Photographer Jim DeLutes presents a stunning portfolio filled with scenes of Italy. See more of his work by visiting his website.
There are many reasons that photographers first pick up a camera, but mine might be a bit different since my inspirations were painters and paintings. I would have followed the path of canvas and oils/acrylics, etc. if only my hands would have cooperated with the brain. Since I didn’t have the dexterity it takes to draw and paint, I found that the camera was my tool.
For over 40 years I’ve played with the camera to experiment and learn different techniques. Learning through trial and error (a lot of errors), I discovered the art of light and shadow, colors that play off of one another and how to draw the viewer’s eye into the story of the photo.
In 2005 when I first ventured into digital cameras and learning how to use the digital darkroom in the computer, I found that these new tools challenged me on so many levels. I now had to look at the creative process differently than when I shot with film. I could now blend images together, ‘paint’ in light, shadows and colors similar to how a painter would interpret an image to their liking. Finally I had the ability to truly add my interpretations of an image to the photograph.
My first real challenge in using these new found tools was when I returned from my first trip to Italy in 2009. I had thousands of images from the 5 week trip but as I looked at them I felt that the photo, as taken, did not portray the wonder that I felt as I stood in this inspiring country.
There is a sense of awe that many people I’ve talked to feel when they are in Italy. It’s intangible at best but it is very real. I wanted those feelings to come through in the photos I had taken.
As with any endeavor, where one has passion the time spent will make days seem like minutes. To transform the images into something that held the emotions of how it felt standing in that spot sometimes took days. There are images that I spent 20-30 hours on to finally capture what I wanted to portray.
Right now I’m working on images taken from last year’s trip to Italy where my wife and I were fortunate to spend 8 weeks exploring so many out of the way places. Having over 8,000 photos, I will have images to work on for quite awhile!
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