I was always fascinated by technical aspect of photography. For example, I could spend hours researching product photography and watching tutorials just to feed my curiosity.

Last year I was hired by Goguen Monuments to create product shots of their tombstones. It still remains my weirdest subject I ever shot.
I had to do a little research on how to photograph products which have shiny reflective surfaces such as polished black marble or granite.

Here are some final shots of the monuments created for the client:

I learned one simple rule: when dealing with reflective objects, you don't light the object itself. Instead you light (or don't light, which is more important in this case) whatever is surrounding it and being reflected into the object's surface.

Getting those stones to my studio was not doable, so I had to shoot everything in the client's showroom.
Pretty much everything around monuments had to be covered with black fabric to absorb light and insure there are no reflections in the monument's surface.
Here's the setup:

Phase One DF, Phase One P30+ , Schneider 80mm LS 
Tethered to Capture One Pro

I was only few inches short to be able to shoot one of the monuments inside the showroom, so I had to step outside and cover myself from rain and snow with Wescott 7' umbrella, cause you know, it was end of April on the East Coast of Canada

Few months later I was doing portraits of a very interesting gentleman named Roy Gould who is bald. We were shooting against knocked out white background and images just weren't turning out exactly how I envisioned. I wanted to have dark rim all the way across his head as if he was coming out of the shadow. But it was difficult to achieve with so much light blasting from behind him. Notice the difference between the images in the following Capture One screenshot. On the left image there's too much reflection in the subject's head and on the right image the subject's head has much darker and more defined contour. All I had to do is to cover top portion of the background with black fabric.  This was a huge "aha!" moment for me.

Here's behind the scenes images before I thought of this: 

And final retouched image: