Abstract moments carved into time like wood carved with memories.

Collin is a wonderful human being and I am extremely grateful to have not only met him, but to have accompanied him on his journey over the last five years getting his two sleeves.

To call Collin a master craftsman would be an understatement, he is a timber frame carpenter who uses traditional methods and combines them with modern functional homes, it really is something you have to see to appreciate, his new website is at this link-

http://www.collinbeggs.com

He has travelled from Sandpoint Idaho to visit and get tattooed by me in Austin multiple times each year and the photographs below are of the finished project, though I doubt we are finished as I think there maybe a few more tattoos on the horizon.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been fully immersing myself in capturing my tattoos on film and decided to take full advantage of photographing Collins sleeves.

We set up a little back drop outside at my home on an overcast Sunday with a few reflectors for fill light and to reduce some shadows, I used a Calamut 4×5 mono rail camera with a old 20/30’s compur Lens and a Hasselblad 500cm with a 150mm lens.

The first image above and images below were shot on a Hasselblad 500cm with a 150mm lens.

Thank you Collin for making all the trips and following through to see this project to its completion.

Disengagement via Shaping Light

A rose from my garden, Hasselblad 500cm Ilford sfx 200 Thomas Hooper Tattooing

A rose from my garden, Hasselblad 500cm Ilford sfx 200.

The beginning of this year has been one of creativity introspection, I made a rash decision on the 1st of January to not post any tattoos on my main Instagram ( I may have started a new one that’s private for now as I attempt to do one abstract painting a day for the whole year…… more on that later) and try my best to disengage from any interaction on the platform for a while, instead turning that time into drawing and reading.

Creativity is the Key to surviving 2020!

The Secret Life of a Rock, Hasselblad 500cm Ilford sfx 200 Thomas Hooper 2020

The Secret Life of a Rock, Hasselblad 500cm Ilford sfx 200.

My good friend David Hines recommended this book towards the end of last year and it is providing a wonderful insight into the way I look at pictures, wether it is something I am photographing or a drawing/painting I am creating.

I now find myself wanting to capture more of my tattooing on film, below are some images from the last few months, thank you for reading through and taking a look at the photographs.

A portrait of Carl Brunson, an inspiring and talented painter I am very fortunate to tattoo.

Carl Brunson Koni Omega Rapid M Fuji POrtra 800-1

Carl Brunson Koni Omega Rapid M Fuji POrtra 800-1

A visit from an old friend and client.

Emmanuel Hasselblad 500cm January 2020

Emmanuel, tattooed at Saved Brooklyn 2009-2012. Hassleblad 500cm on Fuji Portra 800 pushes one stop.

Stepped back into the ring with an old friend.

Kyle Hasselblad 500cm january 2019 sfx 200 Thomas hooper

Progress on Kyle’s back. Hassleblad 500cm on Ilford sfx 200

Getting close to the finish line with a wonderful client.

hasselblad tattoo pics dec 19 Thomas Hooper

hasselblad tattoo pics dec 19 Thomas Hooper

Hasselblad 500cm with Fuji Portra pushed 1 stop.

Joel Miller has been a client since 2005 and I’m honored we get to continue this journey here in ATX as he now lives local!

Joel 35mm in 120mm tattoo pics dec 2019 Thomas Hooper

Joel 35mm with 120mm spool adapters in Hasselblad Super Wide C on Ilford Delta 400 pushed 2 stops, shot full Negative to cover sprockets holes.

Joel 35mm in 120mm tattoo pics dec 2019 Thomas Hooper

Joel 35mm with 120mm spool adapters in Hasselblad Super Wide C on Ilford Delta 400 pushed 2 stops, shot full Negative to cover sprockets holes.

A recurring favorite Michael waters with the start of his legs.

Michael Waters Hasselblad super wide c Thomas Hooper

Starting Michael Waters legs, Hasselblad Super Wide C on Ilford 3200.

Michael Waters Hasselblad Super Wide C Thomas Hooper

Michae’s healed back, Hasselblad Super Wide C on Ilford 3200.

Daniel 4 x 5 large format photo Thomas Hooper Tattooing

Daniel, the day after we finished his back.

 

Justin Timid Steps Thomas Hooper Tattooing

Justin, Crown Graphic 4×5 Ilford 100 Delta.

 

And as a little foot note, today my good friend Dennis Mcnett AKA @Wolfbat dropped by the studio today and gifted me this set of woodblock printing tools and materials as he will be teaching me some of his amazing craft, more info on that as it progresses!

IMG_9173

Thank you Dennis and thank YOU for taking the time to look at my work.

X Thomas.

Twenty Years

First off, a little late but, happy new year and welcome to the new decade, blessings to all and I hope that we all continue to grow and fulfill our ability to be the best humans we can.

Today marks Twenty Years of tattooing for me, exactly to this day I tattooed myself for the first time at Good Karma tattooing in Eastbourne UK under the guidance of my mentor and friend Jim Macairt.

I have kept the original sketch, stencil and mildly blood soaked bandage in this frame since that year two decades ago.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that tattooing has affording me and will continue to commit myself to being the best tattooist and person I can be.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me on my journey.

Yesterday I coincidentally received this care package from Jim –

Some raw castings and components from Jim’s tattoo machines he builds and a Om Mani crew neck sweatshirt from Jim’s Merch he makes under Zen not Zen.

https://zennotzen.bigcartel.com

With gratitude, Thomas.

Michael Waters on Film

Last year I purchased a Pacemaker Crown Graphic 4 x 5 press camera, this camera was made in the early 1950’s so it has been a steep learning curve getting to know how to use this machine and not waste the expensive film! One main intention when picking up this camera was to use it to photograph large tattoos in an interesting, archival and non digital format.

With the constant need for tattoos to be digitally photographed and posted on the Internet within seconds of them being finished, I wanted to use a medium that slowed my actions and the entire process down to a crawl, removing the instant validation and disposable nature that the modern day smart phone photographs have created through social media.

Having had an interest in photography since my mother gave me my first 35mm Pentax ME SLR camera in 1997, learning to use this old and very mechanical camera has been a challenge and a lot of fun, I couldn’t have done it with out the invaluable guidance of Sandy Carson, an amazing photographer and friend. –  http://www.sandycarson.com

IMG_9390

Michael Waters has been getting Tattooed at Rock of Ages for the last 10 + years, its been an honor getting to work on his body suit, adding to a collection of only Tony Hundahl, Steve Byrne and myself’s work, his back is by me and his arms and front torso ( in progress) are by Steve and Tony. These images where shot using the above camera on Fuji Provia 100f slide film, there is something about these sheets of file that seems almost magical to look at, almost like a little part of the tattoo has been captured on the sheet of film and recorded in a tangible way.

Thank you for looking !

Waters 4 x 5 -1Waters 4 x 5 -3Waters 4 x 5 -4

  • Thomas

A slow crawl through chaos to find order.

Creating art is something that I have found to be a necessary way to feel at peace and ease with myself and my surroundings, creating art and ornamental decoration for the human body is a complete privilege and a total honor. It is something I constantly marvel at, it feels magical and is a totally surreal occupation for both the artist and canvas. Ted has been coming to get tattooed by me since 2012, we started at Saved tattoo in Brooklyn and continued in Austin Texas, at Rock of Ages, he is one of only a few customers who only get tattooed by me, a stoic and kind man who has constantly followed through, completing each stage of his body suit with a keen integrity. His level of commitment traveling from Port Perry in Canada to get tattooed is nothing short of incredible. As we round the corner to the final stages with only one session left on his legs and his sleeves to start and complete, I wanted to take a moment to thank him and share some images of our last two sessions that we just finished up this week whilst I was guesting at Saved Tattoo.

Thank you Ted for sticking with it on this journey, I really can’t put into words how grateful I am.