Black and White Portraits of Italy
SUMMER, 2016


This summer while travelling through the north of Italy I shot a series of street portraits of ordinary people doing every day things which I called “Portraits of Italy”.  #portraitsofitaly
Photos were taken as I travelled through the following areas: Milan and Lago Maggiore, Aosta, Genoa, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Florence, Modena and Venice.  I converted all of these to black and white as I find it focuses you in on the person instead of the colours and the surroundings.

Lago Maggiore area

A drive up the east side of Lago Maggiore with stops in Arona, Stresa and Canobia.
Our first aperitivo in Italy was in Arona.  (Note to self, you don’t like Campari!)


We drove from Castelletto sopra Ticino where we were staying to the Italian side of Mont Blanc.  We stopped in several places along the way and spent some time walking in the town of Aosta.


A quick visit to the boardwalk in Genoa while we were driving through.  Only stopped for one night.
Discussion on the boardwalk in Genoa

Cinque Terre

Once I saw photos of Riomaggiore while planning this trip I knew that this was a place I had to visit.  It’s a fascinating area to photograph.e night.


Tuscany was another stop we had to make.  We stayed in Tignano and visited the areas around by car.

San Quirico d’Orcia


Barberino Val D’elsa

Window gardening in Barberino Val D’elsa
Fixing the car in Barberino Val D’elsa

San Gimignano


Hanging the clean clothes out to dry in Montepulciano



I think this was our favourite place, very few tourists and a really nice walkable town.  Loved the market and the Balsamic Vinegar!


It was a bit harder to find the locals in Venice with the 73.8 gazillion tourists but I did find a market that had some local colour if you got there early in the day.


  1. Kelly

    I love Italy! I think your photos captured Italian culture very well. The black and white effect makes the photos seem older, however you’re reminded that this is “modern Italy” when spotting a girl on her phone, or the fruit stand signs are in euros. I really like the photos where women are hanging their laundry out, and also the bicycle photos are great. We cycled through some of these towns in Italy, and places like Modena have very good inner city bicycle paths and networks. It really is how locals get around.

  2. Ray

    Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Angela Tostevin

    I enjoyed your black and white photographs of Italy. I was born in Italy and you captured the essence of the people and the delicious food! Thank you for telling me about your incredible photo web site. It is amazing!

    • Ray

      Really glad you enjoyed them Angela!

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Ray Watson

I'm a web technology guy building products for real estate, a photographer, wine lover, and BBQ/Smoker aficionado. I like to hunt with both gun and bow, I tie my own flies and love to fish!

Check my photography out on Flickr:

Canadian Photography or Raw Photography