What is the unique way to make a new artwork using the classical technique that merges digital photography?


September 5th, 2020 / 2020年9月5日

In a workshop, we discussed the attractivity of the alternative printings, which are vague and ambiguous but have profound impressions. The instructors were Everett Brown and Hiroaki Hasumi from SAMURAI FOTO. Everett showed his effort of wet plate collodion photography and collotype print process. Hasumi showed his original photographic technique that merged digital photography and classical technique. The two instructors explained ‘why they have chosen their ways of making artworks’, and unveiled their artworks for the exhibition at ERARTA museum in St. Petersburg which will be held from September 24th.
In the latter half of the workshop, participants learned and experienced how to print and process their image data with the help of Cosmos International. Also, some selections of vintage prints of Kiyoshi Niiyama were exhibited in the room. Afterwards, each of the participants showed their printings and shared the opinions.

今回は「どこか曖昧でいて奥深いオルタナティブプリントの魅力」がテーマ。講師はSAMURAI FOTOのエバレット・ブラウンさんと蓮見浩明さん。エバレットさんは湿板光画での撮影とコロタイプ印刷への取り組み。蓮見さんはデジタルと古典技法を融合させた独自のテクニックを紹介。おふたりには「なぜ、その方法にしたのか」などを解説してもらうとともに、9/24からサンクトペルテブルグのERARTA美術館で展示される作品を披露してもらいました。
Application guide / 募集案内

The workshop was held in Meguro, Tokyo with the corporation of Cosmos International.

Samurai Foto Meeeting

Same as the last time, the workshop was held in the meeting space in Tokyo with the full support of Cosmos International. Cosmos International arranged a large room for us so that we could keep social distancing during the workshop. We all wore face masks and disinfected our hands with alcohol. And the room was well-ventilated.

Samurai Foto Meeeting

This time, like the last time, we used SC-PX1V (A3 elongation size print) of EPSON for printing the participants’ image data. EPSON prepared all the equipment for us.
参加者にご持参していただいた画像をプリントするのは今回もエプソンのSC-PX1V(A3ノビ)です。エプソン さんに機材協力いただきました。

amurai Foto Meeeting / For ERARTA Museum

Cosmos International provided the same printing paper as last time, Pictran Kyokushi and Kyokushi Baryta. Mr. Sato from Cosmos International helped us prepare the room and all the equipment. We all appreciated him!!

The artworks of wet plate collodion and collotype printing (Everett Brown)


Wet-collodion process, a photographic technique popular in the Edo period, exposes and develops the images on a glass plate coated with chemicals. He sets up a tent as a darkroom at the shooting site because he has to develop the photo while the plate is still wet. Everett says he follows his gut feeling, like an artisan.


It takes a lot of time to shoot because the photograph is taken with the large camera and lens under the natural light. Sometimes it takes 12 minutes to shoot and the person as the object for the photograph gets blurred but it is OK. The rain drops happen to waste the chemical on the plate which ruins the photograph, but even the failure leads Everett to find a new way of making his photography.


After making the wet plate collodion photograph to the digital data, he creates a collotype print of a photograph. Collotype print has been accomplished by applying a special ink on a plate. The technique is similar to its technique of a copper plate print art. Everett says that wet collodion process and collotype printing is the best way for expressing Japanese wabi-sabi or Japanese nostalgic sense of beauty.

X-Rite and SAMURAI FOTO members were working during lunch time.
X-Rite社さん、SAMURAI FOTOはランチタイムも奮闘

Kanie's report monthly study meeting

Mr. Toyokawa from X-Rite has been a good supporter of SAMURAI FOTO. He came to the workshop to make a paper profile using a color measurement “i1 Pro2”. He is the most reliable person in Japan for recreating accurate color of the prints.
X-Rite社の冨川さんは以前からSAMURAI FOTOのサポーターでもあります。今回も測色器「 i1 Pro2」で用紙のプロファイルを作りに来てくださいました。プリントの正確な色再現には日本一頼りになる方です。

Kanie's report monthly study meeting

Hasumi, the president of SAMURAI FOTO, finished his lunch early and helped one of the participants to find a problem of his print. As the result of some tests, the problem caused because of the wrong setting for scanning from positives taken with Hassel’s film camera and the problems were all solved.
ランチを早めに終え参加者の印刷の問題点を一緒に探すSAMURAI FOTOの会長・蓮見さん。検証した結果、ハッセルのフィルムカメラで撮影したポジからスキャニングするときの設定と判明。無事に問題解決しました。

Samurai Foto Meeeting

Yoshida also helped the participants. He listened carefully what they wanted for their printings and he retouched the images. Using Nic’s Silver Efex Pro for processing, he processed the image. It has a magenta-like tone with monochrome image. The participant was satisfied with the finish of the image.
吉田先生も参加者の希望を聞きながら画像をレタッチ。モノクロ調にしながらもマゼンダっぽいトーンになるようにNicのSilver Efex Proを使用して加工。望み通りの仕上がりに満足していただけました。

The merge of the classical technique and inkjet printing (Hiroaki Hasumi)

Samurai Foto Meeeting

Hasumi explained his way of printing. Print the data converted to the double tone on Japanese paper → Do the Platinum palladium printing → Do Inkjet printing on the old Japanese paper → Using Holga’s toy camera and Inkjet. He tries various ways for making artworks which is not only old but also merges the latest digital technology. He has developed a creative way for printing.

Samurai Foto Meeeting

Hasumi’s lecture of the history of contemporary art which started from Renaissance was easy to understand and interesting. Many people are fond of taking black and white photographs these days but you need to think why you have chosen monochrome photography. It is the issue that is always asked. So, writing the statement to “summarize your thought and opinion” for the photography is very important.

Samurai Foto Meeeting

Hasumi thinks that the art is like a plant. Sow the seeds of interest and take root of the research. When Hasumi writes the statement, he finds out what he likes and starts to study. And then he emphasizes his own experiences and feelings rather than the general theory and writes simply what he really wants to tell.

We enjoyed Kiyoshi Niiyama’s vintage prints again.

Samurai Foto Meeeting

As all of us were impressed by the prints of Kiyoshi Niiyama last time, we asked his son, the president of Cosmos International, to bring and show some selections of his father’s printings again. Even now, the subjectivism of his artworks is still new to us, and gives us the informative perspective.

Samurai Foto Meeeting

It is extremely treasurable that so many prints more than 50 years ago are still there. The contact printings are left as well and we can see how they were trimmed and printed. No one thought of the way of trimming like he had done which was a kind of “a-ha” moment.

Niiyama stayed and joined until the end of the workshop and gave some advice to the participants when they showed their printings. Since he has developed Kiyoshi’s printings, his comments were a little tip for the participants. Niiyama’s ideas would never have occurred to us.

Showing printings and sharing opinions with each other

Some of the participants joined on line. Some of the participants expected to experience EPSON’s latest printer and seemed to enjoy printings. SAMURAI members helped them to process and print the works on the paper. All the participants were happy to bring their printings back home. We all thank the participants, Cosmos International, EPSON, Pictran and X-Rite for joining us. Thank you so much.

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