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A food blog dedicated to the Kansas City commercial photography studio - Alistair Tutton Photography

Fruit Flies

A few months ago we were inspired by some work we saw in PDN and wanted to shoot some food photography using a fish tank and some fruit. The post processing on this shoot was pretty complicated and worth revisiting.

When you know you will have a complicated retouch ahead of you, its important to simply keep this in mind while you are shooting. This might sound obvious, but there are some things you can do during the shoot that will help on the back end. In this shoot we tried to get as many different shots of clean water lines as possible to use for composites, generally the more you have the better. We also tried to keep the water as clean as possible. Changing out the water to get rid of orange pulp is generally easier and less time consuming than taking it out in post. As much as I like pulp in my orange juice, lets face it, floaters aren’t attractive.




Once we selected the most interesting splashes, opening them in Photoshop and fitting them all together to form the composition we wanted was a somewhat subjective group effort. Several variations were made before we came to the final image. Doing things like converting the layers to smart objects to avoid data loss, masking out everything but the focus of each layer, and lowering the opacity of each layer until you have everything in place can help keep from spinning wheels. Otherwise it can be difficult to visualize exactly where to place things.



The next step in the retouching process was definitely the most time consuming. Taking out all the dust specks and orange pulp looked pretty daunting at first, but I saved a bunch of time by just making a solid black layer rather than trying to use Photoshop’s clone stamp to take out every speck. By making a black layer as the top layer and using a mask to cover the dust specks you don’t have to flip between different layers or tools. I find that simplifies things. You could also flatten the entire image and use the brush or clone stamp, but I like to keep the layer separate as long as possible just in case I need to go back and make another edit to the layout.
The only thing left to do then was cleaning everything up and making sure all the lines connect properly when moving from one composite image to the next. In the end the composited image took approximately four hours from start to finish. All said and done, we had a few new images for the portfolio so needless to say, we were excited about the results.

One Year and a Bit On...with a Shiny New Look

I’m sorry - this last year was a little bit eventful and I kinda lost track of blogging. So, let me see if I can bring this blog back up to speed.

First off let’s talk about the studio; I know that’s pretty much all I ever talk about, but it’s been a pretty eventful experience and one that has been exceptionally rewarding. As we started wrapping up the final touches (for now) on the front door I wanted to share some before and after shots with you:




















As you can tell the interior and the exterior is finally getting to a point when I can have a day off! The other big news for last year was the photography - basically it rocked. Overall I ended up with my best year ever, worked with some great new clients, delivered some fantastic images to my lovely existing clients and really had a blast. The plan is to start showing those images off on the blog over the next few weeks so I can share it with you.

Last but not least, after almost fourteen years, I was finally eligible for and passed my citizenship exam. This means that sometime in the next few weeks I’ll be swearing in and then we’ll have a party. A big party.

Credits for all:
Vox Theatre
Springboard Creative
Yoakum Photography
Morgan Jacobs Contracting
Nichole Evans
Stephanie Malcy
Jeff Berney
Sol’s Glass
Prairie Cube
Deco Catering
To all the many, many volunteers, wonderful clients, fantastic assistants…
…and of course my beautiful, wonderful wife, Angela - she’s awesome don’t you know.

New Happenings

Well, it’s been quite a while since I last posted and during that time I’ve had some incredible shoots for a while variety of clients but I’ve failed to update the killer blog you’ve all come to know and love.

So here’s the news I’ve been working on getting a dedicated studio space for shooting and office out of and I think I finally am on the home stretch for it. The only remaining hurdles are an environmental survey and the inevitable appraisal. If both of those go to plan the close will be on 1/5/8 and the construction work will begin relatively soon after that.

If you want a sneak preview please give me a shout and I’ll arrange it as I now have access to the space. Thanks for your patience during this time and I look forward to working with you all at 1405 SW BLVD in the near future.


Remiss - Aine

Well, it was a tough month, hence a little slow down in blogging. I’ve had some great shoots and those will be rapidly uploaded after this post. After twelve wonderful years our beloved dog Remiss unfortunately passed away. She has been my wife’s constant companion since she was weaned from her litter mates and has been a wonderful friend to me since we first met four years ago.

Of course we couldn’t stay a two dog family for long and Angela soon found a gorgeous Great Dane puppy that we’ve fallen in love with and named Aine (pronounced Awyna).

Remiss - Aine

Well, it was a tough month, hence a little slow down in blogging. I’ve had some great shoots and those will be rapidly uploaded after this post. After twelve wonderful years our beloved dog Remiss unfortunately passed away. She has been my wife’s constant companion since she was weaned from her litter mates and has been a wonderful friend to me since we first met four years ago.

Of course we couldn’t stay a two dog family for long and Angela soon found a gorgeous Great Dane puppy that we’ve fallen in love with and named Aine (pronounced Awyna).

Urban Photo Safari 2008; I'm a winner! - Alistair Photography

The results are out and yea verily I’m a winner…a joint winner. There ended up being over sixty entries and the other winner was a fantastic location portrait by Kevin Sisemore. It was an absolute pleasure to participate in the Safari and it was great fun to see all the different views of Kansas City. Thanks to Doug for organizing it, the guys at Indicia for hosting it and of course everyone for participating.

Great fun and make sure you’re there next year!



Credits:
Urban Photo Safari 2008
Kevin Sisemore
Dog - Bigsby

Urban Photo Safari 2008; I'm a winner! - Alistair Photography

The results are out and yea verily I’m a winner…a joint winner. There ended up being over sixty entries and the other winner was a fantastic location portrait by Kevin Sisemore. It was an absolute pleasure to participate in the Safari and it was great fun to see all the different views of Kansas City. Thanks to Doug for organizing it, the guys at Indicia for hosting it and of course everyone for participating.

Great fun and make sure you’re there next year!



Credits:
Urban Photo Safari 2008
Kevin Sisemore
Dog - Bigsby

Urban Photo Safari 2008 - Alistair Tutton Photography

This was a wonderful day; I’ve seen the event for a few years but I always manage to miss it. So this year I was really happy to see a link to the event before the event at flow14. I had a great 14 hours zipping around the map and checking out locations new and old and wrapped it up with a shoot with the ever photogenic Bigsby.



Credits:
Urban Photo Safari 2008
flow14
Dog - Bigsby

Urban Photo Safari 2008 - Alistair Tutton Photography

This was a wonderful day; I’ve seen the event for a few years but I always manage to miss it. So this year I was really happy to see a link to the event before the event at flow14. I had a great 14 hours zipping around the map and checking out locations new and old and wrapped it up with a shoot with the ever photogenic Bigsby.



Credits:
Urban Photo Safari 2008
flow14
Dog - Bigsby

Size Is Important...

So I broke down and got a new toy; or rather I realized the need to purchase another essential photographic tool. This time it’s a 9’ tall tripod. And what the heck do you do with a 9’ tall tripod; well you take those photos where you have to be up really high. In this case I will have an example to show you all in a couple of days from the very first shoot I had after purchasing it - always nice to immediately use the new toy/essential photographic tool.

Oh yeah and that’s my beautiful girl Quoia - she rocks.


Here It Is:
Manfrotto 3058

Size Is Important...

So I broke down and got a new toy; or rather I realized the need to purchase another essential photographic tool. This time it’s a 9’ tall tripod. And what the heck do you do with a 9’ tall tripod; well you take those photos where you have to be up really high. In this case I will have an example to show you all in a couple of days from the very first shoot I had after purchasing it - always nice to immediately use the new toy/essential photographic tool.

Oh yeah and that’s my beautiful girl Quoia - she rocks.


Here It Is:
Manfrotto 3058

Wireless No No...

Okay, so with the fancy new camera I picked up the Canon WFT-E2A; which is a fancy wireless file transmitter that enables you to interact with your computer as if you were tethered with a cable. You can do all the fancy Live View, remote shooting gymnastics and the files come straight into the editing software.

Sounds cool hey! But in practice the software or the connection just simply won’t work for these file sizes or the speed of shooting. My experience was that when I filled the buffer up it would crash the EOS Utility software on the laptop and force you into rebooting the computer and with a 22MB body and a forty second download time per image that buffer is pretty easy to fill even when shooting architecture. So it went back to the maker…


Here It Is:
Canon WFT-E2A