I went to Maui for a photo assignment, shooting various table & set designs. It was quite a challenge considering there were multiple lighting conditions for each set. They ranged from the dimly-lit intimate tables to these ultra-chic lounge areas.
It took a couple tries to nail the lighting on this lounge area. First, I tried to photograph using a single strobe. I set my Canon 580EXII, camera right, aiming the white brolly at the centerpiece because I knew the remaining light would be sufficient for the couch. This lighting was ok, but the couch on the left was lack-luster.
I solved this by placing a second strobe behind the left couch (around 80mm behind it) so the light would just "kiss" the back of the couch, outlining it. This light is normally referred to as the "hairlight" or the "rimlight", it's typically used to separate a person from the backdrop by outlining their hair. Works great on furniture as well.
Much to my delight, the second light not only did it's job outlining the couch, but also spilled some light on the other couch and the centerpiece. Finally, I underexposed my shot by adjusting the aperture to allow the dramatic colored lights behind it to show.
After my 10th table design shot was complete, it was great to sit and take a break on these babies. If only they came with Martinis!