February’s assignment for Chatter Magazine was photographing the Ahmad’s lake front home, where “middle eastern influences meet European elegance”. That pretty much describes this beautiful home on Haig Mill Lake in Dalton, Georgia. I used as much natural light as possible, as this lovely home was filled with the most beautiful woodwork imaginable.
According to the homeowners, Mona and Azid Ahmad, quite a lot of the wood and fixtures came from their area in Pakistan, such as the 1752 carved, Rosewood doors from a Hindu temple.
The chandelier was inspired by a similar one in the Biltmore Hotel, and the Ahmads commissioned an artist to create this incredible light fixture, which hangs from the hand painted dome over the wrought-iron staircase.
Photographing the chandelier and the staircase was a bit of a problematic nightmare. I wanted the natural light to showcase the stairs, yet the lighting coming in through the windows was too harsh, and cast strange shadows. I worked on getting images of the rest of the house, and came back several hours later. Voila! Now, the lighting was much softer, yet still enough light to bring out the incredible detail in the wrought-iron.
Keeping the lighting natural for the living room really brought out the highlights of the detail in the painted woodwork of the ceilings and mantle on the fireplace.
As for the exterior, I had to add some artificial lighting even though the home was well-lit with uplighting. I used 6 different lights, some ground spots, and large hot lights with diffusers to make sure there was plenty of light, yet allowed some areas to be dark to create depth and an interesting image.
If you would like to see this article, see Chatter Magazine’s flipbook, starting at page 44: http://media.timesfreepress.com/epaper/chatter/02-01-2012/index.html