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

F-Stop Gear Ando 13

There are many positive things about my switch from DSLRs to mirrorless, though perhaps chief among them is scale. I can now fit an entire kit into an incredibly small space, which has had the ancillary benefit of encouraging me to look at old bags in new ways. One of the “old bags” is the Ando 13 from F-Stop. Read on to find out why it has become my go to bag for EDC and some event shooting.

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Virginia Sublime Part 2

Posted in Adventure, art, beer, family, Fuji, Hike, Jason Gray, links, Park, photography, prime lens, prime lenses, Travel, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on July 21, 2019

Virginia is a state where the Nation’s history unfolds, but it is also a place of great natural beauty and strong, local community. It is home to saltwater sunrises, cool mountain mists, and almost everything in-between.

If you read Virginia Sublime Part 1, then you already know how this survey of the State is structured, but just in case, this is a report back from my family of four’s recent trip to Virginia (and nearby). The State has essentially five distinct regions, of which I have now visited three. In the last article, I covered the Valley and Ridge Region and the Piedmont, while this post will focus on the Coastal Plain/Tidewater Region.

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Virginia Sublime Part 1

Virginia may be for lovers, but it is also easy to love. The State possesses an incredible diversity of landscape (from the Atlantic Coast, to tidal marshes, historic towns, rolling mountains, mighty rivers, and busy cities), and even a great diversity of people (ranked 14th overall in the U.S. for 2019, whereas my home state of Missouri comes in at 37th). Its proximity to other interesting places is also good, being essentially centrally positioned along the east coast of the U.S.

My family has now had the chance to visit Virginia twice, though we’ve seen much of the State on those trips. Consider this post part travelog and part recommendation, though it only truly scratches the surface on all there is to do there (perhaps I’ll expand it in the future as we return to explore other sites). Nonetheless, I’m quite confidant that you could plan a stellar trip using the info contained herein, after all, we already did!

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Topo Designs Travel Bag Review

In just a few days, the family and I leave for an eight-day roadtrip to the East Coast. We’ll be visiting friends in Richmond, Virginia (who just had a baby; congrats Katie and Ed!) and Washington D.C., before heading on to the beach for a little, much-needed R an R. I thought it would be fun to take the opportunity to review my Topo Travel Bag, even if it is the older version. Enjoy!

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St. Louis Flooding 2019

It’s receding now, and that’s good news for all the folks affected by the historic Flood of 2019. This year’s event was just feet shy of the record Flood of 1993.

The images in this post were photographed in St. Louis, on the riverfront (on the day it crested at 46.2 feet) and along its southern border with St. Louis County.

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History of Nature and Landscape Photography, Transition to Artform

George Shiras and John Hammerin a canoe equipped for jacklighting, Whitefish Lake, Michigan, 1893; © National Geographic Creative Archives

Around the beginning of the 20th Century, significant innovations in camera technology, chemistry, and photographic equipment coalesced at a time when photographers were beginning to recognize the expressive potential of their image-making. An era was fast dawning wherein the photograph would no longer be simply relegated to the realm of science or to cheap novelty, but would instead serve to drive culture, both in and out of art.

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Fuji X-E3

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I’ve been shooting on Fujifilm now since December, so I figured that’s long enough to beginning offering practical reviews of my experiences with that equipment. Up first is the Fuji X-E3, a nimble, lightweight, rangefinder-styled mirrorless shooter that both appeals to specific needs in photography and to the photo everyman (that’s a feat in itself).

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History of Nature and Landscape Photography, The Beginnings

Sir Henry Fox Talbot; early 1840’s

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Photography has had a preoccupation with nature almost from the very beginning. In fact, it was probably a preoccupation with nature that led to photography in the first place. The Pencil of Nature was a photobook published in the mid-1840’s by Sir Henry Fox Talbot, who was the first to successfully develop a reproducible negative.

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Chouteau Island

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The Mississippi River provides so much recreational diversity throughout its over 2,300 miles, across ten U.S. States. In Missouri, the river bottom is a place that makes all of the life around it possible. It also carries the weight of death, in the form of floods and drought.

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Hickory Canyons Natural Area

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I am well aware that much of the country does not think of Missouri first when they think of “outdoor adventure”, and that’s just fine. As a state positioned dead center in the continental U.S., we enjoy an abundance of resources that result from being a point of convergence: the convergence of cultures (and the legacies of those cultures- often this is a struggle too), the convergence of the largest rivers in North America, the convergence of a once sprawling ocean and once soaring mountains, lost in time, but leaving a geological uniqueness found little elsewhere on Earth. It’s all here, and frankly, if you want to flyover it, that’s fine too; it just keeps the crowds down for those of us that choose to revel in it.

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