I'm interested in shadowless product photography. My current setup is a tent: tent

It came with some backgrounds but they have horrible folds and I just can't iron them out, so I'm using a thin wooden plank with white foil on the bottom. I use three speedlight flashes (two on each side, one from above) and the on-camera flash with a difusor (mostly as optical trigger).

The pictures look good, and the flashes produce a much better light than the spotlights which came with the tent, but they still have some shadows. Here is an example:


Another example with better exposure: testshot2

Even more light, too much for the subject, but still shadows visible: testshot3

Please ignore the unclean surface and reflection, that was just a test shot.

I'm looking forward to shoot a huge inventory, and I would like to have little to no post-processing at all, therefore my goal is to get a perfectly white background with no shadows out-of-camera.

I came across this very promising looking product:

illuminated bottom

The example pictures on the AliExpress listing look amazing, but you generally can't trust those. I couldn't find anything on youtube to demonstrate such a plate, that's why I decided to ask here.

Has anyone here ever used one of those? How does it work out? Would this give me my desired results? Is there anything else I can improve with my setup?

I also have a ring flash, but it uses LEDs and they aren't able to trigger the optical slave flashes. Is a ring flash worth upgrading to a 2.4GHz flash setup?

Edit: Would really appreciate some input on the bottom light and improvements to my current setup!

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. Your photo is underexposed. 2. As you are using glossy background your backlight needs to have higher intensity. I will probably make an answer for this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Nov 17, 2018 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rafael I've added more example pictures, those are still just some quick test shots I've made for this question but in the third one I'd say its even too much light for the subject while the background still has shadows. Reflections are also an issue here, would a polarizing filter help with that? \$\endgroup\$
    – confetti
    Nov 18, 2018 at 11:19

2 Answers 2


I personally shoot product that needs to be on a white background on a photo table. It has a translucent plexi-glass that lets your use lights under the table to light it up to have an off white color, but a reflection - or more over exposed, to have a pure white background. Here is a photo of me shooting product with 2 34 inch Octoboxes as a key light.

enter image description here

Here are some of the results.

enter image description here

enter image description here

The trick is to balance the light under the table isn't overexposed to the point of blowing out the product and the key lights are evenly apart with the same power to light them appropriately balanced to the back light power.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer, those are great shots! I assume the second one had some post-prosessing to remove the reflection though? Or did you get that out-of-camera without the glass being visible like in the first picture somehow? \$\endgroup\$
    – confetti
    Nov 16, 2018 at 1:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is a little post processing done to each of them to get them looking commercial ready, but actually less post processing done for the all white. To get the reflection, it is actually more difficult as it needs to be under exposed a little bit then brought back up a little in post to get the more white. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2018 at 2:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ApertureLife "It has a transparent plexi-glass" I think you mean translucent, the table in your photo is translucent not transparent. Transparent is clear, translucent is opaque. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Nov 17, 2018 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ My bad @Alaska man, you are right, I do mean translucent plexi-glass. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 19, 2018 at 21:15

Take a look at the majority (millions) of still-life product photographs and you will see a commonality. Shadows.


Because you are trying to show a 3D object in a 2D medium. How do you do that? Shadows and highlights.

If you are trying to entice a viewer to want the product you are selling (that's ultimately what is going on with product photography, in most cases), you need to show that the item is a real thing. Not an illustration. Not a painting etc.

We accomplish this with lighting. The lighting is there to convey texture, tonality, shape, depth etc. Without light and shadow we can't do that.

There are a few ways to create shadowless product images. But you will be working against the intention of the image. In my opinion.

If this was my intention, I would place the object on a light table and shoot it with direct light (ringflash).

dramatically-lit image of an irregularly shaped chunk of blueish glass


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.