The exercise is designed to give an insight into one way of dealing with objects with reflective surfaces.
For the subject I used a stainless steel coffee container and while this does not have the reflective qualities of say, a mirror, it nevertheless does reflect as can be seen in this shot:-
The background was black card (velvet not being available) and I have to admit to having some difficulty in getting a useable tube out of an A1 size piece of tracing paper (which is I suppose a very basic form of light tent). However after much stapling and trimming I managed to get it to fit round both the container and the camera lens and took this shot:-
As can be seen the tracing paper has diffused the light and removed the reflection.
I also laid the container on its side to see how the curve would affect the reflection:-
I have read (and need to re-read as I’ve forgotten a lot of it) Light Science and Magic by Hunter, Biver and Fuqua which gives a lot of useful insights into lighting techniques. The problem is with this aspect of photography is that unless you are using lighting regularly some techniques get forgotten.