Greece in black and white

Greece in Black and White

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In the mind of most people, Greece conveys images of color: whitewashed houses with dark green window shades against the blue sky and the blue sea, pink bougainvilleas hanging from walls, green-brown bushes dotting the hillsides, pink and orange sunsets.

There is much to be said, however, for photographing Greece in black and white. During most of the summer, Greece is a land of stark contrasts, visually speaking. The harsh sunlight hits the white walls of buildings and makes them shine even whiter. Darkening the sky with a judicious use of a polarizing filter and then maybe selecting a black and white conversion that simulates (if you are using digital, otherwise you can use the real thing) the usage of a red filter can make it even darker.

Church, Santorini, Greece

Church, Santorini

The simple architecture of the Cyclades islands, with its cubed houses and geometric churches with very little decoration has a very graphical nature that is enhanced by the removal of color.

Panagia Gremiotissa, Ios, Greece

Panagia Gremiotissa, Ios

I remember spending quite some time around a small chapel on the island of Sikinos. After getting a wide, establishing shot, I walked around it for some time, trying to capture the sensuous curves of its back side and the porous nature of its surface with shades of gray.




The ubiquitous, arched bell towers cast distinct shadows on the roofs of churches and on the walls of adjacent buildings.

Church, Santorini, Greece

Church, Santorini

Church and Flag, Folegandros, Greece

Church and Flag, Folegandros

Santorini, Greece


Another geometric pattern that deserves a black&white treatment is provided by the pedestrian streets, with their dark stones separated by white paint.

Ios Chora

Ios Chora

Greece in black and white reveals a side of itself that many tourists fail to see and that harkens back to a simpler past.

Firostefani, Santorini, Greece

Firostefani, Santorini

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About Ugo Cei

Ugo Cei is a fine-art travel and landscape photographer from Italy. He believes this is really an amazing planet that we live on and every place and every culture possesses beauty that deserves to be shown, so he tries to catch every available opportunity to travel and to create new images of foreign cities, their inhabitants and of natural landscapes.

He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and his work has been published on magazines and exhibited in art galleries worldwide.

He is also the owner of Ugo Cei Photo Tours, a company that specializes in photo tours and workshop, and is the host of the popular travel photography podcast, The Traveling Image Makers.

You can find more information about Ugo on his website.


  1. Stunning photos in black and white.
    Hard for me do in color after seeing these.

  2. How fascinating that Greece in black and white can be so effective! These are terrific images that inspire me to shoot in black and white more.

    The tip about the red filter to darken blue skies is very useful to me – I would not have expected dark blue skies to enhance an image like they have in yours. I will be giving this a go very soon.

  3. Greek architecture is perfect for B&W photography. Beautiful images.

  4. Beautiful photos and a whole new way of looking at Greece. Visit Santorini often, so kind of running out of photography inspiration – your photos have inspired me to have a go at black and white this year.

  5. Hi, loved your b/w shots. I am a travel photographer from far off India and I too love b/w since I started photography around 55 years ago during analog period. My humble opinion is that many of your color images too would make superb b/w versions though I agree that under certain conditions b/w photography has definite edge. Since you are so fond of architectural photography, have you thought about visiting Goa (India) – especially Old Goa? Best regards.

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