August 29, 2003

Toy Camera, The Windsor


PAM. fuckyou
Lomo LC-A

28mm needs help with their hosting fees. Why not give a buck or two?


Recently, I've expanded my photographic repetoire to include some new themes. They are: laundry mats, writing on walls, writing scratched into benches or walls or metal, floors (cause if you're going to do doors and walls...), fire hydrants, drinking fountains, lawn ornaments and ice chests. See and you thought I only took pictures of doors, walls, toy tags, cars, garbage, garbage bins, discarded chairs, signs and plants. I'm versatile damnit!

I've got lots of new photos developed and sitting on my desk. I can't wait to post some of them but I can wait to scan them. I need a personal assistant to do my scanning and colour correcting. One can dream.


Toy Camera has redesigned and it's looking good. I recently became addicted to the forums and found myself neglecting the forums (which I am supposed to be moderating) at my own site. Check out my contribution to the Destinations Gallery (I'm entry #1 on page 2) taken with my Holga. All photos were taken on our June trip to Montreal. Notice how I managed to fit several of my themes into the three chosen images; walls, fire hydrant, discarded couch, toy tags, general decay...

I recently purchased a Diana camera clone called the Windsor. Diana's themselves go for way too much on ebay now-a-days. Even the clones go high but my Windsor was cheap cause it takes 620 film and I guess people didn't want to mess with that. But I'm familar with the hassles of the 620 camera and as luck would have it discovered that the Fuji NHG II film (120) that I love so much for use in the Holga fits fine without needing to be cut down (the spools are thinner). The only problem I consistently have with this film is that it winds REALLY loose. I can't get it to wind tight no matter what I do and consequently everytime I take it in for developing it must be bagged.

Anyways, my Windsor arrived earlier this week and I have already completed two rolls. I love the noise the shutter makes and the loud clinking of the winding mechanism. I took my first roll in earlier today. I can't wait to see what I get!

Posted by Gayla at 04:19 PM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2003

Black Face Bee


C.N.E. Bee Ride
Taken with the Great Wall DF-

This is the creepiest kid's ride I have ever seen, yet is is still very popularly used. I couldn't pinpoint what it was that freaked me out about it until my brother pointed out that it looks awfully similar to black face -- especially the golliwog caricature. I'm curious to know the history of this ride. Everything in our day-to-day lives was designed by a human at some point. It is possible that the similarity is accidental but you can never really know. People make things and people insert their beliefs into the things they make. This space where culture, sociology and design intersect is of great interest to me.

The website for the Jim Crow Museum of Rascist Memorabillia is quite interesting and packed with information. This is one of the things I truly appreciate about the internet; access to free information. I just found my day side-tracked a bit by this piece on the stereotype of "The Tragic Mulatto". Portrayals of mixed race people is particularly interesting to me since I am a product of several generations of "race-mixing". My brother and I have endlessly discussed our views and personal feelings about being "neither this nor that" and we both agree that for us it has been anything but tragic. People will always identify you by how you look, but only you know how you feel and who you are. Perception is deception. Unfortunately it took me until my teens to start to see it, and until my mid twenties to understand what being of multi-ethnicities meant to me personally without the crap and burden of other people's perceptions of my identity weighing on me.

Posted by Gayla at 12:23 PM | Comments (2)

August 26, 2003

Bad Design Mixing


Concession Stands
Shot with Zero 2000 Pinhole

Got my C.N.E photos back yesterday. They definitely make me want to go back for a second round of picture-taking. With the first photos I wasn't sure what I was going to get and now I know what worked and what didn't.

I've been hyper about going to the C.N.E every year to take photos because I'm certain those rides and concessions stands will not last forever. In fact I have noticed some of the good "old stuff" disappearing over the last few years. Believe me I would go to other carnivals with old rides if I could drive. I just love old parking lot carnivals.

You know, something I hate to see is when they fuck up the look of something old and well-designed by adding some new crappy design element to it that doesn't match. The "Sno Cones" concession stand above is an example. The older design of the structure has been (in my opinion) defaced by the badly designed "Candy Time" banner that wraps around the base. Mr. Risk and I often refer to this phenomenon as fifties/eighties syndrome. In the eighties there were many references to fifties design popping up here and there. The show "Saved By the Bell" is a classic example. They used the confetti motif popularized by fifties era linoleum in both the opening sequence and in the design of the diner. But what a mess! I think we can all agree that, that was some nasty stuff.

The same thing is happening with that "Candy Time" banner. They're "sort of" referencing the style of the text treatment at the top. Why couldn't they have just gone a little further to make it match?

It's not right I tell you! Not right! Let's end bad design mixing.

Posted by Gayla at 11:20 AM | Comments (2)

August 25, 2003

More Plants That Eat Meat

sarracenia seed pod

Pitcher Plant seed pod (Sarracenia purpurea)
Shot with Nikon 990

As promised more photos from the fen at Singing Sands.

I was incorrect yesterday when I stated that the pitcher plants were in full bloom. After a bit of reading I realise what I saw were maturing seed pods. The petals had already dropped from the flowers. Apparently the pitchers of sarracenia stay closed until the flowers have been pollinated so as to avoid eating pollinating insects. That's pretty ingenius.

Another really interesting thing about that conservation area is that it is home to an abundance of rare plants and orchids. Once on a trip to a cabin in another part of that area I found a yellow lady's slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) growing on our lot and some other unusual flowers such as the fringed polygala (Polygala paucifolia), but at the time I had no idea how special they were. Well the find was special and exciting to me, I just wasn't aware it was special to others. It's not everyday I see orchids growing wild in Ontario.

On Sunday we drove back to Toronto and stopped at a flea market and some antique stores along the way. The pickings were a lot slimmer then I had hoped but I did pick up an Imperial Six-Twenty camera for seven bucks. It appears to be an all plastic camera. It's small size and extremely light weight were the features that appealed to me most. It really wasn't until I was back in the car, attempting to load it with film that I realised it probably had a plastic lens.

Posted by Gayla at 09:56 AM | Comments (2)

August 24, 2003

Plants That Eat Meat


Temperate Sundew (Drosera linearis)
Shot with Nikon 990

I am so excited about this... this weekend I reached my own personal Valhalla. I saw carnivorous plants growing in the wild here in Ontario.

Man, that is some super exciting shit! I'm still reeling from the thrill of it all. On the weekend we travelled north to rural Ontario to visit Mr. Risk's dad. He's the kind of guy who know's everything about everything... for real. He's not just one of those guys who thinks he knows everything about everything. I mean I can literally point to something randomly and he'll probably know what it is and something about its history.

So I said "I want to see some carnivorous plants because I know there are some in Saugeen County." and his response was "Ya I think I know where there are some growing."

So we hopped into the car and a few hours later, behold, a field of carnivorous plants! Okay it wasn't that easy because we did go too far and had a stop for crappy fish n' chips in Tobermory but eventually we did find it. Sadly it was starting to get dark by the time we got there so due to low light levels my photos aren't the best they could be.

Dear god that place was beautiful! It was really the best conservation area I have ever been to. I didn't want to leave. I wanted to lay on the boardwalk and stare at the tiny, beautiful sundews forever. I would love to go back and spend the day exploring. When we first arrived I practically ran to the area where the carnivores were. At first I couldn't find any but then when I spotted the first Sarracenia that was it... My eyes adjusted and I saw they were everywhere! Just amazing. It was so cool to see them growing in the wild and see how colouration, shape and growth habits change depending on the varying conditions. I still can't believe such a thing grows here in Ontario. And so far north. That just blows my mind.

I would have to say that my interest in sundews really overshadowed the pitcher plants. Their tiny size made them difficult to spot amongst the other plants. But when I did find one I couldn't take my eyes off it. They are such interesting plants. I actually have a different species of sundew growing on my deck in a little container carnivorous bog I made, but there is something about seeing them growing wild. Just knowing they really are out there...

In The Savage Garden, Peter D'Amato writes the perfect description:

"If an insect ever evolved the brains to write a horror novel, the monster in that novel would probably be a sundew.

Sundews are innocent-looking and pretty, their delicate leaves sparkling with the promise of sweet nectar, but the foolish insect curious enough to give a sundew the slightest touch will suddenly find itself caught in a living nightmare. Doomed to a horrible death, the insect may struggle for a blessed few minutes or suffer for untold hours as it tried to break free of ensnaring, suffocating glue, grasping tenacles, and burning acids and enzymes; meanwhile, its precious bodily fluids are slowly sucked dry. Mother Nature hopefully had psychiatric care after she designed the sundews."


We were all going nuts jumping from plant to plant finding interesting insects and crazy flowers. Mr. Risk's dad continuously exclaimed "The more you look the more you find." I could tell he was also really having fun geeking out. I got so excited I forced some perplexed tourists into a little mini educational tour pointing out the various carnivores. They were all "Well what do ya know? Isn't that interesting. Honey, would ya look at that?" They didn't really care but at least now they have something interesting to tell the neighbours.

Posted by Gayla at 07:32 PM | Comments (3)

August 22, 2003

Yellow Lily

Yellow Lily     
Taken with Ansco B-2 Cadet (and Magnifying Glass)    

I'm trying out knowspam. I get so much friggin' spam everyday it's sick. I figured going away for the weekend would mean coming back to another mess... so I'm going to see how it goes.

Posted by Gayla at 11:48 AM | Comments (4)

August 21, 2003

Please, Not the Bus


Taken with the Great Wall DF-

Four hours on the bus.

That's what I'm doing tomorrow evening. We're going for a weekend trip to visit Mr. Risk's dad. Neither of us have a license to drive (we're both 30+) so we're always dependant on public transportation. It's never a problem living in a large city such as this, but as soon as I leave the city I'm instantly aware of just how car dependant the rest of the world is.

I prefer to take the train when possible. The train is nice. It has multiple bathrooms without sploshy blue liquid. It has leg room... and that's in coach! Sadly our destination is nowhere near a VIA RAIL station. After Florida I vowed never to take the bus again, but secretly I knew I was kidding myself. I knew deep down that what I really meant was that I would never take the bus in the U.S ever again.... Happily our Greyhound service in Canada is FAR, FAR superior to the American service. My apologies America, but travelling via your cross country bus system is like stepping into the inner depths of some kind of living hell!

So tomorrow a four hour bus ride into rural Ontario. Blah.


Mr. Risk finally answered his questions!

Posted by Gayla at 01:23 PM | Comments (1)

August 20, 2003

Canadian National Exhibition





Taken with Pocket DV at CNE August 2002

Yesterday I went to the CNE. First I went in the daytime with Rannie and then later that night with Mr. Risk.

My body hurts from all the walking and lugging around so many cameras. I thought it was ridiculous trying to juggle three cameras last year. This year I had at least six! I'd say it wasn't worth it but I did end up using every single one more than once. Last year the cameras were light. This year they were mostly heavy! My lower back is soooo sore. Mr. Risk had to drag me home. But I'll probably go again. And I'm sure I'll do it next year too. I just love taking photos there.

The above images were taken with the Pocket DV. Overall I think last year's Pocket DV shots were better. The difference is in the lighting. Last year's images were mostly taken at dusk. This year's were either in the early day or at night. The camera (being shit) has a hard time reading the contrast in light between dark sky and the bright lights of the rides.

Posted by Gayla at 11:04 AM | Comments (2)

August 15, 2003

Blackout 2003


So you may or may not already know that we're suffering a blackout. I say "we" even though the power in my neighbourhood has been on since sometime in the middle of last night because my friend who literally lives one main intersection up the street (a 10 minute walk) still doesn't have any power.

It went off sometime after 4:00 pm yesterday. At first I thought it was just a brownout. We've got a bit of a heatwave going on and since we had our air-conditioner running I figured everyone else probably did as well. However then we turned on our one radio that takes batteries (and only gets am stations), and discovered it was a bit more than that. It turns out the power went down all along the east coast. The U.S and CANADA governments are in a battle over who's to blame.

Basically we spent the rest of the day and late into the night out on the deck listening to people talk shit on talk radio. I took some photos and watered my plants. I also managed to do a bit of non-electricity dependant work.

The radio was hilarious. After only 20 minutes people were freaking out about "the chaos". There were scores of warnings about the dangers of going out into the streets after dark in case violence ensues. One woman was trying to save $50,000 worth of meat. They kept doing little featurettes warning that in four more hours all meat and eggs would be rotten. A woman in Thornhill was talking about how insane it was up there. "People are outside of their houses.... on the street!"

And speaking of people being on the street... our neighbourhood was rockin. We were discussing how they should institute one blackout day a month because it created such a nice feeling in the area. Everyone was outside having fun and hanging out. Mr. Risk likened it to that episode of The Simpsons when violence was removed from cartoons and all the children of Springfield turned off their TVs, opened their doors, rubbed their eyes and went outside to play. The streets and parks were just overflowing with moving bodies. People who hadn't walked in years were begrungingly forced into it because there was no transportation.

I walked around the area a bit once it got dark and all the bars and some corner stores were open, lit by candle light. People were walking the streets with beers in hand, fireworks were set off and several yahoos were wooping it up. I kept waiting for the lights to flicker on and everyone to be caught in their sin. Ha!

From our deck we had a gorgeous view of the sky. The moon was glowing red and we could see more stars and constellations then I ever though possible in Toronto. My one major complaint was the plumes of diesel smoke coming out of the Bay Street area. Most of the tall buildings had more than half their lights on. It's disgusting that our air was being nauseously polluted in order to keep the fucking Bank of Montreal logo illuminated.

I learned a few things from the blackout. 1. Must keep some money on hand because when the power goes out, you can't get cash. 2. Flicking on a switch when entering a bathroom is frighteningly habitual.


The interview game is still going. See it here.

Posted by Gayla at 11:48 AM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2003

The interview game

interview game: THE RULES
1. leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. i will respond; i'll ask you five questions.
3. you'll update your website with my five questions, and your five answers.
4. you'll include this explanation.
5. you'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Claire sent me my questions. They were thinkers!

Please be aware that my answers are long.... I babble.

1. Describe your dream house.

That’s hard because there are a lot of styles that appeal to me for varying reasons. However Mr. Risk and I have always had this strange pipe dream of gutting a sixties era small apartment building and turning it into our version of a modern multi-level home. The sixties era apartment buildings are really basic rectangles that house approximately six apartments. They're not exciting in the way sixties era buildings should be but they have a lot of potential. There is a front stairwell that usually has a huge, segmented window that travels up the front. Sometimes this front window is a tall column of glass blocks. Sometimes the front entrance has a really cool wood door with three tear-drop or circular windows. I LOVE those doors. Our idea is to gut one entirely; just remove all the walls and floors making it into one open space. We would then build multiple levels and add some walls but it would be very open with lots of light. It could be best described as sort-of a loft style with levels that would allow one to look down onto a main floor or other floors. The Eames house is a real inspiration in that regard. There would be a lot of wood. I typically go for dark or rich hardwoods. There would also be a big stone fireplace that divided a room and would be open on both sides.

In another room there would be some kind of indoor pond system. I remember as a kid one of the old movie theatres in my city had one with stone sides. It was really long and narrow. You could sit on the edge and look in at the fish. I loved that. I think mine would have window areas as well so you could see the inside from the top and the sides.

For some reason these sixties apartment buildings tend to have huge, sparse front yards that are vast expanses of grass and a straight walkway up the front. I don’t believe in lawns so I would make the front into a wild garden of indigenous plants. I would remove the straight walkway. Isn’t that bad Feng Shui or something? Not that my whole penchant for clutter isn’t a huge case of bad Feng Shui… There would definitely be a pond in the backyard. I have always wanted a pond… and a bog with carnivorous plants. The pond would have a sort of subtly cascading river that was like a series of subtle waterfalls leading up to the actual pond.

Oh there would have to be a library. I love a room that is floor to ceiling bookcases with the ladder that slides along and around. And while we’re at it we might as well throw in a secret doorway into another room via one of the bookcases. There would be one wall that was all glass with glass doors that lead into an indoor greenhouse with all my favourite succulents and a separate area with the proper climate for epiphytic tropicals. Perhaps the indoor pond system could be in this room as well.

There has to be a big workroom. My ultimate dream is to acquire one of those HUGE worktables from an old high school… the kind that has lots of drawers and cabinets underneath and little stools that are attached and swing out or can be swung back and tucked away underneath. There would also be a giant cabinet of drawers that could hold massive sheets of paper. I’d also like a nice old letterpress and a giant guillotine paper cutter. In addition to an assortment of type and blocks I would absolutely have to have a full set of PT Barnum, a favourite typeface. The workroom would also have a huge walk-in closet where I could store (on shelves) my fabric collection.

These are just a few ideas. I could go on for days but something tells me it wouldn’t all fit into a gutted sixties apartment building.

On the other hand I really love old Mexican Colonial style buildings such as the one we stayed at on our last trip to Mexico. The building had a massive wooden door in the front and a scalloped edge roofline. Once through the doors you walked into a partially covered courtyard with beautiful hand-mosaic benches and plant pots, and large containers of blooming bougainvillea. The stucco was painted an ochre-ish yellow with contrasting beautiful dark wood and old Mexican tile fixtures everywhere. There was a lot of play with indoor/outdoor space in the way I love but sadly we can’t achieve here due to our chilly Canadian winters. Of course adding to this my Mexican dream house would also have an outdoor kitchen (including comal), an herb garden, and lime trees. It would definitely have to have a wall of blue agave because they’re a favourite.

2. What's the craziest thing you've done?

This isn’t crazy ha-ha or crazy nutty but... When I was 17 I left home to live on my own. I just walked out the door without saying a word. I did plan it for about a week in advance but I basically just up and left. I guess they call that “running away from home”. I call it “running towards”. To me that was crazy.

3. What inspired you to go freelance?

I had, had it with working in crappy offices, with crappy people, on crappy projects. I literally fell apart physically and emotionally. It was like someone had drilled a small hole in my skull and sucked the soul and spirit right out of me. I didn’t know where I was anymore. I had quickly transformed into this incredibly angry, hate-filled individual and it scared the hell out of me. I really didn’t have a choice. It was a matter of survival. That sounds really melodramatic but at that time it really felt that extreme. It really was that extreme.

Surprisingly my last fulltime job lasted only eight months and yet I can’t believe I endured that much. Back then it was during the new media boom when there was a lot of sweatshop-type conditions and designers were expected to be unstoppable machines who could, and would, pump-it-out for a couple of bucks and some free coffee. Something tells me this really hasn’t changed much… The office I worked in had a video game system, plenty of fashion, kicky hairdos, tons of misery and spiteful, hateful bitterness. God we didn't even get the free coffee or even free water. It was all supposed to be for the priviledge of working there. I really despise that attitude.

I don’t think every office is as bad as some of my experiences but overall I’m just not the office worker type under the best of circumstances. I can’t sit at my minimally decorated desk for 9 solid hours working for the good of “the team”. Office politics hurt my head. I have lazy hygiene. I need to mix up my days. I need to be able to work on personal work. If I don’t fit enough personal work into my time I get very unhappy very quickly.

Over the last four and a half years of working for myself I have found that I work many more hours and much harder than when I worked for "the man" but it isn’t the burden it was then. Sure I work a lot but I have the option of going outside to water my plants, or taking a few hours to run errands and get outside. I decide what I do on a day-to-day basis. It’s scary, difficult and great all at once.

4. Name three things (not people) that you couldn't live without.

Lately my cameras. Don’t make me pick one!
Natren megadophilus.
My eye glasses.

5. What do you secretly indulge in?

Recently dry cappuccinos, which is incredibly hypocritical since the rest of my diet is extremely healthy and for two years I drank nothing but bottled water and green tea. It’s not really a secret but I’m not proud of it either.



Mr. Risk. Since you're wearing a t-shirt with the number 5 on it today, your questions have been brought to you by the number 5.

1. Describe yourself in five words.
2. You have five months to do anything and live anywhere you want. Only one place but no other limits. Where do you go and what do you do?
3. Relate one memory from the fifth year of your life.
4. Your five favourite television shows of all time.
5. What's your favourite number?


Hillary's Questions.

1. Your city has no power for three days. What's your greatest concern?
2. Who's your favourite Canadian celebrity?
3. What's your favourite childhood (or otherwise) toy?
4. What's the last thing you see before falling asleep?
5. Pets or meat?


Rannie's Questions.

1. You have unlimited cash with which to buy a camera but you are only allowed one. What's your choice?
2. What's your strangest habit?
3. My ideal age is 33. What's yours?
4. What's your most recent or current ohrwurm?
5. What's one thing that you think people misunderstand or misinterpret about you that you would like to set straight?

Posted by Gayla at 11:33 AM | Comments (6)

August 13, 2003

The Creepy, Beautiful Decay Place


Oh we saw the most amazing place today. Amazing in that beautiful decay way but not amazing in that I-could-live-there-way.

It was HUGE. It was so HUGE we both thought it was more than one place when we first walked in.

It was old. It was so old the wiring was original. Pretty but not very practical. I could just imagine all our equipment frying to a crisp. [I have a fear of electrocution that would not be mere paranoia in this case.] The outlets were not grounded and the light switches were of the neat little push button sort. In one room the wallpaper looked to be original. A green floral print that had seen better days. I took a quick pic with my lomo in an attempt to capture it. The bathroom had what looked to be the original toilet and clawfoot tub. There was an actual pantry but the kitchen itself was tiny with a miniature gas stove. There was a fireplace in one of the front rooms with an old wrought iron front and in all the rooms the vents were fronted with original, decorative ironwork.

Oh the decay was so gorgeous and the potential so great I hesitated several times. But really there was just no way. Even if we were to cosmetically restore it the wiring is screwed for the entire building. We'd always be open to disaster. My problem is I love charming old spaces. New doesn't do much for me. Finding a charming old space that isn't a disaster isn't easy.

I suppose in this case I felt priviledged just to have seen the place. It was beautiful.

Of course there was also a creepy element. There always is in a place so old, where so many people have lived... and probably not under the best of circumstances. The feeling can exactly be described as the kind of feeling I get when I look at old evidence photos from the turn of the century. That feeling of looking at something I shouldn't. Many of the horrible scenes shown in those images could easily be staged in such a place. I don't really have much belief in bad vibes and whatnot but some places just have an inexplicable feeling about them. The inexplicable feeling I got in this place was eerie. There was a door in the hallway that led down a very dark, very creepy flight of stairs to the outside. It made me feel freaky when I looked through the door.

Nope not planning on moving in anytime soon but it was neat to see.

Posted by Gayla at 11:59 PM | Comments (1)

August 12, 2003

Konica C35 & Great Wall

We're moving. It's official. I'd be more excited if I didn't have to go through the physical acts of both finding a place and then moving my belongings from here to there. Actually we'll probably pay someone to move the stuff but we'll be the ones packing and unpacking. Someone told me to "Have fun with it.", it being the process of looking at places. I suppose there is some fun in getting to see inside other people's spaces but to be honest I find it kind of uncomfortable -- especially when they're right there watching. So far I've seen two places, both of which were blah. One was grossly misrepresented. It would have been a complete waste of time if I hadn't stopped at the Value Village on the way home. Guess what I got?

It's a nice, compact rangefinder called the Konica C35. It was only $12.99 CDN. It needs a battery though and I'm betting that's going to be a bit of a challenge to procure.

I could have scored what looked to be a better quality Ricoh but while I was looking at it a woman came thundering over and made a HUGE, piercing, high pitched stink about how she "...had asked the lady to hold it but obviously the lady had just put it back into the case blah blah blah...." and then "Sorry to like steal it from you but you know, blah blah blah.... so.... like.... do you think it's a good camera?" So that was that. The politics of the thrift store rear their ugly head. I got the Konica instead.

This morning another camera aka Birthday Present #3 arrived. It's a Great Wall reflex SLR. Sadly I got ripped off by the ebay seller and am in the process of getting some kind of partial refund. The photos and description were of a completely different camera -- a later model with more features and in way better condition. Ebay sucks that way. Sometimes everything goes off without a hitch. No sweat... and sometimes the camera never arrives and the seller disappears. Fuckers.

Great Wall Camera

Anyways I took it out on my lunch break today and finished the test roll. God it is such a fun camera to use! I'm such a pathetic sucker for little fidgety gadgetry. The more antiquated doodads, thingys and levers to push the more fun! The only thing that drives me nuts about this camera is that you must cock the shutter in order to see through the viewfinder. But the viewfinder is awesome once you can see through it. In order to cock the shutter you must set the shutter speed so unfortunately you are now locked in and commited for that next picture even if all you wanted to do was look. But it still rocks. I hope. Have to wait until Friday when I get the prints back to confirm.

Posted by Gayla at 01:22 AM | Comments (1)

Winter in America


leaf on the beach
Shot with Nikon 990

"Look at trees,
they don't bother nobody:
Let folks burn 'em, cut 'em,
paint 'em and use 'em
but they don't bother nobody...
That is, till money...
But like, whose fault is that?
B. Jackson

Posted by Gayla at 01:00 AM

August 09, 2003

Once there was a way...

Taken with Ansco B2 Cadet

Yellow at the Garden
Taken with Ansco B-2 Cadet

The above is another magnifying glass experiment. I'm so in love with the pictures. I keep picking up the contact sheet and marvelling. Picture... making... fun...

Tracy has been taking some lovely photos with her Lubitel.

The side 2 medley is still a problem if you can believe it. Lesser but still kicking. Now I've got it on the computer. It's better because I can avoid the last song ('Her Majesty') which I think completely disrupts the mood. I really think it should have ended here, "And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make."

It's like they wanted to make some sort of point but then they got embarrassed and self-critical and thought they'd better fuck it all up with some dumb shit. "You know all that nice stuff about love, hope and beauty.... we were just fucked up."

Posted by Gayla at 02:18 PM | Comments (2)

August 08, 2003

Maginifying Experiment

Taken with Ansco Cadet

Taken with Ansco B-2 Cadet

I just got back with my newest prints and I am so happy! That photo above was taken using the Ansco B-2 Cadet and a magnifying glass. How exciting is that! I was able to get within 8 inches of the subject. 8 inches! Plus this time I ordered contact prints instead of actual prints so I got the entire photo rather than a cropped one. I had to wait a few extra days for it but it was worth it. All the shots on that roll (bar one) were great!

Posted by Gayla at 08:25 PM | Comments (4)

August 07, 2003

Falling Apart


Posted by Gayla at 12:11 PM

August 06, 2003

Anthropomorphic Cameras


Montreal Fire Hydrant (and garbage chair)

I absolutely love these photos and these photos from the new issue.

Mr. Risk took in a bunch of rolls today but damnit they're making me wait until Friday because I asked for contact prints of my elongated box camera shots. I got sick of getting prints that cut off a chunk of each shot at random so I decided that this time I would get contact prints done even if I have to pay a few bucks more. I just did a test roll of close-ups using the Ansco B-2 Cadet and a magnifying glass I bought at the Science Centre last week. I also shot a roll using my new Lomo LC-A. It's an old one with Cyrillic on it rather than english and instead of ASA it has GOST. Somehow that makes it extra neat. I have to say though that I dislike that goofy little person illustration on the new cameras and am happy not to have it on this one. Finished off what was left in the Kiev and then put it to bed in its box. Sorry. I can only commit to so many cameras at one time. I've thought about selling it but feel bad about giving up on it like that. Seems I'm anthropomorphizing cameras now.

Posted by Gayla at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2003

The Tree

August 3, 1999.

Sometime between 4 and 5 pm, my brother knocked on the door.

“The tree is gone.”

It had been chopped down without warning during the day. We went out onto the deck and looked onto the empty space that leaves and branches had once occupied.

Comments were exchanged about the lifeless wasteland our street had become without the tree. How it felt that life had stopped and abruptly shifted while we remained unaware, inside.

At 10 pm we got the call. My brother and I had been milling about in the junction between rooms talking. I watched in slow motion as his knees buckled and fell. I grasped the doorframe for support and slid down to the floor. We cried.

Posted by Gayla at 10:44 PM

August 02, 2003

Magnifying Glass Close-ups


Lomo LC-A

Wow. I am completely blown away that so many people managed to get their 26 things together... and on time. I think it's going to be a while yet before I get mine done... if I get mine done. I still have film to develop on half-finished rolls. I also have lots of things to actually photograph. I found this project difficult because I take pictures of things I come across rather than making a point to photograph specific things. Okay that's not entirely true because I will go out of my way to pursue something that falls within whatever I'm addicted to at the time. I'm still addicted to doors, garbage, plants and chairs so to be honest I could give a shit about capturing sound, construction or symmetry.

I am continuously amazed by all the little tricks you can apply to photography. I'm currently in the process of trying to figure out how to use a magnifying glass to take up close-ups with the box cameras. If I can get this to work it will expand my possibilites. Look at this beautiful closeup a woman took using her coronet ambassador and a magnifying glass. I have a coronet ambassador and let me tell you seeing that picture blew my mind! I bought one the other day and last night I did tests in the dark with a lamp, a loupe, a magnifying glass and lots of tape in an attempt to figure out how close I can focus with the glass. I'd be out there testing it out for real if the weather would co-operate.

Posted by Gayla at 12:59 PM | Comments (2)

August 01, 2003

On Aging

I had intended to comment on this but some anonymous emailer reminded me.

Obviously turning thirty has had me thinking alot about age and aging. I suppose alot of things in my life have had me mulling these topics. A while back we were meeting with a client. They had a giant mirror across the wall and as I absent-mindedly turned my head I caught my reflection in it for a split second. What I saw was myself at thirty. I saw that I had aged. And frankly I was glad.

I'm thirty years old. I have learned alot of things in thirty years. I can't wait for the next thirty years and all the learning I'm going to do during that time. At this stage in my life I am happy to be leaving my twenties. The twenties were filled with strife and struggle as I figured out who I was and where I wanted to be. Along the way, at times, I let people walk on me, I worked at jobs that crushed my spirit, I put myself into situations that tore chunks out of me. I became fragmented in little ways. I had a lot of good things happen in my twenties, but so much of that lurks behind clouds of fuck up and little regrets and a general feeling of "I have this and this, and I've accomplished this and this, yet why am I not happy?".

But the last four years of my life have been different. In some ways they've been even harder but because of that they have also been the best four years of my life. I am so happy to be where I am and I am incredibly excited and hopeful about where I am going. I look at myself and what I've achieved and I'm proud.

I'm not rich and I don't look like a twenty year old.

I don't want either of those things so who the fuck cares? They are so beyond meaningless to me at this point. I live my life the way I want it. I work for myself and I do well at it. I don't eat shit at a job I hate. I don't eat shit at all! I don't end each day needing a drink to dull my pain. I work with people I respect and who respect me. I have a partner who is supportive, caring and wonderful in his own right. I strive for balance and physical health. I am not that twenty year old I was ten years ago and why in the hell would I ever want to be?

How pathetic would I be if I lived a whole ten years and stayed exactly the same? Unchanging, making the same mistakes, thinking about changing my life but never quite doing it...

I have earned the look of my age honestly through hard work and struggle. I embrace my age and everything that comes with it. If I have lines on my face and some grey hairs then great. I don't want to look twenty. I want to look thirty. I want to look at myself and see that I have lived. I don't want to look haggared because I am weary with life but I do want to look like the person I am with no covering up or hiding behind superficiality. People who are hung up on looking young do so because they cannot accept themselves wholeheartedly. They are afraid to grow old because they don't want to do the work of actually "growing".

I don't look older than thirty. I don't look younger than thirty. I look like thirty which is exactly where I am. I am happy. I expect that in ten years I will look older. I also expect that in ten years I will be able to look back on those ten years with pleasure and pride. And so on, and so on. What else is there?

Posted by Gayla at 11:34 AM | Comments (4)



That's the crazy bug my brother found.

Last night a hummingbird visited our deck! I'm still in shock. That's pretty unbelievable considering where our deck is located.

Posted by Gayla at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)