Make light fall onto a specific subject using a tube or snoot to concentrate the light, leaving the surroundings in shadow.
Following advice on the internet I made a simple snoot using a cleaned-out Pringles tube, which I attached to my speedlight. After a bit of trial and error on focal length (as long as possible, both for the correct concentration of light, and to avoid the end of the snoot creeping into shot), the flash strength (I had best results from -1.0 EV) and the aperture/shutter speed combination, I achieved the effect I wanted on this wooden doll. The backdrop is successfully rendered almost fully black.
What I’ve learned:
Concentrating light with a snoot is much simpler than I expected, and less hassle than some of the other lighting exercises. A nice simple but effective technique for controlling light.