.

From here it is a matter of personal taste adjusting the light and dark of your image, the white and black points to suite the image, and maybe applying curves as appropriate.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

What is the Secret Sauce?

Infrared photography is wonderfully clean and crisp. But what if you love that IR film look with a ghostly flare?
Don’t worry. PaintShop Pro has it in the bag. They have an “Infrared Film” effect that was probably created to make ordinary images look a bit infrared-ish.

But when you apply it to a proper infrared image as a starting point, you get a wonderful controlled flare effect. It doesn’t quite match the often spooky and surreal results Simon Marsden achieved with IR film, but it does get you a lot closer than anything else.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

The flare can be applied to give a sense of mystery, mood, and surrealness that is hard to replicate any other way.
Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

Are there any downsides to infrared photography?

Not really. The only big drawback you’ll find is that you cannot use your favourite filters. Standard neutral density and polarizers do not work in the IR spectrum. If you sky is very bright and your subject is dark, you’ll just have to blend a few different exposures. Shooting in RAW of course gives you more leeway, but my Olympus files are not as forgiving as my Nikon files when recovering blown highlights.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

The only other thing I notice is that some people get so enamoured by the white leaves and black sky effect that they forget to put their attention on the composition. Yes, everything looks cool in IR, but don’t take pictures of everything. Aim for strong compositions and uncluttered images. IR really shines with a minimalist approach.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

Many dismiss infrared photography as an oddity; a strange niche that is a bit too left of centre for them. Others just think it is too hard and expensive to get into.

But if you like creating black and white images that stand out from the crowd, I’d suggest you have a crack at it. You’ll find it a challenge but also quite rewarding.

Enhancing your Black and White images with Infrared Photography

The post How to Enhance your Black and White images with Infrared Photography by Matthew Larsen appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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How to Create Good Black and White Portraits

24 Feb

The most difficult question I often ask myself is, “Do I convert this image to black and white or leave it in color?” This question is particularly difficult with people, because black and white portraits look really good.

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My go to rule is that if the colors in the image do not match, are not complementary, or simply do not look good, then I convert my image to black and white.

Tips to Making Black and White Portraits

A lot of people prefer black and white images and because of that I always send to my models/clients one black and white image and one edited image in color. I basically force myself to convert all my images to black and white, and in some cases, I get surprised because the result looks really good.

Black and white is less forgiving

Flaws in monochrome images will automatically stand out than in color ones. This is because sometimes color distracts the viewer and it can give the impression that the image is perfect even if the composition, facial expression of the model, or lighting are not the best.

With black and white portraits, you will need to pay more attention to light, composition, contrast, and the whole scene in general.

Tips to Making Black and White Portraits

Lighting for black and white

Contrasty lighting is what makes a black and white image pop. If you look at the work of famous photographers like Ansel Adams, his images stand out because of the light contrast. Fine art photographer, Joel Tjintjelaar, explains very well separation and the grey scale, tonal contrast, separation and presence and depth. Black and white is all about presence and depth. Most of the time this can be created and enhanced using the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop.

It is important to study the work of others. For example, Peter Coulson is a photographer who takes stunning black and white portraits.

When taking portraits in natural light, always use a shallow depth of field to centre the attention on the eyes and avoid slow shutter speed as the image needs to be completely sharp.

Tips to Making Black and White Portraits

Taking images during the magic hour will give a very flattering result as the light will be very soft. In studio sessions, a large softbox or window light will give you very soft light. For more contrasty results, the best solution outdoors is to photograph during the middle of the day and in studio is to use a beauty dish.

The difference will mainly play in the shadows and it will depend on how dark do you want your shadows to be.

Tips to Making Black and White Portraits

Plan for black and white

Most of the time, the best solution is to have black and white in mind for the final image because you will automatically pay more attention to light and shapes around your model. You also need to tell your model that this is your intention because the pose and facial expression will be more important and emphasized.

Black and white portraits are all about facial expression and transmitting emotions. The eyes of the model should always be the centre of attention and facing the light source to create a little sparkle of light (called catch lights), this makes the difference. You can also create a second sparkle if you use a light reflector. You don’t necessarily need an assistant to hold the reflector, you can ask the model to hold it or you can hold it yourself with one hand.

Tips to Making Black and White Portraits

Studio portraits in black and white can be much more creative because you fully control the amount of light in the room. You can control the direction and intensity of that light towards your model. Try to get creative by only lighting one part of the face, by using objects or using a black background to isolate your subject.

Post-processing

Black and white work is not only desaturating an image, it is much more complex. The work flow I usually use is I start by editing my image in color and playing around with the contrast of colors. I adjust my exposure, the sharpness, do skin work and then I do my first dodge and burn. Afterward, I convert my image to black and white using the channel mixer and it is quite simple because the different filters will give you different results.

https://digital-photography-school.com/tips-making-natural-light-portraits/

The most important part of post-processing is using dodge and burn to give life to your image. Brighting and darkening up key areas of the image is the most important step, take your time to do it well. The result will depend on you, so don’t hesitate to do it several times before you are completely satisfied. I recommend using a Wacom Tablet for full control. Finish your post-processing by creating a vignette to add another feel of dimension.

Conclusion

Black and white portraits look amazing when they are done properly. The result will depend on how good you can control and define the light around your subject. In other words, how defined is your contrast between the different tones.

Always think about black and white when the colors in the RAW image do not look good, when when your model has a very strong facial expression, and when you have good looking light whether it’s outdoors or indoors.

Please share your comments and black and white portraits in the section below.

Tips to Making Black and White Portraits

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23 Moody Black and White Architectural Images

18 Feb

Architecture provides a few things that photographers love; texture, shape, contours, dramatic lighting.

Let’s see how these 23 photographers found and photographed different buildings and kinds of architecture in black and white.

By Marco Crupi

By Paul Waldo

By Andrew Howson

By jesuscm

By Thomas8047

By Justin Vidamo

By Brad Hammonds

By Brad Hammonds

By Thomas Hawk

By ?Jin Mikami?

By perceptions (creative pause)

By Peter Tandlund

By ?Jin Mikami?

By ?Jin Mikami?

By Jacques Caffin

By Paulo Valdivieso

By Franck Vervial

By Chris Chabot

By Wasif Malik

By Davidlohr Bueso

By gato-gato-gato

By Brad Hammonds

By Premnath Thirumalaisamy

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The post 23 Moody Black and White Architectural Images by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Weekly Photography Challenge – Black and White Architecture

18 Feb

Earlier I shared some moody and dramatic images of architecture in black and white. Now it’s your turn!

Weekly Photography Challenge – Black and White Architecture

Even in harsh midday sun, you can often create stunning and dramatic images of architecture. Let’s take a look at a few black and white images of architecture. I’ll start you off with a few of my own from Turkey.

The library at Ephesus

Inside the great Haga Sofia in Istanbul.

Your challenge this week is to photograph some architecture. You can do this no matter where you live. If there are buildings, you can do this. Even a hut or shack is architecture! Use a wide-angle lens or go for details, maybe shoot at night? It’s up to you how you approach it, just get out there shooting.

If you need some tips here are a few articles to help:

  • 4 Beginner Tips for Doing Architecture Photography
  • How to Create Stunning Architecture Photography by Painting with Light
  • Tips for Different Approaches to Architecture Photography
  • 8 Quick Tips to Improve Your Photos of Architectural Details
  • 9 Architectural Photography Tips
  • A Guide to Black and White Conversion in Photoshop
  • A Guide to Black and White Conversion in Lightroom
  • 8 Reasons to Use Silver Efex Pro 2 for Your Black and White Conversions

By Pietromassimo Pasqui

By David

By Hernán Piñera

By darkday

Share your images below:

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images on the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

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The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Black and White Architecture by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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FILM Ferrania P30 black and white film will get a limited ‘ALPHA’ release

03 Feb

FILM Ferrania has announced the ‘rebirth’ of its P30 black and white film, which will be made available soon as a limited ‘ALPHA’ edition. This 80 ISO panchromatic offering is described by FILM Ferrania as ‘motion picture film for still photography,’ reintroducing the P30 stock first launch by the company in the 1960’s. Says Ferrania, P30 ALPHA ‘has no peers in the modern analog film market.’

Ferrania introduced the limited edition product via a tweet yesterday, pointing photographers toward the P30 ALPHA’s product page and a new video (below). According to the company, its pre-production batch of film presents ‘various defects’ like contrast issues and scratches, but these issues will not be present in the finalized commercial film product. ‘That said, this film is an ALPHA edition for a clear reason,’ the company stressed.

The company has released a gallery of photos taken with the pre-production film on its P30 website. Photographer Adam Goldberg has also published a series of photographs taken with the film on his Tumblr. According to Ferrania, sales of the film will start in mid-February; no prices have been revealed.

Via: PetaPixel

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Pete Souza captures Obama’s final day in the White House

21 Jan

Pete Souza, the official photographer for now-Former President Obama, posted a series of photos on his Instagram account showing the Obama’s final departure from The White House. Like the Former President, Souza plans on taking some time off, sleep late and ‘do whatever the wife wants me to do.’

All of the photos Souza took during his eight-year tenure as White House photographer are archived here.

 

President Obama leaves the Oval Office this morning for the last time. What a great experience I’ve had the past eight years. Every photo I’ve posted to this account has been archived and locked at @petesouza44. This account (@petesouza) will now be my personal account so I hope you will continue to follow me. I expect to be very active on Instagram although I may not post that much initially as I try to take a little break, sleep late, do whatever my wife wants me to do, go the gym every day, see some concerts, watch some movies, read some books, drink some wine….you get idea.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

 

Another view of President Obama leaving the Oval Office for the last time this morning (taken with remote camera).

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

 

President Obama waves from the steps of Executive One helicopter following the inauguration of Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

 

Farewell.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Homepage photo by Susan Sterner

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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The Pros and Cons of Black and White Versus Color for Street and Travel Photography

10 Jan

The question of whether to shoot street and travel photos in black or white or color is an eternal one that isn’t going to go away. But one of the interesting things about digital photography is that it lets you decide whether to process a photo in black and white or color after the photo has been taken. Unlike film photography, there’s no need to commit to one or the other until you open the photo in Lightroom.

The Pros and Cons of Black & White Versus Color for Street and Travel PhotographyBut is that a mistake? I think it is because black and white photography and color photography are two different mediums. If you are working in color, then you need to pay attention to the colors in the scene and how to use them to create an interesting composition. But in black and white, you need to pay more attention to textures, contrasts, and shapes in order to create a strong composition.

 

That’s on top of the task of capturing the expressive moments that the best street and travel photos reveal.

There’s a lot to think about, and as black and white and color photography require different mindsets, it’s a good idea to make the decision about which you are going to shoot before you press the shutter button.

Having said that, it is also helpful to think about the following factors when you are processing photos. It may be that you were working in color, but realize afterward that a particular image would work very well in black and white. The same considerations apply, except that you have more time to think about it.

3 Reasons for working in black and white

1. To capture character

Many street and travel photographers, street photographers especially, chose to work in black and white. If your aim is to make a candid portrait that captures something of the person’s character or soul, then black and white is an excellent choice. There is something timeless about black and white that helps reveal character.

That’s why I shot the following photo in black and white.

The Pros and Cons of Black & White Versus Color for Street and Travel Photography

2. To simplify the composition

Black and white is a form of simplification. Skilled street photographers learn to create images that are uncluttered and that contain as few distractions as possible. Color can be extremely distracting, and sometimes it’s easier to ignore color completely and work in black and white.

For example, let’s say you make a portrait of somebody on the street, but there is a red poster on a wall behind them. In a color photo, that’s likely to be very distracting. But convert it to black and white and the distraction goes away. The viewer’s attention goes back to the person, where it belongs.

If you are working in an area with lots of potentially distracting colors, working in black and white may be the way to go. For example, this scene in Bolivia was quite colorful, and I felt that black and white removed the distractions of those colors.

The Pros and Cons of Black & White Versus Color for Street and Travel Photography

3. To evoke atmosphere

Color photos can be tremendously evocative, but so can black and white ones. I think it’s because a black and white image leaves something for the imagination, or perhaps because we associate it with photos taken in the past. So, if you are working somewhere with lots of old buildings, then black and white photos can be a tremendously moody way of capturing the atmosphere of that place.

I chose black and white for this photo, taken in the Argentina, because the stirrup is handmade, and looks ancient, as if it were made many years ago.

The Pros and Cons of Black & White Versus Color for Street and Travel Photography

3 Reasons for working in color

Color is very powerful and used wisely it can elevate your images to another level. Yet, if it is not used thoughtfully, it can take away from the impact of your photos.

1. The colors of the location are part of its character

For example, last year I visited Beijing and noticed that red is a very common color in that city. It denotes power and wealth and has an important part in Chinese culture. I realized that it is possible to create a series of interesting photos with red as the dominant color.

For example, this photo (below), taken in the Forbidden City in Beijing, makes use of the striking contrast between the red walls and the yellow tiles (matched by the boy’s shorts).

The Pros and Cons of Black & White Versus Color for Street and Travel Photography

2. The light is beautiful

Color photos are at their strongest when the light is beautiful. This is usually during the golden hour close to sunset, or early morning just after sunrise. The light at these times is warm and golden, and tremendously evocative. This could be a good time to work in color.

I took this photo close to sunset. The light was soft and its warmth helped lift the scene.

The Pros and Cons of Black & White Versus Color for Street and Travel Photography

3. You are shooting at dusk

Dusk and early evening are good times to work in color as it gives you the opportunity to work with the natural color contrast between the orange light cast by tungsten light bulbs and the natural blue color of the ambient light.

This photo below was taken in the early evening. The hat and t-shirt of the man in the foreground are colored blue by the ambient light outside, while the rest of the scene is lit by artificial light. I retained the orange color in post-processing to keep the atmosphere.

Color vs black and white in street and travel photography

Commit

The process of deciding to shoot in black and white or color involves assessing the scene and the situation, and deciding which one to use, taking into account the reasons listed in this article and your personal preferences. The key is then to commit to the process. Work the subject and do your best to create the most powerful images possible.

If you’re working in color, think about the colors present in the scene and how you can use them effectively. Your mind will engage and start looking more deeply at the colors around you.

If you’re working in black and white, look for interesting textures, tonal contrast, and shapes. Again, once you commit your mind will start looking for compositions that work well in monochrome.

Your turn

What do you think? Do you prefer to make street and travel photos in black and white or color? Let us know in the comments.


If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about street and travel photography then please check out my ebook The Candid Portrait.

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Pulse: Extreme weather in black and white

04 Jan

Mike Olbinski has captured some pretty amazing footage over the past year; you may remember this video that we posted back in October and this one from July. Needless to say, he had a busy 2016. For his latest project, he decided to do something a bit different by presenting the entire 4K time-lapse film in black and white.

This type of treatment definitely comes with its own set of challenges, but we think it showcases the drama and unpredictability of thunderstorms in a refreshing way. Make sure to enjoy this one in HD with volume turned up and the lights turned down.  

Song by Tony Anderson: “The Way Home” (Licensed through The Music Bed)

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Modern Markings: 42 Bold Black & White Tattoo Designs

03 Jan

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

geometric-tattoos-main

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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modern-tattoos-snakes-4

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

modern-tattoos-architectural-mxm

modern-tattoos-architectural-haight-ashbury

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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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Comments Off on Modern Markings: 42 Bold Black & White Tattoo Designs

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