September 29, 2015 § 2 Comments
It’s been exactly a year since my last blog post… My apologies.
A lot has happened in a year. To keep it short and simple, I’ve made a list.
- I went around the world again with Peace Boat as their official photographer. It was the same route as the last time, and second time was much easier work wise. I was also able to enjoy myself much more and photograph much better. It was amazing to reconnect with the people that I met last year as well.
- I got promoted, and became the Audio/Visual Technician at the Phoenix Art Museum. I’m learning the IT side of the museum and also in the planning process of doing some photography/videography. It’s keeping me busy so that’s good.
- I’ve been doing photoshoots here and there which I will post on my website once it gets published.
- Lastly, I did a photoshoot… with me in it!
That’s the photo you see above. We did a “Kats Sisters” photoshoot, that’s my older sister Riho on the left, and me on the right. Usually I’m behind the camera, but it was my first time being in the shot, and directing it. My cousin, Hiroto, assisted me with pushing the remote to take the photos. We blew up 50 balloons which didn’t take much time with the three of us, like the last time we did the balloon shoot! I’d set up the camera on a tripod and frame everything and then I’d run back and pose. It was hard running back and forth with my heels on. Riho’s always been a natural at posing but I definitely am not. Modeling is a serious skill that I admire, which I lack. I should’ve practiced a little more on facial expressions and postures but I just got so nervous in front of the camera. I feel much more comfortable taking the pictures.
But I learned so much from this experience.
I need to get better at giving directions, better time management, and STOP HUNCHING!
It was a good experience all in all. I think the pictures turned out pretty nice too. I think by just looking at these pictures, you can probably tell we get along pretty well. We’re sisters and we’re best friends.
Kats Sisters 写真撮影
- Phoenix Art Museum （フェニックス美術館）でオーディオ・ビジュアル・テクニシャンに昇進しました。美術館のITの面や写真・映像などのプランニングを任されています。これで結構忙しくなりました。
August 16, 2014 § Leave a comment
Since I’ve been back, I’ve been trying to be more active and explore what’s around me. Back in my college days, whenever I felt confused, sad, or had the “photographer’s block”, I went out to photograph the desert to clear my mind. Being in the middle of nowhere and walking around to stumble upon a surprise was always a pleasure. Whether it was a fallen down cactus that looked defeated, graffiti that kid’s left behind, the golden sun hitting the side of a rock illuminating it like it was ready to explode… Just the simple things. I realized I stopped doing that, because I got caught up in working. And my friends know this that I hardly ever do anything that relates to me wearing sneakers. But I decided after getting back from Peace Boat, I’ll be more active! Whether it’s hiking or driving for hours to see something. Okay, enough of my rambling. Traveling and exploring is fun.
Over the last couple months I went to South Mountain, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Colorado. So here are photographs of mother nature and whatever that sparked my interest. PS. this post is very picture heavy. Enjoy.
See my photos from the Global Voyage series at my website: http://www.airikatsuta.com/global-voyage.
August 7, 2012 § 2 Comments
This is Abe residence. There are lots of families with the last name “Abe” in this area. Ted and Peaceboat volunteers cleaned their house.
They showed us lots of pictures from 3-11. Even though we showed up to their house all of a sudden, they kindly greeted us in and gave us lots of refreshments.
Abe-san lives with his wife and daughter, his parents, and his aunt, total of 6 people. On 3-11, he came home from work after giving rides to 3 of his coworkers, his parents were just about to leave in their car with their neighbors before the tsunami came. When his father realized the water was getting close, he made everyone get out the car and rushed them to the 2nd floor of his house. Abe-san’s mother took shelter in their 2 story storage. While helping others, the water washed Abe-san’s father away.
Abe-san was still in the car when the tsunami reached his house. He thought he would be okay if he stayed in the car but when the water reached the windshield, he broke the side window and got on the top of the car. The water level was already around 6 feet, so he climbed to his neighbor’s roof. He saw his mother in the 2nd floor of the storage so he jumped on that roof. While he was trying to get in to the storage, his mother saw his feet dangling by the window so she grabbed his legs and pulled him in. This whole thing happened in 50 minutes after the fist earthquake.
When he stood on the roof, he took a picture with his phone. “Even in a panic state like this, it was interesting how the first thing I did was to take a picture. Human beings are strange. I’m a smoker. And when I was getting out the car, I was rushing to escape since the car was starting to sink, but I remembered to grab my cigarettes and lighter. Why cigarettes in a life/death situation? I don’t know. But this saved me and my mother’s life. Since it was freezing and I was soaking wet, we decided to burn anything we can find in the storage. If we didn’t have that lighter, I don’t know what would’ve happened.We were very lucky.”
And then he spoke reservedly “But to say that lucky… that would be impolite to those who lost their lives from the tsunami. But like the lighter, as a coincidence we had food and water in the storage. My mother likes to pick apples and she stored lots of apples to make jam later on. All the stuff that was prepared for disaster was still in the car that already sank. So we were blessed to have food, water, and fire.”
“The next day, My father paddled his way back floating on a log, like a surfer. It was great to have him back. But I still wasn’t able to reach my wife, daughter, or aunt for 5 days.”
‘There was no reception so I couldn’t call. I knew that worrying about won’t take me anywhere so I tried not to think about it. But those 5 days… it was the hardest 5 days of my life.” I could see tears coming out of his eyes as he was sharing his story and I tried really hard to hold back my own tears.
Th next day, Abe-san went looking for his wife and daughter. The water level was still high, and it was very cold outside. He was trying to stay dry but once he was wet, it didn’t really matter. “When I returned back, I was so cold, so I just wrapped my body with anything I could find, even plastic bags.”
5 days after the tsunami, he thought “If they’re alive, they’d be by the bank by the river near by.” So he walked around the bank back and forth all day. Then he finally got to reunite with his wife and daughter. His aunt was in the care of the care center for the seniors on the day of the earthquake, and the center was not affected by the tsunami. “To know that all of my family is still alive was just a blessing.”
After reuniting with his family, they all stayed at the emergency evacuation area for 5 days. Since people were starting to get sick, they decided they couldn’t stay there anymore. His sister’s workplace said they had an open apartment so they stayed there for a while. “We were lucky once again, because though our 3 cars were washed away in the tsunami, we still had one more car that my daughter took to her work. If we didn’t have that car, we wouldn’t have had any way to get to that apartment”
A slight mark of the water line still exist on the window glass by the front door. “We decided to keep this here, so we won’t forget.” He said he’s very thankful for the volunteers. “After the tsunami, my workplace decided to start up again and thankfully I was able to go back to work. But I watched the volunteers everyday, knowing that they’re not getting paid to do all this work. If I go to work, I’ll get paid. I felt guilty going to work but my family needs money. I felt veryguilty. My job didn’t pay me for the first 2 months but after that, thankfully I was able to get paid.
Abe-san says “Since the house was damaged so much, I was planning on relocating to an apartment on another part of town. So my wife and daughter and I moved to an apartment. But my dad repaired the house.” And then he smirks, “This is actually a restricted reconstruction zone. The government doesn’t want us to reconstruct the homes because there is a possibility that this could happen again. We have to move eventually but this is a house that my father worked hard for. If he’s not causing anyone trouble, I figured he could stay here. We have to think about it later when the time comes, but we’ll just live for now. ”
When we asked Abe-san’s mother how life has changed after the tsunami, she started to talk very quietly. “Before the tsunami, we all lived together. I’ve watched my grandmother grow old with me and my husband and kids, so I thought I would be able to do the same, live with my child and his child. That was my dream. After the tsunami, my son, his wife, and my grandchild moved away. It’s very lonely compared to when it was a full house. I’m still hoping that some day, we’ll be able to be together again.”
As we were leaving, Abe-san said “Thank you so much for visiting. Tell everyone in the States that we are grateful of all the support. We will never give up, we will persevere.
September 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
So for those who don’t know what a view camera is, there ya go.
You look under a cloth to see the image. It’s pretty cool when you get it focused, everything is flipped and it looks crisp.
September 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
Everyone knows my dad is hilarious.
So since I needed more models to test out the view camera, I asked my dad. He came home from work on his lunch break to do a little photoshoot. I could tell he was excited to spend time with me since we haven’t really seen each other since school started. We have totally opposite schedules. Anyways, so he came home, put a button up shirt and a tie on, and put some funky glasses on and played the conga drums.
It was fun to take his pictures.
May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
May 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’ve realized that my photographs are way better when I shoot something I care about, like my family. I’m back in Japan right now and I visited my grandma in the hospital. She was diagnosed with cancer but as a champ that she is, she had surgery and now she’s recovering. She’ll be home soon so I’m very excited.
I shot more in film so I’m very excited to get them developed when I get back to the states.