Photographer captures unique images with passion


Jim Kalupa sits in front of his computer and with many of his photos displayed on the walls in his Indialantic home.

Judy Berman

To the casual observer, bottles and red pails on a desk at the Rossetter House Museum in Eau Gallie might appear ordinary.

But photographer Jim Kalupa saw an opportunity to take that to another level.

“I take my photographic images and apply fine art effects through digital processing,” Kalupa said in an interview at his Indialantic home.

Some artists aim to make their art look like photographic images. Some photographers, however, try to make their work appear as an oil or watercolor. Kalupa said much of his work falls into the latter category.

“When I put it on the computer, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. Then it started to develop,” Kalupa said of the final image of Bottles & Red Pails. Some of his work can be seen at the Art Gallery of Viera.

“This is not representative of all my work. Some are slightly tweaked for exposure and clarity. Others, like this one, are completely enhanced.”

Kalupa’s passion for travel and photography is captured in many of the images he’s taken in his travels to Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Europe and in the United States. Alice, his wife of 40 years, and his camera are always by his side.

“People who see my work in a gallery often can relate to the framed work. It’s some place they can relate to, have been to or it’s on their bucket list,” he said.

His travels began when he escaped the frigid winters of his Wisconsin home and moved to the Caribbean in 1961. Then, in the 1980s, while living in Southern California, he studied photography formally.

But his job as vice president of claims at an insurance company remained his main focus.

Since moving to Florida in 2005, he has devoted his energies to a constantly evolving art.

Kalupa believes digital processing has opened up photography to an almost unlimited horizon.

Composition, lighting effects and the image, for many people, tell a story.

“Some photos might not have the sharpest image, the best exposure. Yet, it might have strong appeal.”

“Photographers need to have a feeling or sixth sense about what might make a good photograph. Some come by it naturally. Others develop it through experience,” Kalupa said.

Some subjects require patience to get a few excellent shots. But, Kalupa said, in his travels, he doesn’t have the luxury of time.

“I have to take the shot when it’s there.”

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