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Jim and his work have been featured in COLOR Magazine, PhotoShop User Magazine, Shutterbug Magazine, The Boulder Daily Camera and Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine.

 

 

Jim was featured in the July/August Issue of PhotoShop User Magazine's NAPP Photoshop Design Showcase:

 

 

 

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Jim won two Merit Awards and had his images in the May 2010 Issue of Color Magazine:


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"Boulder company's DVD blends classical music with nature photography," by Deborah Myers in

The Daily Camera 

Call it an improved version of a photo slide show plus a soundtrack.

Boulder-based JDLphotos.com recently released a DVD, dubbed Natural Splendors, that combines classical music and nature photography.

Produced by DVD International and Alpha DVD, the 80-minute production showcases music by Canadian Hennie Bekker (www.henniebekker.com) with photography by Jim DeLutes, president of JDLphotos.com.

DVD International, based in Mountain Lakes, N.J., and Alpha DVD of Gambrills, Md., will produce 10,000 per year for the next few years, DeLutes said.

He will receive a royalty for each recording sold. Natural Splendors I is being sold nationally at media chain stores for $19.95 and through www.jdlphotos.com

Natural Splendors I continues a new trend in DVDs, using them as background ambiance instead of the featured entertainment as a movie would be. There is no story line or plot just images paired with music.

Instead of clicking through the photos like a slide show, it's more like looking at art hung at a gallery. The camera zooms out and pans each photo for about 10 seconds, and then fades out to the next one while coordinating music plays.

"I can see my clientele sitting down with a glass of wine and enjoying this DVD with their friends," said Bruce Capra, a 30-year art dealer and president of Nicklebys.com, a fine art auction site. "It's an intimate type of work you would enjoy by yourself or with close friends."

The DVD features 150 images and 13 musical selections that are paired according to theme and organized into chapters. For example, the chapter with images of individual flowers features softer music than the one with dramatic lightening shots.

Viewers have the option of including the images' titles on the screen or leaving them out.

DeLutes shoots with a standard film camera and uses no computer enhancement or colored lenses. Occasionally, he uses colored gel on a few of his lights to highlight part of a subject, such as a flower's petals, but "Nature has done most of the work for me," he said.














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Although he leaves the development to professionals, DeLutes frames, mats, and ships the art himself. He sells the photos primarily through his Web site and the 20 art shows he attends nationwide each year.

Selling his art through a DVD was a concept the self-taught photographer had not considered.

"Ralph LaBarge (managing partner at Alpha DVD) found my Web site and e-mailed me," DeLutes said. "It sounded interesting. It never dawned on me that stills could be displayed on a DVD this way."

Natural Splendors I may prove to be not only another means of selling his images, but also a marketing tool for the prints.

"There's no doubt when people see the DVD, they'll love to have the artwork," Capra said.

Denver resident Scott Thornock, who is a fan of DeLutes' prints, agrees.

"It will definitely help him sell his art," he said.

DeLutes hopes that "it will drive a whole new audience of people to my Web site and those who have bought my stills for years can have something different."

Most of the images on Natural Splendors I are not available on DeLutes' Web site, but may be special ordered.

DeLutes envisions consumers playing Natural Splendors I while meditating, practicing yoga, or for a quiet dinner party.

"One couple wants to buy a copy for their children to see before bedtime," DeLutes said. "One thing I want to do is send a copy to hospices in the area. For someone in pain, it might help."

DeLutes has signed a contract for Natural Splendors II, which he hopes to finish by September in time for the holiday season.

As for producing other photography products, such as calendars or poster prints, DeLutes said, "I'd love to, but there are only 24 hours in a day. But that's where the DVD comes in. If it ends up in 10,000 hands in a year, it's more marketing exposure."

"Web Site of the Month," by Joe Farace in
Shutterbug Magazine, August 2000 

 

The Art And Business Of Photography
Web Site of the Month by Joe Farace

 

The Art of Nature Photography

Jim DeLutes' web site (www.JDLphotos.com) opens with a listing of six galleries that contain many different kinds of images, ranging from flowers to sunsets. Dragging your mouse across the list causes an image to pop-up from that gallery. Two of DeLutes' online galleries spotlight landscape images, with some amazing photographs of lightning in another, and graphic images of doors, windows, and missions of the Southwest in the last gallery. It's his stunning photographs of flowers in Galleries One and Two, however, that will make you sit up and pay attention.

Navigating through this beautifully designed site was a dream using a set of buttons at the top of each page that let you view images from any of the six galleries -- including larger sized images of DeLutes' photographs -- as well as information on what art shows he will be attending. This web site is not a virtual museum, but as marketing tool for a fine art photographer. Consequently, you'll find information on purchasing images, matting and framing, as well as his money back guarantee on any images purchased. When double-clicking one of the large thumbnails to see it displayed even larger, a pop-up menu list shows prices for matted or framed prints. DeLutes' web site combines these practical elements of commerce, along with photographs that have a haunting beauty.

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"Artists Workshop," by Deborah Myers in
Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine, November/December 2000
 "Artists Workshop"
by Deborah Myers


Nature's contrasts paint a Longmont photographer's canvases with intense drama

When Lightning Strikes...

THREE FIERY, RAIN-SPLATTERED MAPLE LEAVES; A MONARCH butterfly poised on magenta petals; lightning illuminating stormy skies: Dramatic images fill Longmont resident Jim De Lutes' photography. His scenic photographs emphasize contrasts of light and dark, of height and depth. In his Southwestern series, for example, intense sunlight fills most of the shots, attracting the eye to what's lurking in the shadows. His mountainscapes contrast harsh rock with delicate wildflowers.

Jim describes his work as "natural beauty" photography. His close-up photographs usually picture one to three items, such as flowers and leaves, enlarged to fill the entire frame in startling detail. And, although he enjoys looking at photographs, he doesn't analyze their style or technique. He considers himself more of an artist than a photographer. "I look at paintings more than photography. Film is my canvas and light is my paint," he says.

Born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a middle child with four sisters, Jim moved to the Front Range 25 years ago, shortly after finishing high school. "I traveled all over the States," he says, "and this is where I most wanted to live."

According to Jim, he has always seen life as though through a camera, and is an admirer of the work of many Life magazine photographers. He himself, however, didn't even pick up a camera until he was 19. A self-taught artist, he jokes, "I took 17 years of bad pictures, basically. Well, they weren't really that bad, but they weren't what I wanted." Once he had honed his style and technique, Jim's natural eye for aesthetics helped him more than anything else. "It's about personal taste for me. I try to stay away from the `rules.' Having never studied [photography], I don't know them," he smiles.

Although well-meaning marketers have encouraged Jim to research what potential clients may want and what sells well, he tends to ignore their advice and simply shoots what he likes, hoping that others will like it, too. "I'm not into producing a product," he explains.

So far, his non-strategy has paid off. With an average of 20 invitation-only shows per year and his website JDLphotos.com — Jim's professional photography business is thriving in its eighth year. His work is displayed at Denver's St. Anthony's Hospital and Longmont United Hospital, and he has also shot promotional photographs for the grand opening of Denver International Airport. Some of his most successful shows have been held throughout Colorado, including the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver.

At one particular show, a woman held up one of his photographs already mounted in a colored mat and asked him, "If you were to mat this picture, what color would you mat it in?" Answered Jim, "Probably that color," indicating the photo's current mat.

He admits, "I try to screen the dumb questions out of my memory."

Although he does travel extensively, he shoots outdoor photography mostly in the West. "I've been at home in the West ever since I got here," he says. "[I love] the diversity and contrast." In a land of bright sun and dense shade, rocky heights and dainty mountain blooms, Jim has made good use of the region's landscape. He hikes with his camera just in case. "I look for something that moves me," he says. "I don't have a preconceived idea of what I will shoot." Unlike his close-ups, which are photographed in his studio, "I just capture the outdoor stuff," he adds. "Nature has done most of the work."

He enjoys putting extra effort into his photographs of storms, as being a stormchaser is "one of those things you're just born with. The photos really have nothing to do with storm-chasing; I would watch them even if I weren't a photographer," he grins. "But since I do photography, I capture them that way."

Often, when Jim hears a late-night thunderstorm rolling in, he dresses hurriedly, jumps into his truck, and drives until he finds the best angle for his shot. "I have to get on the right side of the storm for it to work." He once drove 100 miles chasing a storm and still didn't get his lightning shot. "If you're not passionate about it, you don't do it," he explains.

Jim's other hobbies have aided his photography career. Fly fishing lets him get close to nature and helps to generate more scenic photography ideas. He's loved road trips since he was old enough to drive, although he admits "I didn't know I was in training then."

Jim is adamant about never manipulating his photographs; what you see is what he sees through the camera when taking the picture. No computer enhancement or interference mars the photos' natural quality. Using standard 35mm Fuji film and no special filters, he shuns using any special techniques for the developing process as well, sending his film to local professional labs for processing.

Occasionally, he uses colored gels on one of several lights. To enhance the color of an iris, for example, he may dab a small amount of lavender gel on one light. A filter would make the entire photograph appear lavender, not just a single petal, he explains. Even though the resolution of digital cameras keeps improving, Jim does not plan to buy one any time soon. "I'm not a tech-head," he smiles. "If my camera does what I want, that works for me."

His only real photographic equipment — other than his subjects — are his camera and tripod. "People ask me all the time if the butterflies I photograph are alive. I tell them, `Sure, and I give them a tiny biscuit if they sit really still,"' jokes Jim. But rest assured, Jim's butterflies, raised at a butterfly farm, die of natural causes. "They have a life span of only three weeks,'' says Jim, "so you don't have to be very patient." The flowers he shoots are dried also, and Jim keeps a collection of both.

"Getting started on a shoot is the hardest part," Jim confesses. After setting up his lights, he snaps a few hundred shots in an evening, tweaking his setup in between each shot. Usually, the last two or three are his best. "They are nowhere near what I started with," he says. "It's a journey."

Because he spends so much time traveling, Jim introduced his website in April 2000 with the aid of former art circuit exhibitors Chris Maher and Larry Berman. Having an insider's knowledge of art circuits, the enterprising pair now uses their web savvy to help other artists market in a less time-intensive fashion via virtual galleries. "The website helps me work smarter, not harder," Jim says.

Having received an average of 200 hits a day on his website, Jim was astounded to discover that on July 4, he had 3,500 in just a single day! He later found out someone in Japan had "told a lot of people to go to my site. There was something [about my site] on Yahoo! in Japanese. I don't know what it said, but they [all] went to the lightning shots. I don't know why."

Jim views the website as an interactive color brochure. People browse virtual galleries, order his photos online, or see when he will next be showing in their areas. Interior designers and decorators find the site helpful as well. "If they aren't ready to buy, they can go to the site and see the picture when they are ready. They don't have to wait for the next show," he says. "They can even bring up the image on a computer in the room they're (actually) decorating to see how it will look on the wall."

His website has also helped to alleviate Jim's biggest professional problem — finding time to market. Since he is a one-man show, matting, driving, showing, and shipping eat into his shooting time. "The website should help me be in more than one place at a time," he says. "It's a show that doesn't end."

Meanwhile, Jim continues to travel from his Longmont home and studio to numerous shows a year. After a week to two weeks of showing, he returns to catch up on a slew of missed e-mail. But the frequent traveling is a small price to pay for doing what he has wanted to do since he was a child.

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