I've been wanting to get away from single products on plain backgrounds. I love doing it, and it's a great way to glorify some object, but it's not so good at a more complex message. I finished a series on shoes recently. This first one required a fair amount of compositing. There's compositing and then there's compositing. Personally, I think it's got pretty out of hand over the last two years, even when it's done well. It seems that compositing, much like all Photoshop activity, is best when kept to a minimum. In the case of this shot, I'm mostly using it to hide photo equipment that has to be in the shot. In the old days, you could airbrush such things out, or come up with clever ways to hide them.
I could have finessed a couple of grid spots to illuminate only the sole of the shoe.
And sometimes it's easier to handhold something, than it is to spend 10 minutes rigging it.
HDR is the distortion pedal of modern photography. A little goes a long way. But it's usually easier to do a separate capture for the sky, whatever else I'm doing.
Another benefit is flexibility. I thought I might need an underglow on the shoes, so I made this capture. I didn't end up using it.
I tried to get the dog involved, but he's very black. Also, very intent on treats, when they're around. I have a lot of respect for actual animal wranglers - I'm certainly not one.
I always try to be sensible about compositing. The old "We'll fix it in Photoshop" has too often resulted in many extra hours of retouching, so I am constantly evaluating whether it'll be more efficient to handle it on set, or later. And outside of hiding photo equipment and bringing in skies, it's usually better to do it on set.