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

Road Trip!


I am getting ready for a 5-day trip to the Great Smoky Mountains with my wife and first-born son, later this month.  The travel itinerary that I have made will take us to both Louisville and Nashville, up to the second highest peak in the Appalachians, to a pond full of salamanders, into a cave that’s been haunted for two hundred years, behind the curtain of a waterfall, and more.

This will be the first adventure where all three of us will have a camera.  I’m excited, and can’t wait to share the pictures!



Interlude: PFSTL Top Ten, #6. St. Louis Place

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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.

Depending upon your point of view, St. Louis Place is currently either the city’s most threatened neighborhood or the one most likely to save its economy.  Of course, the reason being is that this north side gem was selected as the new home of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (formerly located in the south side’s Kosciusko neighborhood); at issue here is that, although the NGA adds millions of much needed revenue dollars to the city’s coffers, it requires razing close to 75% of St. Louis Place via eminent domain for the space needed.  :0


Interlude: PFSTL Top Ten, #9. JeffVanderLou

Posted in art, awareness, Jason Gray, links, photography, prime lenses, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on July 8, 2016

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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.

JeffVanderLou is a neighborhood that is pretty impossible to forget (even if it seems our region may have).  It is both a place of remarkable achievements and of tragedies, where some of St. Louis’ proudest sons and daughters have walked and also where they have fallen.


Lindsey Davidson, Part 2

Posted in 35mm, art, black and white, film, model, photography by Jason Gray on November 25, 2011

As promised, here is the second set of images from my recent shoot with Lindsey Davidson, photographer (and model 😉 ). These were all shot on 35mm film (Kodak T-Max 400) with a Nikon N80 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D or Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G lens. (more…)

Armour Meatpacking Plant

Posted in 35mm, black and white, Chicago, photography by Jason Gray on April 23, 2011

The Armour Meatpacking Plant in National City, Illinois rests its hulking, decayed mass on the former site of the National Stockyards. This complex, formerly consisting of crisscrossing train tracks, bellowing pigs, and the rhythmic clang of industrial machinery, represented the second largest hog processing center in the world (behind Chicago’s Union Stockyards). If you were wondering, it was Chicago’s Armour Meatpacking Plant location that inspired the colorful tale, “The Jungle”, by Upton Sinclair; one can only surmise that the conditions probably weren’t much different at this location.

In any case, the plant was abandoned in the 1950’s and it certainly looks that way. More information on this site can be read at Built St. Louis and at my friend’s site St. Louis Patina (if you haven’t checked out his site, definitely do!).

All shot with Nikon N80 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens on Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO film.

More after the jump–> (more…)

Back in Black (and White)

Posted in 35mm, art, black and white, film, perception, photography by Jason Gray on April 1, 2011

Here are my latest scans from my explorations around the STL of long ago. Enjoy!

All Nikon N80 with Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens and Ilford HP5+ 400 Film.

More after the jump–> (more…)

Urban Decay

Posted in 35mm, art, black and white, film, photography, winter by Jason Gray on March 18, 2011

I am continuing my exploration of the city of Saint Louis and its unique mixture of what was with what is. As mentioned last week, most of these photos were taken in an abandoned (except for the homeless) building downtown.

All Nikon N80 with either Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D or Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G lenses; Ilford HP5+ BW Film.

More after the jump–> (more…)

A Black and White Town

Posted in 35mm, art, black and white, film, learning, perception, photography, winter by Jason Gray on March 11, 2011

In the last two weeks, I have switched from focusing on the small patch of woods in the urban park where I work to the more industrial side of St. Louis. My city is a strange place that still makes things, all kinds of things, from chemicals to jet planes. This reality means that there is a lot of space (most manufacturing centers stopped building up and started building out at least by the 1940’s), and since most of my city’s population had left for the suburbs by the end of the 1970’s, that means a lot of empty space. So “space” is what I have been concentrating on lately (with a few exceptions). Enjoy!

All Nikon N80 or Nikon n8008s with Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D or Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G lenses.

More after the jump–> (more…)

Zoo Trippin’

Posted in photography by Jason Gray on May 29, 2010

Yesterday was a great day; beautiful weather, I landed a promotion, and I had a few hours before work to stroll around the zoo (where sometimes the people are as interesting as the animals) taking pictures. What more could I ask for?

All photos Nikon D50 with Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens.

Pics after the jump–>

Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Lens.

Posted in photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on May 4, 2010

The “Nifty Fifty” is the best deal in optics for photographic application around. This all plastic gem enables you to shoot in near darkness; plus, it is extremely sharp, has very usable out-of-focus, for a 50mm, and features quick AF for a non-AFS lens. Without a doubt, this lens, at just a bit more than $100 a piece, should be in every Nikon photographer’s camera bag. Personally, I use it most when I am working a crowd. It’s size, and positivities outlined above, affords me with the ability to move around virtually undetected. And the focal length is pretty much perfect (if you are shooting groups, or want more of the venue in the shot, you will obviously need to go wider).

This little lens also rides around with me a lot when I am out snapping pictures while walking. Having the constant focal length is quite beneficial because it encourages me to focus even more so on composition.

So, if you’ve been wondering if the 50mm 1.8D is any good, the answer is a resounding “yes”. If you’ve only ever had kit lenses, this should be your first step up (in quality, but amazingly not price).

All pics Nikon D300 with Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G.

More shots and stats after the jump–>