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

What’s in my Camera Bag, 2022?

photo by Harper Gray (my oldest son)

It has been a while since I have shared a true, “what’s in my camera bag?”-style peek into the gear that I use on a regular basis. I am going to take the opportunity to really deep dive into what I pack in my primary kit, my everyday carry, and for travel or street photography. I will also summarize my thoughts on Fuji, after three years of using this system as my primary choice.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park (with kids), Part 1

In our modern world, there are precious few places that entertain and enrich the psyche in a way that satisfies wholly, despite whatever wild expectations or seeming familiarity one may have. Places static, though still offering continually different experiences. Places wild, mysterious, and at times, magical.  Places that achieve everything already described, even though they are among the most loved and most visited of their kind. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of those places, and I’ll soon share how best to enjoy it with kiddos in tow.


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.


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!


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.


Castor River Shut-Ins Natural Area


There are some places in nature that you just luckily stumble across. Places that are in the vicinity of your regular spots, that you finally take notice of, and are amazed that you could have missed them all this time. Castor River Shut-Ins Natural Area is not one of those places. It is tucked away inside the Amidon Memorial Conservation Area, down remote gravel roads, susceptible to wash outs after a heavy rain, that dead end at your destination. From St. Louis, it is also a bit of a haul (to be more precise, it is about the exact distance away as to necessitate ten or twelve “Are we almost there?!”‘s from a growingly impatient five year old). That said, it is totally worth all the effort.


What’s in My Camera Bag, 2019

New Year, new gear! In fact, it has been many years since I’ve dramatically changed the photography equipment that I use (last one was perhaps my switch from 2.8 zooms to primes in 2015), and this year’s complete brand switch from Nikon to Fuji had many extenuating circumstances. Nonetheless, with the generous help of an Artist Support Grant from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, and quite a bit of luck on holiday deals, I was able to not only make the change, but to continue photographing professionally. I am so deeply appreciative of this, and to be included among a list of very talented visual artists, musicians and other creatives to receive this award.


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


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.


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.