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

Interlude: Onondaga Cave State Park

Posted in art, awareness, black and white, family, Hike, perception, photography, prime lenses, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on April 29, 2016

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St. Louis has some of the most self-deprecating residents of any major city that I have lived in or visited.  Part of that has to do with conflated crime statistics (believe me, STL is by no means the “most dangerous city in America”), and part of it has to do with rust belt issues (ie. population loss, factory closures, etc.).  To my wife and I, who decided to move here from Chicago, this attitude is wholly crazy.  After all, not only do St. Louisans enjoy free cultural amenities that other cities’ residents would pay a pretty penny to attend, like the Saint Louis Art Museum and St. Louis Zoo, and have an enviably low cost of living (our three bedroom, two story, Art and Crafts home cost less than a one bedroom condo in Chicago), but they can drive an hour or so out of the city and feel like they have arrived on another planet.

Onondaga Cave State Park is one of our favorite planets to visit.

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Aperture

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A beginner’s guide to aperture.

What is aperture?

When the photographer aims the camera at something and takes a picture, he or she is making an exposure.  An exposure is the net result of a combination of several mechanical, chemical or electronic factors working together in unison.

An exposure fixes an image in time, and can be considered “proper”, “under-“ (meaning too dark), or “over-“ (meaning too bright).

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO are the three primary adjustments that affect exposure.  In a proper exposure, a change to any single one of these will necessitate an equal and opposite change in at least one of the others.  This truth is known as equivalency.

The simplest definition of aperture is that it is the opening in an otherwise light-tight box (known as a camera) that allows in light to enable exposure.

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Interlude: Elephant Rocks State Park

Posted in art, Hike, Jason Gray, learning, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on April 11, 2016

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Spring and Fall are my family’s favorite seasons to hike in Missouri, so we’ve been hitting as many as we can while the weather holds out.  Elephant Rocks State Park near Ironton is one of the State’s most beautiful (and popular).

“Interludes” are the posts in-between the posts that this site focuses on, and provide me with an opportunity to share things that I find interesting. They are not archived like the core posts.

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Interlude: FEAST Magazine

Posted in art, FEAST Magazine, Jason Gray, learning, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on April 8, 2016

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Evan Hiatt, brewmaster at Pappo’s Pizzeria and Brewery

As many readers know, I was laid off from f-stop Gear in January, and have spent a lot of time and energy since on finding a full-time replacement.  As part of that search, I was given the opportunity to shoot a couple of assignments for FEAST Magazine.  The first was a chance to shoot two dishes and some space images at Lucas Park Grille, and the second was a “day in the life” style shoot of Evan Hiatt, brewmaster of Pappo’s Pizzeria and Brewery.

“Interludes” are the posts in-between the posts that this site focuses on, and provide me with an opportunity to share things that I find interesting. They are not archived like the core posts.

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Interlude: St. Louis Magazine

Posted in art, Jason Gray, photography, St. Louis Magazine, technique, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on April 4, 2016

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abandoned mailroom, former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department HQ

An old colleague and longtime friend, Chris Naffziger writes about the history of architecture for St. Louis Magazine and for his blog, St. Louis Patina.  Chris is easily one of St. Louis’ best minds on the subject, and occasionally, he taps my photography to illustrate his articles (particularly I think, when he wants to torture me with some extremely challenging photo scenario).

“Interludes” are the posts in-between the posts that this site focuses on, and provide me with an opportunity to share things that I find interesting. They are not archived like the core posts.

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Interlude: Lone Elk Park

Posted in art, family, Hike, Jason Gray, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on March 24, 2016

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One of my family’s favorite places to hike is Lone Elk Park, a wildlife management area for elk and bison within a very short drive from downtown St. Louis.  Combined with a visit to the World Bird Sanctuary located right next door, this can be a full day’s worth of free fun with fur and feathers.

“Interludes” are the posts in-between the posts that this site focuses on, and provide me with an opportunity to share things that I find interesting. They are not archived like the core posts.

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F-Stop Gear Mountain Series

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image by Isaac Richardson of me wearing f-stop Guru

As many of you know, I am a former employee of f-stop Gear, purveyors of adventure photography packs and accessories, and so it is important to disclaim that with this and future reviews of their products, I will be writing from the user’s perspective and will not be disclosing any insider information that the company has not already made public.  The f-stop products which I use have been obtained in various ways, including as employee incentives, direct purchases, and third-party purchases.  It is important to also note that I was an f-stop customer before I was an f-stop employee.

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Interlude: Hawn State Park

Posted in art, family, Hike, Jason Gray, photography by Jason Gray on March 13, 2016

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Hawn State Park, near St. Genevieve, Missouri, is a 5,000 acre park consisting of three Natural Areas, each with unique topographical and environmental features. It is about a 1.5 hour drive south from St. Louis.

The “Interludes” are a new thing here, so I’ll just quickly explain what I intend with them. They are the posts in-between the posts that this site focuses on, and provide me with an opportunity to share things that I find interesting. Interludes are not archived like the core posts.

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Film Pace

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Spend enough time with film photographers in the digital age, and you will inevitably hear someone say, “I shoot film to slow down” or “I shoot film because it encourages me to stop and think before I take a picture”. I call this assertion “film pace”, and it is usually untrue.

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Back to Business

Posted in Uncategorized by Jason Gray on March 7, 2016

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Dear Readers,

I have long neglected this site, and to be honest, there was a period when I was deciding whether or not to abandon it totally.  However, looking again at the body of work published here since 2008, I see the value of re-investing in it.

I have re-organized the sidebar, and have removed a lot of material that I no longer feel is relevant.  Additionally, the categories that remain, Arts WritingInterviewsInstructional, and Gear Reviews (along with the occasional anecdotal images recording my ventures) are to be the focus of this blog moving forward.

I doubt that this is something that I can update each week, but I will strive to update it as often as possible.  Lately, my life has been taking some twists and turns that I had not anticipated, and so I am looking at a lot of things with fresh eyes.

I hope that you will revisit some of what I have already written, that you will share the site with your friends, and that we will all come along on this journey moving forward (wherever it may lead).

Sincerely,

Jason

 

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