For those not interested in the details, just skip past the text to the image.
When I posted my image of four glasses on a shelf, Dave Humphries asked if I had tried shooting five glasses. I had but it didn't work because the fifth glass was too large. While rummaging through my box looking for stuff to help take another shot of the same four glasses, I found a tiny fifth glass that I had forgotten about.
This image is using a background made of very high quality (very expensive) black felt and it is SO much better for use with photography than the black foam core and gator board I had been using. For those like me who are fascinated about the importance of the differences between diffuse and direct reflections, it's absolutely amazing to see the differences between the two materials despite that both are very dark. When I projected a lamp equivalent in brightness to a 120 watt incandescent bulb onto the black board, the direct reflection was so bright that I had to put two diffusers over the bulb to cut back the brightness. The black felt is so diffuse (reflects so little light), that I had to use a 500 watt incandescent bulb.
Another difference with this shot is that the light shining around the background toward the subject and camera has five 30 watt compact fluorescent bulbs rather than one and has an 18" reflector rather than a 12" reflector. This made for much better lighting of the base of the glasses.
The other difference with this image is that I used a large white reflector on the right side of the glasses. The reflector threw just a small amount of light into parts of the interior of the glasses to help define the shape and add a little interest. Otherwise, those areas would have been pure black. Unlike the effects of the other changes, this change provides a subtle detail that you might not notice unless you carefully compare the two images.
Finally, the image: