Welcome to Timeline Photos. A few years back I started peeking around my archives in search of some of the first photographs I had taken. Here records my quest into better understanding my long term love of camera and experiencing the world with it in hand. All photos appear in chronological order hopefully revealing an evolution of how I see and what moves me to speak with light.

Images are licensed Creative Commons BY-NC-SA. You are welcome to share an image given that you credit me, Irene Kato, as photographer with mention of my blog link, 'irenekatophotos.blogspot.com'.

Contact irenekatophotos@gmail.com for information about prints, permissions, and on-site assignments. Thank you!!

(Photo credit Phil Monahan of Orvis)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Night walk


We were nearing the end of our 2 hour Trick or Treating rounds in a friend's neighborhood.  Nearly full bags and tired bodies made the last stretch when a car blasting their high beams approached us.  The crew complained about the blinding lights, while I was psyched by the silhouette ring forming around their shapes.   I'm not happy about the headlights appearing in the above image, but the outlined mounds of candy filling the candy bags compensate.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bluebonnet Swamp Haunted Hike

Phantasmagoric.  That's what a friend said when he saw this photo.  It was the first time I heard the word, but I absolutely love it.  Its definition: 
1. having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination.
2. having the appearance of an optical illusion, especially one produced by a magic lantern.
3. changing or shifting, as a scene made up of many elements.

I exposed the scene for 5 seconds propping the camera on the angled walkway edge.  I did it on a whim while refreshing myself on the techniques of night shots.  Every year after this event I tell myself that I've got to get out there on my own to just play around with my camera.  Maybe next year will be the one to get me out there.

This is actually the boardwalk taking you through the swamp.  On this night, called the "Haunted Hike", guides meet you at stations with a live creature and some candy.  If you want that treat, you've got to brave the snake, or the baby gator, or the...

...hissing cockroach!  It wasn't doing much of anything because the temps were in the 50's round here.  A guide had it laying on his arm while he illuminated it with a flashlight.  It's about 4 to 5 inches long and oh so unpleasant to see in person.  I like this image because it's pretty true to what was actually out there.

I haven't been a fan of skeletons and Halloween lately, but for some reason this skeleton worked with me.  I worked to get the red eyes and the darkened background through the angling of my camera with the above lights.  Maybe it's the voodoo-esque nature that makes me feel at ease.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rare visitor

I saw it as I pulled in the driveway after picking up my little one.  The Praying Mantis was making its way up the extension cord right by our side door.  It was the first time my daughter had seen one, and she was amazed by it's color and size of about 4 - 5 inches (bigger than our cockroaches).  We observed it slowly moving along and I ran it to get my camera.  It was harder to photograph than expected with my 18 - 55 mm (which is actually a 24 mm because it doesn't function at any shorter focal length), so I popped on my close-up +1, +2 and +4 lenses.  I was able to get this shot before it slipped and slammed into the brick steps.  It recovered quickly into the nearby plant, and began its climb again.  It stopped to "pray" and I attempted some more shots, but I just couldn't grab a decent one.  I ran inside to prep a quick lunch for my daughter. It couldn't have been more than 5 minutes, and by the time I returned it was gone.  I was truly surprised that it was able to move that quickly and avoid an extended photo shoot.  Actually a bit disappointed, too, that I didn't get to spend more time with it.  Never underestimate your time with a Praying Mantis.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Everyone wants Momma

I woke up early to get to the field, and as I was just about to walk out of the door, my little one woke looking for me.  Still in a daze, she said that she wanted to come with me.  At first I hesitated because this had, in fact, become my sacred time out there in the morning.  I released and went with it, got her dressed quickly, then heard my dog start trotting out to the kitchen.  I supposed that she wanted to come, too, so I got her geared up when my older daughter woke, too.  She agreed to go, changed, and then we all head out together.

So the scene was quite different going down the street.  I was not jogging while holding my camera, but pushing a stroller with one hand and holding Sparkle with the other.  I wore my photo waist pack, and we walked at a good pace looking up at the crescent moon as we went along.  I didn't see any hanging mist and was a bit disappointed, but things were already different so it all fit in.

Once at the field and reaching the entry point, things turned magic again.  The girls' eyes were wow'd by the early morning sky as we walked across towards the back area.  I wanted them to see the sun breaking through the clouds, so we had to keep moving to get a good vantage point.  The hay bundles greeted us, and welcomed the girls to take a spot on top.  They tried out a few, needing a good push to get on top.  It was all fun trying to find the right one while racing the sun.

It's so interesting doing this whole photography thing with company because you want to soak up the experience while capturing it at the same time.  I could've just put down the camera, but I kept it alongside staying open to seeing the right moment.

We enjoyed a few right moments together, one of my favorites was when my younger daughter put her arm up when the colors started changing as the sun began to break through.  Another was my older daughters need to always run in the sun from hay bundle to hay bundle. 

When they were ready to head back, which was much more sooner than my usual stays, I was so pleased that they had been there with me.  We were together as they added something to my ritual, like the mist adds to the space in the field.  You've just got to cherish these extra little surprises when they're thrown into your life.  They don't always have to be there, but when they are, be open to their presence.

(I like the first image the best for its quality, but like the others because of the story they continue.  The last one is what I shared in G+ for silhouettes, and now that I'm looking at it more, I feel like I'm making myself like that one because of G's arm around E.  I do have the toughest time being decisive about which photo to share.  Go with your instinct.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meet the silos



December 22, 2011, 5:00 AM:

Meet the silos that sit on the farm property I like to explore.  Tonight I went through my photo archives looking for images to print for gifts.  I came across this 10/22 set, and in it were a good number of photographs of the silos.  Since I started visiting the farm last Spring,  I had known they that were on the property, and I'd explore them from the exterior taking a few shots.  For whatever reason I always delayed sharing them in my blog.  There's something special about these abandoned structures, and I suppose I felt they deserved their own post. 

I remember this visit well as I was exploring the property for a long time that morning.  This was the first time I was brave enough to stick my head completely inside the silo opening to look inside.  I was always afraid that someone was going to jump at me to freak me out.  I was ready for a return scream this time which helped me just go for it.  I still hesitate when peeking in, always prepared, and one day I definitely want to climb inside.
I find it interesting that these abandoned silos are in the plans to be saved by the developers of the property.  Supposedly there will be a "silo park" in an area of the homes and open space.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roadside memorial

I finally stopped to take a picture of a roadside memorial.  I've always been curious about the story behind them, and on this given day I stopped in the road and took the shot from my car.  This spot on River Road was obviously dangerous as it included a number of blind curves.  How crazy to be putting myself in such a location to capture an image of the marker.  Not sure exactly what prompted me, but I think that the tones of the wooden cross backed by the tree and its twisted companions demanded it.   I've passed by it dozens of times, always wondering, but today it certainly had a presence.

I've played around with the idea of stopping to photograph any cross that I pass in my travels.  Others have done it first, and I'm glad they have.  It ended up being an emotional project for them, especially for photographer Bill Sampson who researched the story behind each.  I find the history very interesting.

Read about roadside memorials, or descansos.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To the tree

 I almost didn't return today, but thanks to my husband, I got to run out, literally, for another quick visit.  I was Sparkle free, so I was able to set my visions on the Spanish Moss covered tree that sits deeper and further back in the property.  Once again, I stepped into a magical world of mist and shadowy hay bundles as I quickly head back towards the tree.  It was just me out there navigating my now well known path and stopping to take a few photographs on my way.

Upon arrival to the tree, I stepped back to take in the scene of the mist covered field in the background just beginning to reveal the hay bundles.  More than a few frames were spent on that scene, but I wasn't satisfied because I couldn't capture what I wanted without a wide angle lens.  I did my best at 35mm then moved into and under the tree's canopy to take a look from within its limbs.  I loved the scene and feel with the Spanish Moss surrounding me and framing the view.  

As I started to leave, I stopped once again to take in the moment and the experience.  A final shot before running out of this back field.  Who knows how much longer we'll get to appreciate this scene?  I'll be weepy without my morning escape into something other, and it'll be hard to see this field disappear to development.

Monday, October 17, 2011

In the midst

What an entertaining scene this morning.  I knew that I had to get out to the property before sunrise to get the shot I wanted, and I had to be completely organized to get the girls and myself ready for school and work.  According to my wiring, this usually would be impossible, but I did it.  It had to be my obsession with the hay bundles that drove me with the added plus of the recent mist that surrounds them early mornings.  A woman on a mission, I got myself up and ready, did a bit of my motherly duties, and scooted out of the house with Sparkle and my camera in hand.  It was still pre-dawn, and I knew that time was critical.  I literally jogged down the street holding my camera and talking out loud to my dog to keep her moving.  We ran across the street and into the area being developed on the outskirts of the field.  I didn't have to get much closer to see that we had made it before the sun.  The mists engulfed the field and hay bundles, and I was beyond excited to be stepping into the magic.  There's an actual moment of entry when I feel like I've left behind my dailies and move into a timelessness of sorts.  And on this day, the muted colors and dream-like grain made that transport even more so. 

I shot thoughtfully as I kept moving deeper into the field, but had to turn around after I surprised a local man whose home sits alongside the property.  He was in there for an early morning training session with his dog, and my dog, being the untrained hound she is, completely interrupted.  So we ran back to the outskirts, to our nestling of entry trees, to view it all.  I took more photos of a tree and companion hay bundle in the foreground, and continued to be in awe of the mix of hues and mist.  As I inched out backward of the field and back towards home, the sun broke through and stopped me.  I remembered to breathe and take it in, with a few more shots of course, before I started my running dash back to reality with Sparkle.  Camera in hand, running down the street, and happy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Moss on black

This dangling Spanish moss piece is set against the bark of a tree.  The lighting appeared uneven so I darkened all shadows to get this black background.  I like the isolation.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sun fluorescence


I didn't reset my camera's white balance from "fluorescent" on this one taken in morning light.  I actually like the surprise color shift.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A closer look

Yesterday while in Whole Foods, I was treated to live music being performed by musicians from New Orleans. When the bass player, Matt Perrine, put down his bass during a break I couldn't help but check it out. I loved its mix of textures, shapes, and worn look. It wasn't until I pulled up its image later on that I really saw the delicate flower engravings. What a sweet surprise.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thank you cards

I made these cards a few weeks back to send out to family and friends who have been so supportive.  These photos were just waiting to be mounted on the Strathmore card sets that I've had for years.  I love the way they all look together, and feel good about sharing them in appreciation.  Finally, today, I sent out my first one.