Santorini in Black & White

A mere mention of the name Santorini conjures images of turquoise domes, crisply-painted white walls, and a sparkling azure sea. Perhaps it is a sin to present this Greek gem in black and white, yet I appreciate how it opens the eyes to lines and textures often overlooked when the island is otherwise presented in all its glorious pastel hues.

Iron railings become more prominent than the jewel-toned walls behind them.

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The still-active volcano that once destroyed Santorini looks even more foreboding with its charcoal-colored jagged rocks.


Late afternoon shadows are more dramatic, showing the silhouettes of graceful lamp posts and the wispy frames of trees.




The lava rocks embedded in sidewalks pop like polka dots.

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Church domes have a rugged glow, worn by the salty winds of the Aegean Sea.


Power lines that are otherwise obnoxious create interesting linear patterns.


The sun’s shadows are more prominent, as is the moon’s reflection on the sea.

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The island begins its evening slumber, with twinkling lights and a promise of trademark blue skies in the day ahead…

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Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

43 thoughts on “Santorini in Black & White

      1. We both have done a few posts on Cuba with more to come. As for jet setting – India had been planned for a long time and Cuba just happened rather unexpectedly. You certainly haven’t been idle either. When do you get back to the states?

      2. Ron, I’m eager to catch up on my favorite blogs (including your posts on Cuba and India) now that we’ve just returned to a ‘home’ base in Germany. We were surprised to find that the most challenged internet connections we’ve most recently encountered were in France.

        We’re not sure when we’ll next be in the States. I haven’t lived there for over 12 years, but of course have made regular visits back to see friends/family. My parents live in Germany now too. I feel a bit like a ‘third-culture kid.’ :) Do you have another trip on your radar?

      3. Ron, how exciting! Yes, we were there last April, visiting Mumbai, Goa, Fort Kochi (the beautiful backwaters) and Munnar (the tea highlands). What are some of the spots that you’re eager to take Lynne to?

  1. Great photos. You’re right, I feel one looks at the architecture (the shapes and lines of Santorini) more so when we’re not too absorbed in its pastel colors

  2. This may be one of my favorites, Tricia. I love the black in white. Like you say,it puts emphasis where it need to be.Your first and fourth images are stunning.

    1. Lynne, I’m flattered – thank you! Near the church near picture #4 – sitting on a bench that overlooks the caldera – is where we regularly enjoyed our take-out ice cream. What a view!

    1. That’s a novel I haven’t yet read, Stephen, but you piqued my curiosity enough that I had to look up the windmill references from the book.

      When we were researching hotel options on Santorini, we even saw a few b&bs located in a windmill. Perhaps next time! :)

  3. The black & white effect changes things completely! I’m shocked at the difference. And you’re right – it does draw your eye to lines and textures that we’d skim over if color was present.

    I love the moonlight picture. Absolutely gorgeous!!

    1. Juliann, we learned that the Santorini sunsets and sunrises are famous for a reason. Our balcony was perfectly situated to experience the sunrises, and we experimented with different spots on the island for sunsets.

      The stars, and moonlight were also magical. I miss Santorini already.

  4. I liked Santorini in black and white. Both because your bnw pictures are clean and well composed and because of the nostalgic “Zorba the greek” feeling it gives, which I think is quite appropriate for the financial trouble Greece is in now. The beauty and history that makes the fundament of that society no matter what troubles it is in.

    1. Solveig, I have never seen ‘Zorba the Greek’ but am of course familiar with the famous song of the same name. It plays at all the touristic restaurants, and I heard it whenever we walked by them. :) When we were on Santorini, I read about the book, and found some lovely quotes from it too.

      When we were in Greece, we couldn’t help but notice some symptoms of the financial crisis. Here’s hoping things will continue to get better there. Such a beautiful country, with lovely people…

  5. You have taken outstanding and beautiful photographs in colour, but Tricia, these black and white photographs are some of the finest I have ever seen. They should be hanging in an art gallery – with an incredible price tag. Cheers Virginia

    1. Virginia, I am humbled by your warm comment! Thank you for brightening a grey day. Santorini epitomizes a photographer’s paradise. If you can find buyers for that future gallery, perhaps we can share profits for our respective travel funds. :) Are you still contemplating a Paris apartment purchase? What a dreamy idea!

      1. A Paris apartment is a dreamy idea – and we all must have our dreams. I would love it – and our son would love it. He went to University in France , and returned to Paris a few years ago – and fell in love again. You either get Paris – or it is just another city to visit. V.

      2. Virginia, is your son fluent in French? What a joy to have studied there! La vie en rose every day…

        In a few days, we’re off to Paris. I’m tickled pink to return. Do you have any requests for places for me to capture on (digital) film? :)

      3. Callum studied French at Pau University. It is the reason he was there. Andrea, his wife, is also fluent in French as part of her job involving the citizenship ceremonies for new Canadians. They love travel to exotic destinations – especially Asia. I am looking forward to ANYTHING you capture in Paris. You have an amazing eye Tricia. XX V.

      4. Bonjour, Virginia! I’m in French mode having just returned from Normandy and Paris. Though the weather was unusually cold and drizzly at times, we made our own sunshine, and explored new corners of the city. I’ve heard it’s been a bit unseasonal in North America as well?

        How fun that your son and daughter-in-law are Francophiles like you. :) I’m still yearning to live there. Maybe someday!

      5. Tricia, so lovely of you to keep me in the loop about our favorite city. I can tell you this. My neighbor farmer is happy about our weather. He is 12 days ahead of last year. Everything is very lush and green with fabulous spring blooms – because of our warm wet winter. V.

      6. Virginia, it’s wonderful that your neighbor has been benefitting from these rainy days. You’re lucky to have wet weather of the warm sort! :) What does he grow?

        Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. I envision you likely assembling some splendid bouquets with those beautiful buds.

      7. Tricia today I am going to gather armloads of lavender and fill my home with there gorgeous perfume. My wonderful neighbor is a dairy farm. They grow feed corn and of course hay. There is always around 250 head of dry stock in the big barn next door. The milking parlor is on Home Farm just down the road with about the same amount of cows (or girls) as he calls them. I hope the sun is shining where you are Tricia – it is a beautiful father’s day here today. V.

      8. Virginia, we also had beautiful Father’s Day weather, making for a nice picnic celebration here in Germany.

        Is it really already lavender season there? Your home must smell divine!

        Speaking of a dairy farm, while in Normandy last week, we stayed in two bed & breakfasts situated on estates/dairy farms. It was fun watching the parade of cows make their way to and from the milking parlor each day. We never got up early enough to actually watch them getting milked.

    1. Zach, thanks for your kind compliment! Here’s hoping that you’ll get to visit Santorini someday, as I think it’s so fun to study a place, and then be lucky enough to see it in person.

      The volcano is still active there. In fact, the third picture in my Santorini series, was snapped from the volcano. We went there for a daytrip, and even swam in some hot springs nearby. The scientists are monitoring the volcano closely, and here’s hoping if it erupts, it will be mild compared to the destructive one 3,600 years ago.

      1. Joan, it is. Beautiful geography, cuisine, architecture and weather. I only wish there were less visitors, but they’re understandably there for all those reasons!

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