Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

College For Kids, part 2

Posted in art, learning, photography, technique by Jason Gray on September 14, 2014

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In addition to Alternative Photography, I taught two other classes: Funography and The Photographic Series. Funography demonstrated simple techniques for manipulating images as they are being shot (versus in post-processing), while The Photographic Series illustrated the rationale for sequencing photographs in order to strengthen an idea or storytelling. For the Funography class, the students experimented with using flashlights, prisms, magnifying glasses, sunglass lenses, colored gels, paper bags, plastic cups, and more to create photographic effects. In The Photographic Series, students created a ten-image series for each of the following, documentary series, thematic series, and serial imagery series. Historic and contemporary precedents were shown to both classes.

It was a monumental task to accomplish everything in only a week, but we did it!

Images after the jump–> (more…)

College For Kids, part 1

Posted in art, black and white, film, learning, photography, science, technique by Jason Gray on August 24, 2014

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For two weeks at the beginning of August, St. Louis Community College at Meramec was transformed into the College for Kids. Offering K-8 classes for gifted students, the courses ranged dramatically from chess instruction to animal demonstrations. As far as I could tell, I was the only educator representing photography this year, which explained the roughly 64 kids that came through my classroom. My three classes were Alternative Photography (1st week), Funography (2nd week), and The Photographic Series (2nd week). The experience was completely exhausting, but fun nonetheless.

Results after the jump–> (more…)

Never Enough

Posted in 35mm, art, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on June 28, 2014

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installation view of Darren Bader’s work (including my photo) in the Dallas Museum of Art exhibition, Never Enough: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art

Recently, I was contacted by the Dallas Museum of Art to make a photograph using directions provided by the artist, Darren Bader, for inclusion in an exhibition at the Museum. The artist, who frequently employs work by collaborators for use in his installations, assigned me the goal of photographing “oil with/and Mohel” (an example of his rhyming pair juxtapositions). Subsequently, the DMA coordinated with the Saint Louis Art Museum to allow me to photograph a local Mohel in their galleries, next to an oil painting. You can see that image, and the DMA’s description of the exhibition after the jump.

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Telegenic

Posted in art, perception, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on June 20, 2014

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For nearly two hundred years, culture has taught us to accept photographs as truthful vestiges of events that have occurred, and we have been conditioned to ignore the manners in which that truth is manipulated by both the photographer and the camera. In the digital era, our faith in the photo document is no less, despite the many additional ways that images are altered (ranging from a conscious event like post-processing to the unintended problems inherent to having the digital sensor emulate analog film).

Telegenic is a series exploring the manipulation and dispersion of digital media via light-emitting displays, and the ways in which digital capture fails to fully communicate screen-originated imagery.
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Lindsey

Posted in 35mm, art, black and white, model, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on June 8, 2014

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Continuing in my decision to concentrate on figurative work this summer, I am reposting this series that I shot with Lindsey some time ago. I’ve added a few images that have not been seen before as well.
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Alexandra

Posted in art, black and white, model, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on June 1, 2014

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I’ve decided to take a bit of a break from the more rigid structure of my art-making, and focus for a while on a classic motif, the human figure. Among subjects for artists, there is almost nothing more answerable to the timeless question of form or content than the body. For in the nude human form, we see both an object with wonderfully innate aesthetic qualities and a condition that we all closely identify with. Certainly, this is a Modernist direction that moves away from what I typically do, but it is surprisingly comfortable territory, and something that I have always been fascinated by.

In this group of images, Alexandra was an excellent collaborator that I hope to work with again soon. Alex has an amazing profile, bright eyes, and totally put up with my requests to have the human body positioned in ways that are physically impossible. Thanks again, Alex!
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Rome, Fallen Again

Posted in awareness, black and white, Chicago, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on May 19, 2014

Picture 1(Contrary to some beliefs, the languished transition toward rail transportation, and the subsequent outpacing of Chicago over St. Louis in shipping, was not due to the city’s stubborn clench to outmoded steamboat technology.)

In 476, the western hemisphere of the Roman Empire fell`. Subsequently, centralized power dissolved for Rome, and so the once hot embers of one of human civilization’s mightiest kingdoms began to rapidly cool. At many times and for many reasons, St. Louis has been compared to Rome. Both cities shared an influential Catholic populace, and both cities achieved a considerable prominence, both at home and abroad. However, both cities also declined rapidly, almost inexplicably. While the fall of the Roman Empire is now widely understood, the reasons for the depreciation of St. Louis is less known. The story behind the exaltation and descension of the “Rome of the West” offers an interesting example of the potential effects of shifting markets, political uncertainty, and the introduction of new infrastructure, especially when adaptation is not in proportion to evolution. On a national level, St. Louis’ loss of scale gives insight to a rhetoric of urban decay and decline repeated over and again throughout the United States; if the sustainability of American cities is the question, then St. Louis could well be part of the answer. (more…)

(Possible) Eulogy for my Nikon D50

Posted in art, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on April 20, 2014

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It is a sad day, friends. Today, my trusty Nikon D50, pictured above, may have suffered a fatal symptom- the Black Screen of Death.

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St. Louis Shoots: Contemporary Street Photographers from St. Louis

Posted in 35mm, art, awareness, black and white, film, photography by Jason Gray on March 25, 2014

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Currently up at the International Photography Hall of Fame is an exhibition that I curated called, St. Louis Shoots: Contemporary Street Photographers from St. Louis. The exhibition will be on display until April 27, 2014, and the Museum’s hours are as follows:

M-Tu: closed
W-Th: 11a-6p
F-Su: 11a-4p

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Anna Kuperberg’s South Side Exhibition

Posted in 35mm, art, awareness, black and white, family, film, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on March 13, 2014

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In case you missed it, here are my installation shots for the Anna Kuperberg’s South Side exhibition at the International Photography Hall of Fame. The show ran from February 7, 2014 to March 7, 2014. If you would still like to see some of Anna’s work in person, a portion of the South Side images are included in my new exhibition at IPHF, entitled, St. Louis Shoots: Contemporary Street Photographers from St. Louis (up through April 27, 2014).

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