Below are two photos of the same object, taken in the same location with the same lighting and same camera, only a few seconds apart. The only things that have changed are the position of the object and the zoom of the camera (position of the camera was not changed, save to move it back about an inch for the second photo).
As you can see, the first picture looks bright and sharp, with a nice clean white background. The second picture looks dark and gray, even though the location and lighting is exactly the same. The flash is off.
What is causing this?
Some notes: I'm not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm not using a high end camera. I am taking the pictures in a portable lightbox, using two lamps for lighting. One is outside the box and diffusing its light through the wall, the other one is in the front shining directly on the object. There is daylight coming through a window behind and to the left of the lightbox (which I realize isn't ideal). I was able to increase the brightness and contrast of the second image in Photoshop and make it look more or less fine, but I'd still like to know if there's something I can do on the camera end of things.
This is my first question here, so if it's not on topic, I apologize and just let me know. Thank you for your time!