I saw a shoe shot that stuck in my head, and the only way to get it out was to do one. Problem was, the one I wanted to do I had worn. Nothing that a little retouching couldn’t take care of, right? After all, I had shot this image a while ago and it too was one of my shoes:
That I had worn, too.
The purpose of that shot, though, was to demonstrate my ability to shoot tone-on-tone (it was actually used in an online class by Don Giannatti to demonstrate tonal control).
This time, I wanted the shot to be more about the shoe itself.
Shooting shoes can be more difficult than is immediately obvious. Control of highlights and shadows is always important, and in shoes the specular highlights (for shiny shoes) needs to be both present and controlled. Shadows and highlights define shape; speculars (or lack thereof) show that it is glossy (or not). It needs to provide information about the materials used to the viewer.
This shoe was particularly challenging. It had a mix of textures, and was casual so not perfect in its appearance. I chose to run a specular along the near side, and have more of a gradient defining the far edge. As is often the case, the lighting actually simplified as I tweaked it to get the look I wanted.
Retouching was a challenge; I needed to minimize wear yet still retain the casual, almost distressed, look.
Technical aspects of this shot described on flickr.