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

My Best of 2018 (part 1)

Posted in Adventure, art, awareness, family, Jason Gray, learning, nikon, perception, photography, St. Louis, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on December 13, 2018

jason_gray-1-33

1. Gravois Park

2018 has been an interesting year- one that, as I write this, I can’t yet define as awesome or a real drag. You could say that, in 2018, I closed a lot of chapters in an effort to open a really good one; one that would create both material and livelihood changes for myself and my family. For context, feel free to flip back to 2016’s Best Of post (a year that I lost my job and my purpose) or 2017’s Best Of (a year of transition and preparation). This year has been the year of “I used to be”, as in, I used to be a curator, I used to be a photographer, and I used to be some things that still remain to be seen.

NOTE: The images with numbers are those that I consider “my best of 2018”

(more…)

Advertisements

Moonlighting

Posted in Adventure, art, awareness, Jason Gray, learning, photography, St. Louis by Jason Gray on November 24, 2018


The more you walk down the worn path of art, the more you realize that what’s required of you often goes beyond whatever discipline you’ve elected to pursue. The most successful working artists are their own marketers, social media managers, graphic designers, web developers, business managers, and so much more, in addition to being excellent at their craft.

For me, as someone managing my own art trajectory, acting as the Founding Director of Photo Flood Saint Louis, and as a small business owner, I’ve worn a lot of hats. One of the roles that I’ve assumed increasingly, and rather enjoyed, is that of (an incredibly amateur) Graphic Designer. This post is to show off some of my favorite designs created over the years.

(more…)

Starting Out in Photography, What Options Exist in 2018?

Posted in awareness, Jason Gray, learning, links, nikon, photography by Jason Gray on October 19, 2018

In 2018, digital photography has been the standard for over 15 years, which means that options are vast (we now have both traditional SLR-style cameras and mirrorless options available in multiple sensor sizes), the cost of entry is low (the 2.7 megapixel, cropped Nikon D1 was over $5k at intro in 1999 and you can get well above the specs of that camera for about $100 now), and the ease of learning photography has never been so simple (I know that is a controversial statement, but it is true). So, what camera/system should the beginner photographer purchase in October of 2018? Let’s take a look.

(more…)

Photography is No Monolith

jason_gray - 1 (17)

Photography, at its root, is two things: 1. the recording of light phenomena (sometimes invisible to the human eye); 2. a means of communication (sometimes for a conversation that we have only with ourselves). In the overlap between these two, we see all of the photographs ever made, which of course, says very little about the purpose of their creation. This distinction, the photograph’s “purpose”, only becomes apparent once the relationship between the photographer and viewer has been established. For instance, a message delivered through a megaphone that never reaches the recipient renders the projection device meaningless, or without purpose. In this way, the purpose of a photograph that sells to an ad agency is commercial, while the purpose of a photograph that sells to a Museum is cultural, but this is also an oversimplification, since photographs that originally sold to ad agencies have wound up in Museums (a photograph’s purpose can change over time or a photograph can have multiple purposes simultaneously).

(more…)

New Blog!

C0020599-98C8-4EF9-ACF5-A0E5A0FB86D0.jpeg

I am excited to announce that my wife and I will be opening a brick-and-mortar shop (explorer boutique, wanderer goods) called KAMP in St. Louis, Missouri this March. Our motto is “Equip, explore, reflect, repeat”, and we hope that you’ll stop by if/when you can.

For those of you that enjoy my outdoor content on this blog, most of that will be moving over to the store’s blog, so be sure to subscribe over there to not miss anything!

(more…)

Me as Gilligan on Chouteau’s Island

a lot of the Island is floodplain, as the levee is on the opposite side as the Mississippi

(more…)

My Go-To Equipment in 2017

Understanding what cameras and lenses you use most often provides all sorts of data, and is something that I always think is pretty interesting and can be very helpful. For instance, in the pie chart above (based upon the images I selected for My Best of 2017 posts 1 and 2), I know that I leave the bigger, heavier cameras at home at least 25% of the time (or at the very least, I use the iPhone 7+ to document things that I don’t feel warrant the use of a DSLR- I included documentary images in this metric). What’s more, my second backup body, the D200, makes an appearance because my primary body, the D7200, had to be sent in for repair this year.  Also, knowing my stats from last year, I can see that I am using the D300 less and less often, which means that I greatly prefer the images that the D7200 makes, even though it has been a problem-prone camera for me (if it is worth putting down for posterity, I am going to try to do that with the best quality equipment that I own).

(more…)

F-Stop Gear Guru

Several years ago, I converted over to using f-stop Gear‘s line of products as a solution to the problem of transporting my camera equipment and accessories.  These packs are expertly designed, and there is  a bag for virtually any purpose desired. I’ve previously outlined the ecosystem of their Mountain Line, so this review will focus on the Guru Version 1 that I use as my primary hiking ruck.

(more…)

Interlude: Castlewood State Park

Quick family hike through one of the Missouri’s best State Parks (and so close to STL!).  I’ve written about the Park in the past, including about its remarkable history, so this post will be a mostly visual tour.

(more…)

My Best of 2017 (part two)

20. Tiffany

For the first time, I have divided the annual summary of a year in my photo life into two parts.  Check out the first part here.

(more…)