This $6 lampshade from IKEA is white, nearly cylindrical, and has an adjustable (removable) mounting bracket, all of which make it easily adaptable to this purpose.
Scale disclaimer: objects in this photo are larger than they appear – the cat is unreasonably large.
Light tents and light boxes are great for diffusing shadows and reducing reflections in photography. However, commercially available ones can be quite expensive. There are many sets of instructions for homebuilt ones out there. They generally involve creating a light diffuser and a seamless backdrop.
A lampshade is already a diffuser (we’re just using it inside-out) and the curved surface provides the seamless background. The only modification needed is to cut a hole in the side to make an opening for the camera lens.
The lampshade can be put on its side with the camera looking down from above. The object being photographed sits inside on the floor of the shade. Alternately, the shade can be vertical with the camera peering in from the side. The object can be placed on a freestanding pedestal or on the mounting bracket that came with the shade.
Some quick test photos in both orientations with super balls showed very little reflection with minimal effort at light placement, and the curved background worked extremely well. A stand placed on the hanging bracket helped to obscure it when photographing in vertical orientation.
One additional benefit of this light tent is that it prevents our photography assistant (also pictured above) from interfering with our shots. She enjoys being the center of attention and lying under the nice warm lamps, so she often infringes on the picture taking process. With this new setup, she can lie right next to the lampshade/light tent without disturbing the photographer or subject.