Documenting the Light | Blog of Joshua Ballinger aka Documenting the Light Filmmaker Artist Activist Documentary Video Travel Lifestyle Fashion
Joshua Ballinger, Documentingthelight, Documentary Video, Story telling, film maker, artist, activist
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Went to Chelsea to check out whats hot in the Art world,

here is your virtual tour with me


For those of you who haven’t been there are pretty much three blocks all filled with galleries


I like religous themes


Another artist/photographer using themselves as there subject


Never underestimate the power of flesh


These were almost too real, I really like the effect of water dropplets


with so much art, everyone is trying to break out of the box

This guy was an amazing painter, but choose to leave his paintings, with this empty unfinshed look


You can’t tell but this is like 10 ft by 10ft


Some really cool glazes


I like how the different layers of this painting were stitched together


This is my favorite picture I took, the context in which this art was viewed is what gave it most of its value


The title of this exhbit made me think for a bit what it meant….what does it mean to you?



This is what I want to do, create some Video Installations
There isn’t any money in it, but as long as you get get some organisations to fund your work it seems rather rewarding.

having multiple images at once, allows more room for the viewer interpretation.


Some favorites from the street



This is one of my favorites

I could go on forever but I just wanted to share a taste with you

Some random thoughts about NY

I was taught that Black was the Absence of color, but it seems like the opposite these days. Walking around the streets of NY, black seems to be the common denominator between all these different people.

NY is full of rich culture, as it seems many are first or second generation Americans, and stuck close within their cultural community for support. One of the most visual examples are the Hassidic Jews. We took a drive around Williamsburg to observe this tight knit community. There dress quickly sets them apart, they start very young, as i saw 4-5 year olds walking around with the hair style, and black suits on. After talking with my friend I learned more about the culture; they don’t watch TV or movies, don’t hold hands on the street, and won’t work after sundown of Friday, and eat family dinners together. I’m fascinated by this sub-culture and have been racking my brain on how I might get access to tell these people story. One night on my way back from the city, I picked a paper who’s headline was discussing one Hassidic Jew’s decision to back out of a movie that he was staring in with Natalie Portman, due to pressure from the rabbi’s. The Hasidic pride themselves on the religious devotion, and is root for their culture.

I also got to explore the Columbian Community with some of my friends, and we even ventured into the Indian Community for a night to watch a Bolly-wood film, Jodaa Akbar.

I still dream about making a Film about gypsies, as I find I know very little about what truly goes on in these subcultures, and would like to find an interesting story tell, with my own style.



Had a busy day today….my official work for H-factor is over and now I’m enjoying being in a different city for a couple days. I’ve been shooting the random things that stand out to me, a couple street performers, random people, and even ended up shooting a show tonight. I met a young guy on the street playing his Violin named Marques Toliver and ended up filming him performing a song

It’s funny that I happen to be in New York when all the Elliot Spitzer drama has been going down. It’s all over the papers here, there was a few page spread all about the prositute he got busted with; they’re were 4 or five pictures, quotes from here blog and myspace, and in the words of one of the guys on the subway, ” this shit is blowing her up, I heard she already got an offer from Playboy”. So after a couple days, he finally decided to resign, and NY now has a new Governor from Harlem… There have been many comparrisons to the Clinton scandal, and in the same way Spitzers wife is choosing to stand behind him.It must be hard to have all that power in politics, because it seems alot of them mess up. I wish I had more light to shine on the subject, but it seems the consensus is, if you get caught, you loose the faith of the people and you have to step down.

Got a little Body Art done today


My friends were busy tonight, so I decided to go out by myself, and see what the night life was like. Being the nerd that I am I still had my cameras with me that I had been lugging around with me all day. I went to Union Pool in Williamsburg, where I got a couple drinks, and was thinking about seeing the band Wilderness play…

I was siiting outside by the fire making small talk with the guy sitting next to me, and asked him if he was going to see the bands play, and he said yes, and was talking about photoshop and other random things before telling me he was in the Band. So when I was getting ready to go inside, I found out they were sold out…..bummer I thought, but a second later Brian, my friend from the band asked me my last name and said he was putting me on the list…..what good luck I thought, and although I hadn’t planned on filming the show, I thought I might as well now that I got in free, and was a special guest of the band. I found my way up to the sound booth, and eventually found myself standing on the bar filming the show…. this is a natural thing for me these days, and even though I didn’t go to SXSW I still got to check out some good music, and on a more intimate level….

the set was all new, after the band had taken a 2 year hiatus……
Heres a cool mural I came across while wandering the streets


I can’t tell if this makes me want a cigarette, or quit, I guess a little of both.


NY I Love you


So I’m in New York at the moment, just got back to my friends house after a full day of shooting. had a lunch meeting with Andrew Jenks, a guy we’re considering hiring to help write the story for H-Factor. His film about living in an Assited Living Facility was rather impressive considering he made the film when he was 19. What was funny about the meeting was that we met at a nice hotel/restaurant, in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and the guys showed up in T-shirts, and I’m pretty sure one of them was high. Granted they’re film makers, so we don’t expect them to be fancy….. I was Happy to have on a nice shirt and jacket, and felt like I was holding the power.


We had a shoot tonight, with Eric Weiner, who wrote a book called the Geography of Bliss. He did a reading at KGB bar in East Village, which was a cool atmosphere, and his wit made it quite entertaining. The premise of his book was searching for where the happiest place was on earth, or rather where people are the happiest.

He started the night by telling a story about how he went to the World Database of Happiness in Rotterdam, and met Professor Veenhoven. Whats funny about this, was I too have been to Rotterdam to interview professor Veenhoven. He described the details of what his office looked like, and how he held himself, and I must say he was spot on. So I guess we’re on the right path of chasing happiness, or I should say we’re continuing to cross the right paths.

Took the subway around town today and as you would expect it was full of characters…..


I really wish LA would figure out how to make Public Transit work…..

Sorry for the poor picture quality, these were taken with my phone. Photography is instant gratification; with film you have to go back and edit, and can be very time consuming, and projects can quickly pile up.

you can see more iphone pictures here

Shys Record release

I started logging all the footage of Delta Spirit and will take some time to start editing that stuff down.

So I thought I would post an Oldie but Goodie.

I made this video for the Shys Record Release Party

The Batcave

I did some more shooting with Delta Spirit this time we were at their studio in San Clemente. My friend Ryan Roco came along and took some stills click on his name to look at his blog.

heres a little glimpse of the action


I love how this picture is split between the outside and inside


Interviews are a key part to telling peoples stories, we were lucky enough to find this random setting to do ours.

Delta Does SF

Made a last minute decision to go with Delta Spirit to San Fransisco to watch/record them playing at NoisePop at Cafe du Nord. My night was quickly made when I talked to the house manager and explained that I had left a tripod here 7-8 months ago, the last time I was here with D.Spirit and Dr Dog. Much to my surprise the manager went to go check the lost and found, and ended up coming out with my tripod. i assumed it was lost after never hearing back from them….so a bit of good luck be-fell me.

This venue was quite a bit smaller than OC performing arts, and you could feel the intimacy here. The Guys played a great set, and many of the fans were saying that they stole the show…much like the review in OC weekly .

I’m happy to see the guys getting good reviews.

i haven’t gotten a chance to sort through all the footage yet, but snapped a couple pictures of Matt on the drive up.



video will be up soon!

Changing(delta) Spirit Orange County

Went to see my friends the Delta Spirit play with the Walkmen last night, and did some filming for my Documentary. I ussually don’t even film the performances anymore, it ussually more about the venue, and the people, and checking in on whats new with everybody’s life. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them, because they were on tour for a while.

I’m too lazy to edit, the footage because I’ve been editing all day, but here are my selects, and you could image what it’d look like if I had energy to edit.
Heres a nice picture that ryan roco took_mg_8081.jpg

So I’m a huge Obama Supporter, and have been working on some grass root campaigns. One of which is making Obama LA shirts.


I wore one of the shirts to the show last night, and got lots of compliments, and spurred lots of interesting conversations.

the brotherhood

I’ve always had a deep appreciation for music, growing up in the bubble of Orange County, music was what saved my life, and allowed me to leave even if it was just in my thoughts. I’ve played music for a while now, and because of it, I have lots of really talented musician friends. I gave up my dreams of being a Rock star long ago, but get to live the life vicariously through my friends. When I was first leaning about film in school, I would practice shooting all my friends bands. At the time I didn’t know why I was doing it, but I started telling their story. I found the subjects as interesting if not more interesting than the music. There was a few other things that clicked in my brain, but soon became clear that I wanted to make Documentary films. So I have continued shooting my friends bands, keeping tabs on their journeys, and will piece it all together when I’m ready. I wanted to have a concept for the film, that was bigger than just the music, or just one band, and I’m trying to show how many of these bands have been getting their inspiration form the 60’s, but more important than the sound, are the ideas. I like to believe the idea that social revolution is still possible, and maybe I’m projecting my goals onto the bands, but I know from talking to my friends that they feel the same way. Music is a powerful platform, especially for the youth, and I’m excited to see whhat these guys do with it. I’m going to try and edit some excerpts now that I have this Blog as an outlet to show them.

Thanks for reading my thoughts this morning

I included this little video as a reward.

It’s super raw, the “Brotherhood” were improving some blues covers

Hacieda Prints

Still working on H-Factor Trailer, been working from my home office, so every now and then I need to take little breaks and touch base with the rest of the world via the Internet.

Last Night I worked on one of my side projects, Hacienda Prints. We started making our own screens in our apartment in Echo Park, and started giving shirts to our friends.


We make our own designs, which has its influxes of what we can all agree on as being good designs, but having a few different designers allows for diverse styles. My style tends to lean toward more boutique stlye with the sloppy hand made-ness being part of what makes it special. Darren likes the Skate/Pop culture of T-shirts, Max likes Music/Band style Shirts, and Jared likes the Cult/Niche hipster style of shirts.
My First design Virgin Mary
Sex Sells
My First attempt at making some marketing materials
We then got some opportunities to do some live screen printing at events. People are fascinated by the process, and we’ve been marketing ourselves around this idea. In LA people throw parties all the time for all sorts of reasons, and having a hired photographer is pretty much standard these days, and now instead of just giving away shirts to promote your event, you have the shirts being printed live at the event.Hammer Museum
Last Night we did an Event at the Hammer Museum called Paper Trails, the idea being to help get UCLA students more involved with the Museum. I took some time myself to walk around and check out the exhibits. They also had some live painting as part of the event and met a cool artist Max Neutra.
Max Neutramax neutra

I like events like this where I get to interact with people meet other artists, I like inspiring, and acting as a role model for the college students, that want to pursue a careers in the arts.

I got some Photos that I worked on Published this month in Filter Magazine.

We actually got the cover of the Filter Mini that they pass out for free all over the Country

So I was thinking that this would be a cool job, a Photo-Journalist for Space.