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

Big Announcement: Switching to Fuji from Nikon

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For all of my journey as a photographer, I’ve been a Nikon shooter, and let me just say that that’s no light commitment. The cameras by this manufacturer that I have owned over the years, spanning film and digital, include:

  1. Nikon FM2
  2. Nikon EM
  3. Nikon n8008s
  4. Nikon n6006
  5. Nikon n90s
  6. Nikon n80
  7. Nikon n65
  8. Nikon D100
  9. Nikon D50
  10. Nikon D200
  11. Nikon D300
  12. Nikon D7200

Real world reviews of some of those can be found here.

So why on earth would I switch to Fuji in 2018, and why stick with crop sensor?

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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.

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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.

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Photography is No Monolith

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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).

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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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Monica, Part Two

Posted in Uncategorized by Jason Gray on December 12, 2017

There is certainly something to be said for having the lucky opportunity to work with the same model on more than one occasion, especially if the model and the photographer operate on the same wavelength. This is the case with Monica, who I have been promising a second shoot for since our first session in May.

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My Best of 2017 (part one)

1. former JC Penny Building in Wells Goodfellow for Photo Flood Saint Louis (PFSTL)

As mentioned in my “Best of” post for last year, 2016 pretty much wrecked my life, so it should come as no surprise that 2017 was a year of contemplation, reassessment and rebuilding. As 2018 dawns, I am concluding or have concluded several projects, some positive/some negative, some personal/some public, and am ready to welcome the start of what’s next. Enjoy this numbered list of my favorite images from last year, with some anecdotes sprinkled in between (this is a two-parter for the first time; look for the second one later in the month).

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