Black & White Sunday: Low-Key

The Lady of the Camellias (La Dame aux camélias) was first written as a novel by Alexandre Dumas (son) and later rewritten as a play. It also served as inspiration for Verdi’s La Traviata where the main character is no longer called Marguerite Gautier, but Violetta Valéry.

Marguerite Gautier, the heroine of the Dumas’s novel was a courtesan (modeled after his real life lover) with a selfless heart that gave up her own happiness for the sake of others. Tragic and brave in her life choices she never regretted them.

dama s kamelijama_low key_bw-nova-1_potpis

Marguerite: “No, no. I’m not weak. I’m strong. It’s my heart. It’s not used to being happy.”

Here I used low-key photography to represent one of my favourite female literary characters. This week you are asked to make a low-key photograph. You can shoot it as such or maybe obtain the chiaroscuro effect in post processing.  As a linguist I will also appreciate alternative interpretations of low-key that do not necessarily imply contrast spot lighting, so you can approach the subject as “discrete”, “secretive”, “understated”. You know that the choice is all yours. Leave the links to your posts in the comment section and link to this challenge in your post.

P.S. The attached music is not from La Traviata, but from the movie La storia vera della signora delle camelie (another movie made after the Dumas’s literary masterpiececomposed by Ennio Morricone


Check out the entries for this challenge by clicking on the links bellow:

67 Comments on “Black & White Sunday: Low-Key

  1. What a wonderful theme, Paula. And your lovely shot is a great example
    Not a thing I’ve ever really thought about in photography, though I have edited in this manner a couple of times without really thinking about it.
    Not only have you given me a technique to learn about, but I now have a book to add to my reading list. And what will I post? I have an idea…


    • I like your idea and I am very glad to have introduced this theme which resulted in stunning entries like yours.


  2. ♥ Great post about some low key happiness …I will think about it. Its still Saturday here. Good morning !


  3. Pingback: Low Key at Noho | Travel with Intent

  4. Pingback: Summer’s end – photography plus

      • Thanks Paula. I love your photos of your doll. My childhood doll is in pieces in a cupboard (she’s one of those old kind that are held together with big rubber bands.) Everytime I see your doll photos I think I must get her fixed. It would cost a lot though as she needs new hair too. Poor darling has been over loved by too many boisterous children. 🙂


        • No doll can survive intact that long. The doll you see in this post is one of 10 I have captured and already published on this blog. They were all purchased a couple of years ago. Porcelain dolls are not for kids.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mine’s a very old doll purchased from Italy in the 1950s. I love the ones you feature. Maybe I will have to take up doll collecting. 🙂


      • It is the other that I have seen then 🙂
        The weekend was good. Now it is back to work routine after a break from sschool for a week.


        • It could have been any of the other nine 😀 and there still remain another 5 for me to capture 😉 Good thing about working at school is holidays. I just get next Monday off.


  5. The things you can do with a doll!! Everything in this post works together beautifully – photo, music, words and quote. I’m a fan of low key in whatever mode.

    Thank you for reminding me of “La traviata” – it was one of the few soundtracks of my childhood, an LP record. That long ago!


  6. Beautiful, I really like low-key photo. It often brings an atmospheric and mystic mood to the image.


  7. Pingback: BW Sunday: Kongens Garde – artishorseshit

  8. Love your chiaroscuro doll, Paula….and I agree with Meg re everything working nicely in this post. Once I have eased myself into the day, I shall hunt around for an appropriate image or two.


  9. Pingback: Black and White Sunday – Low Key | WordsVisual

  10. Hope you’re having a great Sunday Paula! I’ve managed to fit in the gym, a jam session with an ukulele player, making dinner, plus starting the process of setting up a web shop. A hectic day of rest!


  11. Pingback: Black and White Sunday, Low Key | Lucid Gypsy

    • This is a very interesting a visually pleasing result. Thanks a lot, Gilly. I am glad you could join in.


  12. Pingback: Low Key – Black & White Photography – The Piscean me

  13. Such an awesome theme Paula, Enjoyed taking a part in this 🙂 Though I did not get a perfect pic but still enjoyed searching for pics from my archive for this theme!


  14. Une jolie photo d’une de tes jolies poupées. 🙂
    (Il faudra quand même que je lise La dame aux camélias un jour…)


  15. Pingback: Black & White Sunday: Loki | Daffodil Hill Photography

  16. Low key: “discrete”, “secretive”, “understated”. Well, I never considered myself that way. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Love the photo. I wish I could never regret my life choices.


    • 😀 But you have to be secretive when you are out with you camera. That makes two of us (or more I am sure). Persons that live without regrets are rare.


  17. Pingback: Low Key – the earth laughs in flowers

  18. Interesting subject Paula. I must confess I don’t much like porcelain dolls, they scare me! I’m afraid I have used another flower for your challenge this week. I do like low-key photography and must try to get shots of other subjects to use, I tried with a sheep but the background wasn’t dark enough and as the sheep has a black face it didn’t really work. Oh, well. Hope you like this one:


  19. Pingback: Black & White Sunday: Low Key | Middleton Road

    • When I wrote my comment it disappeared and the page could not be found. I don’t know what is happening. I love the delicate and atmospheric shot of your blooms, Sonya.


  20. Paula, this image is a beautiful play of light and shadows. I love how you’ve brought out the contours of her face through controlled use of light. Very nicely done.


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