Dave Bellard Headshot camera.png

I’m a film photographer in a digital camera world. I use analog film and vintage cameras to make my images because film is the tool that comes closest to recreating the imagery of dreams, which has fascinated me for my entire life. I enjoy capturing the natural world through the hypnotic aesthetics of film – the murky ambience of twilight, the explosion of mid morning richness, and the cold embrace of grey skies.

My process is a large part of the context of my work. I shoot rolls of transparency film, and once developed, I search for the details within multiple images that I will combine to create a larger, more complex dialog. I like to think of my work as photographic tapestries or celluloid stained glass tableaus. They are totems and spiritual altars made from light, created with the intention to be reliquaries for reflection and meditation.

I want to push the evolution of film photography and, by altering the physical nature of the analog photo, change the expectation of what the photographic image can do. For my world, a single photo cannot define a subject because stories comprised of light and shadows cannot be told in a single captured moment. In this way, my work reflects the structure of cinema - a photographic art form that uses multiple frames to give the illusion of motion and memory. My work relies on capturing multiple movements and shifts in perspective that become metaphysical shifts in the final representation.

The physical nature of my work – the overlapping film pieces, the glue and adhesives, the dust particles, and the scratches on the emulsion – announces its existence as a three-dimensional entity with as much to be interpreted as the subject matter. I want the visible history of the deconstruction and reassembly in these pieces to reveal itself to the viewer on as many levels as possible. The weaving between those levels is intentional, reflecting the way the natural world weaves through our physical reality, and comes back to us in dreams.