My son, the guitarist, is selling his trumpet on craigslist. I thought it would be fun to see how well I could shoot it. It was challenging, given that it reflects everything, but that's a good thing too (lots of nice specular highlights!).
Strobist Info: Canon 580 EX II camera left on 1/4 power (I think) shot through an umbrella. Black velvet background with white cards just out of sight of the camera on both sides. The white cards give the edges of the metal something to reflect. To prevent you from seeing me in the reflection, I cut a hole the size of my lens in a large white board. I hid behind the board when I took the shot, and then cloned out the lens (a small back dot) in Photoshop. Pretty easy. I'm still not all that pleased with the reflections in the bell though. There was too much light from the strobe/umbrella contaminating the "studio" (the smallest room in my house) which resulted in reflections of the room showing up in the bell. I'm thinking a reflective umbrella (instead of a shoot through) might have helped control the spill by focusing more of the light on the trumpet. Something to try next time ...
This one made the Explore page.