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Dave Bellard's not-so-daily journal and sketchbook 

Fluency Logo Results

The results are in - and I want to thank everyone who took time to take the logo survey a few days ago. 82 people responded and gave me a lot of good insight for decisions I need to make on the logo for my new business. I wanted to let you all know the results….

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David Bellard
Radiance Series: New Compositions

It's been a really productive May and June for me as far as creating art. I've been working through my "backlog" of film from 2017 and 2018 - reviewing the film, re-reading my old notes on what I wanted to with it back in…

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David Bellard
Hiking along the Carbon River Rainforest

The Rainforest along the Carbon River is probably my most favorite hiking destination close to Seattle. It's far enough that it's well removed from civilization, but close enough that it's under 3 hours to drive there. And what a wonderland it is when you…

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David Bellard
More Mt. Rainier Compositions

There's a lot going on in these two new compositions. First, they're bigger than usual because I wanted to expand on the idea that these compositions should tell a story of the forest in more detail than a single photo. That's one of my core reasons for creating this collage-type art…

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David Bellard
Sketches: At the Base of Mt. Rainier

Two new pieces from film shot at Mt. Rainier, built from shots taken in one of the alpine meadows at the base of the mountain. I adore this area and shot a lot of film there, including some super 8 film which I'll post in a few weeks. I'm trying a few new ideas in these pieces, some are more successful than others….

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David Bellard
New Mt. Rainier Compositions, Mixed Results

I recently completed some new work from film I shot in Mt. Rainier National Park - to mixed degrees of personal satisfaction. I was tempted to call this set "sketches" because I don't think they're pieces I'd try to exhibit or sell, but they aren't exactly failures either….

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David Bellard
The Train to Zipaquira, Colombia (video)

There is a old little train that takes you from downtown Bogota, Colombia to a small little pueblo about an hour outside of the city called Zipaquira. However this is no ordinary train ride. At various points on the slow ride, a 7-person tropical band fills the aisle of your car...

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David Bellard
Museo La Tertulia: Contemporary Art in Cali, Colombia

I'm in Cali, Colombia for the spring and while here I had the chance to visit one of the (only) spaces for contemporary art in Cali, the Museo La Tertulia. I've been to Cali a few times in the past three years and each time I learn more about the city and get a better feel for the cultural vibe....

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David Bellard
Shinjuku Human Flow Redux (video)

Take a journey through the subterranean labyrinth of the Shinjuku station in Tokyo. Shinjuku is one of the major transfer stations in Tokyo which offers a connection point for all of the train lines that traverse the city and the outer suburbs. Like almost every first time tourist in Tokyo, I got "lost" in Shinjuku...

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David Bellard
Sketches from China

I was in Wuhan, China last year on a work trip and although I had my film camera with me (because I would be in Japan after) I didn't take many film photos in China. However one morning I did take photos of the cityscape view from the picture window in my hotel...

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David Bellard
Sketches: American Plains and Rainforests

Two new compositions, trying out a new process. The photos used in these pieces were taken in June of last year, some while driving through the arid plains of Eastern Colorado and some in the Rainforests at the base of Mt Rainier in Washington. These are the first pieces I've done using glass plates, where I'm gluing the film pieces directly to glass. It's an interesting twist on....

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David Bellard
Sketches from Japan

I work so slow sometimes. For instance right now I'm sitting on so much film I shot over the course of 2017 that I barely reviewed after it was processed. I want to use most of it in new artwork before I shoot too much new stuff, so I basically had to "commit" myself to creating or starting one new piece every night for a month. Of course I've already slacked on that, but...

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David Bellard
Bellard: In Process (video)

I love time-lapse videos and I've been thinking lately about what it would look like if I made a time-lapse video of my process. Last week I spent many late nights working on some new pieces and decided to give it a try with my iPhone. Because I work on a big light table (of my own creation from a glass-top IKEA table and a 30" LED panel underneath), I knew I wasn't going to get perfect results with the iPhone automatically adjusting the exposure every frame and in many shots I used a snap-on fisheye lens, however I think it turned out okay for a first try. The compositions I'm working with are from film I shot last year in Japan on a grey day on Mt. Takao, about an hour outside of Tokyo. What you see in the video are the initial stages of the...

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David Bellard
Macro Photography with a Holga

One of the challenges of using a medium format rangefinder camera is you do not frame your shot through the lens as you are used to with most cameras. With almost every camera, what you see in the viewfinder is what you'll get digitally or expose on film. A rangefinder is different because you are looking through a viewfinder that is not giving you a view through the lens. The viewfinder is separate and it gives you a close approximation of framing and focusing for your subject, but it's not exactly what will be exposed on the film. This is how most cameras functioned pre-1970s. Some rangefinders like the Fujica 645 don't even have a focus function in the viewfinder, so you have to..

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David Bellard
Photographing the Band: Here Inside

Back in the 1990s when I lived in Los Angeles I had a second "career" as a music photographer/journalist for several labels, magazines and small zines across the country. I started by photographing bands when they played at clubs, but back in those days it wasn't as simple as taking your camera into clubs and snapping some pics. We're talking film cameras, with multiple lenses that I had to carry around in my big nerd camera bag, and I couldn't just walk into the Whiskey or Roxy with that stuff...

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David Bellard
Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

So this may sound like hyperbole, but I swear it's genuine. This weekend I visited one of the most beautiful places I've ever experienced in the United States, and it sits right in the heart of good old Pennsylvania: Ricketts Glen State Park, located in Northeast PA (a little west of Wilkes-Barre for those of you up on your PA geography).  Ricketts Glen SP is best known for it's 22 waterfalls that cascade down two different glens...

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Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland - Weekend 4 of the Park Challenge

So I missed a few weekends in the State/National Park challenge, but last weekend I made it out to Catoctin Mountain Park, a National Park in Northern Maryland close to the Pennsylvania border. That part of Maryland is home to four big protected forest areas all within 50 miles of each other: Catoctin, Cunningham Falls State Park, Gambrills State Park and South Mountain State Park. Catoctin is most famous as the location of...

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David Bellard
Gambrill State Park, Maryland - Weekend 3 of the Forest Challenge

What is the forest challenge? Well, this summer it's been absolutely too hot for me to go out in the sun. My body can't stand the heat. I sweat like a maniac and I burn within 10 minutes of being in the sun, but I had to get out and get into nature. So I set a goal around mid-August of this year to visit one state or national park each weekend to hike and do a portrait of each park, similar to the work I did in the "Forest Mystics" series . My goal is to do this until the end of October. So far I've been to...

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David Bellard
Socialist Realism in Albania: A visit to the National Gallery of Art

I took the digital photos in the gallery below in 2014 when I was on a three-week trip through six countries in the Balkan area of Eastern Europe. One of those countries was the oft overlooked Albania, where I spent two days in the capital city of Tirana. I won't go into general detail about post-soviet bloc Albania, or Tirana, suffice it to say the country has a growing economy in Europe and the tales of lawless society are pure myth...

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David Bellard