Extracts from
Anthony's Photographic Bulletin
Regarding K. Ogawa


References to K. Ogawa in Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, Volume XX, 1889, New York, E. & H.T. Anthony & Company:

The Photographic Society of Japan. A Meeting of the Photographic Society of Japan was held on Friday, June 7th, at the Chamber of Commerce, Tokio. Professor Kikuchi took the chair at 4 P.M. His Excellency Viscount Enomoto, Minister of Education, was elected to the post of President of the Society by acclamation.

After some formal business, the special business of the meeting was begun. This was a demonstration, by Mr. K. Ogawa, of Willis' platinotype process. The capabilities of the process were shown by a set of mounted prints that were hung on the walls of the room. The appearance of a platinotype print is quite different from that of an ordinary photograph. The image is of an engraving black, and there is a complete absence of any surface gloss. The prints have, moreover, the inestimable advantage of being absolutely permanent, in the sense that they cannot be destroyed but by the destruction of the paper support. The process of coating the paper was shown, and that of development was demonstrated on some prints that had previously been exposed to daylight in printing frames in the usual way. There was a good attendance of those interested in the "black art," and they all took a keen interest in seeing the magic way in which the picture appears in the developing solution. Mr. Ogawa spoke chiefly in Japanese, and some additional explanation was given by Professor W. K. Burton. It was explained that the paper was coated with a mixture of certain iron and platinum salts, that the light in the printing frame affected the former, which, in its turn, had the power, when dissolved by the developer, of reducing the platinum salt to the metallic state, so that an image in metallic platinum in a very fine state of division, or "platinum black," as it is commonly called, resulted. (at page 444.)

Our Japanese friends are certainly making rapid strides in photographic work. In a recent letter from Professor W. K. Burton he tells us that Ogawa had made some direct landscape negatives upon plates 30 x 40 inches, and the Professor says further: "They are about as good as anything I have ever seen." The prints from them are to be made on platinotype paper on sheets 54 x 42 inches. There is to be a great exhibition in Japan early next year, which is causing much excitement among the photographers there, on account of the photographic section which is to form part of it. (at pages 739-40)

Note. At this time the albumen printing process was the primary method of reproducing photographic images in Japan. On the albumen print a shiny coating shows on the print surface. Often fine cracks or breaks are seen in the surface. The platinotype print has a dull/matte surface and sometimes a bluish cast. It was not commonly used in Japan, at least in the 19th century.


References to K. Ogawa in Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, Volume XXV, 1894, New York, E. & H.T. Anthony & Company:

Societies. Photographic Society of Japan. Meeting of December 8th. An ingenious arrangement for photographing from a captive balloon was shown by Mr. K. Ogawa, of the Photographic Laboratory of the General Army and Navy Staff. The camera is suspended on gimbals on a frame so arranged that the ground glass will remain either in a vertical or a horizontal plane or in a plane at any intermediate angle as desired. The exposure can be made by an ingenious electrical arrangement. (at page 71)

Mr. K. Ogawa sent a set of collotypes by himself from negatives made in accordance with the methods of the "New School" of photographers, sometimes called Naturalists. One of the teachings of this cult is that nothing in a photograph should be as sharp as a good photographic lens can make it, and certainly in the prints shown nothing was quite sharp. The pictorial effect was generally admired. (at page 410)


References to K. Ogawa in Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, Volume XXVII, 1896, New York, E. & H.T. Anthony & Company:

At present there is practically only one firm in Japan producing halftone blocks; it is the firm of Mr. K. Ogawa. He brought with him,the whole set of apparatus on his return from America from his visit to the Chicago World's Fair. We cannot say his works are very extensive, but, as the first starting in our country, they may be said to be fairly complete. To say nothing of the common implements used in this kind of work, the size of the works may be apprehended by knowing that the set of apparatus is driven by an oil engine of 7 horse-power.

The merit of this process, as compared with the hand-engraving process, is the rapidity of reproduction. The merit has been rapidly appreciated in our country in connection with illustrations of the recent war with China. The scenes from the battle-fields are sent by reporters of newspapers who have been competing with each other to have their illustrations used as soon as possible. And it is by the aid of this ingenious process only that they can have them reproduced. The public appreciating its merit, the use is extending in the illustration of periodicals, books, etc., and the firm above mentioned is doing work, both by day and night.

Mr. Tanaka is an amateur, and does his work for amusement only, but we have his kind promise to produce for ourselves the monthly frontispiece of the S/iashin Shimpo. He began his experiments by himself only a year ago, making solutions according to formulas that he found in periodicals, and also according to the directions as given by the dealers in the materials. Of course, his work is all done by hand, using no tools beyond a mere hand-saw.

He made some preliminary experiments, but the adjoining block is the first result of systematic work, and may be interesting as showing how ardent study may lead to results, even in the hands of those who have to rely on books entirely for their information. T. Sato, editor Shashin Shmpo (Japanese Photo News). (at page 23)

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