I'm a newbie to photography yet I have been asked to "figure out" how to do certain things. Now, before ending up here I went old-school and picked the manual to the camera I was given (Nikon D3100), as well as read up on pretty much everything I could regarding photography.

I'm supposed to be taking photographs of products (shoes, bags, wallets) yet I cannot replicate the results of another person (which I'll admit didn't seem too hard to do at first) who used to do this (different equipment, and he was a professional).

The equipment I am given is this: 1x Nikon D3100 2x Professional Quartz Light - QL-500 And a photographic box with its own lighting.. I'll attach images of the box, its lighting, and the quartz lighting.

Now, final picture should be the shoe for example in a full white background. That's not too hard, I just take the picture, try to make sure the product looks crispy and focused, then I take it on to photoshop and remove the background & replace it with a white one. I use the NEF file the camera generates and some times I use the adjustments it recommends before opening the image because the product looks more like the one I have in front of me when I do.

I lack consistency between the images and that is the problem. The quality is inconsistent, the shoes sometimes seem "life like" and other times they seem dull. What can I do to improve this? It's not exactly a matter of focus, I think I have that down whether I use AF or Manual.

Any advice is appreciated. I just want to improve my skills on this so I can provide consistent output.

Thanks in advance.

Box Without Lighting Box with its own lighting Box with Quartz lighting

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you add a couple of your actual product photos, showing one you think is good and one you think is lacking? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Apr 10, 2015 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the box looks as it has opaque walls. If they were translucent it actually would give you a lot of flexibility. You would have a nice big softbox. But it seems it is not the case with that box.

That opaque walls forces you to have the lights in front of the object. That light setting is almost the same as using the built in flash... very flat images.

You need to play with the light position. If the box doesn't work, get rid of it and just use a cardboard box with the sides cut and put vegetal paper there.

You are not controlling at all the white balance. Here I posted a tutorial on how to get a custom white balance Color issue: studio images have a pink hue


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