March 31, 2004

Mike's Munchies


Mike's Munchies
Taken with Horizon 202

See this photo big

Sadly I had black and white film in the camera and the full effect of Mike's Munchies must be experienced in full colour. I'm actually shocked the photos (there are more) turned out as good as they did since I did not have a tripod and had to open the aperature as much as possible and shoot at the slowest speed possible while handholding.


In the spirit of my last post... list your five favourite songs. (Stupid lists are stupid fun.)

Posted by Gayla at 10:58 PM | Comments (26)

Red Roof


Red Roof
Taken with the Windsor/Diana Hybrid

First roll from the fabulous, new, Windsor/Diana hybrid is back. Lots of photos, no time to scan. I've been taking non-stop b&w pictures with the toy cams for some time now in preparation for the Toy Camera coffee table book. Now that my photos are picked I have been very happy to get back to a little toy camera colour.

"Shut-ins are go!"

In other news... I share building space with talented folks. They should just put the new Art & Design District signs in front of our building rather than in what I used to affectionately call "No Man's Land"!!

Tomorrow night my brother (DJ General Eclectic) will be participating in "The Big Fives" (local music luminaries play their top fives.) at The Drake Underground. Should be interesting.

Our next door neighbour, Craig Marshall, creates wonderfully bleak animations and artwork. An interview with him has just been published on CGChannel. He also has a new weblog on his site.

Posted by Gayla at 04:04 PM | Comments (11)

March 30, 2004

It Really Is All About Me


Children's Chalk Drawings in Alley
Taken with Great Wall DF- (with close-up filter)

I was going to go off about the hit or miss comments I've been getting here lately but Davin said it better. I've questioned many times my motives for keeping the comments open. I'd remove the feature except that I enjoy much of the conversations that have happened there and I don't want to disable that. For instance I liked the last post about the Zenit in which a few people responded about their own Zenit experiences. Hell, there have even been arguments that I've enjoyed and walked away from feeling that something new had come of it.

But when I sit down to my computer first thing in the morning and there's a comment that says "This does nothing for me..." or some other quasi-egotistical jab, it puts me into a foul mood... a few minutes of my life wasted and feeling dumped on. A lot of the time I am unphased by this. I hit delete and move along. But I'm human and I'm vulnerable like the rest of you. And in those moments it does sting. If it didn't I'd be a fucking souless, inanimate brick.

Posted by Gayla at 05:41 PM | Comments (26)

March 27, 2004

Introducing the Zenit EM


Taken with Great Wall DF-

This one is for Jim.


Mr. Risk and I went out today on a cross-town jaunt to the discount camera stuff store. Actually we also went to the other camera store where I bought some out-of-date film but.... Anyways they had shifted the store again and all kinds of crap that used to be slightly-over-priced-crap was now somewhat-cheaper-slightly-over-priced-crap. After what seemed like an hour of bending and mulling over old cameras and boxes of crap while stewing in my own sweat (I stupidly wore my winter jacket), Mr. Risk and I walked out of there with "His and Hers" Zenit EMs. I bought the slightly more "rare" all-black 1980 Moscow Olympic model while Mr. Risk purchased the regular silver and black model. Both cameras seem to be in great condition and cost 20 bucks (CDN) each. We felt like such geeks walking around with our matching cameras but what we really need to do is acquire matching wind-breaker-style jogging sets and then walk around with our matching cameras. That would be very Rochester NY circa 1984... especially if our jackets had giant American flags on the back and I had really long claw-like nails painted white with a diamond stud embedded in each one.

I like this story about one man and his Zenit EM.

Posted by Gayla at 08:36 PM | Comments (7)

March 26, 2004

So 2002

Fuck You
Taken with Great Wall DF- (with close-up filter)

I like how this Fuck You is also uniquely Canadian.


More Mike's Munchies. And another.


I just want to state for the record that even though he posted it first the bastard copied me. I did this about a year and a half ago but thought I'd revisit to see how it had changed. All words in [] are mine.

From Googlism:

gayla is going to be interviewed live thursday august 15 at 11
gayla is not a therapist
gayla is a shamanic qi specialist
gayla is not amazed to discover he had served time in prison
gayla is a graduate of the university of notre dame with a bachelor of business administration in accounting
gayla is a wonderful designer
gayla is a member of the sicangu rosebud lakota sioux tribe
gayla is our office coordinator
gayla is missing her ending
gayla is gorgeous and kind
gayla is seeking a second opinion and a controversial treatment in southern california
gayla is on the canadian association of schools of social work board of accreditation which sets national standards
gayla is a veteran agent who has put together projects like gerald di pego’s "phenomenon
gayla is the bitch sister
gayla is a welcome addition to our scholarship and awards committee
gayla is furious and shoots at twilly with a laser
gayla is listless and tires very easily
gayla is a 95 page recipe site of family recipes
gayla is always willing to experiment and can almost always custom blend a tea to meet your discerning palate
gayla is already making plans to teach him how to roast coffee
gayla is super sweet
gayla is responsible for reconciling income and expenses made on the departmental account
gayla is the assistant development director and the cheerleader director at st
gayla is a social activist
gayla is a really superlative web designer and a nurturing soul
gayla is a single mother who works 30 hours a week and takes university classes two evenings a week
gayla is distraught at the prospect of losing any of her teeth [Who isn't?]
gayla is now an associate professor of mathematics at georgia state university in atlanta
gayla is a member of the ipswich country club and spends most of her free time on the course or the driving range
gayla is a computer teacher at apollo college
gayla is also a member of unity church of knoxville and is completing a master's degree at the university of tennessee
gayla is none too impressed by doctors
gayla is definitely the only designer [Hell ya]
gayla is an excellent resource for finding answers to your questions
gayla is a lively brunette
gayla is able to create just the cake to suit your taste buds
gayla is a south carolina supreme court certified mediator for all civil litigation
gayla is an extremely rude manager
gayla is a renowned fashion expert and image maker with 25 years of experience in the fashion and style industry [If "expert in the fashion and style industry" means dressing myself successfully.]
gayla is also liaison to the special events committee
gayla is coming back to pick me up [Just like Jesus]
gayla is the funniest person i have ever meet in my life
gayla is working at dairy queen now so be wary if she takes your order or anything
gayla is a minister
gayla is friendly
gayla is plp size xxsmall/xsmall pear [huh?]
gayla is mother to two children and a son [Are sons different than children somehow?]
gayla is about 12 meters tall
gayla is a member of the public relations society of america
gayla is a certified specialist of disney and club med

Posted by Gayla at 11:05 AM | Comments (8)

March 25, 2004



Parkdale Youth Referral Centre
Taken with Horizon 202

Go see Mike's Munchies. Look inside.


This morning I was miserable. And angry. And paralysed. And tired. I contemplated posting the "Fuck Off" pictures. Instead I said "Fuck It" and took a shower.

I didn't want to go out but I had to go out.

But then I had the best cab ride. I love a good cab ride. A good cab ride is as good as a good walk (only faster). Before running out the door I quickly grabbed an unmarked cd. It turned out to be the perfect music for a perfect cab ride up Ossington. "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston, "Sinnerman", Nina Simone.

Later I stepped back outside to the sunshine and warm weather. I put my headphones back on and walked while Dionne Warwick sang "Anyone Who Had a Heart" in my ears. I took pictures with my new Lady Windsor (thanks to Jim). And walked. And walked and walked. I walked down new alleys and new streets. I walked to meet up with Mr. Risk. We ate food, bought records (plus a DVD of Nina Simone performing somewhere or other) and then walked down to Queen Street.

I like to walk. Walking clears my head and creates perspective. Walking is the new yoga. Walking is meditation in motion. ...except that tai chi is meditation in motion. But tai chi made me angry. Walking makes me happy.

Posted by Gayla at 06:58 PM | Comments (8)

March 24, 2004

King Street at Night


King Street at Night
Taken with Horizon 202

Am working on panoramics of my neighbourhood taken at night. This is the first.

Posted by Gayla at 11:47 PM | Comments (15)

So It Goes


Secured with Tape II
Taken with Great Wall DF-

I posted a second photo of a kid from the film set today.


Another photo of the taped-up valiant.


I thought I lost a roll of photos taken with The Windsor (R.I.P) but it turns out I lost a roll of photos taken with the Holga of friends drinking and eating and a nasty bathroom. Of course, the roll I thought I lost but didn't did not turn out to be "the greatest roll of all", but the one that was lost must have been. So it goes.


Thanks to Jimbus The Windsor is back in action in a new form! It is now a FrankenDiana, The House of Windsor, or Lady Windsor; a happy merging of a Diana front and The Windsor back and neck strap.

Posted by Gayla at 10:33 AM | Comments (8)

Kid (On the Set of Moss)


Kid (On the Set of 'Moss')
Taken with Great Wall DF-

More kids from the film set.

Posted by Gayla at 10:22 AM | Comments (2)

March 23, 2004

Kids ('Moss' Film Set)


Kids (On the Set of 'Moss')
Taken with Great Wall DF-

The above photo was taken a few months ago on a film set.


Just got an email today informing me that an old journal entry from another site was published in a book that has just come out. I completely forgot all about it. I also have no idea what they used or how they used it. Will have to wait until my copy arrives.

Posted by Gayla at 07:05 PM | Comments (3)

March 22, 2004

Suburban Tour


A Building
Taken with Holga

On Saturday we saw a great deal of the Greater Toronto Area via the comfort of a couch on wheels. I am endlessly fascinated with urban and suburban landscapes. Hundreds of films (and television programs) begin with moving footage of store fronts and suburban streets. Think The Sopranos, Elephant or Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. I love it!

The highlight of our trip was "Mike's Munchies" a teeny, tiny orange restaurant with hand painted signs.

Richmond Hill is depressing. Once you get into the real heavy duty suburbs it's all Tim Hortons, Mc Donalds, grocery store, strip mall, ugly subdivision, strip mall, strip mall, repeat. I absolutely HATE the plazas that are designed to look like ugly new houses. Shudder. We ate dinner at "Sierra California Grill", a fake suburban version of "healthy California cuisine", surrounded by scary women with angular features and scurrying hostesses with headsets. I had the Spa Salad. It was a perfect way to end off our suburban tour.

Sunday was spent lazing in bed with a massive headache watching crap television and The 400 Blows.

Posted by Gayla at 11:50 AM | Comments (10)

March 20, 2004

Lone Bike

Lone Bike
Taken with Great Wall DF-

Urban Kitsch on LaLaLand

Posted by Gayla at 12:45 AM | Comments (16)

March 18, 2004



Purple Flower
Taken with Great Wall DF- (with close-up filter)

Tomorrow will mark a year since Mr. Risk and I walked off a plane into the hyper Disney insanity of Orlando airport just hours after the U.S government began dropping bombs in Iraq.

Looking back on my old entries I notice that I said almost nothing about the trip and posted very few photos from that time. The whole experience was so surreal. Central Florida was possibly the last place on earth I ever cared to visit. I had many preconceptions in my head about what it would be like. It turned out to be exactly as I had expected while simultaneously completely opposite.

Posted by Gayla at 10:55 AM | Comments (4)

March 17, 2004

Succulent Flowers


Succulent Flowers
Taken with Great Wall DF- (with close-up filter)

Posted by Gayla at 12:08 PM | Comments (11)

March 16, 2004

Spring Yet?


Taken with Great Wall DF- (with close-up filter) has a new issue out along with a new design. Fellow Toy Camera gang member Gary Moyer has a gallery of laundromat photos (digital not toy cam) in this issue.


Winter is in the home stretch. As far as I'm concerned this is the worst part. This is when I slowly go mad due to five day stretches of grey, or "All Day Five O'Clock" as I like to call it. Every morning I look out the window and ask "Is it spring yet you bastards?" (I don't know who the bastards are but they get blamed for everything.)

I can't wait for the plants. I can't wait for colour.

Posted by Gayla at 11:36 AM | Comments (7)

March 15, 2004



Taken with Great Wall DF- (with close-up filter)

I'm loving the new close-up filters. They came in a set of three but I've been sticking to the no. 2. Mr. Risk has been posting some photos he took with the no. 4 and they are crazy close with a teeny, tiny depth of field. Not having macro capabilites with any of the film cameras (save the box camera with magnifying glass trick) kept me tied to the digital camera. It's nice to have some flexibility.


I just had a crazy weekend. I truly need to sort out a day off sometime soon. I'm pretty burned out. Today was the deadline for choosing shots to put into the Toy Camera coffee table book. It was insanely difficult narrowing it down to four images. To start the process I selected and printed a STACK (close to 100 I'd bet) of my best b&w photos taken with either the Holga or the Winsdor. The whole process made me realize how many photos I've taken in the last five months. If I were to print every photo, taken with every camera, both colour and black & white... that would be a scary pile of photos.

Sadly I also discovered that when it comes down to it I much prefer the colour photos I have taken with the toy cameras. There wasn't one black & white image that stood up to orange chair in my opinion.


We went for brunch at The Drake on Sunday. Can't say I'll be doing that again anytime soon. Pretty to look at but too rich for my blood.

Posted by Gayla at 06:18 PM | Comments (3)

March 12, 2004

CBC Radio 3


Abandoned House
Taken with the Windsor

Mr. Risk and I, along with eight other Canadian photobloggers were featured on this week's CBC Radio 3 site. The feature is called "Point, Shoot and Post: Photoblogs Chronicle the Everyday". I'm a fan of the site and was honoured to be a part of it. Special thanks to the designer/producer Kemp who had to navigate around my awkward medium format and panoramic photo sizes.

Posted by Gayla at 10:51 AM | Comments (12)

March 11, 2004

Taped-up Valiant


Secured with Tape
Taken with Holga

Here's the taped up car I mentioned. Mr. Risk and I took photos of the excellent tape job with an assortment of cameras while a man watched from his front window. I waved pleasantly to him to let him know I wasn't staking out the neighbourhood or a repo man.

Sometimes I wonder what people think when they watch me take pictures. Once I took a picture of some vibrant red stairs that had caught my eye in an alley (lost the roll damnit) and a guy who had been standing nearby with his buddy started to freak out. He chased us out of the alley screaming and threatening to bash our heads in. Another time a woman yelled at me for taking a photo of a menu posted outside a diner. "Hey! Hey! Why are you taking a picture of that?", she yelled accusingly. I don't take photos of people and I still get chased and threatened.


For those who want to know how to put 35mm film through a Holga there are some directions here and here. Just be sure to tape your back window up good. I advanced by clicks instead of turns.


Thanks to everyone who has emailed or commented in the last week. I'm trying to get through it all but it's going to take me some time.

Posted by Gayla at 10:28 AM | Comments (7)

March 10, 2004

Jay with beard | Bye Bye Windsor & Lubitel


Jay with Beard
Taken with Holga

Some hard times lately. Today I broke my Windsor. That piece of shit plastic winder just snapped mid roll. That was my most beloved toy camera. I love you camera!! I didn't even get an opportunity to try out the new close-up lenses with it. Then not an hour later I discovered a roll taken with the Windsor was incorrectly processed and all the photos are gone. Am currently mourning the photos that could have been... that crazy car with parts held on with electrical tape, the sunny day in a new alley..... only the memories remain. Sigh.

On Sunday the winder broke on the Lubitel 166U. So here's the countdown: first lubitel shutter breaks, 2nd never makes it overseas due to an ebay purchase gone wrong (seller goes awol), third has crazy problems and can't focus (takes bizarre but interesting photos), fourth shines for a few months then winder breaks. Actually I forgot to mention that number 1 has since made a possible comeback as a crude pinhole (must get on finishing that roll).

In slightly happier news I've spent the evening scanning some of the new rolls that came back. The photo above is one image from two rolls taken using 35mm film in the Holga. I actually have a surprisingly high number of people photos. I like this one because the perspective is so distorted. Of course just this morning I stated something about photographing people without consent being an invasion of privacy and then I go and post a photo of a person I don't know (background). I also said I never take photos of people.

Posted by Gayla at 12:26 AM | Comments (15)

March 09, 2004



Taken with the Great Wall DF-

This site was part of a list of 10 Toronto photoblogs in Sunday's Toronto Star.

There has been quite a bit of attention drawn here lately. It is making me uncomfortable.

Posted by Gayla at 10:47 AM | Comments (12)

March 07, 2004



Taken with the Great Wall DF-

Posted by Gayla at 02:01 PM | Comments (13)

March 05, 2004

BINGO | SeeFeelThink


Bingo Tent
Taken with Zero 2000 Pinhole

Mr. Risk and I have created a new site. My first gallery is of concession stand photos. The above photo is not a concession stand but was taken at the same time.


I have a real hate/love/hate relationship with Bingo. I mean the whole concept of the bingo hall is fairly entertaining. The stereotype of the superstitious troll rubbing, chain-smoking bingo player is real. That woman exists. I've met her many times over.

My mother was bingo obsessed for a time. I mean really truly addicted. She went to the Delta Bingo every single fucking day including birthdays and other special occassions. In fact she went more-so on special occassions like my birthday because having won once it had become her "lucky day". Sometimes she went twice a day; once for the lunch game and then later for the jackpot. Sometimes she just stayed there all day from noon until midnight. The Bingo Hall was her office. You could always count on her to be there.

She had bingo partners but these "friendships" often played themselves out like bad marriages. It would start off all happy, trusting and fun. One woman, possibly twice my mother's age, took us over the border into the shopping mecca of Rochester New York in a giant boat-sized maroon car with white leather interior. She wore an over-sized, very fake platinum blond wig, hauled on extra long cigarettes held by extra long fake nails and loved, loved, loved Hershey's chocolate. The whole cross-border trip was centred around a trip to Hills for cans of Aqua Net and to the corner store for extra long American smokes and bars of Hershey's chocolate.

But slowly little seeds of greed and deception would be sown. A rogue lunch break visit to the Vegas North next to the C.N Station followed by an unclaimed jackpot win, erupted into strings of curse words, shaking fists, long drags on an Export A and the relationship was done for good.

Posted by Gayla at 12:02 AM | Comments (19)

March 04, 2004

Mandatory Pigeon Shot


Mandatory Pigeon Shot
Taken with Holga

I should probably clear something up. Both positive comments and critical comments are welcome on this site. When I opened up comments I didn't expect that the only comments would be back-patting ones. I understand that not everyone is going to like my photos. I think of it all as rather subjective anyway. I know what constitutes a technically perfect or "good" photo, but when I decide on a photo to post to this site, that specification doesn't really qualify. I choose photos pretty much based on how I'm feeling within that moment. Sometimes the "best" photos never make it here. It is possible that at times some of my "worst" photos have made it here.

Whatever the case, intelligent criticisms are welcome. But blogs tend to navigate a terrain somewhere between the personal and public. Abusive or assholish behaviour is not welcome.

Posted by Gayla at 10:19 AM | Comments (8)

March 03, 2004

No Parking | Photoblogs


Dirty Snow on the Milky Way
Taken with Horizon 202

Same location, different photo.

The dirty snow obsession continues. It's even better now that the snow is melting into browner, dirtier looking sponges with coffee cups and junk food wrappers being revealed through the layers.

I was featured on this month.

Posted by Gayla at 10:29 AM | Comments (12)

March 02, 2004

Dirty Snow on the Milky Way


Dirty Snow on the Milky Way
Taken with Horizon 202

The Milky Way is my favourite alley. Here's another photo taken there.

Posted by Gayla at 01:35 AM | Comments (5)

March 01, 2004

Warehouse | Holga 2


Warehouse (Switch)
Taken with Holga

This weekend I made my broken Lubitel 2 into a really crude pinhole camera. I took the whole front bit off but couldn't do anything for the broken shutter. My pinhole was made with a pie tin and my shutter is a bunch of tape. Quality craftspersonship!

I also began work converting one of the Spartus Full-Vues into a pinhole. It doesn't have a tripod mount so I'll have to make a contraption for it. I'm waiting to see what I get with the Lubitel before making a decision on whether to buy a precision-drilled pinhole or go the pie tin/pop can route. I find it difficult to wrap my head around the idea of spending 40 or so bucks U.S on a teeny hole when the camera itself wasn't more than a few dollars total.

Posted by Gayla at 10:57 AM | Comments (4)