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

LOSP in Translation

Lake of the Ozarks State Park (LOSP) is Missouri’s largest state park. With nearly 18,000 acres to explore, the Park is over twice the size of the State’s second biggest park, which makes it sometimes feel more like a National Park than a state one. After all, LOSP even has its own airport; how many state parks out there can claim that?

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Overcoming Failure

Posted in awareness, F-Stop Gear, family, Jason Gray, perception, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on December 12, 2016

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In the “My Best of 2016” article, I wrote about the layoff which I experienced early in that year, but I didn’t go into much detail about what that experience was like or how I internally dealt with the feeling of failure that resulted.

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My Best of 2016

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1. reveler at St. Louis Mardi Gras for PFSTL (Photo Flood Saint Louis)

Time again for my annual post of my favorite images (24 this time) and personal accomplishments.  To my recollection, very few years of my 36 or so in the world rival 2016 in terms of sheer awfulness.  I mean, the year was literally ushered in with a devastating flood for the record books….

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Interlude: Great Smoky Mountains, Day Two

Posted in art, Backpacking, F-Stop Gear, family, Hike, Interlude, Jason Gray, links, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on October 12, 2016

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Day two had us all up early, as it was to be our most strenuous day of hiking.  Unfortunately, along with enthusiasm for the 8-mile trek ahead, I woke up with a cold.  After coffee/juicepack and a delicious breakfast consisting of fresh eggs and handmade bread (a daily  courtesy of our amazing hosts at Camp GRITS), we were on our way!

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Interlude: PFSTL Top Ten, #1. Dutchtown

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Photo Flood Saint Louis turns four this August.  This post is a continuation of a countdown to commemorate this exciting milestone.

Dutchtown, named after a mispronunciation of “deutsch”, is St. Louis’ most populated neighborhood, and equally one of the city’s most threatened and potential-rich.

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Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 AIS

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A few years ago, my wife arranged for a group of my friends to surprise me for my birthday.  My friend Steve surprised me even more with the very generous gift of a Nikon FM2 and an assortment of AIS lenses.  Among them was this absolute gem, the Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 AIS.

It is small, it is light, it is one of my all-time favorite street photography lenses, and it is still being manufactured by Nikon (since 1984!).  In fact, not only is this lens still sold new, but it is more expensive over the counter than Nikon’s AF-D version.

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Interlude: Toxic Tour STL

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Earlier this year, I created an afternoon itinerary, self-dubbed the “toxic tour”, that would take me by some of St. Louis’ most notorious, nefarious and/or notable sites relating to the city’s long history of chemical manufacturing, toxic waste removal, and dodged bullets.  I picked three sites in order to create a semi-circular route, but it would be easy to add other significant stops (ie. the former Carter Carburetor plant/EPA Superfund Site, the smoldering Bridgeton landfill, the Eastside’s Mound’o’Trash, the old ordinance bunkers of the Mark Twain I-70 Industrial neighborhood, etc.) if you really wanted to make a family weekend of it. :0

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Interlude: Mississippi River Flood, Winter 2015-2016

Posted in art, awareness, F-Stop Gear, Jason Gray, learning, manual focus, photography, prime lenses, science, winter by Jason Gray on June 10, 2016

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This Interlude is a catch-up on some work that I did after the historic flood of last winter.

From The Weather Channel website:

The Mississippi River at St. Louis crested New Year’s Day at its third highest level on record (42.58 feet), less than a foot shy of its April 28, 1973 flood crest (43.23 feet), but well short of the record 1993 crest (49.58 feet). 

The St. Louis flood wall, as well as the Metro East St. Louis and Fish Lake levees protect the area to a river stage of 54 feet, which is 4.4 feet above the 1993 record crest. The river’s fast currents and high levels prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to shut down a five-mile section of the river to navigation near St. Louis.

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Interlude: CityArchRiver Portraits

Posted in art, F-Stop Gear, Jason Gray, links, perception, Photo Walk, photography, prime lenses, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on June 6, 2016

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On Thursday, June 2, the newly renovated Leonore K. Sullivan Boulevard (named for the consumer advocate and first Missouri woman to enter Congress) was reopened to the public.  This warf road parallels both the Gateway Arch and Mississippi Rivers, and has been closed for some time as work on the redesigned arch grounds is ongoing.

Thursday’s event, a partnership between CityArchRiver (agency overseeing the redesign) and Great Rivers Greenway (a bi-state effort to envelope the St. Louis Metropolitan area with accessible bike paths), featured a 2016 foot long picnic table, live music, food trucks, fireworks, and more.  I was there with Photo Flood Saint Louis, which was invited by the organizers to cover the event.

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F-Stop Gear Loka

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Over a year ago, I switched from using the rugged Pelican 1510 roller to the Loka, by f-stop Gear. For the most part, this has been a happy trade off (with a few caveats), which has given me more flexibility for how and where I can take varying volumes of photo equipment.

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