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)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thank you, Moon.

I hadn't been inspired to pick up my camera for at least a handful of days until I peeked out at the moon tonight.  The clouds filled the sky and drifted across the glowing moon creating a pretty backdrop for the silhouetted tree.  I took a few photos, hand held and propped against a table like I've done in the past.  Technically I needed a tripod, but I couldn't take myself away from the few moments I had.  I just appreciated the fact that despite the cold that I was out there with my camera again enjoying myself.

Thank you, Moon.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I loved this surprise when peeking into the hole found at the silo base.  I took a few photos with my cell that morning, but like this one the best because of the placement of my shadow over the hole and the small teardrop of light within.  The title, 'Womb', didn't come to me until seeing the image on the computer screen.

This was my first day back walking on my own out there since the beginning of October.  I intended to walk just to reconnect with the space and enjoy some alone time, so I had left my DSLR at home.  My cell phone shots end up having a bit of a dreamy quality to them after processing and I find that fitting for this set.

Here are a few more from that morning.  The area by the silos had been cleared a bit, so I was better able to see the 'tracking' of the previous working area.  It will be interesting to do a bit of research on old machinery to better understand how things used to function.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Self-proclaimed fog holidays

I hereby proclaim that on foggy mornings I be released of all mothering and work duties to play outside as my spirit wills.

Gah, all I wanted to do today was wake up and run outside through the darkness and fog.  It was thick and so tempting, and the magic that happened once the sun rose to illuminate the moisture didn't make it any easier.  I did step out for some fun under the trees in our backyard.  The colors and air were so lovely and embracing.  I completely loved it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The mood emerges

The mood emerges
and intermingles with wet, brilliant colors
during my drive home in the rain.

I shared a wonderful evening with friends from our Unitarian Church in one of their homes.  We each contributed food for a holiday meal, and we spent a lot of time talking and sharing what we look forward to this holiday season and new year.  Tears came, laughter healed, hearts moved.  I held hands with a friend and it felt so right to be there with her.  It was one of those priceless experiences which brings me closer to who I am and the special people in my life.  I am fortunate and grateful.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Morning blue

From inside the fallen tree in the farm field, I sat on the limbs to watch sunrise.  Just last January the same beautiful tree stood tall and inspired 'The Gift' and in March 'Glory'.  How surreal to be with its remains left behind by the developers as if there was still something to be shared and shown.  Being on my own out there allowed me to really settle in, be still, and look.  From going in close to the the droplets and pulling out to seeing the whole, each image is part of the story that morning and a reminder of what was.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

In this I find myself

An approach to the 'Worship' trees through the passage of the elder corner tree and across the middle field.

A bit of time walking along the row of trees, getting reacquainted and appreciating my return home to this familiar space.  It was my first time back there in about two months.

I found myself settling into this set of photos tonight, 1.03.13, while searching for some release and connection to something I knew.  I looked through plenty of images, and these are the ones which made my heart move and smile.   This space and my days walking through the empty fields will always heal me and bring me wonder.  Peace.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's all I can give you...

Taken in Space Mountain, Tokyo, while waiting in line with my daughter and niece.  This blue gets me every time, and I liked the mystery it created for my +Alien Abduction Friday friends in Google Plus.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kitchen laughter and shyness

Kitchen laughter and shyness
Shinjuku izakaya
November 8, 2012

Last night I spent a few hours with a girlfriend in an 'izakaya' enjoying beer and sushi.  When we walked in around 7 PM the place was completely filled with men geared up in their work suits.  We were the only 2 women besides one other, and slowly through the night the male crowd thinned out and more women arrived.  We sat at a counter facing the kitchen, and here the workers don't know exactly to do with themselves with me looking in with my camera.  They laughed, and it was a good chuckle for all of us.

By the way, this was my first outing on my own since being in Japan.  Loved it!  Now I want more time to go out on adventures.  Next week's departure is too soon!

Last night I spent a few hours with a girlfriend in an 'izakaya' enjoying beer and sushi.  When we walked in around 7 PM the place was completely filled with men geared up in their work suits.  We were the only 2 women besides one other, and slowly through the night the male crowd thinned out and more women arrived.  We sat at a counter facing the kitchen, and here the workers don't know exactly to do with themselves with me looking in with my camera.  They laughed, and it was a good chuckle for all of us.

By the way, this was my first outing on my own since being in Japan.  Loved it!  Now I want more time to go out on adventures.  Next week's departure is too soon!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And these are a few of my favorite things

I am soaking up the big crosswalks, bicycles, and speed while I can.  Only one week left before my return to the the States.  Maybe it's time I look into moving into a city.  Love.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Into the rain

Physically, I've been back in the States since what I think was late Wednesday, Louisiana time.  Emotionally, my mind and heart are in Japan with my family, friends and the many special experiences and places shared.  What a gifted blur, and I just may not rush getting back into some semblance of a groove.  :)

I so love that even in inclement weather in Japan we just go about and do our daily things without much troubles.  Just pop up our umbrellas and we're on the go by foot or by train.  I'm in awe of the parents trekking by bike with their kids on board in the midst of it all, and find inspiration in the approach.  Once I get home maybe I'll be less likely to complain when a downpour floods our driveway and car.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Find yourself in the temple

My husband helped organize a bus tour of Tokyo with good friends from his high school days, and one of our stops was to the Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo.  It is the oldest Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, and is visited by millions of people every year.  While we were there walking through the gates with thousands of others, I felt like I could either get swept away by the crowds or totally immerse myself and enjoy.  The second happened as a matter of fact once I got caught up in photographing and appreciating the people and place.  I actually wished to be left there for day or so because it felt so good in the moment.

Hozomon Gate Lantern
Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo
November 4, 2012

Millions pass under this lantern every year to visit and pray at Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo.  I was one of the many on Sunday, and really appreciated the immersion into the endless stream of people.  There's an exciting and moving energy shared when in such a space.


 In prayer and wonder

Main Hall
Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo
November 4, 2012

After moving with thousands of people through two large gates and past an osenka (incense) burner for healing, I climbed the steps of the Main Hall.  My girls had been with other family members, so it was a nice surprise to find my youngest daughter looking up at the woman in prayer.



 “You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”
Carl Sagan, Contact

I had stopped in the flow of the crowd right past the huge lantern at the entrance gate.  I wasn't just ready to jump into the sea of bodies moving towards the temple site.  The feel of the movement and the hundreds of faces around me captivated me and got my adrenaline going.  My husband had gone ahead with his friends and our daughters, and I had 30 minutes to soak it all in and immerse myself.  From where I stood, on the edge of a small elevated step, I could see over everyone's heads, well nearly, on my tippy toes.  I knew that I wanted to show the depth of the crowd in my shots, so I stretched high with my camera and looked in.  Honestly, I can't recall if I consciously saw this man looking straight ahead in my direction, but how peculiar and cool that he stands out amongst the others.  I think that he's striking, and at that moment takes on a significance.

He really makes me wonder about all of our encounters with the countless people that we pass during our daily travels.  Do we see them?  Do they see us?  Do we even make a conscious effort to see and engage, or are we each in our own zone?  Are there others trying to reach out to us somehow?   How awesome that in a split moment of time we are capable of stepping out of ourselves to make contact and connect, then move on our way.  I find a reassurance in that, and it feeds my spirit in just the right way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fields of Cosmos

Fields of Cosmos
Showa Kinen Park
October 25, 2012

Our visit to this park was fantastic, and we so enjoyed our walk through endless Cosmos flowers in the late afternoon sun.  Seeing so many in one location definitely had its transformational properties.  I loved getting lost in the pretty colors and light.  :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Waiting on a friend

Waiting on a friend
University of Tokyo
October 23, 2012

This lovely, old Oak invited us to sit underneath and have our lunch yesterday.  Heavy rains came as soon as we set up, and we dashed to a covered entrance way for shelter.  This kind, elderly man shared the space with us as we looked out toward the tree together.  I felt as if he had a lot in common with this wonderful tree.  Both gentle and wise, strong and knowing.

On the go in Chofu, Tokyo

On the go in Chofu, Tokyo

I've been busy and the go with family and friends in Tokyo, Japan for the past five days and haven't traveled by car yet.  Here's to cities and countries where you can get around by foot, bike, bus and trains.  Love it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Because of your smile

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

I traveled to Shibuya to meet an old friend first met over 6 years ago through our shared love for U2.  I'm so appreciative that we're still connected and were able to spend a bit of time.  He's a treasure of a person with a unique vision of  life.  He's now pursuing his own business, and I'm very psyched for him.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chofu arrival

Chofu arrival

It took us a little over 24 hours to arrive in my husband's hometown of Chofu, a Tokyo prefecture.  After all of that travel, it felt so good to be greeted by family at the local bus stop and with them again.  :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

The scream

 No words, just strong emotions that need to be released before anything productive comes out of them. Any moments of anger, frustration, pure disbelief in society's illogical reasons to justify stupidity, I find myself coming back to this image.  A scream falling on a friend who's either accepting of the shared pain or dreading that they are at the receiving end just for reason of location.  The scream.  It's out there to be heard.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The art of fly-fishing

"I have many loves and Fly-Fishing is one of them; it brings peace and harmony to my being, which I can then pass on to others."
~ Sue Kreutzer

Yes, I fell in love with the marshes of Louisiana and the art of fly-fishing in a matter of seven hours the other day.  I was photographing, not casting, but wait until I give it a try one day.  I'll surely exchange my camera for a rod and the experience. It's a beautiful thing.  :)

Here are a couple slideshows highlighting experiences of the day.

I was fortunate to be in the Louisiana marshes with good friend and Orvis writer, Phil Monahan, and fly-fishing guide, Captain Gary Taylor. It was my first time sharing space with fly fishermen and observing the art up close and personal. I more than enjoyed photographing the experience, and appreciating the beauty and richness of the Louisiana marshes. After just about 7 or so hours, I learned that fly-fishing is about much more than catching fish. It takes you into the land and waters, and all that she gives in a soulful way. Thank you Phil and Gary for opening my eyes to such a gift. :)
"Fly-fishing may well be considered the most beautiful of all rural sports." ~ Frank Forester

The CSX Rigolets Pass Bridge carries one track of CSX rail lines across the Rigolets on the eastern side of Lake Pontchartrain between New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. It is a truss bridge with a swing section, and is 4555 ft (1,388 m) long. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSX_Rigolets_Pass_Bridge

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let yourself fall in love again

Morning work on road where the tall trees once stood
A recent realization that all of the old and tall beautiful trees I've photographed on the Ford property left me feeling a strange sense of suspension.  Something incomplete in their documentation and appreciation.  As I stood there on the edge of the new road now taking their place there's an emptiness to the sky and a feeling of disorientation.  Is this really the place I spent my mornings walking for the past year or so?  I suppose the loss takes me back to my "Redefine" post once again in which I realize that there is now space to see something new.  Discover a new path and perspective with what I have in front of me.  Do I really want to 'fall in love' with another tree, another spot, another place to be during my quiet morning moments while walking?  Possibly if I don't look at the beauty as long term and appreciate the gift in the moment to fully soak it up I'll be ready to let it go each day.  When it comes time for another tree to be knocked down, for another place to be to change, maybe the loss won't be so striking to me as the others were.

Here is the tree and location as seen this morning.  I've walked by it, but because it is nestled in the far corner from the others I've photographed, I never spent time near it.  This tree is along the same line of the others cleared for the new drainage and road but has been untouched by machinery.  It's the only intact place to stand right now amidst the development.  My dog led my there and it really was like seeing it for the very first time.  Beautiful and old, reaching and strong.  Through the space below its limbs there's a view of the middle field and places I've been.   It's almost a window into the past, a look into the paths taken and appreciated that are now a part of me.  The remaining beauty really stood out to me there today, and I plan to scoot into this spot again.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A grandfather's beach walk

We stayed with friends at their rented beach house in Dauphin Island, AL for a handful of days and enjoyed a wonderful time. I appreciated the early mornings especially, and liked getting out there to watch the beach come to life with people, birds and activity. After the first day or so I noticed an elderly gentleman with a cane taking walks on the ocean's edge, and I liked following his rhythm and patterns. A couple times I picked up my camera and ran there after him to get a few shots which told a bit of his walking story. His presence was quite memorable. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Meditation in the works

 “Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

 I think that anything that stops you in your tracks to look at in awe is a meditation in the works.  Tonight's sunset on Dauphin Island, Alabama was just that, and I'm fortunate to have appreciated it from this great beach space with friends..  Truly I am more thoughtful in the presence of such beauty.  :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Coming to, leaving from

The light held in the drops falling to and from this glass table usually catch my eye during downpours.  I finally grabbed my camera, covered it in plastic, and enjoyed a session with the rain while under a small awning on our back deck.  It was a good lesson on speed and depth and field as I was in and out of focal points given my largest opening of 5.6.  I'd love to see the effects with a 2.8 telephoto lens.  The rains will continue to come and maybe one day that wish will happen.

Metaphor jumps at me in the changing form of the droplets.  Just a few words to keep the reflection going.

Coming to, leaving from
We each carry the light