Did you know, olive branches are a symbol of peace and friendship?
Olive trees are very important to many different cultures: Greek, Italian, Egyptian, Syrian, Ethiopian and many, many more. When traveling to Greece last summer, Emmanuel was on the search for a perfect-looking olive grove – knowing that these trees have great cultural importance and history for many families.
Could you believe he was searching for a whole 2 weeks to find a well-kept olive grove with the right composition? I guess it wasn’t as easy as we might have thought it was going to be.
“The Mystic Grove” shares Emmanuel’s story behind his one and only picture of the olive trees he was able to get that trip.
This olive grove is located in Nenita – one of the many historic villages in Chios, Greece.
During Medieval times, Nenita was a thriving village because of their mastic production, and still produce to this day. The mastic tree is a native tree to Chios. The sap is collected and used to produce many mastic products ranging from foods, lotions, perfumes, to medicines. This tree is very important to Chios as it is the main source of income for island residents. However, there are olive groves that line this particular village, I discovered.
During my last trip back home (Chios, Greece), finding a picturesque olive grove was on my “to-do” list. I wanted to grab a picture of Greek olive trees to add to my portfolio before heading back to the United States. I was getting really disappointed during my trip because I searched and searched and could not find any. On the morning of the second to last day of our trip, I was driving to a beach with my wife in the southern part of the island. As I was paying attention to the vegetation, I spotted this clean and well-maintained olive grove. I marked this location on the map so we could go back to later that evening.
I arrived at sunset and wasted no time. I really wanted this picture. I was running around the grove knowing I had limited time before the colors and sun faded. It was very important for me to position myself at the right angle in order to show the depth of this grove. I wanted a picture that showed just how far the trees grew, so when you look at the picture it felt as if you were standing right there. As the sun started to peek through the tree branches, I knew this was the shot I came here for. I was able to find the right spot in this grove to place my camera. I arranged my camera settings as fast as I could and from there it was all in the hands of Mother Nature. Once your camera settings are set, the results – for the most part – are out of your control.
You never know if the sunlight will last for you or not, if the colors will fade or turn into a vibrant painting in the sky, or if the clouds will stay or fade away. There are so many things that can go right or wrong. When all of these variables fit together like a puzzle, it helps me get a beautiful picture like this one. It’s about being at the right place at the right time. I can go back to the same location hundreds of times, and the result is different each time. Even if things work out perfectly again, the view can look totally different – all thanks to Mother Nature!
I hope you enjoy this composition of the olive grove. For me, I feel really lucky things worked out the way they did. If the sun was any lower, there might not have been a sunburst in the picture. If I didn’t find the right angle, I might not have been able to capture the depth I wanted to in this photo. I’m glad I found the right spot at the right moment – time was on my side.