A report of photo-study-tour to Taiwan
from November 11th to 14th, 2017

Some of the members of SAMURAI FOTO had a photo study tour to Taiwan in November. We learned about wet collodion process and the classical technique of ambrotype photograph. Thanks to Mr. Everett.K.Brown, our director, this study tour was implemented. We visited Mr. Tseng, who has been exploring classical techniques of photographs like silver halide photographs and albumen prints. He doesn’t study these classical techniques with an old fashioned notion but has been working hard on the development of them to fit in the modern ages. We were impressed with these photographic expressions that make full use of the latest digital technology. We must learn to interact with many options more not only using digital techniques as a new photographic expression.
新しい表現としてデジタルとオルタナティブの融合をどのように図っていくべきか、SAMURAI FOTOとしても最新のデジタル技術を駆使した表現 は、ぜひ取り組みたいと技術だと思っています。

The studio of Mr.tseng

This is a picture, printed in platinum tone on Washi-paper which was made in a Washi factory in Taiwan. The quality of the paper seemed quite good.

This is Tseng’s photo studio. He fixes and does remodeling old cameras. This place has a lathe machine and is well-appointed.

This is a wide dark room, where is well organized. He does many kinds of the photographic works such as making wet plate, photo development and photo washing.

This is a glass negative. The glass should be clear and is coated with thin layer of iodized collodion.

A positive image would be appeared when black background is put under the negative.

Taking a photo with ambrotype camera and making of a wet glass plate

We took a photo with Deardorff 8 x 10 camera. People in old generations must feel nostalgic with this large size camera. It was really expensive back then.

When you see into the finder of the camera, the image appears upside down. We have to invert the loupe to see the corners of the photo. This is one of the best parts of taking a photo with an ambrotype camera.

Look at this big sized developing pat! It shows us that the photo can be enlarged to this size.

The studio has a glass cutting machine. The plate can be cut into proper size.

The surface of the glass is polished with compound. And then we pour the colloidal chloride onto the glass plate. This step is very difficult.

To make a glass negative from digital image, you need to print the image by ink-jet printer first, and do wet plate collodion process, and then make an 8 x 10 plate.

There is another way to make a plate. You make a digital negative from ink-jet print and make a plate from it. We are under consideration of which method would suit us well between these two types of making plates.

Put a glass plate that is coated with iodized collodion into 10% density of silver nitrate solution in order to become light sensitive.

Stop the developing with water. Then turn on the light and put it into the stop solution.

In the stop solution, the image gets to come up. It seems very classical, but is very exciting moment.

During a water wash, we can see the quite different images from what we shot first. That is why we were fascinated by this technique so much.

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