The Textures of Santorini


Badly faded, weathered, and sun-bleached blue paint struggles to cover a wooden door and its metal fittings.

As a photographer, much of the fun of visiting Santorini is wandering the narrow alleys and stumbling upon wonderful little architectural features like this door. I suppose that it would look nice freshly painted, but it has so much character as it is. While the bleached colors are beautiful in this image and add to the story of this door, the texture is the real key to this image.

As old as the blue paint seems on that door, it’s hard to tell whether the gate below was ever painted and, if so, what the color was. (I think there is a trace of black paint evident in the upper right, but can’t be sure.) The rings and chain are nice graphic elements in this image, but it is the texture that encourages the viewer to explore the image.

A long-neglected gate slowly crumbles into rust.

As much fun as the—shall we say—poorly maintained corners of Santorini may be, there were a lot of workers applying fresh coats of paint to many of the buildings during my visit and a number of the more iconic blue domes had scaffolds around them for at least a few days. Even some of these more freshly-painted buildings have nice textures, such as the dome below, but clearly the dome’s texture is not the dominant characteristic of this image.

Direct midday sunlight shows both the shape and the rough texture of a white church in Thira, Santorini, Greece.

On the opposite extreme, the image below highlights the smooth glossy texture of the tilework. The reflections of predominantly white buildings generate a rather abstract pattern, although the grid of grout-lines makes it obvious what the image is.

White buildings reflect off the glossy blue finish of a tiled wall in Thira, Santorini, Greece.

Some of my favorite images of Santorini are of these types of little details that, in a gallery of images, provide a nice counterpoint to the more obvious vistas and iconic structures.

Technical notes. The photographs in this post were taken with a Nikon Z7 using a Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S lens. They were processed  from RAW in Adobe Lightroom Classic.

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