February 29, 2004

Evolve


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Evolve
Taken with Great Wall DF-


The weather has been amazing these last few days. It's funny how your perception of "nice weather" changes throughout the year. I was ecstatic when I heard it was 0 degress. Five months ago 0 degrees registered as the beginning of the end. Now it's the begininning of the end of winter. It was so warm I broke out the SX-70!

We walked like mad all across town yesterday. My muscles are sore today proving how out-of-shape I become during the winter without the bike riding and gardening. I scored big on two sets of three close-up lenses. I can't wait to get outside with them today. Unfortunately it will be pure guess-work with the lenses I bought for the toy cams. Since they both have rolls in them I can't do a distance test.

I also bought a new camera bag in the Henry's discount store. My camera backpack was great in the summer for riding bikes or its ability to hold 6+ cameras plus film, accessories and a bottle of water. Unfortunately it was difficult to use in the winter and only encouraged me to continuously break my back loading it up to capacity. My new bag was only 20 bucks but I saw it elsewhere for $90. It has tons of compartments and plastic bits that pull out and over the bag like a raincoat! Fancy.

Posted by Gayla at 10:45 AM | Comments (5)

February 27, 2004

Warehouse Panoramic II


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Warehouse II
Taken with Horizon 202

See this image HUGE

For PhotoFriday: Industrial

I posted another photo from the warehouse today.

The little room on the left is the bathroom from this photo.

Posted by Gayla at 11:38 AM | Comments (8)

Warehouse | Holga


warehouse

Warehouse (ladder)
Taken with Holga

I've started working on my first roll of 35mm film through the Holga. Unfortunately I screwed up and put colour film in. I need black and white photos for a project. Duh.

It's sunny today. I've got tons of work but am desperate to get outside to take some photos. I never throught it would happen but I'm actually starting to burn out on images in the area around our place. I can't seem to find much to photograph on short walks down the street anymore. My belief has always been that an active, creative mind can find something new no matter what. Lighting, weather and other change makes for new subject matter. I'm getting bored.

Posted by Gayla at 11:29 AM | Comments (3)

February 25, 2004

Panoramic Warehouse

horizon_warehouse.jpg

Posted by Gayla at 08:55 PM | Comments (13)

February 24, 2004

Scary Bathroom


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Abandoned Warehouse (bathroom)
Taken with Holga

A week or so ago Mr. Risk and I stumbled upon an old empty warehouse. The door was wide open! So of course we had to go inside. I shot the remaining panoramic roll I had on me and 10 of 12 images on the holga using a flash (for all you Brits it's a flash from "Boots" pharmacy).

The above photo is one of an abandoned bathroom. We've been back to the location but sadly the door is now shut. I would love to go back inside with my tripod and do some 180 or 360 degree images.

Posted by Gayla at 10:12 PM | Comments (9)

CAR WASH


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CAR WASH
Taken with Horizon 202


Bonus: Car Wash/Touch of Class photo

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My brother and I have discussed a plan to go visit the town/city where we grew up this spring. It's a photo-taking peace-mission-type expedition. The idea is to go visit all the neighbourhoods that come up in our dreams and memories. There will be no socialising or seeing people or hanging out. It's a personal thing with a purpose.

My personal mission is to take pictures. I have had a very strong urge for some time now to go back and really capture the mood and emotions of those places. It will be good for my peace-of-mind. My brother's plan is to just see those places. Who knows what will come of it.

I think it's a brilliant idea. I can't wait. If it wasn't for the winter I'd go now. But neither of us drive so our best bet is to try and rent some bikes when we get there and do our "tour" that way.

Posted by Gayla at 11:38 AM | Comments (7)

February 23, 2004

The Bottle


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Kensington
Taken with Horizon 202

I know I give the somewhat misleading impression through my musical mentions that I only listen to Gil Scott Heron and Nina Simone. Anyway, lately my newest can't-stop-it-musical-addiction is "The Bottle" (from "Winter in America" 1973, a record I have elluded to elsewhere here). So good on so many levels. 1973 was a very good year all around (also the year of my birth!)

Coincidently I recently caught this track used in a commerical on Canada's VH1, Much More Music, for Black History Month. It's really sad that there needs to be a special month (the shortest month of the year no less) to promote education about a massive part of American History. Mind you I don't live in America and I can tell you that the most I was formally taught in public school about any sort of Black History, Canadian or otherwise was when my grade six teacher read "The Underground Railroad" to the class. But do kids in America get any sort of learning in this regard or is it all "There was slavery and then Martin Luther King Jr. The End."?

Posted by Gayla at 05:56 PM | Comments (11)

February 22, 2004

Danforth Bowl (Lane 1)


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Danforth Bowl (Lane 1)
Taken with Holga


Because I can only talk about the weather during the winter.... If you are living in Southern Ontario I hope you got outside today! It was slightly warmer and really sunny. I never check weather forecasts so I don't know, but I want to believe that it's going to stay like this for even one more shining day. I also noticed that it was well after 5:00pm and the sun was still out. This means the days are growing longer. Okay I know we've got lots more snow and misery before spring but that little beam of hope changes everything, even momentarily.

Posted by Gayla at 09:58 PM | Comments (9)

February 21, 2004

Danforth Bowl 2 Pics



Danforth Bowl (with waiting actor)
Taken with Horizon 202


Bonus photo: Danforth Bowl Lanes (portrait)

This isn't a very good photo technically, but I like the mood of it. The glare on those lanes was out-of-control as it was bouncing from overhead flourescents onto the slick surface. This photo was from the roll that got chewed up by the camera. Only three photos made it and they're all very grainy and green.

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Wow just realised I've been keeping this site over a year now.

Posted by Gayla at 11:14 AM | Comments (11)

February 20, 2004

Bench | Tree


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Bench (High Park)
Taken with Great Wall DF-

Special Bonus Picture -- Panoramic Snow & Tree

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I've been enjoying the semi-mild slightly-less-painful winter weather we've been having over the last few days. I have made an effort to walk as much as possible to maximize on it. On Tuesday I did a big walk from Christie and Bathurst to yucky Yorkville. I smiled the whole time because the sidewalks were mostly clear, the sun was shining and I had my "Music for Travelling" mix on the headphones. God I can't wait to do that in a t-shirt rather than 2 sweaters, 2 pairs of socks, mittens, scarf, longjohns, jeans, boots and a parka. Took a few photos with the Great Wall. I even maintained my happy demeanor while stuck behind a group of smoking teenagers in a train underpass. I used to be a smoker but have since evolved into an incredibly intolerant non-smoker. I can't even be within 3 feet of a smoker out-of-doors, so I have no idea how I actually managed to inhale directly from the dart all those years.

Well they say we'll be getting more snow and a "return to winter" shortly. As if somehow it hasn't been winter just because the ice has melted enough that I can walk on sidewalks without slipping to my death.

Posted by Gayla at 12:41 AM | Comments (9)

February 18, 2004

Pile Of Snow


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Pile o Snow
Taken with the Windsor

Been taking lots of pictures of snow. It's not going away anytime soon... I like the way the dirty city snow looks like a big, wet, disgusting sponge.

Posted by Gayla at 03:10 PM | Comments (2)

February 17, 2004

Happy Birthday


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Lunch at The Beaver
Taken with Zero 2000 Pinhole

Happy Birthday Mr. Risk!

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Not to cast a cloud on the birthday wishes but.... Last night we attempted to watch Fahrenheit 451 but the damn dvd was scratched to hell. Then by accident Mr. Risk fell upon a documentary on PBS, "Strange Fruit" a film about the anti-lynching song written in the 30's by a Jewish poet, composer and teacher from the Bronx named Abel Meeropol. Most people best know this song as sung by Billie Holliday but I (of course) have always preferred the Nina Simone version by far.

I was really shocked that a full documentary could be made about one song, but there really is a lot of ground covered including the interesting story behind Abel Meeropol himself.

Personally I have great difficulty listening to the song. The words are fairly minimal but pointed. It pulls at my gut and twists me all up inside. Last night I could not sleep. I just could not settle down. The words kept repeating in my head. Sometimes I don't know how we as people aren't all running around in the streets in a state of utter madness. We continue to create such a fucked up world and come from such a fucked up history...

Posted by Gayla at 10:35 AM | Comments (10)

February 16, 2004

Danforth Bowl | In The Cut


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Danforth Bowl Concession
Taken with Horizon 202

I wanted to hate it but damn them they did a good job. The Drake Hotel renovation is now complete and it's pretty classy. I like the black front, rusted panels and gleaming red "Hotel" sign. Between that and the new, official "Design and Art District" street signs the area beyond Parkdale that I once dubbed "No Man's Land" is experiencing a full-on, highly accelerated push into total gentrification.

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We watched "In the Cut" last week. I've been experiencing a Jane Campion resergence having watched both "Sweetie" and "An Angel at My Table" again so it was only good timing that the new film came out on DVD when it did. I actually really enjoyed it despite my massive distaste for the hyper-cute Meg Ryan. Yes I know she has attempted to break out of that stereotype by playing more dramatic roles i.e. the film we have "affectionately" dubbed "Sweet Little Baby, Mommy's an Alcoholic".

Anyways I feel like I need to see it again. Today at lunch we were discussing how it kinda has some shades of "Looking for Mr. Goodbar".... now there's a movie I DEFINITELY need to see again having only caught it by accident on tv really late at night a while back. Both feature female characters whose personal lives seem to be at odds with their day jobs and who are sexually independant. Although in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" the weird and violent ending seems to be a morality lesson suggesting, or rather bashing us over the head, that this is the price women pay for it. I seriously don't think that is Jane Campion's intent... although I'm not certain what her intent is. Ya I need to see them both again.

Posted by Gayla at 07:08 PM | Comments (10)

Lake of Snow


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Lake of Snow
Taken with Horizon 202

Don't know what happened here. Must not have been watching the level.

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No water today!

Posted by Gayla at 12:17 PM | Comments (4)

February 14, 2004

Danforth Bowl (with people)


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Danforth Bowl (with people)
Taken with Horizon 202

I've got a ton of photos from this day, many of which are probably better, yet I actually like this one with people. Imagine that.

That's Mr. Risk (from behind) on the right getting ready to bowl. The other guy is someone from the film crew.

Posted by Gayla at 12:59 AM | Comments (9)

February 13, 2004

Horizon | Sight


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SIGHT
Taken with Horizon 202

Special bonus picture: click here

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I am currently overworked, some of which has involved a great deal of writing. This has left me at a blank when it comes to this space. I'm actually finding any attempt at normal verbal or written conversation is worsening with the days. It's either extremely forced or incoherent.

Well, two more (rather large) things today and then I'm done. Working for the weekend.

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

February 11, 2004

Next to the Chopper


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next to the chopper
Taken with Horizon 202

Posted by Gayla at 07:04 PM | Comments (12)

February 10, 2004

Agave


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Agave americana
Taken with Canon AE-1

A while back I borrowed the AE-1 from Mr. Risk for a try out at the greenhouse. I'm way out of touch with using that camera now but I did get a few nice plant shots out of two rolls. His "fancy" lenses allowed me to get closer than I can with my mishmash gang of cameras.

Incidently the agave is one of my all-time favourite plants. It has a very fascinating ethnobotanic history. Here's another carved succulent. This one is an aloe, also a member of the lily family but from a different continent.

Posted by Gayla at 06:06 PM | Comments (2)

February 09, 2004

Bowling Balls


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Bowling Balls
Taken with Great Wall DF-

The Trees vs. Nature (aka "pissed off trees") gallery is up at ToyCamera.com. Mine, (2C) is more tree vs. wires and does not capture (although it was not intended to) the freezing hell of that particular day.

I'm having a bitter "Fuck winter" day.

Posted by Gayla at 06:35 PM | Comments (7)

February 08, 2004

Friends Who Keep Sites


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Gaz
Taken with Great Wall DF-

Prop from the Film Set -- Moss

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Very few of my friends have websites and even fewer keep weblogs. As a result I often find myself in the following dialogue.

Person: "What's new?"
Me: "Oh I just blah blah blah."
Person: "I know I read it on your site."

OR ALTERNATELY

Person: "So how's [Insert activity or project or whatever here] coming?"
Me: How do you know about that?"
Person: "I read it on your site."

I don't know why it is... maybe I operate within a certain level of denial... but this always stuns me. As if I don't quite expect people I know to actually check in here, especially if they lurk without comment (I'm callin' youse all out!)

Well, FINALLY the tide has turned. Chris, a guy I've known since high school (believe it or not) and a regular commenter here, has just started up a photoblog. Now I can be "Person" and someone else can be "Me".

Posted by Gayla at 12:28 AM | Comments (8)

February 06, 2004

Finding Common Threads


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Tracks Shack
Taken with Zero 2000 Pinhole

I have to chose a photo that best represents my photo "work" by the weekend. This is a hard thing to do because I use so many different cameras and as a result tend to shift my style to utilize the quirks or work within (or past) the limitations of each. If pressed (which I am) I could probably chose one from each camera. For instance of the Lubitels there is this, and of the Great Walls probably the recent yellow chair, and of the pinholes there are tons of concession stand photos that have never been posted and a new roll of b&w from the tracks (see above). This spartus ferris wheel photo is an all-time fave regardless of camera. I love this Holga photo but really there are far too many to even get into right now.

However, one overall (and that's not including the zillions that have never made it to this site).... difficult to say the least.

I tend to chose the orange chair photo because of the good memory I have of seeing it for the first time, the colour saturation, the swirling soft focus and the texture. Everything about it captures a mood that is indicitive of most of my pictures. I even remember saying to Mr. Risk when I saw it "Finally. This is how I see. This is me. Now I'm getting somewhere."

Every few months I look through my photos to catch common threads between the moods, composition and style that I may be doing unconsciously. Again and again "solitude" comes up as the overall emotion. Often times it is a tranquil solitude. Or maybe I just think it is because that's how I feel when I'm out taking photos.

Okay back to work.

Posted by Gayla at 12:20 PM | Comments (9)

More Yellow Chair | Stress B Gone


Jane as Ramona

Jayne as Ramona
Taken with Great Wall DF-

Taken between takes on the film set "Moss".

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I managed to get the stress level down this afternoon and have since accomplished quite a bit which leaves me feeling even less freaked out. Yay me.

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We watched Lost in Translation the other night. I've really got to make an effort not to let hype shape an opinion of a film in my mind before I see it myself. The movie landed like a thud because I was expecting some great emotional response. But of course it's a subtle movie and not much happens so I was left thinking "Wha...?" I've come around to it since then because ultimately I enjoy subtle movies in which not much happens.

The best thing that came out of the film for me was the reminder that "My Bloody Valentine" is good headphone music and perfect for travel (especially couch on wheels cab rides through alienating city scapes). I was very excited by today's cab ride across town because this particular route goes past some particularly miserable winter scenes -- A-1 visual accompaniment to the music. I listed to the song "Sometimes" 4 times. On the way back I listened to it on repeat another 3 times while trudging for several blocks through the ice and snow with sunshine on my face. Then I got on the subway and switched to a mixed "Soundtrack for travelling on public transportation and walking through miserable cold" that I made for myself last weekend.
Today's highlight: Sock It To 'Em Soul Brother" Bill Moss (.ram file found on this page While you're there be sure to go to this page and check out some other faves Donny Hathaway's "The Ghetto" and Freda Payne "Band of Gold")

Posted by Gayla at 12:30 AM | Comments (8)

February 05, 2004

Yellow Chair | Stress


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Yellow Chair
Taken with Great Wall DF-

I took this photo in between takes on the set of the film (called "Moss"). Canadian film "star" Jayne Eastwood (Jayne says "there are no Canadian stars and [her] bank account can prove it!") was sitting on this chair wrapped in that blanket only moments prior. But here it's just a yellow chair with a yellow blanket on a snowy roof.

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I never would of thunk it but having too many new photos to choose from is nearly as bad as having none. Lately I've been flailing and floundering in my daily attempts to choose something to post here (feelings probably contributed by deadline freakout). I'm wanting to do a proper gallery elsewhere (we registered another domain last week) but have no time. NO TIME!

I've been trying to relax and de-stress as best I can but my big project deadline is looming (Friday) and it's fully freaking me out. I'm working with massive files so of course my computer can't go fast enough to keep me happy. To put my impatience in better perspective I try to recall circa 1995/96 and the era of 10+ minutes just to save a file.

The lesson and even the challenge of this situation hasn't escaped me. I can manage stress fairly well now when it comes in little spurts, but struggle when it hits like a ton of bricks. SERENITY NOW!

Posted by Gayla at 11:26 AM | Comments (7)

February 04, 2004

Horizon | Ally V


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Alley V
Taken with Horizon 202

Not really connected but... I was nearly hit from behind by a car while crossing the street yesterday afternoon. Later on that same route back, some cops boarded the bus looking for a "perp". It was sort of amusing because I was very intensely (and I mean thoroughly absorbed) listening to the song "The Prisoner" on my headphones and just happened to look up at the right moment to see an officer standing next to me staring down the bus.

Posted by Gayla at 11:55 AM | Comments (5)

February 03, 2004

Pinhole | Parkdale Laundry


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Laundry
Taken with Zero 2000 Pinhole

Posted by Gayla at 11:10 AM | Comments (5)

February 02, 2004

Danforth Bowl II


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Danforth Bowl II
Taken with Horizon 202

See another bowling alley photo.

In the above photo you can really see some of the "quirks" of this bowling alley. They've retained the original beauty of the alley but have painted the back wall with clouds and then lined up old bowling trophies in front! The whole vibe of the alley reminded me of a place I used to visit as a part of my crazy Born Again Christian Fundamentalist upbringing called The Buffalo Christian Center. It was in an old building that had a lot of the same "updates"... that cross between nice 40's era styling and what-the-fuck design. The biggest comparisons would have to be the big rainbow mural in the upper level indoor roller rink and the basement mini putt course themed on the stages of The Pilgrim's Progress.

Although it has most likely been changed over the years, I so desperately want to go to Buffalo and visit that place again. I can't remember the details of the mini putt but I know it was crazy (hitting your ball through a hole in the base of Calvary and shit like that).

Posted by Gayla at 11:41 AM | Comments (6)

Danforth Bowl I


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Danforth Bowl I
Taken with Horizon 202

Above is the first photo from last week's film shoot at the bowling alley. It's literally the first photo on the roll, accounting for the incorrect aspect ratio (some of the photo didn't make it). Even when I know it's too early on the roll and I'm not going to get the whole photo, I still take it as a real photo. I can't waste even that tiny bit of emulsion cause you never know....

I discovered on this film shoot that I actually like 5 pin bowling. Years ago I co-starred in a friend's music video (I should not be allowed to act). The bulk of it was shot in a bowling alley. This resulted in a solid 16 hours straight of sitting around waiting for scenes to be set up, tempers and egos to blow up and of course non-stop bowling. Thankfully my character didn't really have to bowl, but Mr. Risk, the poor guy, was an extra and had to continuously bowl through most of the scenes shot on the actual lanes. His arm was finished after that and neither of us have had any interest in bowling since.

How funny that the next time we set foot inside a bowling alley it's on a film set! Something about that last experience had put me off bowling entirely so I was reluctant to try 5 pin. But when some of the crew busted out into a bowling frenzy near the end of the shoot, I compelled myself to give it a go. It was actually fun. I think I might go back someday to that same alley.

Posted by Gayla at 11:18 AM | Comments (2)