This exercise suggested we fashion a cone of light to highlight a subject by using a tube of card or something similar. Luckily I have a snoot that I use with my studio lights that is a purpose built version of the same thing.With the snoot in place it forms a pool of light that looks like this:
Here the intense light of the flash has correctly exposed the table but the amount of light has been restricted to a narrow beam by the snoot placed over the light. The area around the bright-up appears to be in dark shadow when, in reality, it is quite visible to the naked eye. Being set at around 1/100, f18, ISO50, the camera only sees the area of intense light produced by the flash. In order to narrow the beam of flash further, I placed a honeycomb filter over the end of the snoot. This attachment looks like a handful of hexagonal straws which only let light through the hollow centres and further ensure that unwanted light doesn't spill out from the snoot. The honeycomb can give a slight grid effect to the light as can be seen here:
When photographed in this highly directional light the subject appears in high contrast and in a pool of light surrounded by shadow. It has a rather dramatic effect with the vase being outlined by light and dark with just enough detail showing to give substance.
The same set-up from the side shows more detail of the vase. A little bright up at the bottom right corner comes from a slight reflection and could easily be removed post production.