About "Ice Formation" This series captures ice formations on the swamps, ponds, lakes and rivers of Interior Alaska. Many of the formations are frozen bubbles of gases such as methane and carbon dioxide trapped under ice. When water freezes, it turns into ice slowly from the surface and traps the gases. The bubbles and freezing temperatures create unique geometric patterns. The diameter of the ice formations in these photos range from 10 to 30 inches. Because methane gas is considered one of the fundamental causes of greenhouse effects, scientists in Alaska are researching these frozen bubbles in relation to the global climate change. The water also shows other beautiful patterns in fall and winter. Snow falls on lakes and rivers, freezes, melts, refreezes and creates unique organic patterns on ice. The vapor in the air freezes as frost and grows intricate ice crystals. I try to capture the beauty and the dynamic changes of water in nature. I use my medium format film camera and black and white film to capture these images, so that I scan the negative and tone digitally in Photoshop before creating prints on archival paper. Through the process of digital split-toning, the printed images have a slight tint of color. By minimizing colors, viewers can focus on the elegance of the forms and shading created by clear transparent ice and white frost.
Ryota Kaji Kajita is originally from Japan, completed his MFA degree in photography at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, worked at the University of Alaska Museum of the North as a collection photographer, and taught at the Joshibi University of Art and Design in Japan. His photographs have been exhibited in the Japan Professional Photographers Society Exhibition (2011), Alaska’s Rarefied Light (2012, 2013 & 2015), The Aesthetica Art Prize (2012 & 2013), Aperture Summer Open (2014), Geo-Cosmos Content Contest (2014) of The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, FotoFilmic17 Winter Shortlist Show (2017) and other shows. His photography series of “Ice Formation” is featured in the magazine “Photo Technique” (November/December 2012), "WIRED.com“ (August 2015), "城市画報-CITY ZINE-“ (January/Februray 2016), and is represented by Susan Spiritus Gallery in Newport Beach, California. His work became part of the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and The Alaska Contemporary Art Bank in 2013. He was selected for Blue Sky 2013 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers Program (“Drawers”) of the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, and won the Grand Prize in ONWARD Compe ’13 International Photography Competition, the Student Abstract Category Award in 2013 American Aperture Awards (AX3), Juror’s Selection / Director’s Honorable Mention / Livebooks Website Award in Natural World 2014 Nation Wide Juried Photography Competition of the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado. He was chosen for a finalist of Lens Culture’s Earth Awards 2015 and CENTER Project Launch Grant Juror’s Choice recipient 2017 chosen by juror Mazie Harris, Assistant Curator, Department of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum. His video documentary “Losing Ground” about Shishmaref Island’s severe erosion due to climate change, achieved the Cinema Committee Choice Award in Fairbanks Film Festival (2007), and was broadcast on the Alaska Shorts Program of Alaska One television (2012). He has traveled to more than 50 remote Alaska villages by a two-seat, light aircraft and snowmobile for scientific research. He loves travelling, backpacking and cross-country skiing with a medium format film camera and always responds to the beauty of nature.