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

What’s in my Camera Bag?


Who doesn’t love “What’s in My Camera Bag?” posts? This one shows what I plan to take on vacation with me at the end of the month, when my family and I will be traveling by cruise ship from Oahu to Maui, then to Hawaii (Big Island), and finally to Vancouver, BC. I’ve never taken a cruise, so I am excited for the experience.

As for the gear, I will be taking memory enough for 2500 pictures (I doubt that I will shoot anywhere near that), two camera bodies with older manual focus lenses attached (a wide and a short telephoto on DX), ND filters (I seldom use these, but have some ideas in mind), a passport (for Canada), and more.

I decided upon the two bodies with primes because of the improved shooting experience. I’ve been using this set-up for a while, and it really gets me connected to the shot. I had considered my f/2.8 zooms, but they are heavy and are not nearly as much fun to shoot.

The F-Stop Millar Series Bandon bag that I am using is configured for speed with the two bodies; I grab the camera/lens combo that I want, nail down the shot, and then it goes back in the bag super fast. The Millar line is designed with this versatility in mind, but is styled to look good at the same time (leather accents, etc.). In fact, I own the Smoky Mountain backpack from this series as well! If you are looking for a practical (and attractive) camera messenger bag, I highly recommend the Bandon.

Tagged with: ,

Photo Flood Saint Louis at Whitebox

Posted in Uncategorized by Jason Gray on March 30, 2015


Come visit with members of Photo Flood Saint Louis on Friday, April 10th, during the opening for a PFSTL themed exhibition curated by Andrea and Sarah-Marie Land, whose statement is below.

“The Exhibition explores a variety of photographic perspectives and enigmatic experiences in direct relation to specific spaces in St. Louis. Investigating the color photographs, the audience is presented with a dynamic collection of environmental landscapes ranging from downtown architectural structures to aerial perspectives of Lafayette Square gardens to a community swimming pool at Fairground Park. Working on both an individual and collaborative basis within the context of the group, the community of Photo Flood photographers strives to create a connection between other photographers, as well as presenting work to a diverse and widespread audience. Following, on a monthly basis, the assemblage of artists dedicates several hours to visually investigating a distinctive neighborhood in St. Louis. The images in the exhibition span the duration of several years and suggest a distinctive acquaintance with the city. Interacting with the work, new experiences arise with familiar spaces and structures as the photographers experiment with such elements as angle, proximity, and saturation.”

Exhibiting Artists: Jason Gray, Steven Ley, Theresa Harter, Chris Naffziger, Patrick Gioia, Yeni Kulka, Ann Aurbach, Amanda Joern, Anne Warfield, Scott Jackson, James Palmour, Dawn McCausland-Mills, Kait Mauro, Dan Henrichs, Diane Cannon Piwowarczyk

Springfield, Illinois

Posted in Uncategorized by Jason Gray on March 25, 2015

Here are all of my Springfield posts collected in one place. I will update this soon with an artist statement and more.

Shot for project series:
1. Group 1

2. Group 2

3. Group 3

4. Group 4

5. Group 5

Additional images:
1. Land of Lincoln

2. Children of the Corn and a New Approach to Fast Food

3. Tooth Decay, the Rust Belt and the Remnants of a Lost Tribe

4. Illinois Backroads

Springfield, Illinois part 4

Posted in art, Jason Gray by Jason Gray on March 25, 2015

Springfield, Illinois part 3

Posted in art, Jason Gray by Jason Gray on March 24, 2015

Springfield, Illinois part 2

Posted in art, Jason Gray by Jason Gray on March 24, 2015


State of Illinois Capitol Building


Springfield, Illinois part 1

Posted in art, Jason Gray by Jason Gray on March 24, 2015


Springfield, Illinois has been an intriguing foil to my ongoing photographic work in St. Louis. The landscape in central Illinois is incredibly flat, which lends to spectacular sunsets and leads to odd conversations with anything vertical that man builds upon in. I’ll have a full artist’s statement coming soon.


Elsa Hart

Posted in art, black and white, photography, technique by Jason Gray on January 2, 2015


I just finished a portrait session with mystery author, Elsa Hart. The images were produced as author photos for her upcoming, first novel. This genre of headshot has many variables that you might not at first consider. For instance, there are similarities for author photographs that are true for virtually all writing specialties (ie. romance writers smile playfully in theirs, while horror writers tend to look a little foreboding). What’s more, tastes tend to change dramatically through the years, with black and white images going in and out of style, and posing techniques ranging from highly apparent to nonexistent.

For Elsa’s portraits, we agreed to maintain a somewhat serious tone that compliments her genre of storytelling and provides her with a sense of authority. In this case, the lighting was simple, spanning from diffuse sunlight provided by an overcast sky to a single speedlight (bare or with a honeycomb filter) for when more contrast is needed. For lenses, I used only the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G or the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D. The images are simple, straightforward, and required very little direction on my behalf. It is daunting to imagine these photographs as some readers’ first introduction to the author, but I think that they accomplish exactly what our aims were.


Where Suburbia and Rural America Collide

Posted in art, photography by Jason Gray on December 28, 2014


Over the Christmas holiday, my family and I visited my mother-in-law in Springfield, Illinois. This state capital never ceases to disappointment me visually, as for whatever reason, I am extremely attracted to the landscape of this area. The architecture here is a mixture of early 20th century grandiosity (and eventual decay), suburban sprawl, and rural utilitarianism. I find this conjunction of forms fascinating, and I have slowly been building up a body of work on this place. Earlier visits can be found here.


Historic St. Louis Metropolitan Police Headquarters

Posted in art, photography by Jason Gray on December 17, 2014


A friend who writes about architecture for St. Louis Magazine invited me along on a tour of the historic St. Louis Metropolitan Police Headquarters, which was abandoned for a newer facility earlier this year. I will skip including information on the history of the building, and instead refer you to Chris’ article here, which includes many of my images. In this post, I will include my favorite photographs from the visit to the building where three generations of my family have served as policemen.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 130 other followers