said by jjoshua:
We need some exif information to help with this. Try experimenting outside with good lighting.
That was my first thought. Get the effect working in better light. A can of soup on a table with the kitchen or something in the background. Or something outdoors. Get a snapshot you like with that lighting, then go to the more difficult subjects.
Then you can see what needs to be worked on.
Post up the ones you like that you have.
Windsor, Home of the Decorative Zamboni