Thursday, May 27, 2010


An oldie but a goodie excavated from the archives. Sort of makes me think of the opening scene in 2001. If I had a music player on this blog I'd put on Also Sprach Zarathusta.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


We almost always look at the Arch from the side, more or less. Well, what if you look straight up at it from underneath? This is the point where the pieces come together, the keystone. The narrow rectangles are windows in the observation deck. They are angled down at about 45 degrees. Bring your Dramamine.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Post-Industrial Arch

The Arch sits in a leafy park but there are old, run down industrial areas to the north and south. It all looks rather nice from the south with sunshine on it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I'm going to try real hard to do at least one post a week on Gateway and keep it going.

Sometimes the Arch seems not quite real to me. I mean, how did Eero Saarinen and a bunch of space aliens drop this far-beyond-human scale metal epiphany in an ordinary Midwestern city? Sometimes when I walk or drive by I start thinking what the hell is that doing here? Building the Arch was one of the few acts of real vision in the modern history of this sometimes indifferent burgh.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Much Neglected Blog

I've been terrible about keeping Gateway up to date. Time is the issue. Work, shooting for and maintaining St. Louis Daily Photo, whah whaa whah. I'll try to be better. I shot this from the top of the water tower in Compton Hill Reservoir Park.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Gateway has been moribund for four months. Good intentions but not enough time. The new plan is to post images that have appeared in the Thursday Arch Series on St. Louis Daily Photo and any other images I come up with. They don't need to be new Arch pictures; they just need to celebrate the monument. So Gateway is back with levels on levels of arches.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Hammer Blow

I've posted a number of pictures lately on St. Louis Daily Photo of the sculpture Kindly Geppetto by Tom Otterness in downtown's Citygarden. The last couple of them (here and here) have been titled Geppetto's Hammer because this old woodcarver in in the process of whacking little Pinocchio to bits with a gigantic mallet. Not kindly at all. I find the work dark and fascinating.

But here's another hammer: a view of the north leg from inside the curve. It looks to me like a titanic blow from Thor or John Henry or maybe Maxwell blasting our city center.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Salvage Job

An exercise: this photo has a close relative appearing today on ST. LOUIS DAILY PHOTO. They are parts of a seven image sequence of the same subject, shot at 2/3 stop intervals from -2 stops to +2 stops. The aperture remained the same and the shutter speed varied. They were intended to become part of a seven layer HDR of the Arch. However, when I blended them in Photomatix, the sky came out with a marked box-shaped weave pattern in. It looked like fabric. Actually, it looked terrible. If any HDR experts can explain that to me I'd appreciate it.

So, I started playing with the individual pictures in the sequence. This one was +1 stop (ISO 100, f 6.3, 1/100 sec., spot metering). I always shoot in RAW so I could mess around with the image a lot. This is what came out.

Click to see the companion photo on ST. LOUIS DAILY PHOTO. Which do you prefer, assuming that either one does something for you?

Monday, August 10, 2009


You could read all sorts of things into this. I'll leave the interpretation to the viewer.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Small City, Big Sky

The writer Jonathan Franzen was born in Chicago but grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, the town where I have lived for 22 years. He wrote a novel, set mostly in St. Louis, called The Twenty-Seventh City. That was the city's U.S. population rank at the time. It's fallen considerably since, what with devastating suburban sprawl, although we remain the 16th largest metropolitan area if you believe Wikipedia. It doesn't look like much in this view from across the Mississippi but the Arch is ever glorious and we are covered by the boundless Midwestern sky.