This is my version of the cover shot from the excellent book Light, Science & Magic.
This was a great lighting exercise for me. Took a long time, but I learned a lot. The key was learning how much difference a tiny move made.
Tech details: Key light was a CTO-gelled, gridded SB800 through a tri-grip diffuser, on full power. Had to use full power because I needed f/36 to get enough depth of field. Balls on black plexiglass. Purple highlight from a gridded Elinchrom studio light. I intentionally added more purple reflections than the cover used because I thought its highlights were too subtle.
Even at f/36, I couldn't get all the balls in sharp focus. Wound up taking 4 shots at varying focus points and using PS auto-align and auto-blend to merge them. Plus some patch tool work to remove defects in the cheap acrylic balls I found in the local craft store. Ug.
See www.flickr.com/photos/by_photo/6889658076/in/photostream/ for the setup shot.
Hope that helps somebody...