We live in three “spheres” of nature that co-exist in harmony. Each “sphere” corresponds to land, water, and air. Beyond Spheres is a photographic art project that explores the harmonious relationship between nature and humans.

What if Thoreau had been a photographer?

A photographic art project inspired by the writings of american writer, poet, philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau.

In 2011, Japanese photographer Koichiro Kurita asked the question “What if Thoreau had been a photographer?” … And so began the “Beyond Spheres” project.

Kurita uses the classic handmade photographic technique - Calotype/paper negative process - which was invented by William Henry Fox Talbot and used at the time of Thoreau. Kurita‘s photographs convert Thoreau‘s ideas and writings into hauntingly beautiful pictorial interpretations.

By exploring Thoreau‘s view of nature and mankind, Kurita‘s hopes to promote a new harmonious and sustainable paradigm for the 21st century.

NEW! Support Phase Three


The Concord-Merrimack Watershed

From October 2015 through 2016, the Beyond Spheres project will explore remote and hidden sites along the Ipswich, Concord, Assabet, Sudburry and Merrimack Rivers, retracing portions of the 1839 journey chronicled in Thoreau's book A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.

As many of the shooting locations are accessible only by canoe, this new series of photographs of terrain “less traveled” is sure to yield images of exceptional beauty.

The goal of this project to produce photographs that will tell a 21st Century story of nature and humanity with the same depth of thought and reflection on man's coexistence with nature as Thoreau's Walden did 160 years ago.

Your gift makes it possible for us to create fine art photographs that promote Thoreau's ideas.

All donations made to Beyond Spheres are processed by the New York Foundation for the Arts through their fiscal sponsorship program.

Donations are tax deductable.

The Artist: Koichiro Kurita

Kurita studied perceptual psychology and used the camera to his experimental research. In the late 1980s, Kurita read Thoreau's Walden and, deeply impressed by its message of living a life close to one's natural environment, gave up a successful career in commercial photography and embarked on a new path as a landscape and nature photographer. The Beyond Spheres project is the culmination of a long journey inspired, in part, by Thoreau's philosophy.

Working with traditional photographic processes, such as large scale printing of platinum/palladium, salt, albumen or calotype, Kurita creates prints on handmade Gampi vellum paper. Gampi, a traditional Japanese papermaking fiber with an exceptional sheen and smooth surface, is uniquely suited as a printing material for Kurita's art works.

Kurita's works have been exhibited and collected internationally by numerous galleries and museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard Art Museums, the Museum Fine Arts, Houston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, the Biblioteque Nationale de France, Paris, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and many others.

Koichiro Kurita with his 8 x 10 large format view camera near Walden, Concord MA

Beyond Spheres Gallery

All photographs are Albumen prints from Calotype paper-negatives on handmade gampi paper

Workshops and Events

View Past Events
OCT. 10 2015
1PM to 6PM


Turn your own photograph into a beautiful Cyanotype print using this classic photographic printing process. Working in the darkroom, students will coat their own Albumen printing paper then print, wash and fix their image onto the paper. Bring your own digital photographs, laptop computer with photoshop.

Enrollment limited to 6

Reserve your spot
NOV 21 & 22 2015
9AM to 5PM

Platinum Palladium

One of the most beautiful of the classic photographic processes, the Platinum/Palladium printing is "renowned for exquisite tonality." Working in the darkroom, students will use an original film process (no digital) to create their own negatives. This two-day workshop, with a limited enrollment of 4, will offer a truly immersive and personalized experience.

Tuition includes all materials and lab fee

Enrollment limited to 4

Reserve your spot
DEC. 13 2015
1PM to 6PM

Salt Print Workshop

This is a one day introductory workshop to the salt print process developed in 1840 by photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbott.

Made by soaking a sheet of paper in salt solution then coated with silver nitrate, the salt print is the earliest positive print process. The class will cover the making of 8"x10" enlarged negatives by using a computer and ink jet printer. Students will then hand coat their own salt paper for use in the darkroom's large UV printer.

Students use their own digital images. All are welcome no need photography nor computer skill.

Enrollment limited to 6

Reserve your spot

Past Events

Lecture and Workshop
Waterfall Arts, Belfast, ME
Exhibition, Lecture and Workshop
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Exhibition and Workshop
North Fork Audubon Society, Greenport, NY
Exhibition and Lecture
Tenri Cultural Center, New York, NY
Exhibition, Lecture and Workshop
Bennington College, Bennington, VT

Support the Project

Contact Us


Your gift makes it possible for us to create fine art photographs that promote Thoreau's ideas.

All donations made to Beyond Spheres are processed by the New York Foundation for the Arts through their fiscal sponsorship program.

Donations are tax deductable.

Using Paypal

Your tax-deductable PayPal donation will be processed through the non-profit New York Foundation for the Arts.

With a Check

Mail your tax deductable donation along with form linked below.