Shoe Photography Tutorial – Black on black footwear photograph

Why did I choose this product to photograph? Well, it’s all about the texture, lighting, shape and form. You can make virtually anything look cool if you shoot it in the right way. How long does it take to capture stunning shoe photograph? Well, this motorbike footwear photo shoot was nailed in just a few hours and is a simple lighting technique that can be easily recreated once you learn how you can precisely light each area of the boot. We also have a replay of a LIVE Shoe Photography Workshop.

Shoe Photography Shoot - Black on black motorcycle footwear photo.

Shoe Photography – Black on black motorcycle boot.


  1. Hi Karl,
    Any particular reason for the shutter speed? Seems to me a little high, but I bet you had your reasons. In my particular case 1/200 and even below kills every unwanted light in the studio.

  2. Hi Karl,

    Ca I ask why you use 50 iso … is there a particular reason or is that just your default ?

    1. Hi John, 50iso is the default on the CCD sensor on the Hasselblad. On the new Hasselblad CMOS sensors the default is 100.

      1. Hi Karl,

        Considering the quality of modern digital lenses (MF and 35mm macro) do you find that you have more flexibility in achieving greater DOF at f18, f22 (without diffraction) as opposed to focus stacking at a wider aperture?

        This is going off the notion that the lens is at its sharpest from f8-11.

        Do you find yourself using smaller apertures like f18 often, or do you prefer to focus stack when dealing with small to medium sized products?

        1. Hi Simon, I recently shot an advertising image for some new hearing aids. They were only about 2cm high and extremely difficult to light. In the end I shot at f11 and did 9 images for the focus stack. I could have gone to f16 and might of needed 6 images for the stack but as I had to do the stack anyway I went for f11. It really does decide on the object size and the achievable DOF.

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